Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stopping at nothing

Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak, has a nice rant in Business Standard this morning on evolving Executive Compensation scene in India.

Arvind raises this issue – “what exactly determines (and should determine) how much professionals should be paid for a given level of intellect and hours spent on-the-job.” He reflects and concludes that life isn’t fair on all.

He’s got a point. But even in companies that pay very well, attrition is uncontrollable. What does that mean? Is there another domain that is more lucrative or rewarding? Or is it just reckless poaching? The only way to discipline is by laying down proper metrics to measure performance and reward in proportion. Notice that `D’ (as in `Development’) in HRD is long gone and it’s just HR now - an admission of collective despair, perhaps. It's like saying "sorry guys, we can only pay. Develop on your own". And they do that by voting with their feet. Why brood then? It’s this missing "development" aspect that prompts people to leave. Sooner they get that D back in, there’s hope. Remember, wage escalation minus relative growth would mean increased overheads, lower ROI. That means a dog's life for the shareholder - a character that's been taken for granted far too long. The day he stages a walk out with his capital, it'll be curtains for executives' glitzy life on reflected glory. Think of that mortgage on the Penthouse just bought !

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