Case: A Fortune 500 MNC is mired in regulatory trouble that has caused it to put brakes on its aggressive India growth strategy for the next few years. The high-performing, high-potential leadership cadres it had recruited with expansion plans in mind are restless. While they have been assured that their jobs are safe and the company has deep pockets and will wait out the regulatory logjam, they are unsure if remaining in the company in this uncertain regulatory environment is a sound career strategy given that they will rise faster in other companies that are growing. What should the company do?
This is one of those unfortunate situations, which are not uncommon. It is nice for the company to say that they have deep pockets and they can keep the highly talented pool of people on its payroll for the next few years without giving them adequate work. However, the corporation as well as the employees have to be realistic about the situation and make the right calls.
To assume that the company will come out of the regulatory logjam in the near future and everything as per the earlier business plans will happen is an ambitious statement. The corporation has to be realistic in the assumption. Even if they are able to keep an unproductive highly talented pool of resources on its payroll, it is never a good idea. Skills, capabilities and knowledge have a limited shelf life. Non-productive workforce will most likely become redundant over time without challenging and meaningful work.
I believe the corporation must take stock of the situation and come up with a realistic business plan and determine who needs to be retained in the Indian business for now for today’s work and who needs to exit. From the surplus pool whosoever can be re-deployed to other countries / businesses should be redeployed and the others must be given reasonable exit options. This will be a win-win strategy for both the employees as well as the corporation.