Nearly 15% of India’s middle managers are disenchanted at work. Worse still, half the country’s mid-management would jump at the next offer that comes their way, though they may not be looking out.
Some of the findings of the recently-concluded Towers Watson 2010 Global Workforce Study, are sure to jolt the most well-meaning employers. The seething discontent in the mid-ranks is in stark contrast to India’s relatively better standing globally post-downturn.The study finds that the ‘middle’ men put their mouths where the money is - better compensation, skill upgrade, higher status and a perch in the senior leadership team - in that order, particularly after the downturn.
For India, the data assumes significance as over 3,000 of the 25,000 respondents belonged to the country. The study examined the November 2009 to January 2010 period and covered a majority of male candidates in the 25-35 age bracket with an average work experience of five years or less in middle management. The 25-35 age group constitutes a majority of the Indian workforce and it is the middle management that defines the level of engagement in India. Employees are found to be more rooted to workplaces in tough times as 39% are engaged to work nowadays against 36% during the boom of 2007. At the same time, only 10% of the workers are chasing a job against 20% in 2007. And 30% have no plans to quit against 26% three years ago.
Despite the increasing use of technology, flexible workforce and remote working, India is seen struggling as a sizeable group still relies on personal meetings. But that may well have to do with the innate traits of the workers polled. The 25-35 age group is not known for their ability to deal with the responsibility of remote working. So the study rightly observes that a large clutch of people is yet to use internet tools, such as LinkedIn, blogs and wikis.
Though corporate governance issues are yet to be a lure, reputation does matter. Clearly, compensation, reputation of the company and career advancement opportunities matter to employees. So expectations centre on elemental issues, such as adherence to laws and regulations and compliance. And proactive measures like reducing business costs through recycling and reducing the impact on environment are yet to find takers.