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Last Updated : Aug 24, 2019 11:51 AM IST | Source:

Pink slips are coming: No mercy for poor performers at India Inc

Retrenchment decisions are being made quicker as companies fight cost pressures

M Saraswathy @maamitalks
Representative image
Representative image

Naresh Gupta survived two past appraisals with a warning to improve his performance at a financial services firm. The 46-year old marketing executive was not so lucky this time because the company decided that he would no longer be given another chance and will have to quit in a month.

It is a tough time for poor-performers in corporate India. On one hand, a tough stand is being taken on those who have been performing below the said targets. On the other, lesser number of warnings are being given to those who fall below expectations, and retrenchment decisions are being made quicker.

Rather than a “wait and watch” approach that is usually adopted for those falling in the “low-performer” category, human resource managers are now particularly strict and cut employee costs if an individual has been consistently falling below the mark.


This is exactly why the numbers look inflated in 2019. Cost pressures are high, revenues are dipping and consumer demands are weak. At this juncture, letting go of unproductive talent is the first decision. Initial estimates suggest that 10,000 people have already been removed across companies in this financial year purely for performance issues.

According to HR officers, the first targets are the contractual staff who are easier to be removed. Second are employees who are closer to retirement and have been unable to meet the changing demands or have not been able to acquire new skill-sets to stay relevant.

While questions can be raised on the process of firing people, human resource heads from across firms are of the view that several employees have a lax attitude towards “performance reviews and performance watch reports”.

Unlike India, being under a “review” in Western countries means that an employee either shapes up or is removed within six months. Indian companies, in comparison, give more leeway for employees to meet the set goals. Once an employee is let off with a warning, he/she presumes that this will always be the case.

At a time when there is an impending economic slowdown in the country, those under closer scrutiny are the low performers. Companies will no longer have the comfort to give time to these staff members to cope up.

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First Published on Aug 24, 2019 11:51 am
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