This appraisal season, beware of these scare tactics

Companies try various scare tactics to stop employees from joining rival firms

April 06, 2019 / 08:15 AM IST
(Image: Reuters)

(Image: Reuters)

April is when most of us get our yearly appraisals and performance incentives. It is also the time when companies try scare tactics with employees who have planned to quit. Employees could be denied the relieving letter, sudden anti-competition clause added into employment contracts or last dates could be extended.

Pragya Gupta, an IT-sector employee, did not sign any contract that said that she wasn’t allowed to work in a competing firm. At the time of resignation, she was told that the company had added a clause for all employees that would prohibit them from working with competitors for six months after quitting.

On the other hand, several banks have a clause called ‘gardening leave’ that is a tactic used to delay a candidate’s joining date in their future organisation. This a paid leave by the company during which an employee is still contractually part of the organisation, but is not required to come to office. This prevents these individuals from joining rival organisations.

Similarly, the extension of the notice period is a common tactic used by companies to try and delay the joining date of candidates in the future organisation. There are also multiple such cases of companies withdrawing job offers if the candidate is unable to join at a short notice.

The idea is simple. Whatever is not in your individual employment contract is not legal. So, if your employer has changed their policy in the notice period after you joined, this is applicable to you contractually. Any such deviation in policies can be questioned in the court of law.


Estimates suggest that 60-65 percent of candidates who quit companies do so after being dissatisfied with the appraisals or performance incentives. One of the most common techniques used by companies to try and retain candidates is to offer unreasonable promises.

Kanika Kaul’s employer promised to offer her a 40 percent hike against the 35 percent offered by a rival organisation. She fell for their word and decided to take back her resignation. However, the manufacturing sector company backtracked on the promise citing ‘budget constraints’.

Nevertheless, the fault lies with the employees too. Getting a counter offer merely to get a better salary hike or to get the compensation ‘matched’ with that of a rival organisation has been a common trend. Now, there are also reports of employees presenting fake letters to get an increase in pay. If found, a disciplinary action could also be taken against such employees.

At a time when many companies are extending an olive branch to former workers, it is essential that employers and employees part on a positive note. Making the exit process easier is the best way to enable employees have a smooth move.
M Saraswathy
first published: Apr 6, 2019 08:12 am

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