Article (January-2018)


Why talented engineer did not stay?

Editorial Team

Designation : -   Editorial

Organization : -  Business Manager HR Magazine


Modern Industries Limited (MIL) in Gurgaon, a subsidiary of a Multinational Company, is a consumer durables manufacturing industry. Presently the company has over 500 employees and an annual turnover of about Rs. 500 crores. It is a reputed high technology industry with a strong team of technological experts.
The company offers an excellent training scheme for fresh technical graduates, known as "Graduate Engineer Training (GET) Scheme 'which is of 2 years' duration. The objective of this scheme is to identify and train engineers for the specialised technological requirements of the company. Over the past decade several fresh graduates have undergone this training programme and at present hold key positions in the organisation, having proved their worth to the company. Even those who have left the organisation are reported to be doing extremely well in their jobs. The company regarded it as their brand scheme. It has gained high reputation among the student community and there is keen competition among graduates country - wide to undergo training under this scheme.
Mr. Vipul joined the company as a Graduate Engineer Trainee in 2015 after obtaining his B. Tech., degree in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed institute he had secured the second position in the class, and had a brilliant academic record to his credit. After his B. Tech he had several attractive offers for employment including a scholarship from abroad but he preferred to join MIL as a GET for which he has reasons to do so. Firstly, the scheme has a high reputation and was helping fresh engineers to start their career in Industry on a sound footing. Secondly, he was interested in getting practical experience rather than continuing his education. Thirdly, he was the eldest son of his parents, who were settled in Delhi, and he wanted to stay with them and lessen their financial burden.
He did quite well during his training, which included working in different departments on specific assignments. This helped the trainees to get a feel of the challenges in different functional areas and at the same time enabled the departmental managers to know them. This helped the managers to identify the aptitudes of trainees and place them finally in suitable areas of specialisation.
Vipul's training was oriented towards his final placement in the production engineering department. After his training in 2017 he was placed in that department as Engineer. The job was quite challenging : it called for a lot of hard work and ingenuity. He was required to tackle technical problems related to a particular manufacturing workshop, and was also expected to improve the existing process and parameters. The workshop was one of the key manufacturing areas. He was quick to understand the complexities of his job and was able to show improvements in a short period of time.
The company had a reasonably good system of performance appraisal and rewards and the contributions of individuals were usually well rewarded. Mr. Mohan earned an additional increment in 2016 in appreciation of his contribution. This encouraged him to work with greater enthusiasm. He was also a member of some of the work groups which were formed from time to time, for tackling specific problems; and did well in this capacity. He was quite competent in his area of work.
However, trouble started brewing from then onwards. He and his superior Mr. Joshi did not agree on many matters. Mr. Joshi felt that Vipul was not cooperative, and tended to be dogmatic in his approach. This adversely affected their work relationship.
Mr. Joshi, who was the head of the production engineering department had over 25 years' experience and held a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He had worked for other organisations before joining the company in 2000. He was placed as Manager of production engineering department in 2005. He has sound practical knowledge and was handling the production engineering department quite effectively.
Generally ex-trainees were considered for promotion after 3 to 4 years of experience. In 2017, many of those who completed training in 2015 were promoted as Senior Engineers. Mr. Vipul was expecting his name to be in the list of promotees, but to his surprise it was not. His performance during the year was rated as normal, and this upset him greatly leading him to feel frustrated. He met the HR Manager and apprised him of the situation. He requested him to arrange for his transfer to some other functional area. The HR Manager took up the case but could not transfer Vipul, as the workshop serviced by him was a critical one and his expertise was very much in demand there.
The differences between Mr. Joshi and Mr. Vipul were widening and becoming serious on technical matters. Mr. Joshi complained that Mr. Vipul unnecessarily argues on every minor detail, and that this amounted to disobedience. Mr. Vipul was considered an obstacle to work; and his annual increment was also withheld.
Mr. Vipul was thoroughly upset. He met the General Manager and contended that he was fully competent in his job and therefore his increment has no reason to be withheld. He argued that his superior was less educated than him, and that this accounted for the large differences between his and the Manager. He requested the General Manager to look into the matter, and he promised to do so.
A week later, the General Manager called him and informed him that he was being transferred to another department. Mr. Vipul was quite willing to work in that department provided he was posted there on promotion. Inter - departmental transfers were not uncommon in MIL. 
The young engineers in particular were transferred from one department to the other with a view to building them up for higher positions which require better inter functional understanding. In all such cases the practice was to post them on promotion. However, Mr. Vipul's demand was not conceded. He was transferred in July 2017. His performance in the new department was far from satisfactory and he was considered to be a 'deadwood' there. He was understandably disgusted. He tried for a scholarship abroad and succeeded. This made him decide to quit his job. He left the country in Nov. 2017, full of bitterness and disgust.