New age employee has unrealistic expectations:MNC R&D Center Heads in India
Bangalore: Zinnov, a leading Globalization and Market Expansion Advisory firm, as part of its R&D Globalization Council initiative, has released a first-of-its-kind study to evaluate the new-age employees’ expectations. Titled ‘The Culture of Entitlement’ the released study explores employee’s expectation of benefits irrespective of contribution, and the impact on MNC organizations in India.
The study reflected that employees in the MNC R&D fraternity in India, have a strong sense of entitlement; with all respondents (Heads of MNC R&D Centers in India) indicating that this culture is prevalent among the technology workforce in a moderate to high degree. The presence of large number of multinationals and overabundance of opportunities available in the Indian market has raised expectations among the workforce to unhealthy levels. While the culture of entitlement is more prevalent in the junior levels and is largely influenced by campus hires that draw comparisons with other tech-industry peers, it indeed is a cause of significant concern among the HR leadership across organizations.
Commenting on the study, Pari Natarajan, Chief Executive Officer, Zinnov, said, “Today there is a need to re-orient the ‘Culture of Entitlement’ to a positive ‘Culture of Impact’. We need to implement an industry-wide competency assessment plan, improve transparency in the linkage between rewards, accountability and expectations, and create a well-defined learning and development program to engage employees and help them up-skill themselves”.
The study revealed that the foremost reason for this culture of entitlement, are the abundance of opportunities that the current workforce is exposed to. Pressure from society is also a factor, driven in part by the affinity for fancy titles. An interesting insight was that employees from established business schools and educational institutions, have a higher and often unrealistic perception of their own performance, leading to inflated demands for benefits. However, some respondents admitted that the culture of entitlement was also caused by the evolution of the technology industry and apathy by MNC employers. In addition, media reports on hyped wage increase and the perceived impact of inflation influence this culture as well.
“Both management and HR need to work jointly in ensuring this culture is not perpetuated, which can have a highly negative impact on India’s positioning as a global innovation ecosystem”, added Nitika Goel, Program Manager-R&D Globalization Council, Zinnov.
Additionally, the released study highlighted that these unrealistic employee expectations impact not only the business but HR functions as well, with aspects like profitability, quality of work and productivity being adversely impacted. It strongly brought to light that “Innovation” is a key casualty of the culture of entitlement, since technically inclined employees are not keen to improve their expertise in a particular area and strong inclination towards managerial roles creates a pyramid imbalance.
From a business point of view, the culture of entitlement conveys an impression of a demoralized workforce to the global community. Furthermore, a dissatisfied employee can trigger dissatisfaction among his colleagues and creates morale issues if the organization does not meet inflated expectations. Organizations that react to such a culture by incentivizing/promoting people to retain them end up applying benefits in an inconsistent manner. Instead, the solution lies in initiatives from the company as well as the industry as a whole, according to a majority of the MNC R&D Heads in India.