Snapdeal's intricate benchmark: 200 employees plan to exit

Snapdeal has asked 200 people in its consumer service department to either pull up their performance or exit.
Snapdeal takes a stand: perform or exit

Snapdeal has asked 200 people in its consumer service department to either pull up their performance or exit. Most of the employees are opting for the second option as the demands of the company's performance improvement plan are almost impossible to meet. The human resource department summoned 100 employees to give them the news on Tuesday.

According to three former employees who were asked to leave, the process is still on and nearly 70 have been called in till now. Over the past year, the company has been asking employees to quit on grounds of underperformance. A similar process in December had witnessed 150 employees asked to leave the leading Indian ecommerce company in which Alibaba, Foxconn and Softbank are investors, along with Temasek and BlackRock.

According to an employee, last trimester, which ended in November, people were asked to leave in December. This time, before the end of this trimester, which is March, Snapdeal is asking more employees to leave. In April 2015, Snapdeal had close to 1,000 employees. Now it has around 500, of which 200 employees are being asked to leave.

Employees are being asked to choose between resigning or going on the performance plan, giving the person a month's time to meet targets.

An employee exiting the company said that they are being asked to achieve an 85% customer satisfaction score, which is impossible, because the company's score has never crossed 62-64%. Most of employees are leaving because they don't want to spoil their resume.

On the other hand the company denied that it was sacking people en masse.

According to a spokesperson of Snapdeal, there have been no firings or layoffs at Snapdeal. Some employees at the Contact Centre, who were not meeting the required performance parameters, have been offered a Performance Improvement Plan. This plan offers such employees 30 days to improve their performance. Some of the employees have chosen not to go through PIP and have instead opted to exit. In deference to their wishes, Snapdeal has accepted their resignations. The PIP process is expected to cover about 200 team members.

According to people cited above, the move comes as the company has decided to outsource most of its customer service requirements to companies such as Concentrix in Bangalore, Competent Synergies in Mohali and Firstsource Solutions in Mumbai in order to save on costs.

The Delhi-based company's customer service operation is based in its Sarita Vihar office and has about 500 employees. Human resources vice president Saurabh Nigam had said that the steep rise in business volumes necessitated aggressive hiring of call centre and customer support staff. He also said that over the past six to seven months, the customer support team has doubled to 1,500 from around 750. Company is planning to hire another 500 people in the next three to four months.

People aware of the matter said the management had been contemplating the performance plan move for the last three months and eventually decided to execute it before the end of the current fiscal year.

An HR professional said that this kind of layoff typically happens when companies realize that they have over-hired. Companies should help their employees finding jobs and support them because once the business flourishes again; it will be difficult to bring those employees back.

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