- To spy around the office so as to keep a watch on undercurrents
- Threaten and/or Create problems to retain employees who quit
- Tamper / Tarnish the careers of quitters by bad-mouthing
- To network with companies to find which quitter is joining where
I would not generalize these practices to all companies, but I certainly opine that this may be a common practice in small organizations, organizations with closely-knit cultures and companies operating in niche markets. It's a real sorry state is how companies are trying to retain people. Instead of resorting to best practices and retaining people by offering a 'package of interest' (including a good combo of hygiene and motivators) to them, they're trying to retain by fear.
The impact of the whole exercise nevertheless does not result in retention, but it results in--
- Tension in the organization
- A hostile organizational climate & culture
- Tragic Impressions left on existing employees
- A chain reaction over existing employees to follow a cautious and hostile exit
- Poor (read pathetic) branding of the organization
Well, though the HR is empathetic towards the employees and can argue a case, HR management has limitations set by the CEO/Director, which then, fall out of the domain. In fact, if HR doesn't cooperate, then people definitely have their ways to pursue their causes...
A few companies I believe do not relieve such employees, and wait to know the name of company the candidate is joining and then call them up to threaten that they may be sued for dual employment of candidate. Even more pathetic is when companies use their influence with local authorities (police) and file and FIR against the employee possessing company assets, and Bingo! who's gonna look for physical evidence of intellectual assets... Phew!!!
These practices are quite disheartening, and all the more stressful to employees as 'COMPANIES ARE FOLLOWING THEM'.
The topic is open for your criticism / additions / suggestions...