SHRM India Annual Conference - First, People Awards, 2012


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This document is a case-study of the winning organizations showcasing best practises that have had a demonstrated impact on the strategic outcome of the organizations. The HR practices and unique initiatives highlighted through the case studies on the merit holders demonstrate their progress on the journey towards excellence.

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SHRM India Annual Conference - First, People Awards, 2012

  1. 1. SHRM INDIA ANNUAL CONFERENCE – FIRST, PEOPLE AWARDS, 2012 Case Studies of Award Winners
  2. 2. CONTENTS
  3. 3. 1 Acknowledgments 2 2 About SHRM India 4 3 The SHRM India Knowledge Center 6 4 About SHRM India Annual Conference - First, People 2012 8 5 Executive Summary 12 6 Success through HR Analytics Evidence-based HR practices at BPO Services unit of TCS 16 Being Different Together Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion at Aegis Limited 24 Enriching Lives by Putting People First The Airtel Way of Enhancing Employee Experience 32 Differently ‘Peopled’ The Chosen Path to Performance and Excellence at Infosys BPO 38 7 8 9 10 The Answer is Blowing in the Wind Community Impact at Vestas Wind Technology 46 11 Building a Culture of Volunteerism to Impact Communities The Mindtree Story 52 12 Future Torchbearers Journey of Leadership Development at Aditya Birla Group 58 13 Creating Future Leaders Within Leadership Development Initiative at Ingersoll Rand, India 66
  5. 5. We would like to thank the following organizations for their participation in the case studies. Tata Consultancy Services BPO Aegis Limited BhartiAirtel Infosys BPO Vestas Wind Technology Mindtree Aditya Birla Group Ingersoll Rand 3
  7. 7. SHRM India is a part of the world's largest professional, not-for-profit Human Resource association, SHRM – the Society for Human Resource Management. It has over 265,000 members in 140 countries. SHRM's mission is to support the HR professional and advance the HR profession through globally recognised certifications, collaborative communities, comprehensive resources, research, professional development opportunities, academic alliances and advisory services. SHRM India provides a platform for thought leadership, sharing of best practices and professional networking within the Indian and global HR communities, in order to take the profession higher through continuous and collaborative learning. The SHRM India Knowledge Center brings together knowledge and expertise in every aspect of HR in one place, for the convenience of the practitioner. Together, the SHRM India Knowledge Center resources enable and equip the HR professional of today to deliver in the current work context as well as meet future challenges. Supported by a bank of over 50 Subject Matter Experts and internal expertise, the SHRM India Knowledge Center offers cutting-edge resources, across all key and emerging HR disciplines. These include thought leadership, advisory panels, tools and templates, virtual events and research. SHRM's comprehensive Online Resources provide rich content on both and This huge repository of articles, research papers, case studies and related material on every aspect of HR within the Indian and global contexts constitutes the most current and comprehensive body of knowledge in HR. The websites also link to social media, provide up-to-date information on events and are the gateway to the Knowledge Center, virtual events and advisory panels. SHRM India also offers Professional Development programmes, customised learning frameworks and skill-building workshops, with a focus on strengthening the core competencies among HR professionals. These include focused programmes in each of the HR sub-functions like Total Rewards, Staffing and Recruitment, Performance Management, and Business Alignment across all career levels. Our Advisory Services offer consulting and customised solutions for corporate and academic institutions, based upon their business challenges and developmental needs. The core areas of advisory services are Leadership and Culture, Learning and Development, Performance and Rewards, Organisation Structuring, Talent Management and Employee Engagement, HR and People Manager Development. The University Alliance practice of SHRM India provides high quality standards of HR knowledge across universities in India and supports the HR curriculum with the world-renowned SHRM body of knowledge built over the course of the past 64 years. The purpose of this initiative is to develop a broad and consistent channel of HR talent in India. The SHRM India Forums held in various locations across India are local learning stations, which enable professional development, networking, exchange of knowledge resources and practices within the Indian and global HR communities. SHRM India continuously strives to release the latent potential of worldwide knowledge exchange in the space of business HR, by constantly expanding and redefining the profession and practice of HR in India and around the world. To become a SHRM member, call 1800 103 2189 5
  9. 9. The SHRM India Knowledge Center brings together knowledge and expertise in every aspect of HR in one place, for the convenience of the practitioner. Together, the SHRM India Knowledge Center resources enable and equip the HR professional of today, to deliver in the current work context as well as meet future challenges. The purpose of the SHRM India Knowledge Center is two-fold – to Support and Advance the Human Resource Profession. In line with our philosophy 'Knowledge is not enough, application counts,' we offer HR professionals a unique platform to sharpen and build their HR competencies while on the job. Our cutting-edge resources, across all the key and emerging HR disciplines include: HR Disciplines Our repository of global and India based articles and research on our knowledge portal provide a go-to resource for HR professionals to update themselves on current and emerging workplace issues and their implications for HR. Subject Matter Experts The SHRM India Knowledge Center has a bank of over 50 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). These leading lights in the field of HR have extensive and diverse experience in the industry, consulting and academics both, within the country and around the world. Our SME Advisory Panels are sources of real time advice and knowledge on all aspects of HR. SMEs also contribute towards SHRM's mission of supporting and advancing the profession by participating in Virtual Events, providing expertise to the 'Ask an HR Advisor' Service, partnering Capability Building, Thought Leadership and Advocacy. Ask an HR Advisor HR professionals can receive assistance from our full-time HR Advisors, on any HR issues or questions via e-mail. The HR Advisors draw on the SHRM body of knowledge and research, advice from a bank of over 50 Subject Matter Experts and their own professional expertise. Express Requests Express Request (ER) is a self-service, online benefit that allows SHRM members to request and receive information on a variety of important HR topics directly in their inbox. To get an immediate response via e-mail, a member can just click on the topic on which he needs information. Tools and Templates The SHRM India Knowledge Center regularly develops reference content on our website for members. This encompasses a collection of step-by-step instructional ‘How-To-Guides’ designed to walk an HR Professional through the practical process of how to complete a particular HR process, Toolkits, Sample HR Forms and Policies and other resources across all disciplines to help HR practitioners address day-today tasks, leaving them with more time to focus on their strategic objectives. Virtual Events Our Virtual Events, such as online Chats and Webinars, leverage technology to provide expertise to HR professionals across locations at minimal cost. All past Virtual Events are archived on our knowledge portal for easy access. Research The SHRM India knowledge portal provides a repository of in-depth and ground breaking global and India specific research conducted either in-house or in collaboration with external Subject Matter Experts. Our research papers provide HR practitioners with valuable insights on current challenges as well as help identify and anticipate emerging areas, future challenges and NEXT practices - keeping them ahead of the curve at all times. 7
  11. 11. In September 2012, SHRM India, in partnership with The Economic Times, presented a novel HR conference First, People 2012, to celebrate the HR profession and professionals. At this conference in Goa, more than 400 professionals, including students and CEOs, participated in disruptive and interactive sessions that sparked off healthy dialogue and exchange of diverse viewpoints on nextgen HR. The program included sessions by eminent global speakers like Curt Coffman and Mark Inglis, and the stellar First, People Award ceremony for organizations doing exemplary work in HR. The event also saw the launch of two leading SHRM India publications - Best Practice Case Studies and Future Bytes, a compilation of responses to the innovative ‘what if’ challenge for experienced HR professionals, and ‘Lever-age,’ the microsite for everything related to multigenerational diversity. Other activities included a national quiz for students and early practitioners, a ground-breaking discussion on HR and Social Media and a verbal duel with CEOs in the Arena, amongst satellite sessions and workshops on music and storytelling. First, People Awards The SHRM India HR Awards have been instituted as an exemplary platform to recognize organizations that put people first, deliver future focused excellence in the field of People Management and understand the importance of human capital as a key contributor to business outcomes. For 64 years, the Society for Human Resource Management has followed its core ideology of supporting the professional and advancing the profession. It recognizes the pioneering and innovative people management practices that impact not just organizations but also business, society and the profession as a whole. The first ever, national SHRM India HR Awards focused primarily on HR Practices that would impact the Enterprise of Tomorrow. The aim was to recognize organizations that have excelled in bringing NEXT into their people practices and empowered HR to become a Strategic Business Partner. In essence, these Awards celebrated and acknowledged organizations that work passionately towards raising the bar for the profession through constant innovation. A brief description of the various Award categories is as follows: Excellence in HR Analytics Human Capital Analytics is the process by which the value of an organization’s people is measured and improved for the purpose of enhancing overall organizational performance. Organisations were assessed on whether they used predictive analysis of people data to further enhance and add value at the business, functional or unit level. Systemically, integrating analytics with organisation financials also requires the appropriate use of tools and technology, educating stakeholders and building the competence of individuals in this discipline. The HR Analytics Award recognized the ability of an organization to incorporate all these key elements in their Human Capital Analytics approach. Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Diversity and Inclusion is the collective mixture of differences and similarities that include individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences and behaviours. 9
  12. 12. It has three primary dimensions – 1. Internal dimensions of diversity, such as age, sexual orientation, race and gender 2. External dimensions of diversity, such as religion, marital status, income and educational background 3. Organizational dimensions of diversity, such as work location, function, seniority and management status This Award, therefore, recognized companies that have adopted and implemented policies and practices to build and promote diversity and inclusion across multiple dimensions. It sought to reward the thought process that endorsed the "culture of inclusion" as a business imperative. Excellence in First People The First, People approach is based on the premise that people are the primary drivers of customer value and business results. Organizations embracing this philosophy have cultures, leadership structures and people practices that enable employees to deliver high value to the end customer. They work to create an environment that encourages empowerment, transparency, integrity and innovation. Their leadership structures allow for faster and autonomous decision-making at the employee level, with respect to the client. The result of such an approach is highly engaged employees who are able to apply their capabilities towards developing innovative solutions. This Award, therefore, sought to recognize organizations demonstrating these drivers and the belief that the organization’s philosophy should be centred on employee engagement and loyalty, which in turn will impact customer satisfaction and not vice versa. Excellence in Community Impact The Community Impact award showcased organizations, which have created a significant impact on the community through their sustainable social initiatives, particularly in the people realm. It sought to recognize the commitment of these firms to creating a balanced approach between economic growth and profits, on one hand, and community development related initiatives aimed at creating higher societal value, on the other. The areas of impact ranged from the micro level - improving the quality of life for communities that their businesses are operating in - to driving financial empowerment and enterprise development at the macro level. The sectors included Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Livelihood-related training. The essence of the Award was to recognize the spirit of being responsible as a corporate entity by contributing to solutions for identified social concerns by utilizing the organization’s own financial and people resources. Excellence in Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow requires a different approach from the leadership development frameworks that organizations typically use today. The need of organizations is to have a strategic and 10
  13. 13. holistic LEADER development approach, which focuses on the future business context including elements such as sustainability, a global mind-set, value system based on ethics, and accountability. This Award, therefore, sought to recognize organizations that have been implementing innovative, long term approaches for identifying, assessing and developing their potential and emerging leaders for roles in keeping the future business demands and challenges. Excellence in Social Media People Campaign The Social Media People Campaign by an organization refers to the effective use of social media channels, tools and applications for driving key people processes for high impact. The Award, therefore, sought to recognize companies that have a well-rounded approach towards integrating social media across talent sourcing, employee engagement, learning, employer branding and so on. It also recognized initiatives that the organization is implementing through which Social Media is being used to foster a higher degree of collaboration between cross-functional teams, leveraging the content created by employees, developing Knowledge Management processes, connecting employees in remote locations to a common platform which allows for knowledge sharing for business value. Excellence in Workplace Flexibility Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) / Workplace flexibility means greater flexibility in the place of work, the scheduling of hours worked and the amount of hours worked. Such arrangements give employees greater control over where and when work gets done and over how much time they choose to work, leading to greater opportunities for employees to be able to enjoy an optimal balance between work and life responsibilities. This Award, therefore, recognized organizations that consistently leverage workplace flexibility to create a more effective and productive workplace, and help the employees to fulfil their potential. Excellence in Employability Impact Employability is defined as the skills that make the available talent pool ready for absorption into the corporate environment. These are the fundamental aspects that almost everyone needs to do almost any job. These skills help to close the gaps between the campus/academic education and an organization’s expectations, since the latter is related to the specific knowledge, behaviourial and technical skills that its particular workplace will require. In addition to this, ensuring re-skilling of existing talent that may have become redundant due to technology changes, business environment, organizational changes and so on, and then ensuring redeployment are also key aspects of the Employability Impact created by an organization. Hence, Employability Impact Award sought to recognize the organization’s efforts in the area of creating Workforce Readiness. When focusing on initiatives related to Employability, some key skill gaps that have been identified are thinking and problem solving abilities, communication skills, analytical skills, teamwork and business proficiency. Out of the total eight award categories described above, winners were selected only for the first five categories by the Jury, while for the later three, which includes Excellence in Social Media People Campaign, Excellence in Workplace Flexibility and Excellence in Employability Impact, no awards were given due to inadequate participation. 11
  15. 15. The SHRM India Knowledge Center is committed to developing in-depth case studies to share the best and next HR practices of organizations and promote learning in Human Resource professionals. Towards this effort, SHRM India has developed case studies on the best practices of the five winners and three merit - holders of the First, People Awards, 2012. These Awards from SHRM India were judged by an independent jury panel and process managed by Ernst & Young. The case studies of the winning organizations showcase best practices that have had a demonstrated impact on the strategic outcomes of the organization. The HR practices and unique initiatives highlighted through the case studies on the merit-holders demonstrate their progress on the journey towards excellence. These case studies, in the order of the Award category, are summarized below. Excellence in HR Analytics Award Winner – TCS BPO Success through HR Analytics – Evidence-based HR practices at BPO Services unit of TCS Establishing the value of HR through strategic decisions that impact business is an emerging and aspirational need for HR in many organizations. TCS BPO has set up a high performance culture in the organization by taking a lead position in the area of HR Analytics through the use of path breaking tools and predictive modelling techniques that have enhanced effectiveness in decision-making with empirical support. Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award Winner – Aegis Limited Being Different Together – Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion at Aegis Limited While most organizations are still figuring out the business case for a diversity and inclusion initiative, Aegis Limited has embarked on a six dimensional diversity and inclusion framework. The unique initiatives across the six different facets are executed with rigor by understanding the requirements of the diverse groups, setting measurable targets, building organizational commitment, and on going monitoring of effectiveness. Excellence in First People Award Winner – Bharti Airtel Enriching Lives by Putting People First – The Airtel Way of Enhancing Employee Experience Bharti Airtel put its employees first by enriching their employees’ lives and enabling HR to perform a more strategic role. The three cornerstones of Process Excellence, Good Governance and Employee Experience, which form the foundation of all their initiatives are elaborated upon in this case study. 13
  16. 16. Merit Holder – Infosys BPO Differently ‘Peopled’ - The Chosen Path to Performance and Excellence at Infosys BPO Infosys BPO’s people strategy revolves around three key objectives – creating careers for life, providing a safe environment and building employee connect. The initiatives implemented to achieve these objectives are vigorously monitored for effectiveness, sustained with the conscious will of the organization and continuously improved through bench marking studies. Excellence in Community Impact Award Winner – Vestas Wind Technology The Answer is Blowing in the Wind – Community Impact at Vestas Wind Technology Vestas’ business is premised on clean and sustainable energy solutions. Its community impact initiatives are designed to create a sustainable impact by improving the education, health and environment of the communities in which they operate. The effectiveness of their employee driven initiatives is measured externally and improved upon constantly. Merit Holder - Mindtree Building a Culture of Volunteerism to Impact Communities - The Mindtree Story To sustain the momentum of CSR activities from the time of the organization’s inception, the leadership at Mindtree have institutionalized volunteerism and philanthropy in the organizational culture with the objective of attracting the right talent and creating a long-lasting impact on individuals and the organization. Excellence in Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow Award Winner - Aditya Birla Group Future Torchbearers – Journey of Leadership Development at Aditya Birla Group The key success factor for leadership development at the Aditya Birla Group has been - optimally leveraging the opportunities and challenges of being a global conglomerate to develop its future leaders. Involvement of the Board, institutionalizing a leadership coaching culture and a variety of programs and assignments are some of the critical differentiators that have been emphasized upon in this case study. Merit Holder – Ingersoll Rand Creating Future Leaders Within –Leadership Development Initiative at Ingersoll Rand, India The leadership development strategy at Ingersoll Rand is strongly aligned to and driven by the vision and business strategy of the organization. Adopting a learning framework that matches the requirement of employees across levels, from early talent to senior leaders, the range of and unique methodology adopted across programs is the focus of the case study. 14
  17. 17. CASE STUDIES
  18. 18. SUCCESS THROUGH HR ANALYTICS Evidence Based HR practices at BPO Services unit of TCS Namita Rajani Using data intelligently can move HR to the next level of evolution and help maximize the potential of an organization’s human capital. TCS BPO applies this concept in designing its human capital analytics initiatives. It firmly believes in not only collecting accurate data but also analysing it both, intelligently and proactively, to solve critical problems. The primary focus is on insights that can be derived to make business decisions that have a positive impact on the organization or entity. This case study elaborates on the key human capital analytics initiatives at TCS BPO and how they are impacting HR, the business and the organization as a whole. Business Context Established in 1968, Tata Consultancy Services offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT, BPO, infrastructure, engineering and assurance services. Its services are delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery ModelTM, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, TCS has over 254,000 of the world’s best trained consultants in 42 countries. TCS’ Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) unit became operational in 2005. The BPO services entity at TCS delivers core business processes across more than a dozen industry verticals and provides relevant and impactful analytics and insights to its clients in running key business support processes such as Finance and Accounting, HR and Supply Chain Management. TCS BPO has grown consistently since its inception and witnessed 21 percent revenue growth in FY 2012. Their vision is to be India’s Number One BPO and touch revenues of USD three billion by FY 2014. A young organization, with an employee strength of 36,500 and average employee age of 28 years, TCS BPO believes that managing employee expectations is the key to customer retention in today’s world. To maintain their strategic requirement of business growth and build a high performance work culture, TCS BPO realized it would need to critically identify and employ HR interventions and approaches based on strong empirical data. Approach to Human Capital Analytics To ensure effectiveness in decision-making, the key is to derive actionable insights from the available data. TCS uses three different types of analytical approaches to serve diverse needs across the organization: 1. HR Function-wise analysis – This involves analysis of data pertaining to key HR functions like talent acquisition, training and career progression in a holistic way, across industry domains. Scope to further refine and enhance the delivery of the specific HR function is identified through the findings of this analysis. 17
  19. 19. 2. Deep dive analysis – BPO services are offered across various industry domains into which the entity is organized. Each domain has its unique characteristics, growth patterns and competitive landscape, which results in different challenges that impact associate expectations and behaviour. Moreover, the educational profile of employees is quite diverse depending on the nature of the industry vertical or domain. A deep dive analysis for such segments helps recognize behaviourial patterns at the grass-root level and thereby provide appropriate recommendations from an HR perspective. 3. Standardized reports – On a pre-defined regular basis, certain standard reports that help business understand the human capital metrics are published at an organizational and business unit level. These reports help track important metrics related to human capital that affect business performance and take appropriate action based on cross-sectional and longitudinal trends. Each of these approaches is elaborated upon, with the support of a specific example, in the following section. HR Function-wise analysis - Holistic Approach Function 1 - Talent Acquisition Predicting an optimal recruitment mix Business Scenario The industry characteristics of a broad range and varying complexity of client processes required TCS BPO to have associates with an extremely wide array of skills, ranging from simple data entry capabilities to complex analytics and consequent recommendations. While hiring candidates the company also realized that certain intrinsic abilities such as cognitive ability and the capacity to effectively manage emotions were less trainable, especially in a business context where the expectations are exacting and time for development limited. Moreover, entry level associates constituted over 80 percent of the total workforce at TCS and were often hired in bulk. The organization, hence, needed to design a predictive approach to staffing based on a structured classification of processes. The processes at TCS BPO were organized into three levels of complexity as listed below: • Data Entry (Simple/Complex) – Low Complexity • Decision-making (Rule/Analysis) – Medium Complexity • Statistical Analysis and Coding based work – High Complexity The organization required stratified talent abilities for these process types and complexity levels. The key objective was to raise the overall performance level of the organization by defining the right combination of skills in a structured manner, based on the talent’s intrinsic ability identified at the hiring stage itself. The aim was to define the recruitment mix and the eligibility score for entry level candidates. Methodology In order to achieve this objective, a sample of existing associates working on different process types, and with different performance levels were put through a battery of instruments including tests to measure their cognitive ability and capacity to manage emotions. This was used to identify the 18
  20. 20. relationship between the scores in the tests, recorded performance over the past period with the organization and complexity of the process. Based on the forecasted performance level and expected complexity of work, a guideline for the ideal recruitment mix to be hired for various types of processes was established. A process to standardize these instruments was built with longitudinal data. Assessing Effectiveness and Results This technique helped the organization in predicting the recruitment mix required for various levels of complexity for a specified performance level and in building optimum and predicted performance levels. The effectiveness of this initiative was measured through the overall increase in process productivity and customer satisfaction scores. As a direct consequence, the organization was able to push the performance curve higher, raising the overall performance level by 6.90 percent in the first phase, at an average rate of USD 10 per hour. Function 2: Staffing and Career Management Matching demand and supply through Career Progression Business Scenario TCS BPO realized that when there was an upcoming new business opportunity, to meet staffing requirements externally, the standard turnaround time to hire was 45 to 90 days. In addition, there was a possibility of an external person taking longer to adjust and come up to speed, and the risk of infant attrition. Furthermore, lateral hires came at a premium thus adversely impacting the revenue to employee-cost ratio. There was not enough time for sourcing, training and grooming internal candidates for the new opportunity. Due to this, the internal candidate pool was less optimally utilized, and was adding to the attrition count because of a lack of career opportunities. In order to resolve this, the organization realized the need to develop a structured approach to identify the best-fit candidates for the job internally that would address the need for staffing for new business and career progression for associates. • Client, Offering, numbers, Expected date of Closure • Location-wise (Delivery Centre-wise), Role-wise break-up of requirements iNTRASKOPE • • • • • • • • • Role History Competency Profile Project History Role & Project tenure Performance Ratings Current Location Passport & VISA details Educational Qualifications Associate Role & Location Preference Fig 1.1: Application of iNTRASKOPE 19
  21. 21. Methodology To achieve this objective, the organization designed a tool called iNTRASKOPE. This tool utilizes various applications to help in early identification of suitable associates for upcoming business opportunities so that they can be trained accordingly and kept ready for the job on day zero. This tool also guides the associates in terms of progression opportunities and allows them to apply for open positions. To do this, it brings together various functionally relevant data points from several systems to compute the match percentage between the Role and the Proposed Role Holder, and estimate the movement time. The table below explains the functioning of various systems in iNTRASKOPE. L&D iCALMS Fig 1.2: Systems in iNTRASKOPE SYSTEM FUNCTION RPM RPM (Replenishment Model) provides a web based solution for tracking the opportunity identification. It allows the Business Development team to create a new opportunity on arrival of any client. It helps to build a system of resource management in which various stakeholders add their respective functions onto the singular system, which would in turn develop multiple reports and interpretations with probability-based decision cycles. SIPOC SIPOC (supplier, input, process, output and customer) is a process data warehouse, which has data on people operating processes and training requirements. It helps to compare and identify similarities and dissimilarities among various processes and serves as a unique platform for benchmarking and identifying the best process across the entire TCS BPO. Global SPEED Global SPEED is the system for performance evaluation and employee development. This enables employees to have access to information on current and past appraisals. It tracks and records every stage of the appraisal process including compliance to feedback shared with the appraisee. iCALMS iCALMS helps employees view their learning and competency development needs and the progress achieved against the same. It helps other stakeholders facilitate and manage competency development and learning within the organization. Once an associate profile is updated on iCALMS, the RMG (Resource Management Group, which manages the staffing requirement internally) and L&D teams help associates create a better career path. Ultimatix others The Ultimatix portal is TCS’ internal portal; it gives access to all the applications that are required to carry out work in a streamlined manner. It integrates various functions and is referred to for various employee related data such as role history, project allocation details and time spend in a particular process. Table 1.1: Functions of Systems in iNTRASKOPE 20
  22. 22. Assessing Effectiveness and Results This tool facilitates matching the demand and supply of talent internally through the mentioned features and functionalities and enables both lateral and horizontal movement, best suited to the employee’s experience, knowledge and aspirations. The effectiveness of this tool was measured through the decrease in attrition rate, percentage of employees internally moved, increase in billing window due to ready availability of resources on day zero and increase in revenue to employee-cost ratio. Deep Dive Analysis – Domain and Industry vertical specific approach TCS BPO conducts several industry specific analyses for critical business segments with high growth potential across multiple HR functions. These flourishing business segments experience high revenue to employee-cost ratio and high or increasing attrition rates. A deep dive analysis identifies insights on the following people processes: • Right fit for right job • Expectation setting and evaluating contribution • Rewarding contribution • Vertical Growth and Grade Progression • Organizational Reporting Structure The insights gathered through the analysis are translated into actions through appropriate changes in policy as illustrated in the example below: In a study for a specific process in a particular role, it was identified that the performance of MBAs, who constituted over 50 percent of the employee mix, was not above the group average despite higher than group average compensation. In addition, the attrition percentage amongst the MBA segment was higher than the rest. On the other hand, graduates with bachelor’s degrees in science (10+2+3) were performing better than the group average, were available at compensation less than the average compensation of the group and attrition amongst this segment was lower than the group’s attrition. However, in the current mix they stood at less than 15 percent of the population. It was also observed that in this process, females as percentage of the total population stood at 31 percent, which was lower than all other processes in the business unit. It is interesting to note here that, on the average, the performance of females in the process was marginally better than that of males. An opportunity to work on the gender diversity was identified and using the insights, various scenarios were considered with respect to the manpower mix. A phased change was then planned, through targeted hiring and re-deployment interventions. The final projected mix recommended a reduction in the percent of MBAs from 77 to 50 percent by increasing the intake of other better performing profiles and raising the number of female associates up to 50 percent. All other things being equal, the final projected mix was expected to bring down the compensation by 3.08 percent, increase performance by approximately 0.9 percent and reduce attrition by about 7 percent. 21
  23. 23. Standardized Reports – Tracking manpower changes that affect profitability and revenue generation TCS BPO publishes various standard reports on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to update key stakeholders on the overall health of the organization on some of the key standardized metrics (refer Table 1.2). The key metrics are published at an overall level, at a business unit level and grade-wise, as applicable. These reports help track manpower changes, which affect profitability and revenue generation, and enable decision-making and appropriate actions based on longitudinal trends. The complexity of these reports is reduced with the periodic drop and inclusion of appropriate parameters, based on significance. Metrics Significance and Decisions Frequency Manpower 1. Increase in the total Headcount (Gross and Net addition) 2. Increase in billable headcount vs. non billable Headcount (support) 3. Billable associates as percentage of total population, at an overall and Business unit level 4. Employee Pyramid Shifts (grade-wise) Shifts in manpower tracked to: 1. Ensure a healthy mix of billable versus support staff and bench, as this has a direct relation with profitability. 2. Employee pyramid being top heavy adversely affects profitability; the same is tracked. 3. Any change in course of hiring recommended based on these. Weekly, Monthly And Quarterly 1. To track possibility of billing loss 2. To match the demand and supply of required talent Weekly 1. To track and activate back-up and contingency plans Weekly Attrition Analysis 1. To study the attrition trend at overall organization level and at each business unit. 2. To identity segments which are showing high or low attrition and reason behind them 3. To change course of initiatives based on this information. Monthly Source Mix and Cost Per Hire 1. To track and publish hiring sources from the perspective of managing and minimizing cost of support functions Monthly Others 1. Learning and Development hours deployed 2. Gender Diversity status – Level wise 3. Employee Engagement initiatives 4. Affirmative action recruitment 1. To monitor and assess the overall engagement level for all the HR functions and program Monthly Hiring 1. Open Positions in the organization (Aging Analysis) Critical Separation Cases 1. Leadership Separations reported Table 1.2: Key Standardized Metrics Achievements and Impact This scientific approach to HR interventions at TCS BPO generates confidence in customers to outsource their business to India. It leads to reduced effort, more accurate processing as well as reduced errors in decision-making. The impact of these interventions on the organization’s business is as follows: • The organization prides itself in having the lowest attrition in the industry • Keeping the novelty factor in view and the value created through iNTRASKOPE, TCS BPO has filed a patent application as intellectual property in 2011 • Due to ready availability of resources, there has been a significant increase in the billing window. Benefit per associate kept ready is approximately INR 2,00,000 22
  24. 24. Demonstrative metrics • The overall performance level has improved by 6.9 percent • Contribution of career opportunities as a reason for attrition has gone down by 5 percent over the previous year • The revenue to employee cost ratio has improved What’s Next? TCS BPO plans to focus on sustaining and growing these initiatives in the near future by: Ø Data Cleaning – Ensuring on-time and clean data availability is a focus area for the coming 18 months. This will involve sensitizing people to data, constant monitoring and periodic review through audit mechanisms. Ø Systems Development – Currently, while the base data is available as data dumps, the metrics are typically not automated, and thus real time data is not available online. System design is underway to have metrics automated with built in triggers to alert on a real time basis in the coming 12 months. Ø Mechanism to ascertain the isolated impact of recommendation deployed - Presently, recommendations can be made based on data, however, there is no method to isolate and thus quantify the impact of a recommendation once deployed. This will be addressed in the next 36 months. SHRM Conclusion The use of evidence-based Human Resource Management, through rigorous data mining and effective decision-making, is what differentiates TCS BPO from other organizations in the BPO industry. It has demonstrated path-breaking practices and tools in HR Analytics, that use predictive modelling to make strategic HR decisions for high business impact. The iNTRASKOPE tool that helps provide job ready resources internally on day zero is definitely a competitive advantage in an industry that struggles to retain its best talent. Further, using a customised approach to address the specific needs of various industries and businesses which have their own unique characteristics and challenges, coupled with publishing regular standardized reports to track manpower changes, clearly shows how well the organization leverages data to derive meaningful information and make effective decisions. All these initiatives have helped TCS BPO address the strategic human capital challenges in a structured and scientific manner and provided an opportunity to the HR practitioners to play a more proactive role in driving business strategy. “In general we can argue, with data we can dialogue” – TEAM Organizational Effectiveness (TCS BPO) Namita Rajani is Research Analyst with SHRM India. 23
  25. 25. “First people award, 2012” by SHRM India in the category of Diversity & Inclusion during India’s first Un-conference held at Goa, 21st & 22nd Sep 2012 511 differently abled lives impacted with career opportunities provided by Aegis over the last quarter NASSCOM Corporate Awards for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion 2011 Vartalaap - On Nov 10, 2011 Aegis Bhopal initiated a one of its kind interactive session between leadership on the site & differently abled employees, to understand the challenges faced by these employees. The session was a huge success with the employees discussing some basic concerns which have been noted by leadership for appropriate future measures. Aegis Bhopal launched ‘Pehchaan’ - A women’s club, on the occasion of Women’s day on March 6, 2012. Objective of the club is to enhance and groom the personalities of female employees along with educating them by means of SUPW (Socially Useful and Productive Work) NCPEDP - Shell Helen Keller Award 2011for exemplary work towards PWD’s Jamshedpur supports Jaharkhand Viklang March and Deepshika an NGO that organized a job fair and Ability Mela for Differently Able Individuals. Though this initiative 40 candidates were shortlisted and 14 were selected. Aegis Noida, conducted ‘Diversity sensitization: Enabling the differently abled’ session on March 05, 2012, covering people who are responsible for working with the differently abled These snippets highlight the diversity success stories at Aegis. This case study provides insights on - Why Aegis has such a strong focus on diversity? What makes diversity work for Aegis? and Which diversity practices set Aegis apart from other organisations? 24
  26. 26. BEING DIFFERENT TOGETHER Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion at Aegis Limited Dedeepya Ajith-John Overview Company Profile Founded in India in 1992, Aegis Limited is a global outsourcing and technology company. It is committed to impacting clients’ business outcomes by focusing on enhancing customer experiences across all touch points and channels. A wholly owned subsidiary of the USD 27 billion conglomerate, the Essar Group, Aegis has over 55,000 employees across 56 locations in 13 countries. The company services over 1000 clients in Banking, Financial Services & Insurance, Technology, Telecom, Healthcare, Travel & Hospitality, Consumer Goods, Retail and Energy & Utilities. 25
  27. 27. Challenges Achieving Diversity and Inclusion in its true sense The globalized spread across 13 countries and its growth plan were key drivers of Aegis’ strategy to promote inclusiveness across its diverse clientele and employee base. This may raise the question -Unlike most other companies, which design initiatives to manage their existing diverse workforce, why did Aegis resort to formulating a whole new diversity strategy with a conscious effort to recruit people and ensure representation of all forms of diversity? Aegis’ answer is captured in Fig 2.1. It depicts the company’s high level of understanding of diversity and the seriousness with which it approaches this issue. Building brand Image, Managing impact of globalization C GI ZA TI NI ST IR AT IO N OR E RS VE RKF CE OR DI IN CL US IVE IN SP N O ATI NIZ GA S OR ER RK O -W Improving organization culture, Better team work & Results Diverse thoughts, Creative thinking, Innovation CY CO FO R GA GA LE Improving morale, Acting as role models E G TA ON RA TE N VA AD Institutional building, Strengthening long-term “value drivers” WO According to one of the Diversity Managers, “We needed an initiative that would help us promote inclusiveness by stimulating social, economic, intellectual and emotional growth. Hence, not long after its inception, Aegis realized that diversity in the workplace is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity in order to achieve sustainable results through new perspectives, ideas and the consequent engaged workforce.” In order to sensitize and improve organizational understanding and knowledge for “Diversity and Inclusion” in its true sense, Aegis sought to instil a visibly effective diversity mindset in every employee’s work. Tackling systemic issues like organizational policies and practices, which were not aligned Fig 2.1: Why a diverse workforce? to diversity initiatives, and addressing inclusion as “change” posed big challenges to the implementation. While a number of initiatives were rolled out as a part of the diversity strategy, the importance of assessing and measuring the impact of each initiative made it imperative for the management at Aegis to support the design of new initiatives with the development of a robust tracking mechanism. This case study examines the holistic diversity approach Aegis used to address these challenges and meet its requirements. Solution A holistic approach – Six Dimensional Diversity Framework In early 2010, S.M. Gupta, Chief People Officer (CPO), embarked on a unique diversity initiative at Aegis. The objective was to bring in and leverage different sections of society in the organization, with the expectation that it would lead to increased levels of employee engagement, innovation, loyalty and support from clients, a responsive business culture and corporate resilience in a global economy. 26
  28. 28. The company developed a six-dimensional diversity framework as shown in Fig 2.2, which identifies diversity across - Persons with Disabilities (PWD), Gender Inclusivity, Socially and Economically Disadvantaged, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse People, Mature Age People and Inclusion of Indigenous People. The dimensions were selected such that they were universally applicable to all geographies in which Aegis operates.Specific targets were established for each dimension. “Today’s outsourcing industry employs a large number of Gen Y people. However, at Aegis, through our global HR mission and the current diversity framework, inclusion of mature age people was imperative. This integration facilitates innovation across business, culture and society. Through blending the ‘will’ of the young generation and ‘wisdom’ of the mature age group, we understand and harness a holistic experience for our employees, customers, stakeholders and society.” To design relevant initiatives and ensure sensitivity towards the anti-discriminatory and equal opportunity laws applicable across all locations, Aegis committed itself to this simple yet effective model. COMMITMENT e 3.34% of the Global Workforce Male to Female ratio is 60:40 er nd ty Ge usivi l Inc Ag re tu ple Ma Peo Culturally & Linguistically Diverse People ENABLERS Inc Ind lusi i on Pe geno of op u le s • • • • • S E o Di concial sa o ly dv m an an ica d ta lly ge d 35% of the Global Workforce MEASUREMENT 95-97% of the Global Workforce Persons with Disabilities 1.69% of the Global Workforce 92 nationalities 79 Languages 13 Countries 4 Business Verticals 55 Global Locations INITIATIVES Fig 2.2: Six-Dimensional Diversity Framework A. Philosophy and Measures of Commitment Aegis began its journey with clearly defined base level indicators against each facet of diversity as shown in Table 2.1. These targets are finalized keeping in view the feasibility, affordability and alignment to business needs. Aegis has adopted a progressive approach by gradually increasing targets on a few parameters, year-on-year, since 2010. For example, the target for inclusion of PWDs has increased from one percent in FY 2010-11 to 1.5 percent in FY 2011-12 to the current 1.75 percent for 2012-13. 27
  29. 29. Type of diversity Indicator Persons with disabilities To employ PWDs equal to 1.75 percent of global workforce (target for FY 2012-13) Gender inclusivity Gender mix to be in accordance with the available employee population Socially and economically disadvantaged people Mix of socially and economically disadvantaged people to be in accordance with the available employable population Culturally and linguistically diverse people Mix of culturally and linguistically diverse people to be in accordance with the available employable population Mature age people To employ 4 percent mature age people Inclusion of indigenous people 95 percent of total Aegis workforce should be indigenous Table 2.1: Indicators for Diversity B. Enablers for diversity Enablers are important for the sustainability and acceleration of any initiatives. While designing a number of tailor made initiatives for each of its six facets of diversity, Aegis ensured that these enablers were already in place. Committing to its global HR philosophy and vision, the company ensured the right policies were put in place. These included Equal Employment Policy, Human Rights Policy, Prevention of Gender Harassment Policy and the Maternity Benefits Act, in addition to diversity enablers like Sustainability Reporting, Organization Development practices, Sensitization workshops and Engagement Models. One remarkable enabler that deserves special mention is building an organization structure that enables diversity, where the Global CEO & MD is the executive sponsor and the CPO plays the organization change leader. The management also identified diversity managers at the corporate, business and country levels to play the leading role in co-ordinating diversity interventions. C. Diversity initiatives To build an inclusive workforce, Aegis has initiated a number of common initiatives like the formation of affinity groups, sensitization workshops (Managing the Diversity), Coffee with HR and celebrating women’s and national grandparents days amongst others. In the last fiscal year, Aegis conducted Facilitated Affirmative Action workshops with the aim of helping the management and recruiters understand the requirements of law, as well as the organization’s commitment to include all six dimensions of diversity in the recruitment efforts. A few unique initiatives focused on each of the six facets are described below. All initiatives were customized locally after understanding the regional norms and the cultural mindset. Persons with disabilities (PWDs) Ensuring that 1.75 percent of its global workforce comprises PWDs alone is not enough to create engagement if other initiatives do not support this effort. 28
  30. 30. • To promote accessibility to the workplace for its 1000 strong disabled workforce, Aegis provides a number of facilities like auxiliary aids and services for training, accessible rooms, wide hallways, wheelchair ramps, elevators with ‘grab handles,’ differently abled wash rooms, engraved Braille codes, voice notification and accommodation of service animals at the office. • The company also observes World Disability Day across all locations. In alignment with its Corporate Social Responsibility ideology, the company holds motivational workshops and ‘SMILE’ campaigns (visits to NGOs to engage in fun activities with children). • In addition, Aegis has put in place specific initiatives to take care of the career needs of PWDs, which include career planning models, flowcharts and competencies mapped to disabilities. Gender inclusivity • Project – RESTART is a one of its kind initiative, designed to reintegrate women employees when they return to work after maternity leave. • Discover SELF is a series of Women Empowerment workshops designed to develop skills like selfdefence, physical exercise and SWOT analysis. • To help women employees reach strategic leadership positions, Aegis conducts an Empowering Prospective Leader (EPL) workshop. Socially and economically diverse people • Let’s DEFEAT – Let’s COMPETE is an annual event which includes competitive games and regional sports like rugby and cricket. • Project SHARE is a unique initiative, where the company sponsors books and education material for children of identified employees. • Money management workshops and screening motivational movies (‘Bioscope’) are some of the other engagement initiatives taken up by Aegis to include socially and economically diverse employees. Culturally and linguistically diverse people • ‘Warrior of Words,’ an initiative where employees can publish their poems in different languages is a great example of how Aegis ensures the inclusion of its culturally and linguistically diverse workforce. • Singing competitions, Let’s Chat (quarterly roundtable discussion), diverse dance day, maintaining a cultural repository of books, magazines, screening of regional movies, a unique Global Talent Exchange Program which provides them with global opportunities while also ensuring cross-cultural learning are some of the initiatives specifically tailored for this facet of diversity. Mature age people • While most companies predominantly focus on engagement activities for Gen Y, Aegis makes a deliberate effort to hire and manage people above 45 years of age. • ‘Live Strong’ – programs on nutrition and ways to stay active, ‘Rendezvous’ - a program where matures share their story in front of the Head of HR, retirement planning workshops and training programs to rebuild acumen are some of the unique initiatives implemented for the mature age workforce at Aegis. 29
  31. 31. Inclusion of indigenous people • Culinary culture competitions, country specific ‘Clue Cracker’ competitions and celebrating national days are some of the programs designed for inclusion of indigenous employees. D. Tracking system Today, Aegis boasts of an engaged diverse workforce, which it can verify through its indigenously designed robust tracking mechanism. A few ways in which Aegis measures the success of its diversity initiative are: • Diversity DNA scan - This scan helps Aegis view all its initiatives as part of one global picture, identify its current position and measure gains as they occur. 74 percent agreed they have a clear understanding of organization's vision regarding D&I 78 percent employees feel their diversity profile is viewed as an asset to Aegis 61 percent agreed that they are being provided with sufficient opportunities to develop diversity competency • Diversity tracker - Each of the six diversity (DNA Scan in Australia & New Zealand) facets are measured monthly against the commitments and progress is reported by respective groups to Corporate HR, which in turn presents it to the Executive Management team. Average diversity score 2011 -12 was recorded at 76 percent. • Employee and client feedback - Regular and constant formal and informal feedback is sought from employees and clients and the initiatives are improvised based on their suggestions. Result Visible Impact The diversity initiatives at Aegis have left a significant footprint across the organisation, on its employees and clients: Company • Significant increase in Revenue and Profit growth percentage in the last two years, including global presence and diverse customer engagement models • Aegis became an Employer of Choice Employees Employees • Overall engagement score for Aegis increased from 54 percent in 2009 to 73 percent in 2011 • Hiring the untapped pool of physically disabled people, enhanced its image as an Equal Opportunity employer • Inclusion of women in leadership positions increased from 9 to 21 over a period of two years 30 Increased Creativity & Innovation Aegis adopted an employee value proposition GET-SET-GO! for its diverse workforce GET - Brand Aura – hiring people based on competencies and role fit creating a pull and establishing a partnership. SET - setting people up for success - by providing a progressive environment with specific HR interventions. GO - Growth within or beyond Aegis - by helping them grow into capable people and become Aegis Ambassadors.
  32. 32. • New and diverse ideas brought forth increased creativity and innovation • Mature workforce brought great mentoring skills and an immense knowledge base Customers • Increase in customer satisfaction • Culturally and linguistically diverse workforce enhanced the capability of serving a wide range of clients • Indigenous workforce helped provide better service to local customers What’s next? Action plan for the future Based on age, experience and competencies, Aegis speaks of peer group diversity to achieve a healthier balance of different social groups within the organization. The diversity team also plans to design and implement innovative practices to attract, hire, train, promote and retain its diverse workforce. To achieve this, the company has decided to allocate a higher budget to its diversity initiatives and further promote accessibility to the workplace. Conclusion A SHRM India conclusion While most organizations today focus only on gender and age diversity under the guise of diversity and inclusion, Aegis has recognized the broader perspective of diversity. It is one of the first companies, which encompasses six facets of diversity and designs tailor - made programs for each of them. A specific commitment for each dimension, along with a robust tracking mechanism brings forth the seriousness with which Aegis caters to its diverse workforce. The infrastructure built to accommodate PWDs, regional diversity while hiring, linguistic coaches, global focus on the diversity programs and more importantly, the investment made in these initiatives show that Aegis has definitively achieved its mission of “what makes diversity work. I still remember my first day in office. I was a bit apprehensive and confused. When I was introduced to my team, I had no idea how my team members would accept me; but with each passing day, I started finding myself a new family. It was a heavenly feeling and we bonded really well. There were multiple instances when I had to fall back on my team members for their support; and trust me, they never disappointed. Mutual respect and admiration among the team members helped us in forging a strong relationship with each other. One among the many vital values I learnt from my job and team is stewardship. All in all, it’s a very good place to work for and I am happy being a part of it. So, Let’s Begin! - A differently abled person at Aegis Dedeepya Ajith-John is Research Analyst with SHRM India. 31
  33. 33. ENRICHING LIVES BY PUTTING EMPLOYEES FIRST The Airtel Way of Enhancing Employee Experience Shveta Ramchandani Founded in 1995, Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading integrated telecommunications company with 246 million customers in 20 countries in Asia and Africa as of February 2012. Airtel is a market leader and one of the most admired telecom service providers in the countries it serves. Shifting paradigms and evolving needs, both internal and external, have transformed the way Airtel works. It is the preferred service provider of the young, dynamic and techsavvy customer demographic in India, which sees no technological boundaries and has a distinctive need for ‘speed’ and ‘more.’ To match and anticipate customer expectations, Airtel re-modelled its business operations and adopted new principles for organization design to create a customer centric, lean and agile organization. The new organization focused on an integrated go-to market strategy, decision-making closer to the customer, leveraging scale, synergies and new growth opportunities, and a larger end-to-end role for employees. Airtel envisions it will be the most loved brand, enriching the lives of millions by 2015, where enriching lives means putting the customer at the heart of everything the organization does. Challenges for HR Forty percent of Airtel’s workforce is in Sales, 60 percent of which comprises R/UTMs (Rural and Urban Territory Managers) and a sizeable population of service engineers who do cabling, digging and are always on the move. Given its employee base of over 20,000, the key challenges HR faced in servicing its internal customers included maximizing its reach, engaging quickly with the workforce and addressing employee concerns with ease. This case study captures Airtel’s efforts to enrich the lives of its employees using a technology platform and breakthrough thinking that was closely aligned to its business model. 33
  34. 34. What did HR do? Process Excellence Extending the Airtel philosophy on customer relations to employees HR @ Airtel aims to create the same brand experience for its employees as its customers. The three cornerstones of HR namely - Employee Experience, Process Excellence and Good Governance - form the foundation for all people initiatives. HR Good Governance Employee Experience Furthermore, all HR initiatives at Airtel are strategically Fig 3.1: The three cornerstones of HR@Airtel aligned to business deliverables and the business theme, “winning in the market.” The major challenge was to enrich the lives of Airtel’s frontline team, who fight in the face of tough competition to make the company a market leader. Need for Speed An employee poll revealed that the main pain areas for frontline employees were processing and settling of claims. The number of approvers and the time taken for processing and decision-making due to dependency on the reporting manager really slowed down these processes. There was a definite need and scope to reduce the processing time and enhance the employee experience in this area. HR reviewed the processes and eliminated multi-level approvals, leveraged technology and empowered employees and managers with approving rights on the go, thus leading to process excellence. The reporting manager is now empowered to approve or reject these requests instantly, anywhere, anytime from his mobile simply by replying to these SMS’ with ‘A’ (Approve) or ‘R’ (Reject).An auto approval mechanism ensures approval if the reporting manager fails to approve a claim in three days. This is applicable to 13 categories of claims in the areas of Domestic Travel Expenses, Local Conveyance, Staff Welfare and a few other employee processes requiring approvals. This intervention has not only ensured good governance on HR’s part but also helped remove bureaucracy from the system. As a result, the entire process of execution has sped up leading to huge customer delight. mHR services by dialling *456# This initiative is along the lines of the company’s business product ‘Airtel Money,’ which roughly translates to mobile wallets for customers. Leveraging the same technology platform, HR @ Airtel extends its services to employees on the move. This not only internalizes the company’s product for employees but also ensures that employees experience the same lifestyle as customers. mHR services aka mobile HR services provide a plethora of HR related information and access to various HR tools by an employee on his or her mobile, 24/7, anywhere, anytime. By simply dialling *456# from their mobiles, employees can reach out to HR and source HR related information while on the move. This initiative, inspired by an analysis of queries at the HR helpdesk received from employees in remote locations and frontline sales, has addressed Airtel’s biggest challenge of reaching out to every employee. 34
  35. 35. Employee feedback on this initiative has been overwhelming. A few samples of which are: “HR services on mobile! Never heard or experienced such a thing before…truly a unique initiative.” “I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to HR for giving us mHR services on *456#. This is really a One Stop Shop solution for all our day to day requirements.” Kudos! In line with Airtel’s vision of 'enriching the lives of millions,’ the HR team works to ensure that the lives of Airtel employees are also enriched. The Kudos! initiative is a step in this direction. This revamped reward and recognition program is a milestone in process excellence. Enabled online, it acts as a catalyst for creating and fostering a culture where employees are recognized for making a difference and living the Airtel values. Kudos! makes it easy and quick to recognize a manager, peer or colleague. The online system empowers employees to send an e-card or give points by way of recognition that are redeemable for exciting merchandise. The online wall of fame provides visibility to those making a difference and has become a forum for celebrating big and small successes. Taking a cue from the triumph of the online platform, Kudos! has been enabled on mobile to extend the reach to every employee. This initiative ensures that recognition on the move becomes a way of life at Airtel. Kudos! has changed the meaning of recognition at Airtel. No longer does one have to wait for a forum or formal gathering to reward an employee. Recognition is instant. Recognizing any good work instantly is a big culture change at Airtel. Eighty-five percent of the population used the new application within six months of its launch, re-affirming that this was indeed a step in the direction of good governance by HR. Airtel Ambassadors Portal At Airtel’s HR helpdesk, servicing ex-employees was consuming 50percent of their bandwidth, diluting focus on existing employees. The Airtel Ambassadors Portal ( has been designed and set-upto address this issue. This initiative has led to a reduction of ex-employee queries by 60 percent. The portal is a one-stop shop, self-service model for ex-employees seeking solutions to all their queries while employed at Bharti Airtel. It eliminates dependency on the HR team, as ex-employees can simply register themselves on the portal, download relevant documents (PF Slips, F&F statements, relieving letter, Form 16) and raise a query in case of any disconnect. This is yet another step in the direction of good governance. A dedicated team has been assigned to service all queries of ex-employees. This intervention has helped Airtel extend better services and create a positive experience for exemployees, strengthening its relations with them even after they leave the organization. Reverse Mentoring Traditionally, mentoring involves the pairing of a senior leader with a younger colleague to provide guidance - whether at a formal or informal level. It facilitates development through an on going 35
  36. 36. relationship of learning, dialogue, challenge and change. In Reverse Mentoring, the younger person becomes the mentor. Here the mentee is older and has greater overall experience than the mentor, but the mentor has more knowledge in a particular area and therefore, reverses the conventional relationship. The CEO, Sanjay Kapoor, initiated reverse mentoring at Airtel in 2008. The challenge before the senior leaders at Airtel was to remain connected to the changing business and market environment. As part of the reverse mentoring program, leaders across the country, including the Airtel Management Board (AMB), and function heads are mentored by their young managers, hired from the top B-schools of the country and into their second or third year in the organization. The seniors are educated on topics like brand activation opportunities, downloading apps, fashion trends, latest gadgets or what young people do in their free time. Even hard business strategies are discussed and sometimes adopted by the company. The young mentors are also helping the seniors learn how to use social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for subtle online promotion and to maximize Airtel’s appeal among youngsters. The Airtel leadership is proactively working at embedding these insights to enhance young customers’ experience with the brand. In addition to helping senior management master new skills in emerging fields, the program has the added advantage of helping juniors connect directly with company management and enabling people from different areas of the company to network. Today, with over 20 active pairs nationally, Airtel is successfully leveraging learning from these engagement programs across all areas of its businesses. The genesis of Bharti Airtel’s association with the football club Manchester United called “Airtel Rising Stars” and F1 was through one such reverse mentoring partnership. The mentor felt that cricket was for Gen X, while young Airtel customers comprising Gen Y had moved towards football, as should the company. Airtel is looking at this tool as a unique new way to boost workplace ingenuity for greater productivity and ultimately create a knowledge driven business environment. Taking it a step further, their business ideation platform - Sparkplug, also thrives on the philosophy of reverse mentoring in which youngsters from across functions come together to discuss, debate and solve a business problem posed by the business leaders. The added twist is that none of them belong to the same function or business as the leader who ‘owns’ the problem. Some of its new businesses like direct-to-home have capitalised on this platform by implementing ideas proposed by reverse mentors. The key to success in reverse mentoring is the ability to create and maintain an attitude of openness to the experience and dissolve the barriers of status, power and position. iKissan was positioned as Airtel’s pursuit to reach out to the needs of the customers in the rural segment through interactive TV (iTV). This is the world’s first Hindi, rural application. iKissan is targeted at the farming community spread across 204 districts covering the main Hindi speaking agrarian states of the country. The application is targeted at the farmer. It provides the inputs he needs for better farming that will, in turn, help increase his earning potential. 36
  37. 37. What’s Next? Overall, the bandwidth of the HR team has been freed through the creative application of technology, enabling them to work in an advisory capacity with the business units. For instance, recently when the company shifted focus from pre-paid to post-paid customers, HR played a key role in recruiting talent with the required skill-sets and retraining existing employees. HR at Airtel has a global roadmap to take these initiatives to extended geographies in the future. They also have plans to include other HR processes like on boarding, internal job postings, manpower requisition, performance management and claim re-imbursement in this mobile journey. This can be accomplished by leveraging technology and forming long-term partnerships with global IT leaders. Another step in this direction is to rope in budding entrepreneurs to encourage innovation and speed of delivery. SHRM Conclusion Rated 27 in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study and #1 in the Industry Category of Telecommunications, Bharti Airtel has successfully managed to leverage mobile technology and internalize the company’s vision and products to its internal customers - the employees. For instance, their innovative solution mHR (mobile HR) created the same brand experience for employees as for the customers. This enabled HR and line Managers to respond quickly to routine queries of employees spread across remote locations - directly via their mobile phones. It also helped foster a culture of instant, online recognition. Another unique feature was the speedy processing of the settlement of exiting employees through the use of technology. As a result, line managers have been empowered and employees delighted. The bandwidth of the HR team has been freed, enabling them to work in an advisory capacity with business units. In sum, HR at Airtel has delivered the brand’s promise by enriching the lives of their internal customers and putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. HR has met its customers’ needs based on its understanding of the employees’ requirements, wherever they are. Airtel prides itself on promoting self-care – the philosophy adopted by the company for its customers and internalized by HR for its employees. HR’s three cornerstones – Employee Experience, Good Governance and Process Excellence – are an intrinsic part of all key people initiatives. However, the biggest takeaway from the breakthrough practices adopted by Airtel is how an internal focus on employees just makes good business sense. Shveta Ramchandani is a freelancer. 37
  38. 38. DIFFERENTLY ‘PEOPLED’ The Chosen Path to Performance and Excellence at Infosys BPO Madhurima Das An organization is defined foremost in terms of its people and then its culture, work environment, policies, services and performance. Employees in organizations today have high aspirations and a desire to make a mark. They exhibit a competitive spirit, the zeal to perform and want greater opportunities for both career and personal growth. An organization with strategic objectives, with its focus on people, builds initiatives and aims to optimize both, people and its business results. At Infosys BPO, young employees bring with them ambition, seek perfection and are keen to balance work and fun. Working with a young workforce also brings its own challenges. The company ingeniously uses the GDP mantra, which translates to Growth, Differentiation and People, to achieve its strategic objectives. Being a key strategic objective, all people initiatives are rigorously tracked. These initiatives encompass several key areas such as engagement, career growth, cross-functional opportunities, higher studies, bringing the outside world into the campus and learning beyond Infosys. The aim is to ensure that the young workforce says, "Thank God it is Monday." The company’s focus on inclusivity and specific mentoring initiatives for women have resulted in a higher than norm gender ratio of around 60:40. The importance of sharing information and communication is evident in the manner in which employees are involved in business decisions and the increase in productivity. They are encouraged to think out of the box, are aware of organizational business strategies, discuss new processes and help set benchmarks periodically. This case study examines how Infosys BPO approaches these challenges to create an encouraging, safe and connected work environment. 39
  39. 39. Objectives Redefined To create an inspired workplace, keeping attrition trends in mind, the responses to ESAT (Employee Satisfaction Survey Scores), direct feedback and Internal Partner Satisfaction Survey were used to identify three main people objectives. Creating Careers for Life Objectives Building Employee Connect Providing a Safe Environment Fig 4.1: People Objectives at Infosys BPO Key Initiatives - One Step at a Time Creating Careers for Life The Careers for Life Initiatives comprising skill enhancement, internal job postings, leadership development and tenure recognition are used to develop employees, create better careers, encourage leadership qualities and reward their commitment and loyalty to the organization. The aim is to fill 70 percent of the positions through Internal Job Postings (IJPs) The focus on career and career growth is paramount at Infosys. It uses a training pathway approach as depicted in the figure below. JL 7 JL 2 JL 3 Operations Training JL 4 JL 5 JL 6 Operations Training (xxx) 4.0 Operations Training (xxx) 6.0 Behavioral Training (xxx) 3.0 Behavioral Training Operations Training (xxx) 5.0 Behavioral Training (xxx) 4.0 Behavioral Training (xxx) 5.0 Behavioral Training (xxx) 6.0 Risk Training T 100 Security Awarencess T 100 Security Awarencess T 200 Security Awarencess T 300 Security Awarencess T 300 Security Awarencess Domain Training T 100 Domain Training T 200 Domain Training T 300 Domain Training T 400 Domain Training T 500 Domain Training Quality Training Quality Basics (xxx) Quality Fundamental (xxx) Quality Analytics (xxx) Advanced Quality (xxx) Training Days: 3-5 Training Days: 5-8 Training Days: 10-13 Training Days: 9-12 Xxx = Name of the program Fig 4.2: Training Pathway 40 Training Days: 8
  40. 40. • Skill Enhancement is achieved through internal certifications, higher education and self-learning programs. Focusing on both behaviourial and technical competencies, the learning and development team organizes training programs and interventions on a regular basis. Courses are specially designed for Infosys employees, in collaboration with top B-schools in India and abroad, including an online program with Harvard Business School. This initiative also serves as a retention factor for those who want to elevate their educational qualifications, thus creating a win-win for both the employee and the organization. Training Certifications: 26000+ ‘training person days’ achieved 19 courses launched across six universities • Internal Job Postings ensure that employees have career advancements and experience role enrichment. This initiative has achieved more than 600 promotions, progressions and lateral movements. The next two initiatives are unique, as they focus on understanding employee aspiration and recognize the value of loyalty by rewarding long tenures with the organization. • Club Fuel is a career management initiative to understand employees’ career aspirations and align them to business and organization requirements. The company successfully engages talent groups through career conversations and providing avenues for individual career development. Through this they are able to : • Build an aspirational group with which employees desire to be associated and have career conversations which help employees become aware of their own interests, values, strengths, and weaknesses • Identify career goals • Establish action plans to achieve career goals • Send a message that the employee is valued by the company Across Infosys BPO globally, close to 100 employees with proven performance credentials and potential have been identified for this initiative, showing its positive impact in fueling aspirations. • Tenure recognition is achieved through the Club 5 and the Spirited 10 initiatives. This recognition of loyalty is through felicitation ceremonies. In a high mobility industry and a relatively young organization, more than 23 percent of Infoscions have been recognized for their long and meritorious service of five years and more. In addition to this, more than 50 Infoscions have completed their 10 year tenure with the organization. These employees are felicitated by leaders during leadership connect programs or employee engagement events, which are conducted organization wide. This initiative celebrates careers the ‘Infy’ way. 41
  41. 41. Providing a Safe Environment SAFE (Secure and Fun Environment) initiatives provide employees with facility filled infrastructure, a harassment free workplace and the opportunity to have fun at work through many activities. While the infrastructure provides a learning, supportive and nurturing environment, it is the forums created to provide a harassment free work environment that are commendable and based on collective behavior and action. • The Forum for sexual harassment is ASHI (Anti Sexual Harassment Initiative) and for non-sexual harassment is HEAR (Hearing Employees and Resolving). A professional team works for ASHI and all the cases are strictly monitored and governed through fortnightly calls and quarterly reviews. An annual ASHI Awareness Quiz and refresher programs are held to sensitize the entire organization. HEAR works to resolve issues pertaining to discrimination at the workplace, performance appraisal, role change, interpersonal relations and behavioural concerns. In-house arbitrators and investigators by virtue of their tenure, job level maturity and training on investigation and interviewing skills, constitute the HEAR committee. Infosys takes it as a commitment to provide a SAFE workplace to its employees. • Fun@ work is an initiative that aims to break the monotony at work, develop a positive attitude, respect individual space and ensure that people have fun at work and work while they have fun. Building Employee Connect The third objective of Building Employee Connect looks at initiatives that focus on understanding leadership, inspiring employees to be leaders and comprehend the importance of effective communication. • Leadership sessions are organized through connect forums, where leaders of Infy meet employees. The guruCOOL (Collection of Organization’s Leaders) initiative connects leadership mentors to their mentees (employees who have been in the organization for 0-12 months). The focus is on building their leadership and strategy skills. The Banyan Tree - An external connect initiative, conducts external leadership connect sessions, where leaders from other organizations and different industries give employees a peep into varied, other worlds of work. • Communication at Infosys BPO is continually improved and enhanced, based on feedback. The organization believes communication has to transcend social and cultural boundaries. To ensure transparency and effective communication, Livewires – The communication champs have been developed as messengers on the floors (in India) and Geo Ambassadors (for global centres) as the culture, value, work ethics and communication ambassadors, for Infosys BPO in their respective centres. Communication is enhanced through newsletters, sharing team and career stories, knowledge and communication, both face to face and virtually. The internal communication team also regularly carries out communication effectiveness surveys to surface any disparities and correct them, thus ensuring effective communication at all levels. 42
  42. 42. Impact and Effectiveness Several metrics were developed to measure the effectiveness of the People initiatives at Infosys BPO. They are the Employee Satisfaction Survey Scores, Achievement of BEF (Business Enabling Function) excellence targets, Internal Partners’ Satisfaction Survey Scores, Communication Effectiveness Survey feedback and Direct feedback. • The Employee Satisfaction Survey Scores (ESAT), based on Gallup questions, predict employee and workgroup performances across the parameters of growth, teamwork, support and basic needs. The last two surveys conducted in 2009-10 and 2011-12 show that there is a significant increase in overall satisfaction scores. The survey results reveal that employees feel superiors care about them and encourage their development. The organization has also seen an increase in loyalty scores. • The BEF (Business Enabling Function) Excellence Metrics form a part of the Function unit's Balance Score Card. Stakeholders are made aware of the results on a monthly basis. This helps to get a pulse of the specific function and see how people are doing. The BEF Excellence Metrics of the Employee Relations (ER) function consists of the ER budget, Communication, Fun on Floor, Events, and Rewards and Recognition. These metrics help the function understand what needs to be done differently to improve every process and achieve excellence. • The Internal Partner Satisfaction Survey (IPSAT) is conducted to gather feedback on the deliverables of BEF. The objective of IPSAT is to hear the voice of the customer and create avenues for improvement. The areas covered are training programmes, grievance redressal, role of HRD in handling employee health, crisis, emergencies and engagement. The questionnaire is customised for Juniors– entry level and process executives, and Seniors - supervisory and higher levels. This survey reveals the result of the effort that has gone into creating and rolling out initiatives. • The Communication Effectiveness Survey was launched across levels to understand 'what people want from internal communication.' It has helped improve the reach of initiatives, to assess employee awareness of people initiatives and understand what form of communication works best across groups. This survey also indicates the awareness about internal communications events and what the employees desire in terms of connecting with leaders and role models. The survey resulted in various actions by the internal communications team, which were executed in two phases. • In Phase 1, the focus was on using technology to better connect with global centres, revamping the communication portal to make the intranet more effective, and initiating a change management exercise where employees connect with leaders. • Phase 2 was about developing more communication champs, customized communication to global centres and standardization of communication across locations. It is thus seen that the internal communications team assumes a proactive role in ensuring that communication is clear and effective across the organization. 43
  43. 43. • Direct Feedback is critical to understand the pulse of employees. Therefore, all employee engagement events are supported by feedback, which aids in planning the next event. This feedback is shared with the stakeholders to let them know the voice of customers, in this case, employees. Direct Feedback shows a positive trend with employees being very interactive, expressing themselves through blogs and using the wishing well activity that helps drive career paths by understanding employee career choices. These surveys and feedback systems are built to monitor all the initiatives, create benchmarks and improve performance. As an attributable consequence, there is lower attrition in business accounts, with some consistently showing 25 percent or less attrition. This is commendable because it indicates that people are staying with the organization for the value proposition that they see and which works for them. Sustainability of Initiatives To sustain these initiatives the organization has recognized some key factors, which are: • The will of the organization to continue the initiatives and work step by step towards their success by defining clear retention and training targets in all leaders and managers’ score cards. • Ensuring that there is budget allocation to innovate, improvise and optimize newer practices and technological avenues. Making sure that they have faculty to facilitate training programs and collaborate with experts on several issues. • Ensuring that there is a dedicated team to take the initiative forward, to follow up, drive and aim for better performance. This is important as Infosys is establishing itself in new geographies, and employees have to work across cultures, time zones and language. The Employee Engagement Council is one such forum, which has been established to make this possible. • Benchmarking studies are undertaken to study other successful organizations and their people practices. Two examples of benchmarking studies that have been recently undertaken are the Nonmonetary benefits and Internal Communications practices. • Recognition and reward for the efforts of Change Agents and Volunteers towards the initiatives. • The Creative Connect by leaders, where they share their experiences and inspire employees, is a regular feature in the organization and a great source of learning. SHRM Conclusion Infosys has developed its people strategy incorporating three key drivers for engagement, which are specific to the BPO industry. Through its intensive focus on creating clear career advancement plans and opportunities, providing for a safe and fun filled workplace and ensuring that employees feel connected to the organization and its leaders, it has emphasized that people are its main competitive advantage. 44
  44. 44. While the variety in initiatives and the manner in which the various development programs are interlinked to create value for employees and the organization is seamless, what sets the organization apart is the focus on execution excellence. The organization ensures that the initiatives are institutionalised through leadership commitment and provision of adequate resources in the form of budgets and manpower for implementation. Periodic surveys that provide employees feedback on the impact of the programs are not viewed as one-time measures, rather, the organization focuses on the ongoing trends across the years to evaluate the effectiveness of its initiatives. Madhurima Das is a Post-Doctoral Research fellow at Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore. 45
  45. 45. THE ANSWER IS BLOWING IN THE WIND Community Impact at Vestas Wind Technology Jyoti Singh Visvanath Mother Teresa’s quote, “In this life, we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love,” closes one of the presentations on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Vestas. It is a succinct illustration of the company’s philosophy. Vestas Wind Technology India Private Limited is a subsidiary of the 30-year-old Vestas, which has interests in wind power generation. Incorporated in 1996 in India, the company currently has a turnover of over INR 1750 crores. It assembles one turbine in its Chennai assembly unit in India, for which it procures critical components from European suppliers and others from local sources. The average age of its 1130 Indian employees is 31 years. The company recognizes its responsibility to its customers, employees and the environment and communities within which they operate. It works in partnership with the people who live near their wind farms to make a beneficial, sustainable contribution to their lives and communities, particularly in terms of education, health and the environment. These CSR initiatives act as business enablers by helping build good rapport with local communities and key stakeholders. Vestas strongly encourages employees to participate in its CSR program. The company has currently undertaken CSR initiatives in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the areas of education, health and the environment. This case study will outline the differentiating practices that make the company driven, employee executed CSR initiatives at Vestas worth emulating. 47
  46. 46. The Essentials Vestas is strongly committed to clean wind energy solutions that add value to the environment and economy. Together with its partners, it has reached 50 GW installed capacity globally. In India, it has installed turbines in far-flung rural communities in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. These communities have minimal social infrastructure, especially in the areas of education, life skill training, healthcare and the environment. The differentiating CSR practices at Vestas Key Success Factors Vestas made an effort to assess both the perceived and actual needs of the communities around the wind farms to resolve issues that alleviate and improve the quality of life of the people in these far-flung areas of the country. A large part of the company’s success stemmed from its ability to identify focus areas that really made a difference to these communities, such as the environment, health, skill building and educational support, and to work in close collaboration with both the district and village administration. By engaging key stakeholders, Vestas worked to ensure the ultimate transfer of responsibility to the local authorities and to make such initiatives self-sustaining and scalable. • CSR initiatives that really make a difference 1 • Employee Investment and Involvement in CSR activities 2 • Involving and managing stakeholders 3 Fig 5.1: The differentiating CSR practices at Vestas Every year, Vestas engaged an external team to study the Society Perception of the company as a socially responsible citizen. The results of the study helped the company revise programs and course correct initiatives. They also had high involvement of their own employees from both, a participative and an investment perspective. According to Naresh Kumar, Director, People & Culture, Vestas, “It is the enthusiasm and the commitment shown by our colleagues from the corporate office on various project sites and wind farms spread across India that brings smiles on the faces of many people who benefit from these noble activities.” Although almost all the investment in CSR activities is funded by Vestas, employees raised funds for the Little Dreams Educational Initiative by sponsoring individual children. Employees volunteered for various initiatives based on their individual interest. However, Vestas 48
  47. 47. sometimes chose particular employees based on the need for certain projects. The company recognized volunteers with the ‘Wings of Care” awards and circulated their names in the monthly CSR reports. Currently, only about 10 percent of employees in India take part in the CSR initiatives but Vestas is seeing organic growth in the number of participating employees. This is attributable to active and regular communication and timely recognition. CSR initiatives that really make a difference Some of the unique and key initiatives undertaken by the company are: Project Little Dreams – a holistic approach toward education: This project partnered with rural schools to identify and support deserving rural children until the completion of schooling. It also helped create a conducive learning environment in these schools by providing adequate infrastructure, including school furniture, science labs, water and sanitation facilities, educational aids, motivational workshops and career guidance. The overall target for the project was to help at least 1000 children reach their educational aspirations and improve the learning environment of at least 75 schools by the year 2015. Project Life Skill Training Center – an environment friendly and socially conscious initiative: This initiative imparted carpentry skills to rural youths, particularly those affected indirectly by the Tsunami in 2005. What made this project different was that the company exhibited environmental consciousness by recycling packaging wood to build furniture and other required infrastructure in schools to improve the learning environment. The eventual aim was to impart carpentry skills to a minimum of 250 youth and recycle scrap wood into at least 2500 sets of educational aids in 100 schools by the year 2015. Project Gift a Sight - sowing seeds of hope to eliminate needless blindness: This project extended quality ophthalmic care to communities around the wind farms in partnership with organisations committed to deliver affordable eye care services, especially to the elderly rural population, to eliminate needless blindness. The aim was to eliminate avoidable blindness by screening 10000 villagers, provide eye care services and correct visionary defects, if any, in 15000 children by the year 2015. The initiative also worked towards raising awareness of common eye ailments in the community. Project Treatment at Travel Cost - themed around early identification and cure: This initiative catered to the basic healthcare services to local communities “within the cost of a bus ticket.” This project was executed in partnership with committed healthcare professionals and the village administration. The aim was to reach at least seven wind farm sites with basic healthcare by the year 2015. Project Go Green: This initiative helped organize tree-planting campaigns in partnership with students, villages and the government, while raising local awareness and preserving the natural environment. The aim was to partner in planting 50000 trees through the active involvement of key stakeholders by 2015 and share best practices on environmental care and protection. Project Little Drops: This initiative restored ancient and community water systems, which benefit the local communities and the environment. The aim was to restore community water sources by reaching out to five water bodies by 2015 and raising awareness about water conservation methods. 49