Shrm infosys g09051_anshuman jaiswal


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Shrm infosys g09051_anshuman jaiswal

  1. 1. Infosys HR Shortcomings and Solutions Strategic HR End term paper Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 XLRI GMP 2009-10 Page 1
  2. 2. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 Table of Contents Shortcomings of HR practices .................................................................................................... 2 Some Solutions from a strategic HR perspective. .................................................................... 5 Shortcomings of HR practices Infosys is currently facing many challenges both internally and externally. On external front, markets have been in downturn since last year and slowly markets are rebounding. Clients have drastically reduced IT budgets and have become price conscious at the same time, competition has intensified because of adoption of Global delivery model by other companies and consolidation within industry (HP-EDS-Mphasis combine), Dell – Perot Systems combine etc. One the other hand, employees have been not given salary increases for last two years, morale had come down, and staff reductions were done last year for the first time in history of Infosys. Among the major HR challenges, Attrition has remained as a major challenge for Infosys and its peers in the IT industry in India. Attrition level has hovered around 10- 14% during last wave of IT expansion. Attrition 16 14 12 10 8 Attrition 6 4 2 0 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Page 2
  3. 3. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 Attrition is one of performance measures of delivery heads. A high attrition is frowned upon. Managing attrition has been a major challenge. Although because of recession, the attrition rate has come down but it can go up anytime. In fact it has shot up to 13.4% in last Quarter ending 31st Mar 2010. Attrition happens because of various reasons. For few of the causes, company cannot have any control but for some it can tighten its belt to handle them better. For e.g. manager – subordinate relationship is major driver in employees’ satisfaction and his/her association with the company. Most of Infosys Project managers have technical background with less background in Business or HR aspects. This gap is primarily filled by experiential learning and training programs but in many cases mangers are found to be ill-equipped to handle employee relations, line management functions and soft aspects of HR. The attrition is also propounded by mismatch of building expectations. Employees’ performances have unfortunately built on wrong expectations such as Onsite Travel, Relocation etc. In many cases it has been found that such expectations are wrongly built without any alignment with business requirements. Since expectations are built in thin air, they don’t translate into fulfillment of expectations and hence this leads to employee dissatisfaction and ultimately into unfortunate attrition. Despite being one the best work culture, learning environment, challenging assignments, employees’ leaving organization has been primarily driven my mismanagement of expectations and lack of HR capabilities of project managers. In order to keep employee satisfied, managers dangle carrot of “Onsite opportunity” to employees which is case for usage of wrong motivation. If employee is looking to switch jobs, wants a location change, wants a technology, project, unit, domain change or has got low performance appraisal ratings, and as manager you don’t want them to leave, just promise them an onsite opportunity and things gets settled. This practice has been used for years and organization has suffered great deal on this account. It has led to employees using it as a bargaining tool and not focusing on real motivators such as work satisfaction, learning, challenging work environment. Organization bleeds because one doesn’t aspire to create new software or deliver fewer defects but aspire to a get EURO or Dollar paying salary. Business unit heads push this even hard by running tracking list ensuring people get chance in visa lottery without even considering impact of such meaningless immigration push on employees of other nationalities of more than 75+ countries. Page 3
  4. 4. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 Among the challenges, career progression has come to bite to bite HR managers. In last 4-5 years, Infosys has added 25000+ people on a yearly basis. Since so many people have joined at the same time, they get experienced and eligible to perform roles at next level or become eligible for promotions. However, the positions for higher level reduce significantly as we climb up the hierarchy ladder. How do we solve this challenge of providing career progression to large number of employees at the same time without causing any confrontation among employees at the same level? With employee population whose average age is 26 years, lot of employees have found their life partner within Infosys. Also there are many employees whose spouses have taken transfer from other companies and joined the organization. Infosys has been very generous in facilitating location preference of these couples and managers try best to find assignment for couples in same location. The issue arises when managers put customer requirements and other employee’s career chance etc at stake and push hard in maintaining the couple at same location, same client location etc. HR role especially BP_HR (Business partner HR role) is very important. Each IBU (Integrated Business unit) has a delivery unit consisting of 250-300 people. On an average a BP_HR, business partner HR is appointed to take care of business needs of the unit. Typically these employees are MBA HR from premier BSchools. These HR people have got such a limited canvass to operate that they end up organizing events and doing secretarial jobs. The HR people don’t have strategic orientation and end up doing non value add work; instead of adopting a proactively solving HR issues, they relegate themselves to mundane things in unit and end up wasting their time and resources. Among the strategic decisions that Infosys took last year Infosys was removal of 2100 employees from its rolls across ranks. The decision came as a surprise to employees as no information was shared and nobody had any inkling of occurrence of such a thing. The way people were handled shook everyone’s imagery of Infosys. A company which is known for best HR policies in the country has taken such an extreme step. The whole affair was handled in a secretive manner that it tattered all the transparency standards upheld by the company. There is lot to learn from how not do such workforce reductions and the way reductions have been done would have long lasting impact of infosys brand image as most employee friendly organization. Page 4
  5. 5. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 Some Solutions from Strategic HR perspective. The Current role of BP_HR has become more of admin role limiting the scope of potential of the role and people performing that role can have on the organization. The more mundane and generic role can be redesigned so that people performing that role become much more effective and delivery the HR promise. The BP_HR role can be transformed from Admin kind of role to Employee champion. This would mean shifting focus from Systems and Operations to People and Operations. This translates into BP_HR role becoming independent of influence of Line management and can focus on employee development activities and stretching the scope work and execution. The BP_HR role plays an important role in shaping HR activities at the unit level. The proposed shift means that BP HR has to play a more of knowledge intensive, people oriented role. They should be directly responsible in executing the HR strategy at the unit level. They should showcase personal credibility in delivering programs and policies effectively and efficiently. Strategic Focus Strategic Partner Change Agent Systems People Admin Expert Employee Champion Current Proposed Operational Focus In order to evolve Infosys from this transition state (economy recovering, various HR challenges listed above) to a stable state, HR needs perform proactive roles for both strategic and operational reasons for driving the workforce to meet the challenges and come out as winners. Page 5
  6. 6. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 Reactive Proactive Strategic Need to function here Operational Need to function here Collaboration Commitment High Unique ness Compliance Productivity Low Low Strategic Value High Lepak and Snell Model Infosys gets more worried when attrition becomes high in Quadrant1 as Knowledge base employment leads to employees with High strategic value and uniqueness and hence there should be clear distinction in terms that what kind of employment is good or bad for the organization. Focus should be to protect attrition of people with whose strategic value is high. Roles which are nearer to low uniqueness and low strategic value can be contracted, this would lead to non inclusion of such attrition in Infosys count and hence focus would get shifted to manage the attrition that needs to be managed. This would obviously mean better training and orientation of Line managers. BP_HR will play a crucial role in achieving this as they could play an instrumental role in guiding and managing manager’s training programs and building interpersonal skills. The career progression into a managerial role should be based on person’s capability to perform the role and equal focus should be on technical as well as people skills. These skills should be continually nurtured and manager should be objectively evaluated on how they are performing on People skills. This exercise should be a separate activity apart Page 6
  7. 7. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 from routine performance appraisals. Also, qualitative data on subordinates feedback of their managers can be collected periodically and can also be structured to make it part of performance appraisal. These measures would bring seriousness to the whole exercise which will enable right people becoming managers and continuous capability building in terms of handling people. Designing Employee motivation tools in alignment with customer requirements is very important issue which needs to be solved. There has to be clear and consistent alignment in employee satisfaction and employee engagement. The motivation tools should be built keeping consistency of customer requirements in mind. There should not be any conflict in what customer wants and what employees want. Hence, all the motivation tools including “Onsite Opportunity” needs to be reviewed to bring the alignment. Also, clear communication within organization needs to be there which can spread the message among managers and employees on goals and objectives of such tools and their alignment with respect to customer requirements. Coming to career progression, Infosys had undertaken huge exercise to redefine the career and role architecture by completing iRace exercise. The objectives were manifold and one of the objectives was to provide a solution to the flat hierarchy. The proposed solution is to expand the levels from 7 to 10+. This has given scope to increase the number of promotion opportunities. Also, provision for certain number of years in a position has been made mandatory. For e.g. in order to become a project manager, one has to perform in technical roles for at least 8 years. These measures have partially solved the problem but unless organization grow rapidly or employees are in sync with steady growth and its related consequences, the problems of employee demotivation leading to attrition continue to plague HR department. Hence, it is important that redesigning of work systems should be done leading to strengthening of core job dimensions such as skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. Also key Psychological states such as meaningfulness of work, experienced responsibility for outcomes of work and knowledge of actual results of work is very important. This necessitates requirement of HR to move from a traditional HR role to Strategic role. HR should be treated as investment center investing in People and knowledge. Since Page 7
  8. 8. XLRI GMP 2009-10 Anshuman Jaiswal G09051 Infosys has grown to a huge company, it is important that broad, flexible role is designed rather than creating silos. This might sound that everyone does everything rather the idea is that employees are groomed to take a position that is somewhere in middle of vertical and horizontal specialization. Page 8