Friday, March 26, 2010

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Infosys reviewing employee rating system

India's second-largest IT company, Infosys Technologies, is reportedly reviewing its employee rating system, iRace --Infosys Role and Career Enhancement.

According to a news report in D&A, the company has set up a working group to review the employee appraisal system. The initiative designed by consulting firm Mercer with the idea of mapping positions with experience and skill levels is said to have met with widespread resentment.

Previously, positions and promotions were often given arbitrarily, based on an employee's bargaining strength, which often was substantial considering jobs were aplenty. Many were given managerial responsibilities within three to four years, often leading to clients complaining about their lack of technology skills.

While iRace's objective appeared laudable, it suffered in its implementation, the worst of which was to make it applicable with retrospective effect. Many employees were demoted on the ground that they did not meet iRace's experience standards. So, senior project managers went down to project managers, project managers to technical leads, some even went down two levels.

Designations are so important for everybody. And if the management found somebody good enough for a certain position earlier, how can they now say that he is not? What makes it worse is that, all those affected were at lower levels. Nobody in the senior delivery manager and higher positions were affected," said an employee.

In fact, according to a recent report from brokerage firm CLSA, over 4,000 employees may have resigned from Infosys in February.

Though the large attrition figure is said to be due to the improvement in the economy, some industry observers and Infosys employees also said that another reason for the high attrition could be due to iRACE.

Incidentally, so far Nandita Gurjar, senior vice president and global HR head of Infosys, has strongly maintained that iRACE is not the driver behind exits and that the complaints are coming from a “minority”. Also, that promotions cannot happen at the same pace as the pre-crisis times, unless growth returns to the heady levels.


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