Friday, March 26, 2010

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Is Infosys losing employee-friendly status?

For over a decade, Infosys has been seen by many as the epitome of employee friendliness. That reputation has now taken a big knock.

Several measures taken over the past few months -- partly an attempt to correct what the company saw as excesses of previous years -- has had many employees seething with anger.

That's reflected in hundreds of comments made in response to articles about Infosys on the internet in recent weeks, and in conversations TOI had with employees. Even the official internal blog is said to have been used to convey the discontent.

The biggest grouse relates to an HR initiative called iRace - Infosys Role and Career Enhancement - that was rolled out last year. The initiative was designed by consulting firm Mercer with the idea of mapping positions with experience and skill levels.

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.

Nandita Gurjar, global head for HR in Infosys, said about 5% of Infy's employees would have been impacted by designation corrections and demotions. Infy has a little more than 1 lakh employees, so that would mean about 5,000 being impacted.

She also added that salaries had been protected and that 95% of the company's employees had taken the iRace "career architecture" well. But some employees insist that's not the case.


  1. I think Senior mgmt of infy should have a re-look and introspection rather than passing the blame. But staying with lies and pretending that everything is fine will not help. If the truth is exposed it can do more harm for the company. Transparency is the need of the hour. Talking about transparency and giving out artificial image and cheap publicity will not do any good for the company. Need to have a serious look as to whether accounts people can make good HRs. Awareness and understanding of what is happening and why it is happening, is really required rather than blaming somebody or by pretending that everything is normal. The problem is with the communication rather than policies. Everybody is aware that world economy is posing great challenges. Every organisation is undergoing a sea of change for its survival. But the question is how this change has been communicated. Don't put artificial constraints because you have to throw few employees out to sustain your balances and as wells have dried up, rather convey what is the need of the hour and execute it openly. Be a leader, don't mind share markets, investors will come back if you can rise again. There are many employees at infy who can create more value for the company, provided a little bit more openness is required.


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