Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an IT services, business solutions and outsourcing organization that delivers real results to global businesses, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. With a vision of being in top 10 companies by the year 2010.
TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Mode, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. TCS has over 120,000 of the world's best trained IT consultants in 42 countries, with an annual sale of $5.7 billion (fiscal year ending 31 March, 2008)
TCS has also won many awards in different fields as
â€¢TCS tops the Data Quest DQTop20 list of IT Services providers in India for 2008
â€¢TCS ranked among Top 25 in Business Week's 2007 Information Technology 100
â€¢TCS awarded top position in 2007 "Global Services" 100 'Top 10 Best Performing
TCS is the world's first organization to achieve an enterprise-wide Maturity Level 5 on CMMIÂ® and P-CMMÂ® based on SCAMPISM, the most rigorous assessment methodology. TCS Integrated Quality Management System (iQMSâ„¢) integrates processes, people, and technology maturity through various established frameworks and practices, including IEEE, ISO 9001: 2000, CMMi, SW-CMM, P-CMM, and Six-Sigma. This shows that it is lays much emphasis on quality control.
CHALLENGES WITH HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING:
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While technology has advanced many folds in the recent decades but the importance of human resources has not diminished but on the contrary continue to grow during this phase. A stronger advent of the service industry has rather put the human resource planning up on the chart. Some of the larger organizations like Infosys and Microsoft today have acknowledged Human resource as their biggest asset not only in theory but also on their balance sheet and financial statements. The new mantra in today's corporate world is "Right person for the right job". With shareholders and management looking closely at efficiency and productivity, it has become extremely important that jobs are mapped with people having skill set and aptitude to justify the role and grow them by investing in them through training.
Today's corporate world has become very dynamic; it's an employee's market so everybody has enough opportunities unlike in old days where people would limit themselves due to lack of opportunities. With the private sector continuing to expand and people mind set of being more mobile, it allows people to Choose from more job opportunities. Truly so, it's a flat world. In this day and age, human resource planning is key for any organization for it to be efficient and growing. While somewhat attrition is always healthy for any organization, it can become a big monster if not contained at different level to a limit
While Tata Consultancy Services is an IT enabled Services Company, solutions and project can be successfully managed and delivered only if it puts the right person for the right job with right skill set. TCS recognizes that a right person will not only deliver the project for them but also help them upsell to a client.
Let us review the Human resource planning of TCS in three different areas:
Recruitment & selection planning (considering legal requirements)
Training & development policy.
Staff motivation & appraisal plan
RECRUITMENT & SELECTION PLANNING :
The base of human resource planning starts from the recruitment and selection process for any organization. An organization like TCS has a very methodological way in laying the base requirements for this process. Sales team lays down the year's projection in advance detailing the kind of projects they expect to win and in which all areas. This is possible for a conglomerate like TCS based on their years of experience in the market which allows them to be predicting the trend based on history. While these projections are certainly reviewed quarter in advance, but it still gives a reasonable heads up to the human resource department for them to plan what kind of people will be required to be hired. The business personnel lay out a clear job description of what kind of people will be required at various levels.
TCS does recognize that keeping the cost under control is certainly an important factor and so plans to hire a fair mix of fresh graduates and lateral hires. While lateral hires continue to be expensive due to market dynamics, fresh graduate hiring helps them keeping their overall cost low. TCS overall selection procedure can be categorized in the following buckets:
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Group discussion ( In certain Cases)
Personal Interview (Functional)
Personal Interview ( Human Resource)
Written test: TCS has a very well laid out written test especially for the fresh hires. The objective of this test is to evaluate the candidate on their theoretical knowledge of the subject. This helps the HR team to eliminate the weaker candidates and thereby focus on better candidates. These tests are customized based on the kind of skill sets required laid in the job descriptions. Off late, these tests are also seen to have psychometric section included in it for the HR to understand the aptitude of the candidate. While the candidate may be good in theory, he or she may still not be a good fit for the organization due to the aptitude towards work.
Group Discussion: Group discussion is a very effective tool to evaluate person's presentations, spontaneity, thought process, mode and crispness in delivery. TCS recognizes the importance of using this to identify the potential client facing people early in the selection process. TCS identifies the set of people who should go through this process depending on what they know as the requirements
Personnel Interview (Functional): TCS makes sure that each person goes through a personnel interview for fresher as well as the lateral hires. These interviews are takes by the business experts who test the functional understanding of the person. While the lateral hires are grilled more in detail, fresher are tested on what they would have potentially learnt in the college. This evaluation helps TCS determine the level of knowledge candidates already possess which becomes the base for the training programs which are imparted by TCS. People with weaker functional understanding are eliminated in this round
Personnel Interview (Human Resources): TCS has a session with each candidate individually to evaluate their human resource aspects. This evaluation covers area around ability/attitude to work with team, aptitude towards integrity/ discipline / principals values etc. TCS HR does a thorough job of this evaluation as they believe that while functional deficiencies are easier to be filled in, attitude and aptitude could be more difficult areas to address. Based on the criteria if candidate gets evaluated as one who has serious deficiencies in this area then they are not selected else HR makes notes for what they believe should be worked on and hire the candidate
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT POLICY:
TCS believes in investing in its human capital by means of training and development programs of various natures at different levels. The overall training and development program can be categorized as below:
Refresher training programs
HR training programs
Fresh Hires: TCS has a 60 days induction training program for the fresh hires. This is a combination of class room and practical training. This training course covers basics of the industry, company and basics of the work they have been selected for. TCS understands the importance of string foundation so makes sure that the candidates have dedicated training for 60 days which gives them a heads up on the actual floor when they start their job. This induction program is equivalent to "Finishing School" which makes the fresh graduates ready for the Job.
Lateral Hires: TCS has a 7 -14 days induction program for lateral hires. This program is customized for the candidates to understanding the value system of the company which they are expected to imbibe and radiate in their day to day work.
Functional training is imparted by TCS to enhance the functional understanding about the job. These training programs cover new functional areas in the job. The programs are customized to have a mix of theory and practical in order to have the programs more close to actual way the work is conducted and have a higher level of interest from the participants. TCS recognizes the importance of engaging the participants in the program so do have sufficient amount of case studies and practice tests.
Refresher training programs:
Refresher training programs are programs focused on repeating the functional topics and provide the updates and modification in the functional areas of work. These courses are designed to keep trainees up to date and efficient in what they are doing. These refresher training are for on the job people who need constant updates to keep them current on what happening in the industry around them relevant to their job.
HR training programs:
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These training programs are focused on the personal development of each individual. These are around areas like team building, personality development, communications, presentation skills etc. These are important aspects for development of any individual and also help people grow and appreciate the importance of what they do and how they should be doing. These programs help trainees get different perspective of how they work and grow professionally.
STAFF MOTIVATION & APPRAISAL PLAN:
Guidance, feedback and evaluation are very important aspects for any body's growth. TCS realizes that these are very important areas for human resource development so they have implemented various tools as far as staff motivation is concerned.
Staff motivation tools:
One on one feedback/ coaching:
One on one feedback sessions are done between the supervisor and the employee are considered to be very important aspects. These sessions are given a lot of importance in TCS as it helps in building the employee morale, transmit ideas and thoughts from supervisors to subordinates. Such formal feedback sessions not only helps in building the rapport between the team but also acts as an important tool to correct / improvise areas needing improvement
Awards and recognition:
TCS has a very well laid out award and recognition program. The award and recognition program is at various levels. Award programs can be categorized as:
New Face Award: TCS tracks the freshers from the day they join the company to first 180 days in the company. The employee showing excellence in different aspects are recognized and acknowledged. This early acknowledgement motivates the new employees to look forward to higher goals in professional world.
Excellence Award : TCS offers awards for excellence on an annual basis across teams where people are nominated because of their contribution to the process/ people/ client. These individuals are recognized as fast track employees and coached by a specific group of people for help them hone and grow
Loyalty Award: People having spent years with Tata Group are awarded handsome loyalty awards which not only recognize them for their contribution but also help them bind with the company in the long run. The values and principals of the people imbibed over a number of years help them create more such people around them and thereby spread the organization culture much faster than what it will be in classrooms and presentations
TCS promotes lot of team activities which not only creates an environment for the teams to professionally grow but also creates a competitive spirit to compete and do better. TCS has a number of such initiatives which are driven by the business leaders in their teams which helps them hone the professional cult in the company. This helps TCS to have a TCS family which spreads across the world but carries a spirit and culture of a true TCSian.
Balancing work & life assumes relevance when both husband and wife are employed. Travails of a working housewife are more than a working husband, thus balancing it is becoming a major challenge for HR manager. So a program aiming balancing work-life is required and are supposed to include: Childcare at or near the workplace, Job Sharing, Care for sick children and employees, On-site summer camp, Training supervisors to respond to work and family needs of employees, Flexible work scheduling, Sick leave policies, Variety of errands from dry cleaning, dropping children at schools, making dinner reservations etc. and many more like the same or other. TCS closely looks at all these things and have aimed at creating a work life balance for their employees which becomes a very big motivational factor for the employees as they feel being taken care.
Client - Culture Exposure:
TCS provides a platform for people to learn grow and not only deal with domestic clients but provide a worldwide exposure by sending all the new inductees to an overseas location after two years of their joining the company which incentivizes them to do bigger and better things so that they get larger exposure
Annual Appraisal Process: TCS has a well laid out appraisal process done on a yearly basis. This process helps the supervisors evaluate the subordinates on both functional and non-functional competency. The appraisal process originates by the appraise doing a self-appraisal and presenting the same to the appraiser for review and final evaluation. This is a two way process which allows feedback from both sides to be documented. In the event there is a conflict the same is referred to a reviewer for resolution. The appraisal process is an evaluation of the "key result areas" which have been discussed and documented between the supervisor and the subordinate. While both of them evaluate the performance against previous KRA's, they also document the new KRA's which is applicable for the next appraisal period.
360 degree appraisal for the senior employees: TCS has a policy for a 360 degree appraisal for senior level employees. 360 degree appraisal is a process by which the person evaluation is done by a subset of all the people at different levels who work with the employee i.e. supervisors, subordinates and peers.
TCS has a very well laid out appraisal outcome process which determines the performance level of the person based on different ratings across the criteria's designed in the appraisal process.
TCS has a very well laid out procedures and policies for sourcing, selecting, grooming and retention of its employees. TCS still faces the challenges of retention which is more a factor is industry dynamics. There are a few things which I believe that will further fortify their people related policies:
Increased importance on career planning: TCS certainly is one of the most coveted employers in the industry and does treat human capital with lot of respect and dignity. While the career planning policies in the company are well laid out, I think making it more vocal and better linked for the employees will further help the employees to be clear in terms of what they will be in years to come which helps them have stringer binding with the organization.
Pre and post training tests: TCS can improve the effectiveness of its training programs by having pre and post training test sessions. While TCS emphasis a lot on training sessions, the whole process needs to be made more effective by measuring the impact of the training programs. A mix of surprise tests followed a few days after the training program will give a good idea to the trainers as to how much has been imbibed by the trainees
HR Manager must conduct regular organizational assessments on issues like pay, benefits, work environment, management and promotional opportunities to assess the progress over the long term. There is also a need to develop appropriate measuring tools to measure the impact of diversity initiatives at the organization through organization wide feedback surveys and other methods. Without proper control and evaluation, some of these diversity initiatives may just fizzle.
Human capital planning is one of the most important aspect for any organization. There is an age old saying that organizations are "made by the people". This holds true and implies even higher to services companies where people make a difference and provide the value add which has a far reaching impact than technology alone. History has seen that companies like Microsoft, Facebook and Infosys have had people who have made a difference to what they have done to the society by not only creating employment but providing some "distinguishing changes" in how we have seen the world to be.
Companies which invest time and money in grooming their people are seen to have some of the best results as they have people who give more than 100% of what they can do. Stronger people focus, right selection process, right investment in grooming produces not only the best result but also create a sense of responsibility and belongingness for employees which help the companies fight attrition. While money is a big enough motivator for employees, value system and higher professional values has seen surpassing money for people who have done larger things for companies. The commitment of an organization in the overall development of its employees and the commitment an employee inculcates during its work tenure leads to a focused result oriented attitude in the employee towards work and towards improvisation of organization functioning.