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In a perfectly competitive market if companies are to maximize profits, they need to manage their human resources better. An example can be cited to explain that better.
Presuming the selling price of an article is $15. If profits are to be maximized, prices cannot be increased because perfect competition exists.
If the cost price of the article was considered to be $13, it is evident that the profits in such a case would be $2.
The only way the company can maximise its profit is by cutting down on the cost of production of the article as the option of providing the same quality at an increased price is not a viable option. Since it is not feasible on its part to influence the prices of the raw materials, it is left with the only option of trying to influence its man-power to increase its efficiency and as such facilitating better and higher production. It is further to be noted that man power is the only cost-of-production factor which can be effectively and hugely influenced with a little better supervision.
Human man-power are the most important wealth of an organization. The success or failure of an organization greatly depends on the ability of the people working therein. Without positive and innovative contributions from humans, companies cannot progress. If an organization wants to achieve its goals, they need to recruit people with the necessary skills, qualifications and experience (Jackson & Schuler, 1995, Sparrow, Paul, et al 2004)). While doing so, they have to keep the present as well as the future requirements of the organization in mind.
Human man-power is the most important wealth of an organization. The health of an organization can be largely attributed to the skill of the man-power currently employed by it . For the organization to be successful in the long run it has to be able to tap its man-power skills most cost-effectively . If it aims to be successful in the long run, the organization should be able to recruit the rightly qualified man-power and which it can further train most cost effectively to achieve its dreams (Jackson & Schuler, 1995, Sparrow, Paul, et al 2004)).
Nevertheless, the organization aims and goals have to be always kept in mind while recruiting manpower.
Targeted Training and Development
The unending spirit of self-motivation amongst the manpower at Infosys and an organizational obligation to continuous self development keeps the company ahead in a fast-developing industry. This constant self development programme at Infosys is structured around a host of dedicated workshops for its employees (Infosys, 2010). These include key schemes such as the Infosys Leadership Institute and also various in-progress management development and personal improvement programs. A lot of training programs also include technological training to keep employees abreast with the latest technology.
The training plan provides a succession of efforts as employees advance their career.
When an employee joins the company, he begins his training with an induction programme and later leadership trainings are given as and when they take more responsibilities. Training at Infosys includes the following:
Technical training by Education & Research department:
The company has an entry-level technical training program, lasting 14 weeks. Academic institutions have certified this training as being of the level of a BS training in America. The Education & Research (E&R) department at Infosys provides many regular training sessions to middle level employees also.
Quality Process Training:
Quality is a major factor at Infosys and there are tailor made training programmes for specific role jobs such as Software Engineer, Programmer Analyst, etc.
Personal Effectiveness and Managerial Programs:
The company also has training programs to improve the managerial skills and leadership abilities, achieve company goals and create high performing multicultural teams.
ILI: The Infosys Leadership System:
The Infosys Leadership System (ILS) and the Infosys Leadership Institute (ILI) deal with the subject of continuous growth and helps create a system for developing leadership abilities in Infoscions.
ILI is based at an ultra modern building, in Mysore, India
The learning mantra at Infosys has been to bestow the participants with the understanding to find the best result, instead of showing ‘a single method of work’ and also to relate to real life conditions. They also encourage employees to undertake further studies with fee refund if they are eligible.
The selected few — 400 of the 58,409 employees — identified as ‘high potential Infoscions’ go through a three-year ‘leadership journey’ that includes training, actionising personal development programme, communicating with other participants, understanding the company better and resolving real business issues.
The note prepared by the ILI faculty enumerates ‘the nine pillars for leadership development’ as (The Hindu, 2010):
1. 360 degree feedback
In order to know about the ability of an employee and how he is performing, the company collects information from other employees in his department; both juniors and seniors and also from clients. With the help of this feedback, personal development plans (PDPs) are set for each employee and he is allocated an ILI faculty member who guides the individual on how to follow the PDP.
2. Development assignments
On the basis of the above PDPs, employees with good capability are chosen and are entrusted jobs outside their department and areas of speciality. This helps them attain leadership skills beyond their existing areas of specialization.
3. Infosys Culture workshops
Culture workshops are organized with a view to underpin the Infosys culture amongst the employees. These workshops also help employees improve communication skills because of continuous interaction amongst themselves.
4. Development relationships
This exercise involves communicating on a one-to-one basis during work and mentoring is an essential part of this. This helps in improving communication among employees and also in sharing of knowledge.
5. Leadership skills training
These exercises are conducted by top officials of the company including CEO and Managing Director and participants are the Tier 1 employees. These are held in order to inculcate leadership skills among them through the vast experience of the CEOs and Directors.
6. Feedback intensive programmes
These programs are similar to 360 degree feedback, but there is one difference that these are based on both formal and informal responses obtained from other workers that the concerned employee interacts with.
7. Systemic process learning
This exercise is conducted with a view to enable the participant to obtain a general understanding of the processes of the company and how it functions. This helps in improving the employees as also the systems.
8. Action learning
This exposes the individual to on-the-job problems and involves solving the same, albeit as a team.
9. Community empathy
The company realises the importance of fulfilling its obligations towards the society and justifies the same by organizing various socially motivated schemes both educational and developmental in nature. These programs cultivate a sense of responsibility amongst its leaders towards the society.
Apart from its regular staffing process which includes campus recruitment, advertisement on major job portals (monster.com, naukri.com and timesjobs.com) and internal recruitment it also goes in for temporary reinstatement of retired executives and staff that the company has already laid off if the company is not able to find a suitable candidate by the regular staffing methods. Also there is the Infosys Internship Program, Instep where students from schools such as Stanford Graduate School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Business School and the Said Business School of Oxford have been competing to visit Infosys’ Bangalore campus.
Infosys Technologies Ltd. recently announced its first large-scale plan to recruit 300 college graduates from universities in the United States and 25 graduates from the United Kingdom as part of an ongoing commitment to create a diversified, global workforce. In 2005 – 06, Infosys doubled the percentage of non-Indian employees, hiring more than 25 different nationalities (Karnataka, 2006).
Infosys Technologies Ltd (Infosys) has been recognized amongst the top 16 Asian companies to be listed in the prestigious Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises (MAKE) study, 2009. Infosys has won the Asian MAKE award six times in the past and is one of the five Indian companies amongst the leading Asian corporations to have won the award this year (Infosys, 2010).
Linking Corporate Strategy with HR Strategy
Creation of diverse workforce. The company has employees from 70 nationalities working across 90 countries.
Providing best business solutions
Employing the best quality human resources
“To be a globally respected organisation that provides best of breed business solutions, leveraging technology, delivered by best in class people”.
The primary corporate strategy adopted by Infosys is globalization viz geographical diversification. It has very well linked this strategy to its HR strategy of creation of diverse workforce having over 91,000 employees from 70 nationalities working across 90 countries.
Any company intending to be global mainly needs to focus on their corporate culture. Most companies have an “ethno-centric” corporate culture. Initially when Infosys was small, it had all its clients and employees in India. All its executives were and still are of Indian ethnicity. Therefore its corporate culture is mainly influenced by Indian culture. When newer development centres are opened in other countries, the Indian corporate culture un-intentionally permeates and tries to inspire the local culture. If these two cultures are totally opposite, the company finds it difficult to maintains its leadership as it might tend to hamper the manpower productivity. As such, ethno-centric corporate culture may restrain the aim of any company going global.
Nevertheless, if it were to have executives at the top with different cultural background , this ethno-centric corporate culture can easily be managed and motivated to achieve the organisation goals. As such, Infosys needs to have multi-ethnic executives at its top level before it can concentrate on its ground-level multi-ethnic workforce. That will have a long term and positive effect on the multi-cultural background workforce and help the organization in attaining a truly global nature. That is the only way for Infosys or any other company to achieve globalization (IT Strategy, 2010).
Also, another corporate objective of Infosys is providing the best business solutions among all its competitors. In taking this strategy forward, the company being in a knowledge based industry, emphasizes on the quality of human resource. The company mostly recruits people with the best academic records, in other words the crème de la crème of the graduates.
The major issues & challenges faced by HR Manager are:
Health & Welfare, retirement, change management, compensation, Employee rewards, HR effectiveness measurement, HR technology selection & implementation, industrial relations, Leadership development, Learning and development, Legal/Regulatory compliance, M&A integration/restructuring, Organizational effectiveness, Outsourcing, Staffing: mobility of employees, Recruitment and availability of skilled local labour, retention and succession planning.
Professor Ghoshal’s 3 P Approach (Ghoshal & Bartlett, 1998)
Today’s leading companies are built around the ‘three Ps’ of Purpose, Process and People.
Leading from the forefront, men at the top have to inculcate organisational values amongst its workforce including the fact that the goal of the organisation is common and can be achieved only if was shared by all. It is utmost important that the complete workforce transpires to achieve this common goal by all doing their part/work to their best. As such the management has to actively and constantly thrive/work to continually self-motivate the work force and help them work to their potential while at the same time bringing it most clearly out in the open their own commitment towards achieving the common goal. In this process they help cultivate this feeling of self-importance amongst the work force.
As Ghoshal states: “You cannot have faith in people unless you take action to improve and develop them”. He further emphasises that the achievement of the goals of a business entirely depends on the skills and self-motivation of its manpower and to be able to achive such a situation, he further promotes the thought that organisations need to develop a new moral contract with their people.
True for Infosys!! The attitude of management towards their employees is the key factor here. Here is a company that gives utmost importance to its work force who they believe are the main people and because of which the company is on its pre-planned course to achieving its goals. As its saying goes – ‘Powered by Intellect. Driven by Values’ is absolutely true for this company.
In order to be able to achieve its pre-planned objectives and critical strategies, Infosys believes in deploying the right candidates with the right skills at the right time and place. The existing work force is taken into account before it takes any initiative/steps to overcome the possibilities of man power shortage in the near future and which might hamper its aim to achieving its goals. It also takes into consideration alternative ways of organizing jobs for example – Production at its helm could be handled by temporary workers or allowing the regular work force to work for extended hours.
As regards to the supply of employees, it takes into account the effect of various HR programs on employees joining the company. It then determines how well the existing programs are doing before forecasting the need of additional programs.
Accurate forecasting also plays an important role as their might be big gap between current HR situation and desired HR situation. Various uncertain-factors including new competitors, changes in technology, changes in social, political and economic climate, unstable product demand, etc., and factors which promote stability including competitive position, slow developing technology and stable product demand also play a key role helping the company to forecast.
Infosys recruits candidates who have had a consistent background in their academic life-time. For more skilled jobs, the knowledge of the required skill is the preferred selection criteria. The written test normally encompasses simple puzzles from books of renowned writer like Shakuntala Devi. The main criteria is for average communication skills and of-course the proper knowledge of the English Language.
The Equity Continuum (TWI Inc., 2010).
Though Infosys has full faith in its current top leaders, it has inducted into its future leadership program a group of 400 people, who have been selected from all over the globe, which it believes and intends to train to take over the helm of the company in the near future. This is in tune with the company’s multi-ethnic employees culture where the only factor of consideration is the individuals skill and aptitude.
Its diverse workforce of over 91,000 employees from 70 nationalities working across 90 countries rationalises its score of 5 on the Equity continuum.
Armstrong (2006) outlines that the rewards such as employee benefits and non financial compensation are given in accordance with
the employees ‘ contribution to the firm , skill level and their market
worth as dictated by current factors in the internal and /or external
Infosys was one of the first companies in India to introduce an Employee Stock Option Scheme. The company introduced the iRace (Infosys Role and Career) program under which only those professionals who have proved their set-skills over a period of time are eligible for further promotions (Infosys 2010). However there were a few employees (about 5% of the total workforce), who did not co-relate with the initiative because they felt that there would be disheartenment among the fellow team members if this criteria was to be strictly followed. Besides at Infosys a few staff was demoted from their existing positions. This was a cause of resentment amongst quite a few of the workforce.
In order to make it more appealing to a wider section of workers, the policy of demotion should be removed or done in the rarest of cases.
Sources of Recruitment
Internal Sources External Sources
Promotions – Campus Recruitment
Internal Notification – Job Portals
Transfers -Management Training/Internships
Recall Schemes – Forced Applications
The main recruitment processes at Infosys include campus recruitment, internship programme advertisement on major job portals (monster.com, naukri.com and timesjobs.com) and internal recruitment. Besides, the company also goes in for temporary reinstatement of retired executives and staff that the company has already laid off. Every IT graduate aspires to be a part of the Infosys team and the company employs the best people in the industry. Needless to say, the recruitment process is very good.
Selection and Induction
To select mean to choose. Selection is the process of picking persons who have applicable credentials to fit into relevant jobs in an organisation. The central purpose is to select the right candidate with the requisite set of skills most appropriate for a job. To fulfil this requirement, the company takes into consideration the candidates age, qualifications, skills, experience, etc. so as to match the required skill-set with the profile of the candidate. The be-fitting candidate is then selected from amongst all the aspiring. How well an employee is matched to a job is very important because it is directly proportional to the amount and quality of an employee’s work.
The selection methods generally adopted by Infosys are preliminary interview, ability test with special stress on English proficiency, general aptitude test and final interview. The general aptitude test is similar to the GMAT taken at most B-Schools the difficulty level of which is quite high thus ensuring that the best talent in the industry is recruited. Thus the organisations selection methods are of quite high standard. The disadvantage of such a selection process however is that, at times a great deal of time is lost before the right candidate can be employed for the position besides being a costly affair on the company’s part. Instead of such a time consuming procedure, the company can resort to employing people from competitors in similar positions.
Induction refers to the process of familiarisation with the organisation and settling into the job. The selection process is only the beginning of the employee-employer relation the future of which solely depends on how satisfyingly . Labour obsolesce is highest among newer recruits and the required efficiency is reached only after the candidate has adjusted well into his role and to his work environment.
Scale (1 to 5)
Review the positioning of the induction
Coverage of the induction programme
Appoint a mentor
Plan the induction and involve and inform others
Prepare the work area
Introduce the recruit to the organisation and the department
Emphasize the importance of organization policies and procedures
The induction programme at Infosys covers general organizational induction training, technical and departmental induction training as well as managerial executive induction training (wherever applicable). It is thus quite extensive and covers everything that a new recruit should know. The employee who is to be appointed as mentor is informed in advance and a mail about the induction is circulated within the department where the new employees have been recruited. Often the selected new recruit is sent to DC or Development Centres for a period ranging from 3-6 months whereby he/she works on live projects. In the general organizational induction training, the employee is given a rigorous training as regards the organization policies and procedures.
There is a three-tier mentoring process at Infosys (The Hindu, 2010)
Tier-1 of the Infosys Management Council, which consists of the company’s board of directors, mentors Tier-2 leaders who in turn guide the Tier-3 group. About 45 executives are a part of the company’s Tier-1 of the management council. And each of the leaders undergoes exhaustive and sustained training through the company’s personal development programme — PDP. Infosys training programmes are designed to enable company professionals enhance their skill sets in tune with their respective roles.
The spirit of improvement, constant individual and professional growth is most apparent in how the company manages its physical, technology, or human resources.
Projects such as the Infosys Leadership Institute are targeted continuous managerial growth and personal improvement. A multitude of technology advancement and other training programs provide training to employees in explicit areas of know-how, management, leadership and communication skills.
Employees can also pursue their interests in areas such as arts, culture, or sports. Besides having an, “Art Gallery” which displays art made by employees of Infosys, there are daily quizzes and regular music gatherings that keeps creativity alive at work.
Inculcom hosts cultural programs for Infoscions.
Apart from these, one can see food courts (offering Chinese, Indian, continental, etc). at Infosys’s campus. There’s also a swimming pool, there’s a library, internet access… volley ball courts, tennis courts and the reason why all this has been done is the company believes in flexible work hours.
InSync, an internal communication program focuses on keeping the Infoscion aware of the latest developments in the organization.
Then there is the Toastmasters Club. It provides a platform for employees to develop communication and leadership skills.
Such a relaxed atmosphere at work keeps the employees stress free and draws them more to work rather than being on leave. It also motivates them to perform better and with increased zeal and energy. However, too much of a relaxed attitude at work may lead to callousness and taking work also with the same easy going spirit.
The founder of Infosys, Mr Narayan Murthy has a straightforward slogan for success – keep your employees happy. He views that only those organizations can survive in the near future in which the work force shares a common goal with those of the organization (Express India, 2010). The company can do every possible thing under the sun to make its employees happy and flexible working is one such scheme. Especially for an employee who has kids or dependent parents to look after, such a scheme can ensure lifetime loyalty towards the organisation. However, this scheme is not free from disadvantages. For example a scheme such as work from home does not help cultivate the spirit of team work or working together as a team. Trainee employees are devoid working alongside qualifies technicians.
Providing equal opportunities is the fundamental part of the recruitment and selection process at Infosys. Applications are always encouraged from the under-represented groups of the society.
Apart from a few solitude individual cases of labour lawsuits against the company where an India-born American citizen, is supposedly alleged that her bosses at Infosys’s Fremont, California office discouraged her from taking day off on American holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas and refrained from paying her extra for working on a holiday according to California law, the Infosys has been practically devoid of any claims of discrimination. It can be said that the recruitment and selection process is pretty robust.
As regards the dismissal process, it is said that Infosys is a company where employees can easily think of retiring. To be more precise, dismissals at Infosys have only been heard of at the initial selection stages and once an employee has gone through the induction process, dismissal is a very rare phenomenon.
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