Improving Team work and leadership in Infosys

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The emergence of the private sector in the economy has created more entrepreneurs especially in the services sector. The ability to manage a complex and diverse workforce is a decisive factor that adds to the competency of the organisation in contemporary work environment .complexity of human behaviour has increased the significance of the organisational behaviour .organisational behaviour is concerned with the study of behaviour of people within the organisational setting which involves the understanding .prediction and control of human behaviour and the factors which involves the performance of people as members of an organisation (Luthans ,F. 1992) . The importance of the human capital in the current working environment has increased the importance of managing people within the organisation. The organisation made up of a large number of individual members and they mostly act in a group or in isolation. They are individually and in a group expected to achieve the organisations objective .any sort of indifference between both can lead to conflict and tension between the individual and the organisation.

Importance of defining the organisation

Organisation are complex social systems which can be defined and studied in a number of different ways .Morgan identifies different ways of viewing organisations as machines ,brains ,organisms, cultures, political systems ,psychic prisons ,flux and transformation and instruments of domination (Morgan.1986). As a consultant seeking to improve the management of people in a organisation you need to define the nature of the organisation and understand the longer-term goals of the company. Goal setting is important were the organisation evaluates the long term and short term goals of the company. Every employee has to understand and work according to this goal. Infosys is planning to become a $10 billion company in the next 5 years and according to the Founder of Infosys is "to be a globally respected corporation that provides best of breed business solutions, leveraging technology, delivered by best in the class people" (A.C Fernando 2009). The company driven by the passion to innovate in technology and management practices has grown to become a company spread in 16 countries and 32 sales offices catering to the technological needs of a global community.

Value systems in Infosys

At stretch its competency beyond the stream of technology Infosys has designed core value systems that define the behaviour within the organisation. (George .W. England 1967) after studying the value system of managers in several American firms commented that the personal belief system of individual managers can make difference to an organisation at large as to how he evaluates information and arrives at a decision. Understanding customer value systems is also important to the success as to understand their consumption patterns and the cultural patterns which shape their consumer behaviour as a individual and as a group. (Craig .j. Thompson Maura .Troester 2002) . The value system of Infosys is designed to achieve long term competencies in the industry.

Customer delight:

To lead by example and excess customer expectation

Leadership example:

A constant effort to set standards within the industry in the way they do business and to build motivation within the employees to work towards a goal.

Integrity and transparency:

To be transparent in dealing with customer and discarding unethical practices within the organisation. The example being one of the few companies following high disclosure norms like making no forward looking statements in the stock market (Business Standard 2010).

Fairness:

Trying to be objective and delivering on expectations and in the process earning the respect of the clients and the shareholders. Infosys has exceeded the guidance in the current quarter with revenues of more than 5741 crore Indian rupees. When management expectation was 5423 crore (Nirmal Bang 2010).

The company constantly tries to innovate in an extremely competitive industry .Infosys has grown to become a company with a market cap of more than 32 billion as of date (rediff .com 2010) emerged from being a small time company in the 90s mainly due to its unique management policies and quality of leadership that helped employees to work as a team and contribute effectively to the organisation. As a publically listed company it sets realistic targets of growth which the employees feel achievable. The competitive nature of the industry and the opening of multiple options for the employees is seen as reasons for the high attrition rates within the industry. For example software sector witnessed high attrition rates in the range of 25 -35% especially in the business process outsourcing industry (shvoong .com 2009) when compared to the manufacturing industry.

Improving team work at Infosys

The current work environment is less about working individually and more about working in groups .large organisations are characterised by multiple groups and work is more of a group based activity and efficiency of group work is crucial in determining the success of the entire organisation .team work is co-operative effort by a group of people to achieve a common goal. (teamtechnology.co.uk 2009). Team work has shaped our work culture and through the history has lived, loved and worked together in groups.(Baumeister 1995) the organisation culture performance is normally managed and assessed by customer satisfaction and sales growth .as the needs of the business grows and when the organisation becomes bigger it is important to build people management and appraisal systems to assess the success of group work .the most guaranteed way of improving performance is by identifying all aspects of the group behaviour and trying to promote those aspects that significantly create more value for the organisation. The management should encourage innovative ideas that create opportunities for value addition. In instep programme at Infosys is targeted at creating valuable ideas that can drive the organisation forward. (Infosys 2009).it brings the best talents from diverse streams to partner with the organisation develop their employees in enhancing their intellectual faculty. The company can adopt similar polices implemented in Vodafone though 'Vodafone Malta 'which facilitates the process of research in the company by promoting employees with a passion to innovate. This has helped to design effective tariff structures within the company and make advanced networking equipment and improve supply chain management.(Vodafone Malta 2009) Research and development is one of the core area where the company tries to achieve competency ,according to estimates around 2.5 % of GDP was spend on R&D in the year 2005 (lysander.sourceoecd.org).Especially in areas like pharmaceuticals the ability to launch new products is important in defining the success of companies.

Considering the benefit of team working and its existence at all levels of the organisation ,every team has to be dealt with in nature of its strategic importance ,the management have more to do with the routine functioning of the company ,strategic planning teams are more involved with shaping the overall longer term strategy of the company. Writing an quote in( management today 2004 ) comparing the organisational behaviour in leading Indian IT companies Peter Drucker commented that Management is a function ,a discipline , a task to be done ,and managers practice this discipline ,carry out functions and discharge these tasks". The study outlining the job of managers stated the prime functions as planning ,organizing ,directing and controlling .the main functions of managers after studying Managers of three organisations were outlined as co-ordination and integration between different layers of employees that functions in the IT industry.

Facilitating Group cohesiveness in Infosys

Group cohesiveness increases the productivity and motivation to work within a group .according to (Zaccaro etal 1995 ) cohesiveness is described as the degree to which group members and attracted to work together and stay together as a group. The role of first time managers has gone through significant change over the last few years in the company has adopted the Managers in charge (MiCP).where there is an effort to decentralise the .management system and delegating more authority to first time managers. This method initially employed by Japanese producers was found to be cost-effective, more focussed and flexible in contemporary work environment. Research in this stream has proved that this increases more facilitative and empowering type of leadership and is more strategic rather than being functional (Ghobadian etal1998).The success of the team work is depended on how effectively the goals are communicated and defined and the appropriate training that develops the overall capabilities of the employees and brings them closer to the organisational goal.

Performance management and appraisal

Right from the beginning the work of the employees are managed effectively and constantly evolved in the organisation .the peer satisfaction report is the key input were the feedback from the peers are used to generate critical inputs about the employees .the evaluation of the task assigned to the employee forms the key part of the performance appraisal in Infosys .team work are monitored through various developmental stages of team work. The forming stages should be more focussed on giving vision to the group a employees should have good listening skills and build interdependency and form the initial ground rules of team building .storming stage involves initial group debates and expressions of conflict within the group .the group has to be reminded of team mission and goals .in the Norming stage the group need present regular feedback of the team work and has to search for solutions to improve the current performance. The adjourning is common in Projects were they dissolve after achieving the mission. In this stage the success of the project need to be studied and how it has contributed to the bottom line of the company.

Leadership development in Infosys

Pre - dominantly there is an effort to acquire a global mindset in the current work environment .global mindset .what exactly is Global Mindset cannot be properly defined and tgere can only be vague be definitions and closest that it can be is the ability of organisations to influence ,groups ,organisations and systems that have less similar intellectual ,social and psychological intelligence .company like Infosys having a global presence and should have a decentralised approach were more authority should be delegated rather than being limited to a core group.

Creating future leaders in Infosys

Infosys leadership institute in Mysore started in 2002 is a unique venture by the company to train 'Info scions 'to face the complex tasks in the constantly changing work environment and bringing a strategic change by instilling leadership qualities. Meeting the financial targets is crucial for a company like Infosys which seeks to achieve financial targets by facilitating the process of corporate learning and coupling the strategic organisation goals with the learning infrastructure targeted to improve financial goals (Thomas Anderson 2009). The company received the corporate excellence Award recently and can be seen as a testimonial to its efforts to bring innovative management practices.

Following the several theories in Leadership the company has tried to implement these in the work environment.

Generic Group

Focus Group

Premise

Major concerns

Great man Trait THEORY

Identifying the traits and potential leaders for the future

Primary source of

leadership effectiveness

lay in the personal

traits of leaders

Does not address on

the howdimension

of leadership

Behavioural Theories

What do Leaders do

Identify determinants

of behaviour of leaders

.

Does not address the

situation, the followers

Contingency Theory

Interactions between the quality of leaders leaders and the situational factors

The appropriate leadership

style is dependent

on the situation

and other factors

The categorisation

of situations at a

meta level

Transformational /Theory /Charismatical Leadership

INDIVIDUAL AS THE LEADER

Leadership is rooted

in leaders and is

a capability partly

inherited and partly

acquired/ acquirable

Current status

Implementing various theories of leadership

Using the theories of leadership like Trait theory the management spots future leader by understanding their potential based on their current performance and analysing their traits that can make them future leaders. They company also spots charismatic leaders and promote them to critical positions .this helps them to retain talented leaders who can contribute further to the growth in the future.

The leadership development programme has outlined three core areas to develop its competencies they are:

Work

People

Technology

(Business line 2002)

Using the abilities in technology and the competencies of the human capital and leveraging both effectively and strategically can best define the leadership programme in Infosys. Mentoring new recruits and helping them aligning with the organisational goals helps the company to achieve their project targets much easier. There is an effort to increase the morale is increased by sharing the success with members of the core team and rewarding them with bonuses. Infosys was one of the first companies give away huge benefits With Their ESOP systems.

The IC workshops

The Infosys cultural workshops is the employee engagement programme in Infosys were there are frequent interactions with employees from different cultural backgrounds working within Infosys .this is intended to foster the spirit of camaraderie and to reinforce a common work culture within the organization.

Performance appraisal systems

Performance appraisal systems are considers one of the most emotionally charged activities in business to asses ones contribution in business and signals he receive has strong impact on his confidence and future performance (Thompson and Dalton 1970). The Infosys feedback systems are tries to make crucial behavioural interventions in the work place based on the feedback which is formal and informal .these feedbacks are analysed to bring out an effective and workable plan which is suitable for the organisation .one of the things lacking in such an interface is that those who receive negative feedback can be spotted as bad performers and will find it difficult to improve their performance.

Conclusions

Infosys being a leader in the Indian software industry has always followed a policy of leading by example by setting benchmark in the industry. The succession policy followed by company where the founding members step-down after completing their term and retire after they turn 60 (Associated Press 2006). This helps to develop a spirit of equity within the organisation . the action learning system followed in the company should be address real problems in the company and workable plan has to formulated by setting goals for the future. The 360 -degree feedback should be used effectively by interconnecting between various verticals of the company. the company operates various verticals in like banking ,healthcare and research and product development capabilities in one vertical especially the marketing of one product can be used in other verticals as well , for eg : The success of banking software Finacle (Economic Times 2010)can be of use to other verticals in healthcare and retail and proper feedback can help in leveraging on its success to other verticals. The practices the company currently follows has significantly contribute to the value addition in the company over the years. The ability to maintain the value system and bring suitable improvements can define the team work and leadership in the company. Proactive approach can help the company maintain its current niche in the industry.

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