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Wipro is India's largest IT services provider with gross revenue of $6.03 billion in the past financial year. The company is into integrated business, technology and process solutions at a universal basis. The company employs more than 115000 people and is headquartered in Bangalore, India (Web 01). The company is also in other sectors like consumer care, lighting, engineering and healthcare. The company was established in 1945 by M.H Premji. But it was his son and current chairman, Azim Premji who transformed the company into one of the most reputed brands in India. Solely due to his efforts, the company now has more than 40 'Centers of Excellence' and operates in 4 continents.
Like every successful company, Wipro also gives high importance to Human Resource Management. The company is India's 6th top employer. But the company is not even in the top 20 best employers of the country while their competitors like TCS, Infosys etc. are always in the top ten (Web 02). Therefore it can be judged that the HR functions in the company need to be thoroughly reviewed.
In simple terms recruitment can be referred to as the process of searching and attracting competent employees for a particular job (Aswathappa, 2005). Companies invest a lot on recruitment process in order to avoid inappropriate selection. The recruitment process of Wipro is also structured in a detailed manner and involves three rounds:
Round 1- Written test
1. Verbal: This is the first section of the written test where 15 questions will be asked to the candidates to test their proficiency in English language and include questions related to synonyms, opposites, similes, prepositions etc. A comprehension passage also might be included for the candidates to read.
2. Aptitude: This section also have 15 questions that are concerned with aptitude topics like Time & Work, Time & Distance, Puzzles, Calendars, Ratio proportions, Ages, Pipes etc.
3. Technical: This is quite an important part of the written test and involves 20 questions which are meant to test the technical knowledge of the applicant in C, C++, Java, Linux, UNIX, DBMS, SQL, Programming fundamentals, Hardware, Software Engineering, Micro-Processors etc. The questions will be mainly based upon the technical aspects studied as a part of university syllabus.
Round 2: Technical Interview
The second round is the most important elimination stage in the recruitment process. In this stage the candidates must have through knowledge in the basic technical skills in order get them cleared from t here. Therefore the candidates are asked to get prepared on their academic subjects before sitting for this round.
Round 3: HR interview
This is found to be the hardest part of the recruitment process. This round is found to be a real test for even the most competent candidates. The most common questions that re asked in this round include speak about oneself, why should the company hire the candidate, why did he wish to join Wipro, etc. The emotional quotient of the candidate is tested in this round in order to check whether he is able to withstand the pressures of the job. The other aspects that are being tested here involve communication and vocabulary of the candidate.
Round 4: Placement
Once the candidate is selected, he will be provided with an employee code number by the HR manager and a joining form will also be handed over to him which he has to fill up. This turns him from a candidate to an employee.
Almost 40% of the employees of Wipro are selected directly from campus recruitments. Another source of recruitment is through the NSR (National Skill Registry).
Wipro training model
The above figure illustrates the Wipro training model which involves seven stages. These stages happen in a consecutive process. The main stages are:
Identify training requirements
Define the learning goals and objectives
Conceptualize the training program
Develop training content
Reviews by stakeholders
Pilot training content
Rollout training content
This model helps in identifying the exact training needs of the candidates and provides them with the most appropriate training.
The company is also not behind in development initiatives. The Leadership Quality Survey of the company started in 1992 has immensely contributed in nurturing Wipro's best business leaders. Wipro now has 8 qualities for leadership which are formulated on the basis of Wipro vision, values and business strategy. As a part of this development initiative, the company has introduced a 360 degree survey process which would enable in improving the competencies and skills of their business leaders. This process begins with receiving feedbacks from related people and finishes when every member frames a Personal Development Plan (PDP) on the basis of the responses received.
This Personal Development Plan develops on the basis of a seven-step program that would help the individual to understand his strengths and weaknesses as well as determining the action steps. This program named "Wings of Change" to symbolize that it would bring up change or transformation in the individual.
The Leadership Development Framework of Wipro is also a critical component for improving the leadership qualities of its employees. This framework is given below:
This framework would help in understanding the major areas that form in relation to a leader in Wipro.
Leadership Lifecycle Programs: The Company has formulated a strategy for Life Cycle Stage Development Plan. This program has been developed in order to frame distinct job profiles and map the competencies needed for each job role. The required competencies determine the success of each job role. The different programs under this LSDP are:
â€¢ Entry-level program (ELP) - This program as the name suggests is for entry level employees and intends to improve their managerial qualities. The main target group for this program is campus recruits and also candidates who entered through lateral entries.
â€¢ New Leaders' Program (NLP) - This is the second level of the LSDP. This level is higher to Entry-level program and is oriented for potential candidates who are most likely to be the leaders of company in the future.
â€¢ Wipro Leaders' Program (WLP) - This program is intended for medium level managers with the capability of being a leader in the near future. Through this program, the managers are expected to improve their way of handling employees, operations, business development and project management tasks. The managers who come up from this program become the forerunners of Wipro values and Wipro's business operations.
â€¢ Business Leaders' Program (BLP) - This is the program designed for the real leaders of the company i.e the senior level executives who hold highly responsible positions. At this level, these executives need not be trained for basic skills and hence it focuses on techniques for revenue generation. The other areas covered in this section involve sales orientation, CRM, team building and performance management.
â€¢ Strategic Leaders' Program (SLP) - This is the top level program and is developed for the already existing leaders or top management employees of the company. The key areas included in the program will be Vision, Values, Strategy, Global Thinking, Customer Focus etc. Wipro has ties with many pioneer management institutions inside and outside India to conduct this leadership program for the leaders of the company.
1.3 Custom Content Development (CCD)
This is a unique program offered by the company that provides new and economical learning content solutions. This service would help in meeting customer requirements as well as help them get a strategic advantage. Wipro's CCD Service undergoes a thorough development cycle to make sure than the client gets quality solutions at precise time.
Custom Content Development Service includes: â€¢ Application Training â€¢ Process Training â€¢ Compliance and Regulatory Training â€¢ Product Training â€¢ Rapid Training Solutions.
1.4 Human Resource Planning
Wipro is the first company to implement many strategic HR and IT services globally. Some of them include People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) Level 5, SEI Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Level 5 and version 1.1 of CMM. The people processes in the company are the best in the industry and involves most accepted practices in HR, knowledge management and OD so that the employees are equipped with the right skills to face the needs of dynamic business environment.
1.5 Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
The expertise in Six-Sigma methodologies has been put to use to modify the prevailing processes in the organizations so that the decisions are made on the basis of metrics and measurements.
â€¢ The fundamental concept behind Six Sigma is that if you can compute how many "defects" you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to reduce them and get as close to "zero defects" as possible. It begins with the application of numerical methods for translating information from clientele into specifications for products or services that are being developed or manufactured. Hence this can be considered as a business strategy and a philosophy of one working smarter not harder.
Wipro is India's first company to adopt the Six Sigma methodology and at present it has the most mature programs in the country. This makes sure that 91% of the works are completed on schedule which is quite above the industry average of 55%. Since they have over 10 years experience in this field, the company has made considerable efforts in order to improve the process. Apart from that the company has also scaled Six Sigma ladder which helped over 1000 project to reach completion. The main feature of this program is that it spreads exactly through the verticals and hence is able to influence a number of areas including project management, market development, resource utilization etc.
Thus it is evident that Wipro is giving high importance to recruitment of employees. But even then the HR functions have certain flow which is the main reason why the company is not able to get into the best 10 employers in India. Hence it is the duty of the HR department to bring about a change in the processes so that better employees are hired and maintained.
Performance management is a key HR function of any company. Oxford English dictionary has defined performance as "accomplishment, execution, carrying out, and working out of anything ordered or undertaken". Performance is also defined as "A matter that not only people achieve, but also how they achieve it" (Armstrong and Baron, 2005). Hence it can be considered as a multidimensional concept and cannot be measured on the basis of a single factor. A common and accepted concept about performance is that it is not merely concerned about final outcomes but also with the actions performed for attaining these targets.
2.2 Performance management in Wipro
Performance management is also a hard to define concept. The main reason behind this is the ignorance over performance measure issues. But a clearer definition to this concept was given by Armstrong (2000). In his words, performance management is "A strategic and integrated process that delivers sustained success to organizations by improving the performance of people who work in them, and by developing the capabilities of individuals and teams".
Wipro has a completely integrated end-to-end Performance Management Solution on its own for carrying out this critical HR function properly. This solution is formulated based upon the universally accepted HR processes adopted in the best organizations and thus helps them to update as well as restructure their performance evaluation processes.
The above figure depicts the performance management solution adopted in Wipro. This solution helps the companies in many ways. It not only assists them in adopting the most suitable technique of performance management to that particular company but also reduces the time taken for the completion of Performance Management cycle. The unique feature of Wipro's solution is that it does all this without compromising on the operations of other HR sub-functions like Work Planning Conference, objective setting, interim reviews, feedbacks, overall evaluation and rating, recording and documentation etc. Once the HR department makes a review of the organization, the assistant of the HR manager will update and record the score obtained by each employee in the database of the company.
2.3 Importance of performance appraisal in Wipro
Performance management or appraisal holds considerable significance in Wipro since its success depends on the performance of employees to a large extent. Before explaining in detail about its importance in Wipro, it is advisable to understand its purpose. The main function behind PA is to make an employee differentiate between his actual performance and the expected performance (Boice & Kleiner, 1997). But this holds a one-sided view since only the rater is benefited out of this. A more balanced view of performance appraisal states that only if both the parties i.e appraiser and appraise gets benefited can the process be considered as positive (Fletcher, 2006).
Performance management on the other hand can be considered as use of interconnected strategies and techniques with an aim to enhance the performance of individuals, teams and organizations. An appropriate performance management can be regarded as the prime factor in achieving the business goals from the point of view of organization. Therefore performance appraisal is seen as the chief component or tool of performance management in Wipro. Hence the company must make sure that the performance management system adopted must be capable of meeting the needs of organization and the stakeholders (Humphreys, 2008). Thus performance management becomes a core component in promoting corporate governance (Bach & Sisson, 2000).
Since corporate governance is an issue of great relevance in today's business scenario, performance management becomes quite critical in Wipro. It forms a vital component of the corporate governance framework which helps the management or boards to direct, observe and react to the way the company reacts to the goals, mission and results that is expected from it.
Performance management can be helpful to the company in three areas namely:
Enhancing the individual productivity
Identifying the training needs
Allocating the precise rewards
An effective method of performance management must inculcate a framework involving both corporate and individual performance planning. Therefore the HR must ensure that the framework involves:
Clarification of performance objectives to the employees. This must include communicating the specific tasks, outcomes, behaviors, and other value systems related to one's job. The HR must make sure that these performance objectives are in alignment with the business objectives.
â€¢ Individual or teams undergo periodical appraisals in order to evaluate their performance against the objectives set for them.
â€¢ The employee or appraise is provided with the feedback about his/her performance from this appraisal.
â€¢ Proper recognition or reward is provided to the appraises for their performance as well as any improvement in their pay or salary based on the performance.
â€¢ There will be team and individual development so that the skills and abilities of the team as well as members are building.
â€¢ In case there is poor performance, the employee is given proper counseling in order to guide him to the right path.
â€¢ To establish a connection between the progress of capabilities with corporate and business planning. That means there will not only be coming down from the results of business planning but also owning a system which feeds back up.
â€¢ Having the ability to evaluate the contribution made by individual, team and organization for attaining its objectives.
Performance management system can also be used in variety of purposes like auditing, evaluation, training, succession planning etc (Randell, 1994). Thus an effective system can be helpful for the employees and teams to understand their objectives and the business goals as well as enables to recognize how effectively they are achieving the corporate goals. This approach thus helps these parties to identify and clearly define their performance expectations which are an essential part of their job. If the people, processes and performance are integrated with the business goals, it would lead to developing the abilities of the individual as well as organization thus leading to their better performance. It is the performance appraisal process which expresses the work standards expected out of a specific job and the norms, values and behaviors that are associated with that job and finally communicating this with the concerned people. Performance management thus results in better performance which is more closely directed to the objectives and needs of organization. Performance appraisal and its feedback help the employees to understand the level of their performance and find out ways to improve them.
Thus studies reveal that some researchers focus on achievement of business goals as the most important reason behind implementing performance management system while some others view it as a scale for improving performance of one. In an organization like Wipro, it is suggested that a system which fulfills both organization as well as individual needs must be followed.
2.4 360 degree feedback
This is a widely accepted technique of performance appraisal adopted by many companies. This method can be used in obtaining both qualitative and quantitative data about an individual's performance. Thus it involves a more holistic approach and here the person is rated based on the feedbacks obtained from people who work close to him i.e peers, superiors, subordinates etc. Apart from that the individual has to undergo a self-rating process also. This method of appraisal is quite suitable with the work environment and job nature in Wipro and can yield positive results.
2.5 Uses of Performance Appraisal System in Wipro:
Wipro can have numerous benefits out of the performance management system if implemented properly. The major benefits derived out of it are:
Performance management is more concerned about the outputs rather than mere activities or behaviors. Thus enacting that one person is busy would not help him get an appraisal or promotion. He has to achieve the predetermined results in order to get appraised.
Performance Management helps in aligning the business processes and operations to the objectives of the organization. There is a chain process in PM which exists in order to make sure that they are in agreement with the organizational objectives.
Nurture an organization-wide long-term view of the organization. An effective method of performance management should adopt a system-based approach which aims at the results or outputs of the business processes (Swanson, 1999). In other cases, the result is bound to have certain faults.
Performance management would result in meaningful measurements which can be applied in numerous areas like benchmarking, framing standards for comparing the company's practices with the most industry accepted standards. They point out outcomes during development efforts, such as employee training, management development, quality programs, etc. Thus performance management makes sure that employees are equally treated and they receive rewards based on true performance.
This way the employees will be able understand their strengths and weaknesses (Brets et.al. 1992). It would help them to be aware about the duties they have to bear and thus act according to his superior's expectations (Rees & Porter, 2008).
Thus performance management system in Wipro can help the employee to have a deep knowledge about the corporate objectives and effort required to attain them. This would help him to realize his present position in comparison to the expected level of performance so that he can try more to get to that level. This again leads to overall development of the employee.