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HCL Technologies is one of the seven companies in the Bloomberg database of 3,000 technology companies with a market capitalization of more than $5 billion, revenue of more than $2.5 billion and a compounded annual growth rate more than 25 per cent during the past five years (HCL Technologies Limited, 2012). Definition of Success at HCL means providing the best possible solutions to their clients with optimum level of satisfaction. HCL Technologies is the Number 1 employer in India.
Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), one of India's original IT firms started in 1976 currently deals in various segments like Remote Infrastructure Management, BPO services, IT Hardware, Systems Integration and Distribution of Technology and Telecom products R&D and Technology Services and Enterprise and Applications Consulting is India's original IT firm. Started 35 years ago, the enterprise now stands with an enormous workforce of 90,000 employees. it spreads across 31 countries across the globe and has 505 foothills in India. A global name and numerous partnerships with many Fortune 1000 firms are a few feathers in the HCL's success story (HCL, 2012).
Fast Facts - HCL Technologies
HCL Technologies Ltd.
Global IT Company
Software, Infrastructure and BPO
Date of Establishment
November 12, 1991
Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer
Vice Chairman & CEO
85,335 on 30th September 2012.
Offices in 31 countries
USA, Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan
US$ 4.3 billion (Rs. 22,417 crores), as on 30th September 2012
HCL is a leading global Technology and IT Enterprise with annual revenues of US$ 6.2 billion. The HCL Enterprise comprises two companies listed in India, HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems.
HCL Technologies as a $4.3 billion global company brings IT and engineering services expertise under one umbrella to solve complex business problems for its clients. It leverages its global offshore infrastructure and network of offices in 31 countries. HCL provide multi-service, holistic delivery in industries such as financial services, consumer services, manufacturing, healthcare and public services.
The Indian conventional way of working leads to a vertical hierarchical structure, which is with founder as the head and certain subordinates below him. Being a technical expertise company, the hierarchy depends on the level of knowledge gained by the professionals. Due to no inter department interfering, the transfer of knowledge is more on vertical basis but very rarely horizontal.
"To be the technology partner of choice for forward looking customers by collaboratively transforming technology into business advantage."(HCL, 2012)
"We will be the employer of choice and the partner of choice by focusing on our stated values of Employees First, Trust, Transparency, Flexibility and Value Centricity." (HCL, 2012)
Leadership - style, approaches etc
HCL's leadership style follows the rule of free-rein rather than the contemporary participative method. It is clearly noticeable from the recent development of a defined approach of Employees First & Customers Seconds (EFCS).
Now days the leaders give full authority to their employees to make decisions but at the same time, take the responsibility of the same. It helps the company to build future leaders who would be better decision makers and also motivation to the employees for analysing situations better and working with respect to them. Delegating tasks is an important tool which should be followed and practiced in corporate and fortunately is followed in the HCL. It helps build confidence and trust among co-workers aiding a pleasant and healthy work environment. This is kind of leadership style is also known as laissez faire, which is the non-interference in the affairs of others (Clark, 2010).
Expertise of employees is the key to HCL's success. HCL firmly believes that a firm's employee's makes the company reach pinnacle heights. Highly qualified and well trained employees are a part of the HCL clan. When knowledge comes into picture, expert power is the power used by employees. It's the knowledge that makes a person stand out in the crowd of all employees. Expert Power is a very common phenomenon in knowledge based industries(Tannenbaum and Schmidt, 1973).
Culture - unique 'language', 'culture',' rituals' etc.
A place where people can think and imagine endless possibilities is the best way to describe HCL. Freedom of thought is very important to extract the additional creativity at work. With a bright history of 35 years, HCL has stood by its core values and philosophy of creating innovations and inventions.
HCL has a very rigid demarcation of working in their own department, which implies that employees are not allowed to work in other department other than their own which gradually spoils the inter-departmental relationships. In case of absenteeism too, workers are not allowed to switch department to avoid gaps in enhancing productivity. http://d15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net/files/images/0053/9998/employees.jpg
Rigid policies, tapered span of control and high degree of centralization and formalization are few things associated with HCL. Within departments HCL employees have freedom of processing their thoughts but not inter-departmentally. The organization was bureaucratic structure.
However, HCL has initiated a new management approach where the employees of HCL are considered first and then the customers. It is termed as Employees-First Effect which according to Mr. Vineet, CEO is the reason for the company being employee centric and employee driven. It is very much like trimming the conventional method upside down. This not only helps in building confidence and motivation among employees but also transparent work environment.
4.1 Group Dynamics/Team Building initiatives
Since there is a lack of inter departmental transfer of knowledge, coordination is at stake at HCL. It followed an Indian conventional method of getting approval from the top management and then would the task be carried forward. After the new management approach of employees first and customers second, the company has started giving more liberty to the employees in terms of taking decisions which makes them feel a part of the organization. It enhances their rationale thinking enabling them to give their 100%.
Change management initiatives
Change is an inevitable process in management. Just like aging of an individual cannot be hampered in any manner, in the same manner change in management is the need of the day. A company cannot work in the same manner as it was working 10-15years ago. This change came to HCL in 2005 when the sales were low in that period. HCLl alarmed itself before the nick of the time and changed its models and strategies to work according to the customer needs. This is what saved them from the 2009 recession.HCL is one of the very few companies who showed growth even in the recession years. Business models and good managements are the keys to the foresight vision of the market. HCL converted itself from a traditional company to a Generation Y genre. (BMC Software, 2010)
Innovation / Creativity initiatives
Engaging the employees where they feel a part of the firm and making them realise that they are as important as the customers is a new example of managing employees that Mr.VIneet, the CEO has set in for all the global companies. A unique management technique which makes sure that the workforce of 90,000 employees remains satisfied in order to enhance employee satisfaction but also lead to more than 100% productivity. Turning technology into a manifest advantage for the clients is what HCL is best at.
Critique on the current internal scenario / internal environment including people practices
An agent promised a customer a delivery of a certain product in a specific time period. The dispatch manager was on leave. So his subordinate took the task in his hand and made sure that the delivery is done on time. But to his horror, he received a note stating that he is not liable to do so because of lack of authority.
This incident just proves that the management is very rigid and has a narrow control style of working, which poses as a threat to self motivation of employees to excel in their work and be an overall manager.
Suggestions and recommendations
Communication should not be considered as an event within a container where employees broadcast oral and written messages instead should be deemed as a continuous process of conveying thoughts and interpretations throughout the organization.
Individual learning and focus groups should be included in the working of HCL. It not only enhances individual productivity and skill development but also overall wellness of the firm. Gaining insights from vertical structure of hierarchy should be implemented so as to avoid miscommunications and lagging of work. Assuming others are happy is never the solution to a problem. Therefore, it is very important for the firm to start taking feedback from their employees to know how much justice is the firm doing to the employees.
Three values on which HCL's cornerstone is based are trust, flexibility and Employee Effect First. All three values make the company a desirable company to work for. Trust is created by pushing the trust envelope. Be flexible with respect to employees and situations is what a good company would associate itself with. The unique management approach of employee first and customers second inhibit the company to be an employee centric. Employees being an responsibility of the management and customers being a responsibility of the employees.
Therefore, I would like to work in a company where employees are recognised, valued and rewarded for their performance.
BMC Software (2010) ELO: Articles: HCL Technologies CEO Talks about Building a Culture to Drive IT Productivity, August. Available at: http://www.enterpriseleadership.org/blogs/Articles/2010/08/10/hcl-technologies-ceo-talks-about-building-a-culture-to-drive-it-productivity (Accessed: 15 December 2012).
Clark, D. (2010) Leadership Styles. Available at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.html (Accessed: 16 December 2012).
HCL (2011) Employees First, Customers Second | Business & Change Management. Available at: http://www.employeesfirstbook.com/ (Accessed: 15 December 2012).
HCL (2012) Overview. Available at: http://www.hcl.in/overview.asp (Accessed: 15 December 2012).
HCL Technologies Limited (2012) About HCL Technologies | IT Services, Outsourcing Software Development, IT Solutions | HCL Technologies. Available at: http://www.hcltech.com/about-us/about-hcl-technologies (Accessed: 10 December 2012).
Tannenbaum, R. and Schmidt, W.H. (1973) 'How to Choose a leadership Pattern', Harvard Business Review, May-June, pp.162-180 HBR Classic [Online]. Available at: http://www.elcamino.edu/faculty/bcarr/documents/How%20to%20choose%20a%20leadership%20pattern.pdf (Accessesd: 15 December 2012).