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Autor: anton • May 9, 2011 • 9,626 Words (39 Pages) • 5,881 Views
Human Resource Management Practices in
"Our assets walk out of the door each evening. We have to make sure
that they come back the next morning."
(Narayana Murthy, CEO Infosys).
Infosys technology, a leading software company based in India, was voted as the best employer in the country in many HR surveys in the recent years. The company is well known for its employee friendly HR practices. Though Infosys has grown to become a US $ 2 billion company by the year 2006, it has still retained the culture of a small company. Infosys attracts the best talent from across the country and recruits candidates by conducting one of the toughest selection process. Infosys was one of the first companies to offer ESOPs to its employees. The company followed variable compensation structure where the employees' compensation depended on the performance of the individual, the team and the company. It also very tackles the challenges faced by the company to retain its talented workforce.
At a time when organizations are debating the strategic importance of their human resources, Infosys, a consulting and software services organization, includes its human resources on its Balance Sheet to affirm their asset value1. Mr. Mohandas Pai, the Chief Financial Officer of Infosys, provides a rationale for this practice:
"Investors examine financial and non-financial parameters that determine long-term success of a company. These new non-financial parameters challenge the usefulness of evaluating companies solely on traditional measures as they appear in a typical financial report. Human resources represent the collective expertise, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial and managerial skills endowed in the employees of an organization. Our representation is based on the belief that intangible assets provide a tool to our investors for evaluating market-worthiness of Infosys."
As a knowledge-intensive company, Infosys recognizes the value of its human assets in maintaining and increasing its competitive position. At the same time, Infosys realizes that these assets can easily "walk away", as competitors in India and abroad covet its IT talent.
Consequently, the challenge facing Infosys is: "How can it attract, retain and develop its human assets in a highly competitive and dynamic environment?" The answer to this question may lie in the management of the 9000 plus Infocians (as the employees are referred to), and that of many more to be hired in the future.
THE HR PRACTICES
Most of the HR practices of Infosys are a result of the vision of its founders and the culture that they have created over the years. The founder advocated simplicity and maintained the culture of the company. The employees are encouraged to share the learning experience. Infosys was the first company to provide the employees with world class facilities for training and working. The company's head office at Bangalore is located on a 70 acre campus with multi-cuisine food courts and recreation facilities like swimming pools, a gym, and a golf course for employees.
Most of the current human resource practices at Infosys result from the vision of the leaders and the culture that they have created. Narayana Murthy, known for his leadership and vision is the public image of Infosys. His leadership style is humble and straight-forward, quite uncommon in the world of Indian business. Narayana Murthy believes in sharing wealth with his employees and in leading by example. In a knowledge-based business like Infosys, he sees the importance of consistency in rhetoric and action in empowering employees. Narayana Murthy is credited with creating a culture of closeness and empowerment at Infosys. His management style, rare among Indian business leaders, is based on western management.
The other founding members of Infosys contribute their own specialties. Though less known, they each play a critical part in shaping the culture and running the operations at Infosys. These unique personalities, with their particular strengths, create the basis for an uncommon culture at Infosys.
According to Narayana Murthy, what Infosys has on its side is "youth, speed, and imagination and [they] are constantly innovating in every area of [their] operation." The founders' efforts have been paying off. According to a California-based management consultant working in India, "Infosys has been critical in changing the mind-set of India." Transparency is one of the important values held by Infosys. A practice illustrative of this value is its very early decision to adopt the US GAAP standards, the most stringent standards, for reporting its financial results.
Hema Ravichandar, the Senior V-P of Human Resources, sums up the characteristics of the culture that distinguish Infosys from its competitors:
"Our emphasis on transparency and communication sets us apart from the prevalent family owned businesses operating in India at. Our emphasis on getting the employees' emotional buy-in into the company distinguishes us from the MNC's that have recently entered the Indian business scene."
The attempt to ensure emotional buy-in is evident in their effort to provide a self-sufficient work environment for their employees. Infosys inaugurated its facilities in Bangalore under the name of "Infosys City" in November 2000. Spread over 44.225 acres, it is claimed to be the largest software services campus in the world. It has the largest `video w all' in Asia which allows for video conferencing simultaneously from multiple centers. The existing buildings also form part of the Infosys City. The City contains food courts that serve Chinese, North Indian, South Indian and Western cuisine. A state-of-the-art gym, golf course, pool tables, table tennis tables and dance-floor are already in place. The sauna, grocery store, an Infosys Store, 50 000 square feet
swimming pool and a lake with paddling boats will soon be part of the City. The eco-friendly campus has more than 6,500 trees. The landscape includes stone paths, rose beds, bamboo clusters with benches beneath them, fountains, and water recycling plants. Besides the enticing work environment, Infosys provides state of the art technology to its employees. For example, PCs used by Infocians are upgraded every two years.
Since its inception, till the early 1990s, Infosys recruited employees from engineering colleges.