It is no secret that the achievement of organizations depends not only on their financial strength and analytical power of the leaders. A crucial role in any company’s success belongs to the team of employees. The role of human resource management is, therefore, the decisive one when it comes to delineating the HR strategies which would empower the staff to show their best performance and dedication. One of the largest IT conglomerates in India, Infosys, was able to reach tremendous success due to its successful HR practices (Mathi & Malathi, 2013). However, it has not always been easy for the organization to sustain a high level of employee satisfaction. At some point in the company’s history, employees felt discouraged and dissatisfied with the policies. The current overview suggests an insight into the organization of the human resource management system in Infosys, the past and present challenges of the company’s HR team, and the ways of overcoming these difficulties.
Core Values of Infosys
Having started the company in 1981, Narayana Murthy and his companions delineated the vision of Infosys as “creating wealth in a legal and ethical manner” (Delong, 2005, p. 20). Before Infosys, Indian business organizations had two major approaches to management: the “too personal” companies run by families and the “too impersonal” multinational associations (Delong, 2005, p. 3). Murthy and his colleagues wanted to create a change and start a business that would be governed by true professionals and whose products would be used by professionals (Delong, 2005).
Infosys has five core values that delineate its conduct in the market. These issues include customer values (the company aims to exceed client’s expectations), integrity and transparency (Infosys is open and sincere and leads its business in an ethical way), leadership by example (establishing standards aiming to achieve exemplary results), fairness (recognition and confidence), and excellence (continual endeavor for enhancement) (Makwana & Dave, 2014). These values make the company stand out and add to its positive image in the national and world market.
Recruitment and Selection
In the beginning, Infosys had a culture of a small company which engaged the talented college graduates or people with some experience in the field (Delong, 2005). However, its success was so great that it drew the attention of the most talented people from different parts of the world who wanted to work for Infosys. The recruitment system was rather strict, and the candidates had to go through a tough selection procedure. After that, the chosen candidates had to undergo a comprehensive fourteen-week instruction program (“Human resource management,” 2016). All company workers had to go through additional training each year. Some employees received additional education and tutoring at the Infosys Leadership Institute, after which they were qualified to perform higher responsibilities in the organization (“Human resource management,” 2016).
In spite of the company’s major activity, not all of its employees are required to have a degree in electrical engineering, computer technology, or electronics (Makwana & Dave, 2014). Infosys wants to enlarge the scope of its activity so that it could employ talented people with high logical-mathematical intelligence levels. Thus, the firm recruits engineers with different backgrounds such as naval architecture, mechanical engineering, metallurgical engineering, and civil engineering (Makwana & Dave, 2014). In recent years, Infosys’ recruitment strategies are based on analytical thinking and arithmetical reasoning tests. The company’s attrition rate in 2012 was 14.7%, which enabled it to gain the reputation of a leading employer (Makwana & Dave, 2014). Thus, Infosys is able to choose from a large number of competent applicants. In 2012, nearly 623,000 applications were received, nearly 61,000 people were interviewed, and approximately 41,000 people obtained extended employment offers (Makwana & Dave, 2014).
Since the company is aimed at achieving and sustaining international success, the majority of its employees have good knowledge of English and are high-skilled in information technology. The company strives to learn Western practices and correspond to Western traditions (Makwana & Dave, 2014).
One of the most productive means of finding highly-skilled employees is taking part in career fairs (Makwana & Dave, 2014). Infosys frequently takes interest in job fairs, which enhances the company’s opportunities to find the most suitable candidates for recruitment.
Infosys has always admitted that the people who work for it are the reason for its tremendous success. There is even a special word to call the company’s employees – “Infoscions” (Delong, 2005, p. 1). Since the beginning, the job was designed in the manner which empowered the people and made them feel free to create. Infosys was one of the pioneers of implementing the guarantee of stock options to its staff, allowing people to earn substantial sums of money in a short period of time (Delong, 2005). Thus, the company’s job design was aimed at eliminating the employees’ job dissatisfaction and providing the best conditions for the people. In 2001 and 2002, Infosys received the first position in the Business Today Best Employer Survey (Delong, 2005).
Another important element of job design was the HR team’s focus on providing a sense of fun for the employees (Delong, 2005). Having realized that most people came straight after college, the HR managers wanted to create an environment close to the workers’ prior experience. Thus, many events like quizzes, dances, DJ nights, and intellectual debates were frequently organized. Also, people were given a chance to bring positive change to the world. Infosys development centers had Employee Social Services groups that facilitated the local communities (Delong, 2005). Participation in such social campaigns was voluntary, and it included providing assistance to elderly people and homeless people.
Compensation and Benefits
The company paid a lot of attention to the employees’ job satisfaction. With the aim of attaining it, a system of benefits was implemented in Infosys. Among the three ways of adding value to the workers, the financial way through compensation and benefits occupies an equal position with the other two ways: learning value-add through educating and emotional value-add through the working conditions (Delong, 2005). Since the beginning, the company endeavored to keep the status of the Employer of Choice or the Best Employer (Delong, 2005).
A good illustration of its reward system was the situation in 1991 when Infosys was threatened by multinational competitors who invaded India’s market. The company’s management met the compensation challenge by making secure that people’s salaries were in the top 10%-15% of the competitor firms (Delong, 2005). Moreover, Infosys started the distribution of stock options warrants to its employees. When the second similar challenge from competitive multinational companies threatened Infosys, the managers decided to invest a large part of its profits in relocating the company to its 80-acre Bangalore campus. There, all up-to-date technologies were involved to provide the employees with a lot of recreational space and spacious residential, entertainment, and dining facilities (Delong, 2005).
In the course of its existence, Infosys established a profound comprehension of employee relations. The HR management admitted that people’s dedication to the company should not exceed the company’s commitment to those who worked at it. To show its loyalty to the people, Infosys keeps both formal and informal mechanisms of resolving the issues. People can rely on the company in case of emergency or family problems. There was even a situation when an employee was in a coma for two years, and during all that period, Infosys supported the man’s family (Delong, 2005).
Also, there is a highly efficient health platform in the organization. HALE (Health Assessment and Lifestyle Enrichment) is aimed at providing employees with regular checkups, various professional counseling options, and diverse classes like yoga and stress management (Delong, 2005). Furthermore, Infosys takes care of people’s leisure by organizing various clubs that present opportunities to engage in sports or cultural venues.
Performance Management: Coping with the Challenges
In spite of the company’s outstanding achievements and many endeavors to provide its employees with the best working conditions, there were times when workers felt discouraged and dissatisfied with the company’s policies. The first wave of discontent was noticed in the early 1990s when the organization’s growth initiated the growth in people’s expectations (Delong, 2005). Both in the past and at present, Infosys takes care of organizing the best performance management process which would enable the HR team and the employees to cooperate with the aim of achieving the best outcomes for the organization and people within it. When the first drop in employee satisfaction happened due to people’s anxiety about new policies and changes in the 2000s, the management team implemented a number of changes. Among such alterations was the renovating of compensation and promotion approaches (Delong, 2005.).
Modern performance management approaches at Infosys include regular revision of the objectives set for the workers (Mishra, 2015). The HR team realizes that the character of the goals alters in various projects and under divergent circumstances. Therefore, the company is planning to change its model of employee assessment and organize goal setting more frequently (Mishra, 2015). Regular evaluation of goal setting will enable the HR managers to obtain updated feedback which will enable them to create the most beneficial environment for the employees.
Infosys is a comparatively young company, but its contribution to the development of the Indian market is rather impressive. The company’s dedication to its employees is considered to be one of the keys to its success. Throughout the whole period of its existence, Infosys took great care of every person working there. The process of recruitment is challenging, but it allows the organization to choose only the most suitable candidates. The core values of Infosys include client values as well as sustaining confidence and excellence in everything the company is doing. Human resource practices at Infosys are believed to be among the most beneficial and encouraging. By providing the employees with a comprehensive system of compensations and benefits, HR managers organized the atmosphere of amiability and dedication within the company. Even though conflict situations appeared in the course of Infosys development, its HR team always managed to cope with misunderstanding and continued creating the most beneficial conditions for the people’s and company’s prosperity.
Delong, T. J. (2005). Infosys (A): Strategic human resource management. Harvard Business School Case 406-010, 1-11.
Makwana, K., & Dave, G. (2014). Employer branding: A case of Infosys. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 3(6), 42-49.
Mathi, K. M., & Malathi, G. (2013). HR practices in it sector – An overview. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 2(7), 139-146.
Mishra, B. R. (2015). Infosys opts for more HR innovation. Business Standard. Web.