IT major Wipro has made a sharp distinction between high performers and average ones this year, in terms of wage hikes, in an attempt to raise productivity. While it gave out an average hike of 9.5% for its employees based in India, the top performers have seen an increment in the 20% range.
Talking to FE, Saurabh Govil, president & chief Human resources officer, Wipro, said, the salary increase gap is only widening by the day even as many of the conventional metrics to determine wage hikes continue to evolve.
The Indian IT industry, which employs 3 million people, had doled out 15-20% salary increments in its heydays but has since fallen to single digits in the aftermath of the global financial crisis starting from 2007-08.
The sharp difference in the salary increase at Wipro was also one of the reasons for the hike in attrition rates at the company. During the first quarter of FY17 Wipro reported an attrition rate of 17.9% for the first quarter on a quarterly annualised basis as compared to 14.9% in the previous quarter.
Govil said the higher attrition rate has also been due to the seasonality where employees go for higher studies and performance ratings. Wipro at the end of first quarter had an employee strength of 1,73,863 and made a net addition of 951.
According to the Wipro HR head, the thrust of the company will be towards further automation with focus on utilising the existing human resources to perform higher value work. “If we are able do more higher value work which will yield better revenues, our capacity to pay more goes up,” he said.
Wipro also released around 1,100 people due to automation related efficiency measures in the first quarter. The compamy has also introduced an employee initiative called TopGear, where all employees pool in their resources to develop new skills. “The focus of the industry is moving from hiring to skilling and employees have no choice. Very clearly it is the matter of survival for them,” Govil said.
Wipro is also making investments in the digital space which is expected to be the next big growth area for the technology industry and aims to train 20,000 of its employees in this segment. During the first quarter, it trained over 8,200 employees in digital technologies.