IT industry has emerged to be one of the largest employment sectors in present times. Estimates by Gartner Inc suggested that by the end of 2015, one among every three jobs would be connected to software and smart decision-making. Advanced technology segment such as robotics is on the way to be a mainstream in the industry. Digital businesses will drive a 500% boost in jobs related to digital technology. Only technology segment such as Big Data will create over 4 million jobs by the end of this year. Hence, IT industry is the sector that is fetching the largest number of jobs throughout the globe. The steady growth pattern of the industry is the sole reason behind this scenario, as it is being integrated to every industry vertical. In India, the industry employs about 10 million people contributing to economic transformation of the nation.
IT Industry in India is at $119 billion at present, following a growth rate of 12% in the year 2014-15. This has eventually raised an impetus on hiring trend that is poised to grow at the rate of 18%. The country has grown to be the fourth largest IT hub in the world with over 3,100 startups. This has resulted to a steep growth in employment option in the industry. In this backdrop, shortage of human resources is emerging as one of the pertinent issues in the industry. This results in increased work stress arising due to shortage of resources along with the growing commitments in personal life. It has become very critical for employers not only to focus on attraction and retention of talent but also to ensure an aesthetic environment to employees. It has become imperative within office spaces to create opportunities for employees, which would unwind and recharge them mentally as well as physically.
Jobs within the Industry follow a common pattern, which can be easily observed across any IT enterprise. IT jobs can be divided on a ratio of 80:20 based on responsibility and the type of work. The majority, i.e., 80% of the work is regular and monotonous. This chunk constitutes some core operations that virtually run the business. Works such as processing, filling up data, information segregation, and documentation and so on comes within this section. The remaining 20% constitute of works that are related to actual development and design. This part requires finding solution, tough computation and programming that requires “brainstorm” most of the times. It is this segment that needs innovation and out of the box thinking. Professionals in this area need to push their minds and put large efforts. Actual contribution to the Industry happens in this sphere.
Any IT organization looking for intellectual contribution from employees must create a workplace that breeds innovation. It is the responsibility of organizations to offer an amicable environment to employees, which assists to innovate and think. A balanced work environment that promotes productivity in employees is a necessity within any organization. The challenge is not easy to overcome, although organizations have made various efforts to ensure a correct balance between the employee engagement efforts along with focus on productivity.
Employee engagement has emerged to be one of the most focused areas for HR department in IT. However, most of the companies are not successful to incur effective employee engagement. Many new traits such as Gamification, Enterprise Social Networks and other incentive-based methodologies are being utilized by enterprises, but with little effect. A common approach of companies towards employee engagement is to introduce fun activities at work place. This approach must be improvised by broadening the scope as well as the view. The idea should be inclined more towards the real objective. The objective of such initiatives must be clarified for better implementation and productivity. This objective, on the other hand, would change from case to case. However, in most cases, the objective is to reduce the mental and physical fatigue arising due to monotonous nature of IT jobs. The objective in some cases is to increase bonding within the team, as the nature of these job requires intensive team engagement internally.
The initial task is to identify the objective and then create a plan around the same. For instance, a primary objective is to create a ZERO fatigue environment, which could breed innovations. Companies are often found conducting workshops, off-sites, management games, motivational speakers, team games, sponsored movie shows at frequent intervals. A growing trend is, Fridays being identified as an engagement activity day in many corporations. Companies also approve external partners, who could utilize their spaces on Fridays to put up stalls and other necessary utilities. Insurance companies, banks, products companies, broadband companies often utilize such platforms helping employees to save time.
Apart from these activities, companies are also expanding their views on work life balance. Some organizations are shifting their focus from a 45 hours a week company to offer flexible work arrangements. Some of the aggressive initiatives includes 40 days a year leave plan and 5 days mandatory work from home arrangement. Basic aspects such as not counting Saturdays and Sundays from leave counts has become a hygiene factor adhered by companies.
It has been noted that many HR consulting companies have started taking up assignments where they take up the employee engagement requirement for the clients. They also propose and execute the plan for their clients.
Eventually the objective for all remains the same, creating a workplace that could breed innovation.
By Ravi Kumar, Director CRM Consulting at Cubastion Consulting.
NOTE: The views expressed are those of the author alone.