Infosys HR charts out plan to retain high performers

Written by P P Thimmaya | Bangalore | Updated: May 15 2014, 10:30am hrs
Faced with a high level of attrition, Indias second-largest IT services exporter Infosys, is going all out to strengthen its human resources (HR) initiatives to reverse the trend of people leaving the organisation and build a culture of high performance.

Infosys, which had a total employee strength of 160,405 at the end of FY14 reported an attrition of 18.7%, which was a rise of 2.4% when compared to the previous fiscal. The large number of exits from the company had raised serious concerns on its ability to retain talent.

Talking to FE, Srikantan Moorthy, senior vice-president and group head (human resources), Infosys, said, We have to continuously reduce the number of people that leave us especially the high performers. We have to bring down the exit of high performers as low as it can be and then the overall exits will also come down.

According to the Infosys HR head, they would very clearly focus on the high performers and try to retain them either through higher compensation or putting their career on fast track. Infosys has already introduced the quarterly promotion scheme. Besides, the high performers will get increments much above the companys average pay hike.

The other differentiation which is being brought about Infosys is to give greater prominence to the tech savvy professionals. The general norm within the IT services industry for any professional to rise up the ranks is to demonstrate the ability to manage people or team, with larger being better.

We have started the tech expert track for people who have a deep competence in a specific area and are able to grow up the ranks without having to manage people, Moorthy said. Employees under this programme would be given the labels of such as Infosys Fellow or Distinguish architect or engineer. We need to show them the path so that these people do not fizzle out, the Infosys HR head remarked.

In the last one year, the $8.2 billion IT services company has witnessed numerous exits which was not just at the senior management level but also at mid and junior levels. Many employees of Infosys at the mid level have in fact joined their competitors such as TCS and Wipro.

Realising that the situation was getting out the control, Infosys has intensified its HR efforts which looked at the three main components for employee retention: economic, education and emotional. The company announced a two salary increases in the span of nine months in the range of 6-8% on a average. The latest salary increase announced in March, was a record of sorts for Infosys as for the first time in the last ten years, it was given a month earlier.

Infosys has also undertaken numerous measures to reskill their employees to keep them abreast with the latest changes in technology. To build more emotional connect with their people, the IT services company is engaging their senior management personnel to have informal chats with the employees.

According to Moorthy, All these initiatives were present within the organisation but got strengthened in the last eight months. The Infosys HR head is quite confident that these measures would bring down the attrition which is their goal. As our utilisation level and growth goes up more of these people will stay back.