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Re-Skilling For Future

Infosys offers numerous training modules and courses that help employees stay abreast of latest technologies.
Rukmini Rao   New Delhi     Print Edition: April 7, 2019
Re-Skilling For Future

Bengaluru's tech reference is incomplete without the mention of Infosys. The second largest IT employer from India, with over 2,25,000 employees, Infosys is the sixth best company in India to work for. Over the past one year, it has invested heavily in learning as part of its approach to drive accelerated value creation within the organisation.

The areas of focus for training are largely in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, big data analytics, industrial IoT, machine learning and autonomous technologies. "For each of these (topics), we have created a learning kit or a learning path, which includes various courses they (employees) do, and some hands-on projects," says Krishnamurthy Shankar, Executive Vice President, Group Head, Human Resource Development, Infosys. The company has around 250 internally created market relevant, self-learning programmes that focus on key foundations of a technology with real-life examples. These are in addition to the 1,500-plus courses and 3,600 micro-learning videos already available.

The company conducts a Foundation Training programme at its Mysuru campus. The mandatory residential training programme, which runs for 19-24 weeks, is designed to transform fresh engineering graduates into software professionals. The Continuous Education programme is designed to enhance employees' competency. Infosys also has several bridge programmes to learn new skills and transition to higher order jobs within the company. Power Programmers, for instance, aims at recognising the top 1-2 per cent of engineering talent. "We select a few people through a hackathon, who then undergo a six-week training programme, and then we do another hackathon, where the selected engineers go on the become 'power programmers'," says Shankar.

Recently, Infosys introduced a new learning platform called Lex. "Lex is an innovative, open source platform on the mobile?. We have many courses with internal content as well as content bought from other parties like Coursera and Udacity," says Shankar. For instance, the company is working with Udacity to train a few fresh hires in the US, to offer their Nanodegree programmes to fresh hires in India, and the 'Self-Driving Car Engineer' Nanodegree programme to experienced employees. Similarly, the company has tied up with Coursera to enable its employees to learn the Google Cloud Platform suite.

With an open source model and any device access, the larger goal is to provide 'learning on the go' to its employees. In FY18, close to 2,04,107 employees underwent various training programmes taking the total training days to 16,87,983. Also, in the past year, Infosys has focussed on creating an open ecosystem for internal promotions and internal job postings. "So, about 70 per cent of our vacancies are filled through internal moves or promotions, and only 30 per cent through external hiring," says Shankar.

Another engagement tool is called Health Assessment and Lifestyle Enrichment or HALE. It is a non-monetary benefit plan to improve employee health, quality of life and the work environment. More than 1,50,000 employees and their families reap the benefits of this plan each year. In FY19, HALE focussed on digitisation and personalisation of its offerings. Partnering with service providers, it has launched app-based programmes on fitness and physical wellness.

Women In Focus

Substantial focus has also been aimed at improving the overall diversity within the company. The Board Diversity Policy is aimed at increasing diversity in board of directors. The Nomination and Remuneration Committee is not only responsible for reviewing and assessing the composition and performance of the board but also for recommendations for appointments and maintaining diversity. At present, the company has three women directors, constituting 33 per cent representation.

To attract and retain women employees, the company's Employee Resource Group and IWIN (Infosys Women Inclusivity Network) help women in their career lifecycles through support groups and prepare them for managerial and leadership roles. "Among our fresh hires, close to 50 per cent are women. But after about seven years, the number goes down. We have got two-three programmes to get women back," adds Shankar. For instance, The Mom's Net enables new mothers and expecting employees stay abreast of new technologies, and also offers regular sessions on building a career path. Back Like a Boss is an internship programme that offers women who are on career break an opportunity to skill up and re-enter the workforce. When the internship period is over, women are offered full-time employment. Under the Women in Tech programme, select women employees at the team leader and project manager levels are given special training and mentoring to grow the pipeline of women leaders.

As on March 31, 2018, of its 2,25,000-plus employees globally, 73,717 are permanent women employees. Also, close to 1 per cent of Infosys's BPO staff consists of physically different employees.

@rukminirao

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