The approach… This is the fifth year that the BT-Mercer-TNS team has conducted the survey to identify the Best Companies to Work For in India. The response was overwhelming with strong participation from a cross-section of industries. The core of how the study was done remains the same: we invited companies to participate, gathered data, contacted various stakeholders for feedback, and finally, analysed and ranked the Top 10 companies to work for in the country. The unique tripartite approach to the survey continues to work successfully. Mercer defines the selection criteria, provides knowledge management support and result analysis, and proposes the ranking order. TNS coordinates all front-end interfaces with the participants through the study web site as well as through regular interaction. All the company-specific information is communicated to Mercer in coded formats. This arrangement ensures that Mercer, at no point and time, gets to know the company names till the final rankings are proposed, thereby avoiding any possibility of conflict of interest and bias. There are four stages to the study:
Study launch and registration: Business Today announced the study for 2008 through an article in its May 2008 issue. Interested companies were asked to register through the survey site, keeping in mind the eligibility criteria of four years of operations in the country and 200 white-collar employees. The eligibility criteria ensured a threshold level of complexity in people management based on headcount, as well as a degree of stabilisation of the processes based on the age of the organisation.
Data collection: The methodology was the same as the previous year. The initial contact with registered companies was established through a company overview questionnaire, through which the participants provided financial information, manpower statistics, demographic data, and the contact details for its employees, alumni, campuses etc. In the next step, the HR representative of the company was contacted and a comprehensive HR process and policy review questionnaire was handed to them so as to gain an insight into their human resource management policies and practices. Additionally, this year, senior management views were incorporated in terms of the relative value placed by them on various HR policies and processes. This informed the company's business strategy and objectives through the HR value indicator. An employee diagnostic tool-internal employee perception questionnaire- was sent simultaneously to a random sample of employees based on the contact details provided by the company. The performance on this tool was also used as a filter to determine the shortlisted companies. The last phase of the data collection involved seeking feedback from the external stakeholders of the company through three dip-stick stakeholder perception questionnaires, which were sent to alumni, campuses and search firms.
Data analysis: The company information on each of the above was collected by TNS in predefined formats and given unique company codes. This coded information was then given to Mercer for analysis. The Mercer team carried out the analysis of the responses across the four quadrants based on the company data. This analysis was conducted only for the top quartile of companies which received the highest scores on the internal employee perception questionnaire. This was based on the belief that the voice of the employee is the strongest ratification of a good workplace. The numeric information obtained through the company overview was analysed to evaluate companies on their performance against pre-defined HR metrics. As in the previous years, the HR metrics was primarily defined around training, HR investments, career velocity and attrition, gender diversity and dilution, especially factoring in promotions and increments given to employees. This year, certain new measures were added such as offers accepted from the total offers made and the HR strength as compared to the overall employee strength.