Business Today

The other good employers

Though not among the top 10, employees like the following employers for letting them build a fulfilling career. The order of appearance doesn’t indicate ranking.

     Print Edition: January 25, 2009

Singh (L) and Uppal (R): Helping plan career trajectories
Singh (L) and Uppal (R): Helping plan career trajectories
Whirlpool Of India
Whirlpool does not care for the buzz of rankings, but here it is! “I am not sure if having a ‘buzz’ is such a good thing... I would rather have people discover the reality for themselves, than have their perception dashed to the ground,” says Arvind Uppal, Region Head for Asia Pacific (except Greater China), Whirlpool of India. So what if it lacks buzz? “We are a great place to work as we offer people a good environment for development,” says Sanjay Singh, Vice President (HR), Asia.

Salaries are another grouse. “I agree, we do not offer the bestin-class pay. But we do not want people whose only motivation is money... many of our ex-employees want to come back to our open and learning environment,” says Singh. Whirlpool says it has no problem finding the right talent—and will soon have a system to monitor performance online and help plan career trajectories.

. Promotion rate (%) 15.18
. HR cost as a % of total revenues 4.14
. Avg. training hours per employee 14.33
. Avg. increments for the last 3 years (%) 13.01
Source: Mercer, Company

Shamni Pande

CEO Gujral (L): It’s all about higher growth opportunities
CEO Gujral (L): It’s all about higher growth opportunities
Jindal Steel & Power
Back in 1988, when Jindal Steel & Power (then Jindal Strips) launched its Raigarh steel plant, it hired the best talent available with a promise to provide them bestin-class facilities. Twenty years later, 49-year-old D.K. Saraogi, who joined as the first engineer at the unit, is still working with it.

“Whether it was O.P. Jindal or Naveen Jindal today, leadership has always treated employees as family,” he says. “I am not the only one to have rejected dozens of job offers.”

Quick promotions, big increments and training initiatives have also helped keep attrition low.

Vikrant Gujral, Vice Chairman & CEO, cites JSPL’s growth and diversification. “Growth opportunities here are higher than anywhere else,” says Gujral.

. Promotion rate (%) 30
. HR cost as a % of total revenues 1.36
. Avg. training hours per employee 40
. Avg. increments for the last 3 years (%) 21
Source: Mercer, Company

Manu Kaushik

MD Bangur: Go forth and fail—thus shall we succeed
MD Bangur: Go forth and fail—thus shall we succeed
Shree Cement
H.M. Bangur is an unusual managing director: not for him any pontification about his company’s social responsibility et al in bulging annual reports and supplements. He begins his pitch in the annual report by admitting candidly that he enjoys many perks not reported in the balance sheet.

Ah, ha, you say, another CEO giving himself a cushy deal! Then, Bangur lists the perks: hypertension and ulcers from high-stakes decision taking. Decisions to encourage managers to experiment without fear of failure—Bangur says a CEO’s job is to “see that failures do not stick to the managers”. Bangur, a chemical engineer from IIT Mumbai, says: “We have multiple aborted attempts before success is achieved...”

Executive Director M.K. Singhi is even more alarming: “Our people are authorised to waste resources.” He says Shree Cement once invested Rs 3 crore in a new process to generate power but it failed. “No one was blamed, but we... worked out a better solution,” says Singhi. “Failures are stepping stones… we demand failures also.”

Concurs P.K. Tripathy, Senior Vice President (Works): “We encourage people to experiment and try out things...”

. Promotion rate (%) N.A.
. HR cost as a % of total revenues 0.02
. Avg. training hours per employee 6.38
. Avg. increments for the last 3 years (%) 25
Source: Mercer, Company

Somnath Dasgupta

HR Head Raghavendra (C): Attrition no longer a challenge
HR Head Raghavendra (C): Attrition no longer a challenge
Infosys BPO
Employees at the Bangalore headquarters of Infosys BPO are a serious-looking bunch these days: gone are the job offers from rivals as the BPO industry struggles to survive the meltdown. Gone are the parties as well. In their place: extra efforts to learn and execute.

Two things have caused the change. One, the management is talking more with the employees. Two, clients—most of them global biggies not isolated from the slowdown—have raised the bar of expectation. Today, whenever CEO & Managing Director, Amitabh Chaudhry, orders a cost cut, he ensures that the background is explained to employees.

K. Raghavendra, Vice President & Head (HR), says that attrition has ceased to be a challenge, but meeting client expectations is. So, the company is focussed on aligning the employees’ mindset with that of its global clients, helping them rediscover their own self-worth and value, and telling them that it “continues to care for them”.

. Promotion rate (%) 56
. HR cost as a % of total revenues 2.96
. Avg. training hours per employee 48.67
. Avg. increments for the last 3 years (%)14-15
Source: Mercer, Company

K.R. Balasubramanyam

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