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How Infosys keeps its employees happy

Today's workforce deals with its employers in a more flexible and real-time manner than before. This does not mean that loyalty and other values that define an organization culture don't exist.

Richard Lobo        Last Updated: January 13, 2017  | 09:59 IST
How Infosys keeps its employees happy
Photo: Reuters

How do you measure your network or circle in a professional setup? The number of LinkedIn connections? The number of Facebook friends who also happen to be your colleagues? The people you follow on Twitter in your industry? Or the number of people you know at your workplace? If you work in a large organization, like ours, chances are that the last option given above would be the last answer on your list too. This is just an example of how, given the rapidly changing dynamic of the workforce today, the connection between a company and its employees is slowly weakening. Today's workforce deals with its employers in a more flexible and real-time manner than before. This does not mean that loyalty and other values that define an organization culture don't exist. They do, but they are probably more dependent on time and other factors than before.

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So, it is likely that the term Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which was difficult to define in most contexts, gets even more difficult to define here, where an employee has independent connections to alternate networks and seeks to significantly enhance them during the course of their employment. To be successful as a best employer, a company needs to redefine what is offered as a value proposition to something that enhances value during the course of employment, and also moves beyond the employer relationship.

At Infosys, our Employee Value Proposition has covered three key areas in almost equal proportion - Financial, Learning and Emotional. We have endeavored to innovate on all three over the years to keep the EVP current and attractive. For example on the financial side, we had one of the most successful employee stock option programs that created wealth. It was discontinued when no longer relevant. This year, we have innovated and brought the program back with Restricted Stock Options (RSU).

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On the learning side, we have created several new programs to enhance the EVP. An ongoing Apprenticeship program aims to find the best and brightest individuals to apprentice under leaders in challenging projects. COMPASS is our digital platform to mobilize opportunities on careers, learning and networks. It has been designed to be a self-service portal which empowers employees to design their own journey within the organization.

The Emotional aspect of the EVP, possibly the most important of any EVP, must cater to more than just "support". Through the culture of the organization, the employee must be free to express who they are both professionally and outside of work. Open communication channels with peers and leadership, health and wellness support through our Health Assessment and Lifestyle Enrichment (HALE) initiative, emotional support through counsellors, etc. are just some of the available programs at Infosys. All of these, plus flexible policies and interactive internal networking encourages employees to "be who they are".

This year, we have also tried to leverage the power of an individual's network. This work is at the frontier of redesigning a company's EVP. If an organization wishes to tap into the network of its employees, identifying the influencers is a key aspect. They can help you build your EVP too, by becoming brand ambassadors. At Infosys, we have identified a group of influencers through data analytics and online surveys, whom we believe have an extensive internal network that can be leveraged to disseminate strategy as well as get feedback. Helping influencers strengthen their internal network will help companies create better bonds between its employees and its strategy, leadership, etc.

So, how should you view your people? As mere "employees"? That would be the biggest way to hurt your EVP and brand. The employer-employee relationship is no longer transactional. The workplace isn't just a space to spend x number of hours. The relationship is symbiotic, with the employer and employee adding value to each other. To empower its people, the Employee Value Proposition should focus on just that - the people. Customizing the experience, personalizing an employee's relationship with the company and focusing on learning more about one's employees through data analytics will help companies crack the code of a successful EVP, ensuring enduring appeal for potential hires and a satisfied workforce.  

The future of talent management is about understanding networks. If you seek to have the best working for you, you need to be flexible to leverage your ability to add value to the individual's position and place in the larger talent network. It is not limited to an employer-employee relationship, but starts before and continues beyond. That is the way we will look at EVP in the future.

Richard Lobo, SVP, Head HRD - Infosys Limited

 

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