For over a decade, Infosys has been seen by many as the epitome of employee friendliness. That reputation has now taken a big knock which is reflected in hundreds of comments made in response to articles about Infosys on the internet in recent weeks.
The biggest grouse relates to an HR initiative called iRace - Infosys Role and Career Enhancement - that was rolled out last year. The initiative was designed by consulting firm Mercer with the idea of mapping positions with experience and skill levels.
Previously, positions and promotions were often given arbitrarily, based on an employee's bargaining strength, which often was substantial considering jobs were aplenty while iRace's objective appeared laudable, it suffered in its implementation, the worst of which was to make it applicable with retrospective effect. Many employees were demoted on the ground that they did not meet iRace's experience standards. So, senior project managers went down to project managers, project managers to technical leads, some even went down two levels.
"Designations are so important for everybody. And if the management found somebody good enough for a certain position earlier, how can they now say that he is not? What makes it worse is that, all those affected were at lower levels. Nobody in the senior delivery manager and higher positions were affected," said an employee.
Nandita Gurjar, global head for HR in Infosys, said about 5% of Infy's employees would have been impacted by designation corrections and demotions. Infy has little more than 1 lakh employees, so that would mean about 5,000 being impacted.