Article: Stable leadership is very important: Nandita Gurjar


Stable leadership is very important: Nandita Gurjar

A culture of investing in people's development at every career stage has led to high retention

We have one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry and the main reason is the culture of investing in people's development


A culture of investing in people’s development at every career stage has led to high retention, says Nandita Gurjar, HR Head

Part of the company’s vision is to be preferred choice of global talent; how do initiatives like leadership development fit into that vision? How do you integrate employees from all nationalities and global locations into the program?

These processes are implemented across cities and countries. We just ensure that there is a strong connection and a relationship between mentor and employee to maximize the effect of the program, as it requires personal chemistry and relationship. Hence we choose the mentor-mentee relationship with care. We have around 15% to 20% of employees from global locations in the current Tier leadership.

The average age of your employees is 26, which is an age for very high attrition in your industry. Have you been successful in identifying potential leaders in this age group, incentivize and retain them for long enough to nurture them for key organizational responsibilities?

We have been fortunate to have very high retention rates. A large part of this has to do with serious level of invlovement and investment of the organization - 6 months after joining and then at least 15 days a year goes into training, and lot of investment that goes into the Tier leadership training. So if you are performing well, you will be given ample opportunity to develop yourself. It has to be a complete program, not just an initiative. This is a full fledged process that is open throughout the year, this is very important. Investment in people is built into our culture.

Retention is something that needs to be seen in the larger context and not just in terms of leadership development. Infosys has one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry and the main reason is the culture of investing in people’s development at every stage of the employee’s career. We also have a fair and transparent performance management process that creates equal opportunities for all employees. Of course leadership programs contribute, but this is only one part of the overall commitment to our employees’ development.

Do you think you have been able to create leaders internally at a rate comparable to the growth of your group companies and the economy in general?

Executive council has been identified to take over in the next 7 years - how many companies have even thought of that? At Infosys, succession pIanning happens seemlessly and consistently. I feel we have been very successful at succession planning at all levels. We have been able to identify and groom a sufficient pool of leaders to take on critical roles in the organization.

Is it possible to replace intuition and personal judgement when it comes to talent identification with assessments, technology and processes? What is the balance you have found for Infosys?

We have a very stringent interview process as part of the assessment process; this interview is taken by members of the board. Employees opting for a place in the Tier leadership undergo this interview where they need to portray the changes they have brought about and their ideas for the business.

How do you track effectiveness of the leadership program? How effective/successful has it been to be able to identify potential condidates for future roles?

This is measured purely in terms of results in succession. Being able to fill positions internally is our goal and we have been quite successful so far. For instance, the CEO of our BPO has moved on. We know who the replacement will be almost immediately…we have planned for such situations.

Also, we have been able to integrate the HR function with the Leadership institute. The leadership program has been tied to the rest of HR practices like job postings, career development, growth etc.


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Topics: Leadership, Culture, Learning & Development, #BestPractices

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