The TRI*M Index: Indicators



Money Is Most Important

Across the industry, compensation emerges as the biggest motivator of
employee commitment. This is followed by work environment, job content and
surprisingly, policies and procedures, and finally, training.

Currently, despite the perceived high levels of salary, an across-the-board
dissatisfaction with compensation packages being offered in the industry is very
obvious. And the much talked-about job-content factor, at the moment, is
certainly not being seen as exciting. However, the industry is rated very highly
on its work culture, as is also the case with technology. But technology is
taken as somewhat granted rather than given the status of a major motivator.
Bigger surprises: few people are interested in long-term overseas opportunities
and ESOPs. Instead, the perception is that short trips abroad could have hidden
opportunity for the future, even though their immediate impact on employee
motivation may not be very high. Unfortunately, interpersonal skills, which can
be subliminal motivators, seem to have received little attention from the
industry.

Industry Performance on Overall
Measures

Motivators
A03
Compensation/HR
A06
Job content/career
A09
Policies & procedures
A12
Training & development
A14
Work climate/organization culture
Hidden Opportunities

A05
Interpersonal relationship
A10
Short-term overseas assignment
opportunity

Hygienics

A04
Facilities/support/tools/resources
A08
Performance management system
A11
Technology you are working on
Savers

A01
Communication
A02
Company image
A07
Long-term overseas assignment
opportunity

A13
Wealth creation opportunities through
ESOPs

Overall Rating: Average

There are two main elements of job satisfaction among software sector
employees: Opportunities to work on challenging projects and on new
technologies. And they are unhappy on both counts. They are more bitter,
however, about the inability to train and work in new technology areas. That is
not likely to change anytime soon. There are only so many projects to go around
and far too many people wanting to work on them.

The areas of concern really lie elsewhere–employees expect that working in
one of the Top 20 companies will provide them ample opportunity for personal and
professional growth. However, they find that they are getting stunted, both
personally and professionally, and the industry’s performance on this count is
below average.

The only significant exceptions to a general complaint against job content
were Tata Infotech, Cognizant, Pentamedia and DSQ, where job satisfaction among
employees was high. Perhaps the others need to pick up a trick or two from these
companies.

Job Content/Career Development

Motivators
F01
Clarity of roles and responsibilities
F04
Opportunities to work on new and
emerging technologies

F05
Opportunities to develop skills in
technologies used by alliance partners

F06
Opportunities to work on challenging
projects

F08
Fair assignment of workload

Hidden Opportunities

F02
Empowerment–autonomy in
functioning/decision-making and implementation

Hygienics 

F03
Opportunities for professional and
personal growth

F10
At work, your opinion counts
F11
Sufficient time for the family and
social activities

Savers

F07
Having minimum bench-time (time spent
between projects)

F09
Diversity in jobs handled (being
involved in all aspects of the project, from conceptualization to
implementation

Wanted: More Respect, Less Bureaucracy

Though software employees rate their industry very high in this regard, work
climate and organizational culture encompa- sses a set of attributes which have
different levels of influence on employees. The things software professionals
are most happy with is the reasonably informal dress code–a lesson the
industry took a while to learn More importantly, most of the companies are also
rated high on their work ethics, as well as a certain degree of congeniality
between team members and their immediate bosses–the new legacy of the new age.

The exceptions here are Tata Infotech, Zensar and Pentasoft, whose employees
rated them "average" on work culture. I-flex employees said their
company’s work culture was "far below average". However, at both
I-flex and Zensar, work culture did not contribute significantly to employee
motivation, emerging instead, as a "saver".

There are some surprising elements though. Software employees feel that
despite all the hype on being the new pampered yuppie class, they are not
treated with sufficient fairness and respect within their own organizations.
Bigger surprise–for an industry obsessed with cutting-edge technology and
bright minds, most employees said quality of people in the organization was
mediocre! And the biggest surprise of all–this new economy industry is plagued
with a surprising drawback, stuffiness! Employees complained bitterly about the
highly bureaucratic style of functioning in their companies.

A more open system and greater freedom for experimentation and risk taking
emerged as hidden opportunities for the future for all companies in the
industry.

Work Climate and Organizational Culture

Motivators
N01
Treatment within the organization with
fairness and respect

N03
Quality of people in the organization
N06
Award/recognition for ‘good work’

Hidden Opportunities

N02
Non-bureaucratic style of working
N11
Team members’ suggestion scheme
N12
Freedom for experimentation

Hygienics

N04
Work ethics & value system of the
company

N05
Sensitive/friendly/courteous colleagues
N08
Discipline in the organization
N09
Morale & motivation of team members
N13
Leadership & Integrity of project
managers

N14
Opportunity to contribute in strategic
decisions within the company

Savers

N07
Dress code within the organization
N10
Freedom to express views

In Time, but not Enough

It is a widely acknowledged HR fact that the majority of compensation
packages today have been designed to act as employee motivators. It, however, is
quite ironic to see that the only things that seem to give software employees
contentment are the relative trivialities–payment of salaries and conveyance
in time, for instance, and the industry’s performance-linked reward system, to
quite a great extent.

The last factor, however, has undergone a slight change in the last month or
so, with the slowdown affecting salary hikes, especially in companies like
Infosys technologies, Pentamedia and Pentasoft, where large hikes have been the
norm rather than the exception.

Employee feedback, however, seems to deny this trend. Barring employees at
Mahindra-British Telecom, hardly any others appeared to be happy with their
salaries. IBM Global employees said their salaries were lower than industry
standards, though that did not affect employee motivation much. And Wipro
Technologies’ employees rated their salaries as "average", adding that
their stated importance was high, but the real impact on employee motivation was
insignificant. It was, of course, technology that kept people here going.

Compensation and HR Services

Motivators
C01
Compensation as per industry standards
C02
Compensation as per role and
responsibility

C03
Designation as per role and
responsibility

C04
Perks and other benefits
C05
Compensation while on overseas assignment
C07
Reimbursement of conveyance, other
expenses on time

C08
Awareness of company’s policies and
procedures

C09
Performance-linked reward system
Hidden Opportunities

C10
Flexibility of compensation package to
facilitate tax planning requirement

Hygienics

C06
Payment of salaries on time

All Frills

Industry wide, this is a hygiene factor: people in software companies expect
that some basic facilities will naturally be there. Well, sometimes they aren’t!
Pretty much like compensation, the industry performs well on the trivialities:
clean and aesthetic workplace, easy access to tea and coffee, quality of office
equipment and availability of office boys. The surprise and the trouble spots
are the more crucial facilities–or the lack of them.

Systems and procedures for project management and execution–the bread and
butter factors–are rated "average", as is the availability of
facilities like libraries and the availability of reference materials. But what
employees complain most bitterly about is the lack of high-speed Internet
access!

There were some company-specific surprises here though. Facilities emerged as
motivators in three companies–IBM, IIS Infotech and I-flex. Of these, IBM and
I-flex were rated highly on their facilities. While, its employees rated Infosys–spoken
about, written about and with a large investment of time and money on facilities–"average"
on this count!

Facilities/Support/Tools/Resources

Hidden opportunities
D02
Transport to/from office provided by the
company

Hygienics

D06
Having systems and procedures in place
for project executions and management

D07
Availability of high speed internet
access

D08
Availability of facilities like library,
reference materials

Savers

D01
Physical location of the office
D03
Appearance and aesthetics of the work
place

D04
Cleanliness & Quality of the work
place

D05
Quality of office equipment (systems/ IT
equipments)

D09
Ease of access to facilities like
tea/coffee/refreshment

D10
Availability of support staff/office boys
D11
Availability of recreation facilities on
site (like gym, health club, indoor court, etc

D12
Availability of voice mail facility on
telephone

D13
Availability of travel desk facilities –
for ticketing, visa, foreign exchange, etc.

D14
Availability of help desk to care take of
issues like bill payment, children’s school admission, locating houses,
utilities like plumbing, carpentry, electrical.

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