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 Performance on Overall|
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
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
|Job Content/Career Development |
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
|Work Climate and Organizational Culture|
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|
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
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!