Typology across Employee Segments

DQI Bureau
New Update

An interesting contrast has emerged here: while motivation levels increase

with experience, satisfaction levels actually decrease. At first glance, that

might seem a bit odd, but a closer look explains why. Recent entrants to the

industry are more satisfied (58%), compared to more experienced colleagues, and

this is because of two main reasons. First, at the junior level, software sector

employees are more content to take orders and follow directions. And secondly,

because they have not yet formed opinions and don’t know enough to critically

judge their companies, they accept what comes their way.


The greatest number of Drivers*–employees who are both motivated and

satisfied–are found in the 2-5 years' experience group. This is the time when

they have just begun to take control of their careers and are getting more

involved in their companies and jobs. As a result, the number of Residents* in

this age group is comparatively smaller.

But a significant shift comes in those with more than 5 years’ experience.

Not only do a greater number of employees become Critics* (motivated but not

satisfied), this segment also has the largest number of the Detached* (neither

satisfied nor motivated). Numerous things happen–motivating factors change and

employees become acutely aware of everything that is going wrong in the company.

Which is why it was in this employee segment–people with around 5 years of

experience who are transitioning from being Drivers to Critics–that retention

is a big issue. And this is really where most efforts at understanding employees

and finding ways to retain need to be focussed.


The Methodology

The Employee Perception Survey is a study of software professionals of the DQ

Top 20-ranked software companies. It was done using the TRI*M Stakeholder

Satisfaction and Retention model developed by Infratest Burke, Germany, a part

of the NFO WorldGroup. NFO is the third-largest customized research group in the

world and is among the leading systems in use across Europe and the US. TRI*M is

offered in India by TRI*M Stakeholder Relationship Management Systems, the

research-based consulting unit of NFO-MBL India.

The purpose of the survey was to measure levels of satisfaction and

motivation among software employees; to identify factors that contribute to

employee commitment and retention; and to measure the strengths and weaknesses

of each company on various factors.


For this, NFO-MBL conducted detailed face-to-face quantitative interviews

with 575 software employees across all companies. Quotas were set based on the

total experience of the employees (up to two years, 2-5 years and more than 5

years). This data was then weighted within each company based on the actual

distribution of different employee segments. HR managers of the companies

provided this data. Where the companies did not provide employee

classifications, industry averages were applied. Also, three of the top 20

companies–Mastek, Patni Computer Services and Silverline–were not covered by

the survey due to lack of access to the SEEPZ area in Bombay where they are


Employee responses were sought on 14 factors and 87 sub-factors that could

form elements of employee motivation and satisfaction. On these factors and

sub-factors, responses were sought on two major criteria:

(a) how important is the factor in driving motivation?; and (b) how do you

think your firm performs in this respect?


Two main types of grids were obtained after a quantitative analysis of all

responses. The first was an Employee Typology grid that gives levels of

motivation and satisfaction among employees. The other grid obtained was the

TRI*M GRID. This grid identifies elements that drive employee satisfaction and

those that are less critical in this respect. It classifies these elements based

on their stated importance and their actual contribution to employee commitment.

TRI*M GRIDS were obtained for the industry as a whole, for various sub-factors

and for individual companies. (see graph)

Motivators: The state and real Importance of these elements are high.

They are key drivers of employee commitment and companies need to perform well


Hygienics: Stated importance is very high, though real importance may

not be so significant. Yet, these are elements employees take for granted and

are required to maintain positive employee attitudes.


Hidden Opportunities: Though stated importance of these elements may

be low, their actual impact on employee motivation is very high. These are areas

companies need to leverage in the near future.

Savers: Neither the stated, nor the real importance of these factors

is very high. These are areas that companies can afford to go slow on.

Employee Typology: All



Employee Typology graphs are a measure of employee satisfaction and motivation.

Surprising though this may sound, the two don’t necessarily go together. There

is always a certain section of employees who are motivated, but for one reason

or another, dissatisfied in their current job.

As one would expect of a relatively young and robust industry still in its

upswing, a very high percentage o f software professionals today are motivated–a

little over 75 per cent. Very few, if any, industry sectors can boast of such

high degrees of commitment. But paradoxically, almost half of these employees

are also dissatisfied in their current jobs. One reason for this is the very

nature of the industry. Two of the chief motivators among software employees

have turned out to be money and training–more specifically, training in

emerging technologies. Given the right amount of hike or the chance to work on a

new technology, people pack bags and leave. The second important reason for such

high levels of dissatisfaction is hype. Everyone keeps track of what everyone

else earns and even within the industry, there are exaggerated notions on what

industry standards are. This is specially because the perks that a small

percentage of employees get are very visible perks–trips abroad, ESOPs

suddenly getting them millions on listing.

Lastly, it is in the nature of a young industry to have a higher chunk of the

dissatisfied element. It is only as industries mature that employees mature with

them. As of now, 39 % of Indian software professionals are Drivers (both

motivated and satisfied); 37% are Critics (motivated but not satisfied); 14 %

are Residents (not motivated but satisfied) and 10 % are Detached (neither

motivated nor satisfied).


Given a choice, which company would you prefer to work for? The Dataquest

survey put this question to all the 575 software professionals it met. And what

emerged was a new ranking that was significantly different from the ‘Best

Companies to Work For’ ranking. The reason, of course, is that this was purely

a perception question– measure of attraction, not satisfaction-and it included

all employees, both within and outside the company.

Not surprisingly, Infosys came up tops. But almost all rankings after that

changed. Wipro moved down from second place fifth. Tata Infotech moved up from

sixth place to second, while TCS moved down from third to tenth spot. Zensar

didn’t even figure in the Top 10 earlier, now it turned up in second spot.

Essentially, what this listing gives is a company’s brand equity among

job-seekers, and therefore, its ability to attract talent.

Company % Most Preferred

Among All
% most Preferred

Among Current Employees
% most Preferred

Among Outside Employees
Infosys 26 45 24
Wipro 12 25 10
TCS 10 42 1

Global Services
7 71 5
Cognizant 3 66 1

3 52
HCL Technologies 3 34 1
Satyam 3 10 2
Pentasoft 2 9 1
DSQ 2 29 1

Dataquest also did a comparison of how attractive the company looked to

software professionals from outside and how insiders rated it. Not surprisingly,

almost uniformly, more people within a company rated it as their company of

preference. However, there were some significant results–only 45% of Infosys'

employees and only 25% of Wipro staffers rated their own company as their

company of choice. But an inordinately large number of IBM staff–71%–rated

IBM itself as their dream company. On the whole, however, IBM was the company of

choice among only 7% of those polled.

Similarly, Cognizant was the favorite among 66% of its own staff, while only

1% of outsiders said they would like to join the company. This large gap

indicated these companies’ inability to project their brand image sufficiently–they

have a strong bonding coefficient for their own employees but are unable to

leverage this in the job market. Two companies which did not figure in this

survey, however, showed a significant presence in the "Preferred Companies

Category"–Cisco and Microsoft.