HCL – The World’s Most Modern Management

HCL Technologies is empowering its employees and pointing the way to the future of business.

I have seen the future of management, and it is Indian“, says David Kirkpatrick, Fortune senior editor.

Vineet Nayar, president of India’s 30,000-employee HCL Technologies, is creating an IT outsourcing firm where, he says, employees come first and customers second.

Every employee rates their boss, their boss’ boss, and any three other company managers they choose, on 18 questions using a 1-5 scale. Such 360-degree evaluations are not uncommon, but at HCL all results are posted online for every employee to see.

That’s un-heard-of!

And that’s not all. Every HCL employee can at any time create an electronic “ticket” to flag anything they think requires action in the company. Explains Nayar, “It can be ‘I have a problem with my bonus,’ or ‘My seat is not working,’ or ‘My boss sucks.'”

The ticket is routed to a manager for resolution. In addition, every employee can post a question or comment on any subject in a public process called “U and I.” About 400 come in each month, and questions and answers are all posted on the intranet.

You can’t become a manager at HCL until you’ve passed a group of courses that include negotiation skills, presentation skills, account management, and what they call “expectation management” – dealing with the expectations of both customers and employees.

Nayar is also looking to solve a problem that looms large for Indian IT companies these days: Attrition.

The best employees are increasingly the hardest to retain. Nayar wants anyone who leaves for a job elsewhere to end up frustrated. Early signs suggest his bold strategy is working.

Nayar has only been president for a year, a tumultuous one in which most of these innovations have been implemented. But in that time the attrition rate has dropped in half, he says; the stock more than doubled – HCL Technologies’ market cap is $4.2 billion. (The company is mostly owned by a holding company which also owns HCL Infosystems, India’s largest PC-maker.) Revenues last year grew 34 percent to $764 million. HCL’s innovations are not only managerial. The company aims to become a strategic partner with customers by also working with them on business process management and by managing infrastructure remotely, a business it pioneered in India, says Nayar. It has succeeded with AMD, a marquee customer for which it does all those things.In engineering all this innovation, Nayar’s humility appears to be a potent managerial asset. A few weeks back, he wrote a letter to the company’s employees marking the anniversary of his taking the job (He worked his way up over 21 years.). “Please excuse me if I stepped on any toes or hurt any feelings in trying to hurry the transformation agenda,” he wrote. “I am here as long as I have your support and confidence.”

Don’t you wish more managers had the strength to speak like that?


Source: The Fortune Magazine




About theultimaterenaissance

I am an Engineer and a Management Graduate. I love writing poetry and research reports on cars. Surfing, listening to music, and Reading and writing Technical & Research papers are among my most savored hobbies.
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8 Responses to HCL – The World’s Most Modern Management

  1. What do you think ultimately happens when you put employees ahead of customers? The Gallup study showed that there isn’t a link between employee satisfaction and profits. And there wasn’t a link to customer satisfaction. Without a way to create customer loyatly, products quickly become commodities and the only way to compete is on price.

    It’s also easy to end up with a lot of employees who really don’t add value or who are needed for the future. What if the best business solution is to automate or to move into a different business line.

    The article seems to present a simplistic feel good solution that in the long run hasn’t really worked anywhere. Just look at how the list of Great Places to Work changes all the time.

  2. Hi Steve.
    Good to see ur comment.I want to put a few things very clear in here.
    Firstly, U r rigght about the Gallup study, which shows that therez no link between Employee Satisfaction and Profits. But, my friend, Profits are not the only things for which a business runs. If that would have been the case, then there would not have been any steps taken up by companies all over the world for Employee Satisfaction.
    Of course, it doesn’t help in the short run; but in the long run, after an employee works for about 2-3 years in the company, it is only and ONLY the Employee Satisfaction, which counts in deciding whether to stay with the company or go for a change. Of course, there are other factors as well, like the Profits, New Businesses, etc. But Vineet Nayar has made everything look from the Employees’ Perspective. Today, in HCL, it is the Employee who decides which way the company will head to, and the top management takes it ahead in that track. Now, for your second question, like I said above, whether to automate or to go to a different business line, is all taken care of by the Employees. The Employees can give their suggestions freely, which the Top Management gives a clear look into. This is done, so that there is no dissatisfaction within the company within its employees. And, yes, along with all these, Vineet has introduced few vital kind of portals which help the employee grow by themselves. So, it is not only about Emp-Sat, but also about Employee Growth.
    Thirdly, This kind of methodology hasn’t worked anywhere because, this has not been introduced anywhere else before HCL. I agree that all companies have one way or the other to keep employees and score high on employee satisfaction. The ‘Employee First’ policy has changed the face of HCL in the last quarter.
    So, my friend, it’s just about the game we call as “Wait & Watch”. What David Kirkpatrick has pointed out, is just a thought. And, I am sure, it will be well proven in the coming future.

  3. gaurav tyagi says:

    The biggest asset to a company is its employees,and their loyality towards company.
    I dont have managment degree to boast off,but i want to critize the steps taken by the so called( although rightly) employees first comapny.
    Its really nice to give applauding speech write motivative blogs but to look into the matter for the prospective of long term profit and ensure an employee dont looses faith and confidence in company is somthing that requires higher degree of confidence in your own strength and belive in your vision.
    What HCL TECHNOLOGIES is doing with freshes is somthing that may help it to sail above its competitors but dont think is the wisest of calls in long term.
    Its an open secret that market has flips and flops but i will stick to the basic that when the comapny is going through finalcial crises a foolish company also reduces its man power by taking a few steps in panic just like HCL is.
    The freshers are made to undergo traing at there own expences ( no other software comany is doing so) the comapny HR”S are addressing the freshers in the most terrorising manner the mails send are more of sacking and less of hiring the transpiracy level has dropped to zero and after all you have to bear a never ending wait call for your joining.
    Belive me MR.NAYYAR 2years down the line when things will be again rozy the employess of your company wont stick with you people becoz of the only reason tht you guys are not investing any degree of security to there jobs and they will fire big time whn the command is in there hand.
    I am not saying that turn HCL into an NGO and start adaopting and feeding fresh candidates but atleast stand on your words as long as you think that company can survive and try to have a more optimistc approach towars freshers becoz this is the best time to win an employees loyality and ensure that this man power is still with you in the sweeter days to reap rich dividents from your investment.
    The minimum expectancy level as a fresher in your company is that the person will atleast have a knowledge about his/her date of joining and wont be made to sit idle after investing 20k in your trainging programe.

    Wishing all the best to HCL and its employees.

  4. Hi Gaurav. Thanks for your comment. I would surely like to show you a clearer picture on this.

    1. Foolish company… Panic steps.. I don’t agree to that.
    2. Freshers are made to undergo training at their own expense. Right. But only in 40% of the cases. For the other 60%, all employees get themselves trained free of cost. For these 40% of the cases, the freshers do pay for the training, but they also get re-imbursed once the training is completed. Hence, I don’t see a problem there.
    3. Transpiracy level…. Please explain.
    4. Call for joining… yes, there is a long wait. I agree to that. This has started since last 1 1/2 years.
    5. Job Security – Man! Wake Up! HCL is the only company which has still not fired a single employee in spite of the lobal Economic Slowdown
    6. Sitting Idle – Believe Me. If you are sitting idle in HCL, you are among the luckiest few of the 50000+ who are working with HCL. If I were you, I would have cherished this condition, rather than cribbing.

    Once you are into “Work”, you will remember this time just like your honeymoon period.

    Lastly, don’t crib man!. Just take whatever comes your way. Utilise your time in other activities. Take Behavioural and Domain trainings. Enjoy!!!

  5. arvind says:

    interesting read … and its nice to know that HCL has not fired any of its employees.. I would be happy if it continues like that..
    I would like to correct one of the points u mentioned in ur last reply to gaurav ..
    I dont think they have re imbursed any amount ..
    infact after the e learning program ..
    they have been asked to pay 15 k bucks …..

  6. Hi Arvind. Thanks for your comment.

    Man, If you have really been asked to pay 15k, then I think there is a major disconnect somewhere. Try to get details on the original course fees, and raise the issue with EHS. I hope your issue will be sorrted out in no time.

  7. gaurav Tyagi says:

    Hi Gaurav again,
    Got joining in HCL working there and we had an open house and was asked …guys can anyone of you come up with a reason as why are we having so many resignations and what best we can do insure our employes. I wonder if they read and adhere to my teachings around 2 years back. Mixed feeling of ego satisfaction ( because all my predictions are getting true) and disappointment ( as why dont they apply some common sense and get basics of managment admended in thir heads).

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