How Infosys is creating a culture of continuous learning to make its employees future-ready
India’s second largest IT services company, Infosys, has undertaken a massive cultural transformation within the organisation. This involves meeting the learning and career aspirations of younger employees, and opening newer pathways for seasoned professionals.
With an employee base of a little over 2.36 lakh people, Infosys has embarked on a path where it needs to modernise the company through rapid adoption of latest technologies, and keeping employees in sync with these trends alongside.
In the backdrop of sweeping change of technology and business models, Krish Shankar, Executive Vice President and Group Head – Human Resources, Infosys, says, “The thrust of the company is to grow its agile digital business and re-energise the core through modernisation and reskilling.”
The task is easier said than done as there are varied aspirations among employees, and it also involves a shake-up of status quo.
“The two big challenges we faced were: how we were going to imbibe the culture of continuous learning, and sometimes move people around,” Krish says.
To reskill its employees, Infosys has identified 36 key areas and created learning pathways on Lex. This is a mobile-first learning platform that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and suggests appropriate learning paths based on employees' skills.
The IT major has about 700 courses on Lex at present, in addition to over 1,500 courses in instructor-led training mode. Here, the managers can create their own learning path and goals while also sharing with their teams.
To motivate employees and incentivise them to get on the learning path, Infosys is also providing a skill tag for employees who have undertaken these learning courses, and monetary incentives.
“This has brought about a systemic change, and there are more opportunities for employees to move around internally,” Krish says .
This also ensured that employees are ready for the digital world and agile careers while creating an environment of continuous learning.
Infosys aims to meet the career aspirations of newer employees and taking care of seasoned professionals with this initiative.
According to Krish, freshers tend to focus on learning opportunities, career development, and compensation, while middle managerial-level employees are more interested in taking up additional skills or newer roles.
Infosys' key focus is to spot top performers early in their career. Under its early careers accelerated programme, the top talent is identified early and provided with exposure to exciting work, technologies, and areas, enabling relatively faster growth. The objective is to create "an engaging and differentiated career experience for employees, and additionally reward our early-stage high-performers".
The biggest challenge for Infosys in bringing about this transformation was in the category of middle managers, who have spent more than a decade or so in the company as further vertical growth in their career is a challenge.
“Today, our middle managers need to build five key attributes: inspire, innovate, execute, coach, and connect besides nurturing their own expertise,” Krish says.
To empower these managers through analytics-based, Infosys has developed customisable learning tools such as Manager Quotient (MaQ), and initiatives such as MPACT, MSPEED and Pravesh, that focus on continuous learning, reskilling and refactoring of talent. The company says that significant rewards await the top managers who ace the challenges.
The IT major's human resource measures are done with three key goals: the impact they have on clients and technologies; creating a path of continuous learning and growth; and building a culture around these themes.
The company says it has now witnessed "positive impact" from these measures; its internal engagement survey has shown that queries on career and learning have continuously risen over the last six months.
Focus on women employees
Amid these changes, Infosys has not witnessed any shift in terms of talent moving to the startup ecosystem, which is generally regarded as an exciting place to work.
“As a company, there are certain advantages we have in terms of great training, large spread of work, and the fact that one can be engaged with world-class projects,” Krish says.
Infosys is also focusing on women employees, who comprise around 38 percent of its total strength. “We have undertaken various initiatives to ensure that women grow within the company, especially for those who have taken a break,” Krish says.
Attrition may have been a cause of concern over the last couple of quarters, but Krish believes that the learning and career advancement initiatives have had a positive bearing over the last six months.
“It is not just about giving money; it is about strategy, value proposition, and doing things in a systematic manner. This has started to yield good results,” Krish says.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)