Special Topic 3: Human Resource Management Practices in India – Human Resource Management: Text and Cases

Special Topic 3



  • To understand the HRM practices in Indian organizations.
  • To know best practices in HR Indian organizations.

The concept of HRD was formally introduced by Dr Leonard Nadler in 1969, in a conference organized by A.S.T.D. (Rao 2000). In 1975, Larsen & Toubro, India, introduced the concept among private sector companies, with the intention of facilitating the growth of knowledge workers. The company appointed two consultants—Udai Pareek and T.V. Rao to study the Performance Management System (PMS)—and suggested ways for improving the existing system. They studied the company through interviews and after a review of the process, suggested a new system. Their suggestions included—‘Performance Appraisal, Potential Appraisal, Feedback and Counselling, Career Planning and Development, Training and Development and Organizational Development’—all of which we now call Human Resources Development. Their recommendations also included that the personnel function be viewed as Human Resources Function. This thus paved the way for HRD as a field. He emphasized that if they are to make things happen, they need a set of circumstances, HRD is the process of enabling people to make things happen.

Among public sector companies, the government-managed company Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd introduced the concept in 1980.

India has witnessed a fantastic revolution in the field of human resources, it has gone from being a personnel management function, i.e., ensuring statutory compliances and maintenance of personal files to being a strategic partner in organizational growth. It has now become a critical differentiator in the business too—with rapid globalization, companies have realized that keeping its talent highly engaged, is of prime importance in an HR function. ‘Attract, Motivate and Retain’ has become the corporate HR mantra.

In India, organizations developed awareness of their vision, mission, goals, ensured continuous appraisals, enhanced innovation, improvisation on compensation policies, introduction to more formal communication and developed better employee relations (Budhawar 2001, 2006). In the late 1990s, State Bank of India, Mahindra and Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Tata's and Aditya Group implemented the 360-degree feedback systems. Merit-based reward and promotion systems, incentive-based pay, team building, retraining and redeployment were conducted within group companies, this was done to enhance the productivity and to increase the performance (Budhawar and Som 2001). Most organizations who had not practised this before failed to implement it due to lack of commitment from top management. Post-2000, however, HRM practices were then adopted by Indian organizations, due to a whole lot of benchmarking exercises that set the trend.


In a study of 54 Indian companies (Som 2002) for exploring the extent of innovation in their HR practices, the authors of the study have made certain interesting propositions, observations and conclusion. These propositions are:

  1. The extent of adoption of innovative SHRM practices is inversely proportional to the extent of unionization in an organization in post-liberalized India. Moreover, the extent of adoption of innovative SHRM practices is higher in the service sector than in the manufacturing sector. Technologically sophisticated Indian organizations are more adept at the adoption of innovative SHRM practices. Larger organizations and those rich in financial resources seem to have a greater likelihood of adoption of innovative SHRM practices.
  2. If the organization seeks to be competitive, then there is a great need for restructuring of public sector, private sector and foreign partnership organizations. Restructured organizations shall have a better chance of adoption of innovative SHRM practices. Private sector organizations and organizations with foreign participation will always lead the way for the public sector and family-owned organizations in the adoption of innovative SHRM practices. The use of international management consultants in Indian organizations will also accelerate this process.
  3. Stronger and professional organizational leadership will be able to engender an organizational culture of innovation. An HR department which is managed professionally will play a strategic role in identifying, developing and managing support resources to enable the adoption of innovative SHRM practices.

Let us review some of the HR practices of Indian companies:

A3.2.1 Recruitment and Selection

Talent acquisition is now akin to a battle, where recruiters have now stepped in the shoes of a ‘sales force’, setting an alluring employee experience to prospective candidates or trying to find new avenues for either finding or creating a catchment pool of potential employees. Nevertheless, in a haste to recruit, they need to be cautious and separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’.

In a study done on the BPO organizations (Budhawar et al. 2006) in India it showed that most of the BPOs included in the study, have a formal and a structured approach to recruitment and selection. Employees are recruited from within and outside the organization at all levels, by using different channels and sources of recruitment. The Operations and the HR manager share the responsibility of the recruitment process. The survey results indicate that in 90 per cent of the BPOs new recruits were analysed for desired personal skills and competencies prior to the selection decisions and 79 per cent were given a selection test. On an average, a candidate went through four levels of interview before a final decision is taken.

The software giant, Infosys was one of the few first companies to take on the challenge of recruitment and selection in a sophisticated and meticulous manner. Somnath Baishya, Head–Entry Level Hiring at Infosys, described the company's goals ‘Recruit the best talent and create a professionally competent, socially conscious, happy and prosperous team.’ When it found deficits in the quality of hires, they worked with the various schools to improve their programmes. They commenced the ‘Campus Connect’ with 300 engineering colleges across the country—the faculty team trained in part by the company helped teach the curriculum and it was supported by courseware the company had placed online.

At Tata Teleservices Ltd, they have an assessment centre approach to the selection of employees. They have a different set of exercises for different roles. Some of the exercises they conduct are: group exercises, complex problem-solving tasks, competency-based interviews—technical and functional, presentation and at times they also use psychometric tests.

Yes Bank started by creating a unique ‘employee value proposition’—these were a set of practices, programmes and organizational culture that attracts the right kind of employees with the right attributes. Though they had to hire from outside, it did attract the brightest stars from the banking world and paid them top dollars and then offered them greater opportunity and responsibility than most other competitors. They also had built good relations with few selected universities to hire talent. It also engaged students in internships which in most cases led to full-time assignments/jobs in the company.

Some new trends are being observed in the Indian marketplace. In their bid to expand the catchment pool of fresh graduates joining the industry, many companies are playing a proactive role. While earlier corporates believed in hiring their managerial talent only from the management schools, the trend has now changed in the face of the astronomical salary expectation of management graduates from premier schools. Essar Group has decided, as an experiment, to hire students from general-stream colleges and groom them with some on-the-job training. In 2010, they recruited graduate students from colleges such as St. Stephen's and Lady Shri Ram in Delhi and St. Xavier's in Kolkata. They then decided to develop this internal pool of people into future managers by tying up with IIM Ahmedabad to create a 16-month management programme (including one month of internship) for the new hires.

On the other hand, companies such as TCS who hire hundreds of fresh engineers every year in their Graduate trainee programme have started looking beyond engineering colleges and technical institutes to hire fresh graduates from the science stream. It has developed a well-designed training programme to bring these graduates at par with their engineering counterparts.

A3.2.2 Induction and Socialization

Companies have started formal induction programme for the last 15 years or so. initially, there was an informal process in place but over these years, the induction process has morphed into a structured socialization programme. In Infosys, once recruited the new joinees move to the training facility—they have a 14-week training which includes regular tests and assessments that the new recruits must pass to continue being in the programme. Those that get hired from outside India have a longer training of six months to get themselves acquainted to adapt to the Indian and the Infosys culture.

At Pantaloon, new recruits for frontline jobs received six weeks of training, including five and a half-days in residence at the organization's training centre followed by five weeks of on-the-job training under the direction of a store manager; the programme is called ‘design management’ which trains employees to use both sides of the brain.

Yahoo India prefers to play a prank on all its new recruits through an elaborately planned prank in which senior management is party too, to make them at home in a fun way. It is not fun all the way though—the fun introduction is followed by a ‘Campus to Corporate’ transition programme and a detailed session on all Yahoo products and technologies. HSBC India sends its resident management trainees to NGO Salaam Baalak Trust to sensitize the new trainees to the underprivileged sections of the society.

A3.2.3 Performance Management

Till a few years back the focus of Performance Management Systems (PMS) in organizations used to be arriving at ratings for calculating the annual salary increment, promotions etc. With maturing HR systems now, it has been seen that in some organizations the focus of PMS has moved towards managing performance and improving performance too. A study done on BPO organizations (Budhawar et al. 2006)—it was found that they all had a formal and structured approach, they typically have a monthly, quarterly appraisal system. The appraisal in call centres emphasize ‘results’. Cross-functional movements within companies happen, or even future movements and future planning also takes place. Most BPOs in the study have an individual-based performance appraisal system, some also have a group-based system. For managerial-level employees, most of them had a 360-degree appraisal. However, very few companies claimed that there was participation of employee in goal setting–related activities.

Royal Bank of Scotland, India have launched an Executive Performance Management System which includes both financial and non-financial rewards, a 360-degree feedback which attempts to examine the behaviour needs from professionals to fulfil business objectives. It also aims to focus on internal coaching and mentoring.

Larsen & Toubro (Heavy Engineering and Electrical Division) have a FAIR procedure for their performance appraisal (Framework for linking Appraisal with Incentive and Rewards). Employee achievements are measured by the balance scorecard and for high performers they also have performance-linked rewards.

A3.2.4 Compensation and Benefits

There has been a great shift in this area too, organizations are moving to performance-related pay and compensation policies, reward mechanisms are directly linked to performance and contribution to work. It works as a motivation for enhanced organization performance.

Companies are also using pay as a tool for attracting talent in India (Rekhi 1994); it is, however, also a reason for employee turnover (Hom and Griffeth 1995). The Nasscom Hewitt Total Rewards Study 2008 reports that 90 per cent of organization use labour market data to determine pay levels and 93 per cent of the company have instituted systems by linking pay to performance and have a regular cyclical performance management process. The study also confirms that the process components of pay are gaining importance.

Wages have been standardized at all the BPOs in the study (Budhwar et al. 2006). The pay and benefit scheme is attached to the grade, total work experience and employee performance and skill. Most BPOs participate in benchmarking studies and then base their compensation on market trends.

Executive compensation in India is now comparable to those in developed countries. Though CEO compensation in India is always an enigma as Indian companies are very reluctant to disclose the same. Aeon Hewitt's study (2011) ‘Decoding Executive Compensation’ brought to light certain facts.

  1. Comparable pay: The salary of the Indian CEO is comparable to their western counterpart. Earlier CEO compensation was more benefits heavy, so a club membership or multiple cars meant more than the cash in hand. That trend is changing now and compensations levels are seeing a new high. The median salary of a CEO is 156 times the pay of someone who joins as a graduate trainee and 63 times that of an entry-level manager.
  2. Indian company vs MNC: Being CEO in an Indian firm is looked upon as a coveted opportunity as a CEO in a multinational. This is because the content of jobs of CEOs of Indian companies has expanded and many of them handle the region (e.g., South East Asia) and not their country alone.
  3. Breakup of the salary: In the USA, typically the fixed component of the CEO's salary is 12–15 per cent. Twice this amount is set aside for incentives. Five times the fixed amount is paid as long-term incentives (ESOPs etc.) In India, fixed pay is approximately 60 per cent while the rest is split between annual and long-term incentives. In India, there are two kinds of long-term incentives, either cash or stock options. Restricted stock options also fall in this category only. Earlier ESOPs were the rage; however, now performance-driven rewards are catching up. A performance-driven reward would mean that one may get two years of free shares if one achieves certain prescribed milestones.

The summary of the report revealed that the number of vehicles to provide incentives in India is very limited but that has to change and HR departments have to build the wherewithal to institute and manage multiple reward vehicles.

A3.2.5 Learning and Development

In India, learning and development began as a systematic classroom training activity to meet skill shortages and then it moved to a supportive learning culture from the year 2000 onwards. This gave rise to the concept of a ‘learning organization’ (Meggison et al. 2001).

In the study done by Rao (2001), most of the Indian organizations indicated the continuous pressure for increased quality innovation and productivity and an apparent need to improve the skill matrix of the employees, as these were the major drivers of the learning and development initiatives. The other less prominent forces driving the corporate initiatives were to achieve better ROI, urgency to revamp corporate culture and to improve industrial relations. The same study assigned the main responsibility to the line managers and the major driving forces for training and development were the continuous pressure for quality, updating employee skills and innovation and productivity. However, corporate sectors in India are still facing two major challenges in the function: (1) creating a system of more valid, reliable and operationally viable measures to evaluate the effectiveness of training and development; (2) making learning one of the fundamental values of the company and integrating training and development into an initiative for change management (Yadapadaithaya and Steward 2003).

Over the years, there has been a significant shift in paradigm about learning initiatives.

In the study done in BPO organizations (Budhawar et al. 2006), they also had a formal and structured training team, where both in-house and external consultants were used. The areas where training takes place are entry-level process training, interpersonal skills, induction, voice and accent training etc.

Thomas Cook is focusing on building talent through its centre of learning. It also has a frontline certification programme aimed at improving the technical aspects of the job. Being in the travel industry, they also have an Impression Management programme which aids at the creation of skills in the company's frontline staff. They also have a Management Education Programme, which encourages employees to opt for a higher education, if they aspire for managerial roles later.

Many organizations in India have internally branded leadership development programmes for their middle management to build leadership pipeline. Development Credit Bank (DCB) has designed a programme ‘Leadership excellence through accelerated partnership’ and this is imparted through a new method of learning, i.e., by putting the participants through various challenging tasks that teaches them several facets of being a leader. Hamsaz Vasunia, Group Vice-president–Human Resources at DCB explains: ‘Sessions are created in such a way that it tests and stretches the participants’ ability to work under pressure, think strategically, sharpen their innovation and creativity, decision-making/networking/presentation/relationship and team building skills and their achievement and result orientation.’ A couple of examples of such challenges: the team of identified group of managers is asked to collect a large sum of money for an NGO as donations. No cash/credit was allowed and cheques had to be collected in a day. The exercise drove home the importance of networking as a leader. As part of another task, the team was flown to Bengaluru in the wee hours of the morning and were asked to generate 100 leads through internal and external marketing in one day. That the participants were not from Bengaluru made the task even more challenging. All this proves that organizations are responding to the learning need of the organization in an increasingly innovative manner.

A3.2.6 Career Planning

The way the career opportunity landscape in corporate India has changed over the years is overwhelming. From a situation when jobs were scarce to one where people are scarce, the onus of planning careers has also shifted quarters. While earlier organizations shaped an individual's career as per the requirement of the organization, there is a significant shift in that mindset now. Now the onus of career planning is primarily carried by the employee with the organization acting as a facilitating agent. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, India has a ‘career fit’ tool which helps the employees to grow in the company by matching their interests, background and goals with the company's offerings.

Tata Teleservices Ltd uses the development centre (assessment centre) approach to provide career growth linked with performance, merit and potential of an employee while keeping in mind the organizational needs. It includes career progression policy—which ensures career progression for all employees based on their performance rating, tenure in the role and ‘career advancement scheme’, job rotation policy. It also lays emphasis on the commitment to building a leadership pipeline by ‘grooming talent’ from within.

Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) had introduced an ERP system, i.e., SAP, which helps in career and succession planning for the BHEL workforce. They have around 100 project sites across India, and as and when there is a demand for internal promotion or posting does arise, they are able to find the right employee/s in a relatively shorter duration.

A3.2.7 Employee Motivation and Engagement

Motivation does not any longer mean increase in compensation and good incentives, or having picnics and get togethers. Employees now expect job satisfaction, career development, learning and development facilities too equipped with good compensation and incentives.

The respect and the dignity of the employee is top of mind priority of the HR practices in most corporates. In Marriott, there is a programme called ‘Fresh Eyes’ in which recruits after having spent 30 days in the organization are called by the manager to share their views on their experience with their new employer. All feedback is taken seriously and where required the manager makes it mandatory to make process changes too. In Johnson & Johnson there is an anonymous grievance redressal hotline, which allows employees to highlight any issues or actions that they think are against their Credo values. The hotline is managed by a third-party vendor to ensure that there is no possibility of bias or coercion and a report is presented to the management each month for suitable action.

MindTree Consulting adopted a host of innovative ways for fostering ideas and execution, beginning with ways for the employee to give feedback to their executives. There were monthly updates—‘snapshots’ that described the competitive environment and the state of the company; ‘All Minds Meet’—another regular open house with the company's leadership team, where all questions were tackled on the spot; ‘People Net’—the intranet, where grievances were addressed and ‘Petals’—a blogging site.

Lintas Media Group (LMG) sets itself apart by collaborating through an internal Web site various HR initiatives and thereby creating a win–win situation for employees and clients. Its Web site, Central.com, provides access to all LMG proprietary tools, social networking site and database. Employees are time and again encouraged to share and upload their innovative work, contests, parties, picnic snaps and related activities. They also have an initiative called ‘Panchpran’ (five lives), which is a community service to help five needy lives (a child, a woman, an animal, a disabled person and a senior citizen).

A3.2.8 Employee Relations, Health and Safety

Employee relations have taken on a new dimension in India. A simple reflection of the same is the transformation that the workplace has had in terms of its look and feel. As more businesses get driven by creativity and innovation, workplaces are getting designed to inspire people to relax, be themselves, be creative and think out of the box. At Eggfirst BNN, an ad agency in Mumbai, one entire floor is dedicated to creating a recreational area. Beanbags at workstations, personalized cubicles, open-air cafeteria, brainstorming huddle rooms, open offices, gaming consoles inside offices are some of the features which are making contemporary offices colourful and interesting. Aditi Technologies even has an indoor golf course and Zynga, a gaming company, has got models of games to make the atmosphere inside the office inspirational.

Indian corporates are also doing their bit to retain the women workforce for all obvious reasons. India's rate of female participation in the labour force is 34.2 per cent and is the lowest in the BRIC countries. Google India has taxis on call for employees, a particular draw for women who may need to rush home to take care of the sick, elderly or children. Wipro runs on-site camps during the school holidays in spring. Infosys offers its female employees sabbaticals, extended maternity leave and enhanced training when they come back to work. Ernest & Young involves the families and has parents and in-laws come to see the workplace and meet their managers.

Health and safety norms at Nomura are of prime importance for their operations too. They have policies in place to ensure an environment in which employees can work comfortably in good health. They place great importance on employee health, particularly mental health, including treatment, preventive counselling and efforts to raise employee awareness of mental health issues. Now many organizations have responded to this with diverse measures. HLL makes employees aware about their personal health by tracking their blood pressure, sugar levels, cholesterol and body mass Index. At RFCL, employees are forced to leave at 5:30 p.m. to spend time with family. Special recognition incentives such as movie tickets, a paid lunch at a good restaurant or a family outing with fellow colleagues are given to encourage work–life balance.

A3.2.9 Talent Management

Talent is the key to success in every business and the ‘people factor’ is perhaps the only lasting competitive advantage in today's organizations. Every organization has a critical mass—who will be important for the company's growth. It is the responsibility of the senior leadership and the talent management team to identify and distinguish the ‘top talent’ among the critical mass.

Royal Bank of Scotland, India, earlier had resorted to hiring of external talent, now they groom internal talent in order to ensure leadership roles are being effectively filled. On the other hand, Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) is driven by an absolute commitment to develop leadership in all spheres of its operations. They also provide employees with a stimulating work environment which encourages initiative, leadership, innovation, team spirit and offers opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Wipro Technologies Ltd. has a sophisticated and detailed executive development programme which covered around thousand managers and executives, each of whom were assessed against 12 leadership measures and then were compared with the overall scores in the organization. All the leaders were placed into one of the three performance/potential categories based on the comparative scores: A (top), B (middle) and C (bottom). The top 300 leaders were then reviewed with the chairman of the company over a process that ran for five days. Based on those reviews, the company created a developmental plan for each employee which included training, coaching and rotational assignments, thereby, this process created a pool of employees designed to meet anticipated vacancies for the next few years.


A3.3.1 Indian Studies: Public Sectors

Rao and Pareek (2001) studied 12 companies (mostly public sector—manufacturing and distributions companies) and some of the highlights of the HRD Practices followed by the companies were:

  • Most of the organizations had a fairly well-developed appraisal system or were on the verge of recommending one. The appraisal system seemed to be development oriented.
  • Counselling and feedback mechanism was followed by only few of the companies. The same was conducted as a mere formality rather than keeping in mind the ‘development orientation’.
  • Potential appraisal system did not exist as a separate initiative in these companies. In some of the companies, it was a part of the performance appraisal system. Only one of the organizations had plans of starting an assessment centre.
  • A 360-degree feedback was tried in 7 out of the 12 companies, either as part of their own initiative or a part of the corporate initiative.
  • Vision, mission exercise, team building workshops, train the trainer programmes, employee satisfaction surveys are some of the OD interventions that were used by these organizations. Some of them had outsourced the OD interventions. HR departments were not yet being nurtured as change agents.
  • Training and development was well developed and fairly well managed too. Internal faculty had been trained in most of the companies. Though most of them had still to graduate from training and development kind of orientation to creation of a learning environment.

They also emphasized, that if HR professionals have to follow HR practices or any kind of model for Human Resources, some important areas need to be kept in mind:

  • CEOs should give HR the status it deserves and they should be willing to treat their employees as a strategic resource.
  • HR professionals, on the other hand, should take keen interest and learn about the business.
  • They should keep pace with the changing market scenario and keep themselves abreast of current happenings and thereby enhance their knowledge in human resources too. Their agenda and roles should be redefined and should include organizational structuring and business planning too.
  • Administrative functions should be differentiated from HR functions.

A3.3.2 Indian Studies: Private Sectors

The Economic Times: Great Places to Work Survey 2011

The Economic Times and Great Place to Work Institute joined hands to find out the best workplaces in Indian companies that cared for its employees and vice versa. A total of 67,000 employees across 20 sectors participated in this. The results gives a first-hand feel of workplace culture from an employee perspective. The list of the top 10 companies are as follows:

  1. Google
  2. Intel Technology
  3. Makemytrip
  4. American Express
  5. Marriott Hotels
  6. Classic Stripes
  7. Scope International
  8. Agilent Technologies
  9. Claris Lifesciences
  10. NetApp

Google.   Google's employer value proposition lies in the kind of a learning environment that they have created. ‘Googliness’ is all about a lump of risk appetite, more than a dash of innovative spirit, a fistful of adaptability and loads of affability. Failure is acknowledged as a way of learning. Therefore, innovation lies at the heart of the enterprise. While others in India are struggling with gender diversity, Google has its heads talk about sexual diversity. They have even instituted ‘Greyglers’, an initiative taken to retain employees over a certain age and not just hanker after the young. New recruits are known as ‘Noogler’, and all efforts are made to bring them into the folds of the company right from day zero.

Intel.   Technical skill is not what is stressed on in the successful candidate, it is the adaptability, openness and an ability to sink in the Intel culture is what is a must to get hired by Intel. The method to hire is not the usual interview. Instead the interviewee is given case studies. And they are gauged on how they would react to that situation. The New Orientation Programme ‘Arambh’ exposes new recruit to the best in Intel through its knowledge sharing sessions by the experts and establishes a benchmark in the minds of the new recruits. ‘Anubhava’, is a programme where managers share their ‘Best Known Methods’ every quarter. One significantly different initiative in Intel is CAIR, i.e., Careers at Intel Realized. Here employees are provided with resources, tools and support to work on areas they are passionate about. It is not unusual to find employees enrolling in a cooking class or making their own vegetable patch in office. Rewards in Intel are not a function of an employee's direct contribution to the bottom line. The culture recognizes a good job done in an informal but responsive manner. Peer recognition, contribution reward when one completes a stipulated period and thank you bonus are a regular feature.

Makemytrip.   This start up leverages being one and has instituted processes around it. Performance targets are discussed and arrived at by business heads so the ownership of the results goes up. Since ownership cannot come without fun, the environment is kept informal, friendly and fun. Even the biannual Town Hall meet is not a formal suit-and-tie sit down. There are themes such as ‘ghost town’ or ‘Michael Jackson’, which new recruits have to play out before the organization, that many in the management feel help in bonding.

American Express.   The HR policies of this organization are remarkable for their ‘employee care’ element. Their concern for the employee has manifested itself in the form of many wellness programmes that it has initiated. The ‘Health Living’ Initiative works on making employees and their families aware about health issues and challenges. Given that 40 per cent of the workforce are women, the company has instituted special HR policies to cater to this segment. ‘Pregnancy Care’ programme helps women understand what their body may go through during this period. There are books and written material provided to employees as well as discount coupons for tests for the entire nine-month period. The programme, along with newsletters keeps informing them on a regular basis and also sending reminders for periodic check-ups and tests.

Apart from the wellness bit, the company scores high on the reward and recognition bit too which believes that recognition necessarily does not have to come from the top. The ‘RewardBlue’ programme enables leaders and employees to recognize each other—across business units, band levels and markets.

Marriott Hotels.   The hotel is remarkable for the respect and dignity that it lends to its employees whom they prefer to call Associates. Associates are also given vouchers entitling them to a complimentary stay at any of Marriott's hotels on their birthdays. This serves a dual purpose. It not only allows the associates to celebrate in style, but it also gives them a sense of what it is like to be a Marriott guest, always useful when they go back to the other side of the service table the day after. ‘Get on Board’ is the programme which inducts newcomers enabling them with information and skills to do their job well and also give them a perspective about what the future could hold for them in Marriott. ‘Fresh Eyes’ is an initiative in which these new employees’ views on the organization are taken seriously and suggestions are auctioned upon. The year 2010 was marked by rapid growth of the organization. The organization's response was in the form of accelerated learning programmes. The organization has automated learning to a large extent through e-training.


Rao (2001), in an in-depth audit on the HR functions—a study of Indian companies, reported that the HR function in India is not well structured—poorly staffed and inadequately differentiated. In order to cope with the challenges, since the last 10 years, the HR functions have been under tremendous pressure to bring about large-scale professionalized changes thrown by the new economic environment (Som 2002). Indian organizations have had to cope with and develop a diverse workface into well-trained efficient employees, motivated workforce with subsequent de-skilling, rethinking and multi-skilling, workforce reduction policies, retention issues and career development issues (Venkataratnam 1995).

The BPO study (Budhawar et al. 2006) indicates that the attrition rates were between 15 per cent and 50 per cent; other sources indicate that the turnover is much higher and it is the most pressing problem for Indian BPOs (Singh 2005; Taylor and Ban 2005). The top reasons why employees leave are better career opportunities, monotonous and stressful work, higher studies, strong job market, health-related issues, lack of career advancement, attraction to branded companies and job security. The HR teams are trying to retain employees by employee development programmes, reward and recognition programmes, culture building exercises, exit surveys, salary survey, counselling sessions, increase pay and good benefits.



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