Bengaluru: A new way of thinking seems to be taking roots in Infosys Ltd, India’s second largest IT company by revenue, helping its employees see beyond writing codes and winning clients.
The IT company has been trying to win more clients and also transform the way its engineers work through design thinking, a problem-solving approach ushered in by its CEO Vishal Sikka.
Eight months ago it started day-long design thinking classes at its 350-acre Mysuru training facility in a bid to make its engineers innovative thinkers from those who take orders and write codes.
Now, the company has started to use this exercise to seek feedback from its trainees in a bid to make itself a better employer, starting from its Mysuru campus where all its recruits are trained.
Earlier this year, Binod Hampapur Rangadore, executive vice-president and head of talent fulfilment function, along with his team, started to apply elements of design thinking to know how they could make the three-month training period at its Mysuru campus a better experience for the college graduates. A common problem cited by the first batch of 5,000 trainees from whom feedback was sought was that the recruits found it difficult to navigate the “huge" campus.
Suggestion: How about a mobile app, say drawn on the lines of a Google Map, which aids every young recruit move around the facility?
Solution: In less than two months, Infosys came up with a mobile app, ‘MyNinja’, which guides trainees to their classes, dozen-odd food courts, and help them move around the campus, without asking for directions.
The app is expected to be rolled out in a few months. Rangadore and team realized that the app could also be loaded with features like supplementary learning material and even an evaluation method which makes trainees keep track of their peers’ performance in tests.
At its Hyderabad facility, a similar feedback was sought from trainees.
“Once the campus head attended a design thinking workshop, she changed her way of asking questions. If we ask them if they want x or y facility they would say yes, but we found that getting a desktop of their own on their first day, and an assurance that they would be assigned a project quickly was what made them happiest, so we are working on providing these," said an executive who did not want to be named.
Infosys and its rivals, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Wipro, realize that attrition is one of the pressing challenges ahead. Mumbai-based TCS and Wipro—both firms have 500,000 employees between them—are encouraging more people to use the company’s internal social network platform to engage with their workforce.
At TCS, the company’s social network platform, Knome, allows employees to put up issues for discussion or write blogs or even seek help from the company’s human resources department.
The country’s $146 billion software industry aims to resolve its challenges by strengthening its internal processes and address employee concerns in innovative ways.