a challenging market scenario, the implications of this research
are significant. Talent clearly emerges as a critical success factor.
Talent is also the most difficult to attract, motivate, and retain.
It is no surprise that organisations are trying to differentiate
themselves as employers of choice to ensure that they have an edge
in the talent market.
The purpose of the Best Employers in India
2002 study was to understand:
- What distinguishes best employers.
- How best employers align their people strategy
with business drivers.
- Effective HR systems, practices, and philosophies.
- Emerging workplace trends for the future.
Participation was open to all organisations
in India that have been established for a minimum of three years
and have not less than 100 white-collar employees. All companies
across India were alerted through invitations, advertisements, and
The study covered 204 companies and data was
collected from more than 52,000 employees.
The study tools were completed by companies
- More than 15 industry groups, with the highest
participation level from information technology, followed by consumer
goods (fmcg and consumer durables) sectors.
- 40 per cent MNCs and 60 per cent Indian
- 70 per cent publicly owned and 30 per cent
- Total employment of 91,950.
Selecting the Top 25
The selection of best employers in India was
based on in-depth questionnaires completed by CEOs, HR departments,
and employees of participant organisations followed by an on-site
The employee engagement survey was used to
assess the satisfaction level of employees about their organisation.
It analysed the extent of satisfaction across seven factors-culture
and purpose of the company, work environment, relationships with
people in the company, nature of work, rewards and recognition,
work-life balance, and growth and development opportunities. In
addition it gauged the extent to which employees felt aligned with
the leadership and its initiatives.
The employee survey was administered to a minimum
of 75 per cent of relevant employee population, if the organisation
had 500 or less white-collar employees. If the organisation had
more than 500 white-collar employees, a response from 350 employees
was required. Selection of employees was random across levels, functions,
and locations, as per a pre-specified format. All responses were
confidential-11 per cent of employees completed their survey online.
Almost 85 per cent of total employees responding to the survey provided
qualitative feedback about their company as well.
Completed by the HR department, the People
Practices Inventory gathered information about philosophies, policies,
programmes, and practices influencing the management of people in
the organisation. It covered areas such as HR strategy, employer
brand, recruitment, development and learning, work environment and
communication, rewards and recognition, health and well-being, and
balancing work and personal life, and financial security. It also
provided an organisation fact-file and opportunity to detail unique
Each company's CEO was asked to provide information
about the business strategy of the organisation and their philosophy
and approach to managing people. The CEO Survey also assessed the
nature and frequency of interaction the CEO had with his employees.
On the basis of survey response, 65 companies
were short listed for an on-site audit. This visit included, among
other areas, an in-depth questioning of:
- Core values.
- Involvement of line and top management in
- HR measurement and success criteria.
- Involvement of employees in organisational
- Employee-orientation (Humane attitude towards
exceptional situations, parity in treatment, transparency, and
- Constant innovations in people programs.
- Efficacy in delivery of HR services, including
use of technology.
- Work environment.
In addition, employee focus groups were conducted
across many organisations. Validation of data received was also
Twenty-five best employers emerged after this
rigorous exercise. There were striking similarities in approach
and philosophy, but each organisation had unique ways of realising
a competitive edge through its people. Each one had evolved its
own effective method to show its commitment to employees. Many organisations
were singular in making contributions to the country and larger
community. Some managed the challenge of handling large and complex
businesses as compared to newer ones. Some grappled effectively
with a rapidly changing business scenario. Still others took tough
employee decisions-to mutual benefit and satisfaction. There was
no single formula.
What was consistent across all best employers
- High degree of employee satisfaction, commitment,
- A sense of ownership and belonging-a collective
relationship fostered by the organisation.
- Opportunities for accelerated growth and
- Depth, breadth, and consistency in application
of HR practices.
- Unique HR practices-many of which were home-grown
and based on employee suggestions.
- A sensitivity towards a balance between
work and personal life.
- Effectiveness of HR practices in meeting
needs of employees.
- Alignment of HR practices with business
- Stature of organisations in the business
community as evidenced by employee and corporate initiatives.
THE HEWITT CORE TEAM: Ravi
Virmani, Purva Misra, Sumer Datta and Madhavi Misra
HEWITT'S STUDY COORDINATORS:
Sapna Khurana and Satish Dhasmana