|Food for thought: Infoscians at the
company's Bangalore campus canteen chat up
years ago, business today pioneered the concept of workplace surveys
in India. Last year, we tweaked the methodology some, changed
partners and pioneered what we believe is a process that will
set the benchmark for all future qualitative surveys. The spectre
of conflict of interest looms large over all qualitative surveys
that involve domain expertise and, consequently, a research partner
with the requisite proficiency. Business Today partners with premier
consulting firms for expertise-based surveys such as this one.
However, the same consulting firms work with the companies participating
in the survey, very often in the same areas.
That explains why The Best Companies to Work
for in India, 2005, has three partners. Mercer Human Resource
Consulting, an international hr consulting firm, developed the
methodology and arrived at the shortlist of companies. However,
the entire front-end of the survey, and the data collection and
aggregation was managed by international market research major
TNS' Indian arm. The research firm presented summary reports for
short-listed companies on an anonymous basis to Mercer. The consulting
firm presented a list of proposed rankings to Business Today,
which put names to numbers.
There were four stages to the study:
|Healthy of body, healthy of mind: Employees
of HCL comnet work out at the office gym
Study Launch and Registration
Business Today announced the study for 2005
through an article in the June issue. Interested companies were
asked to register through the survey site, keeping in mind the
eligibility criteria of four years of operations in the country
and 200 white-collar employees. The eligibility criteria ensured
a threshold level of complexity of the people management agenda
based on headcount as well as a degree of stabilisation of the
processes based on the age of the organisation.
TNS coordinated this aspect of the study.
The initial contact with registered companies was established
through a Company Overview Questionnaire, through which the participants
provided financial information, manpower statistics, demographic
data and the contact details for its employees, alumni, campuses,
etc. The hr representative of the company was contacted as the
next step and a comprehensive hr Process and Policy Review Questionnaire
was administered to gain an insight into the human resource management
policies and practices. An employee diagnostic tool, Internal
Employee Perception Questionnaire was administered in parallel
to a random sample of employees based on the contact details provided
by the company. The performance on this tool was also used as
a filter to determine the shortlist of companies. The last phase
of the data collection involved seeking feedback from the stakeholders
of the company through four dip-stick Stakeholder Perception Questionnaires
that were administered to new joiners, alumni, campuses and search
The company information on each of the above
was collected by TNS in predefined formats and given unique company
codes. This coded information was given to Mercer for analysis.
The Mercer team carried out the analysis of the responses on the
four quadrants based on the company data. This analysis was conducted
only for the top quartile companies receiving the highest scores
on the Internal Employee Perception Questionnaire. This was based
on the tenet that the voice of the employee is the strongest ratification
of a good workplace.
|Team TNS: (Front) Shivangi Singhal (L),
Indrani Raychaudhuri; (Back) Gautam Nath (L), Priyanka Kaintura
|Team Mercer: Megha Sahni, Consultant
(left), and Nitin Dheer, Principal Consultant
The numeric information obtained through the
Company Overview was analysed to evaluate companies on their performance
against pre-defined hr metrics. The response to the hr Process
Review Questionnaire was used to assess the robustness and state
of maturity of the hr processes of the participants on the shortlist.
The responses to the Employee Perception questionnaire were analysed
to assess the extent to which the employees in these companies
were (a) satisfied with the hr function and processes, (b) engaged
with the company and (c) found themselves to be aligned with the
company's goals and values. Stakeholder perception questionnaires
were analysed to determine the external labour market's views
on the image of the company as a good place to work.
Scores and Proposed Rankings
The analysis of the company information resulted
in scores on a 100-point rating scale for the four quadrants of
the study. HR Metrics were evaluated based on the complexity of
the people management agenda, nature of industry, investments
in people processes, attrition and career velocity. The hr Processes
of the company were assessed in terms of robustness, integration,
evolution and administrative ease. Employee and Stakeholder perception
evaluation was a direct output conversion of the employee responses.
Weights were assigned to each quadrant and
as per the methodology were premised on the need for companies
to demonstrate balanced and comprehensive performance across dimensions,
the performance of a company on one quadrant was sought to be
corroborated by evidence of performance on the other quadrants.
The index scores based on quadrant performance and weights were
used to propose the ranking order of the companies.