f o r    m a n a g i n g    t o m o r r o w
NOV. 20, 2005
 Cover Story
 BT Special
 Back of the Book

Retail Conundrum
The entry of foreign players, and FDI, could galvanise the retail sector and provide employment to thousands. Left parties, however, feel it would push small domestic players out of jobs. What is the real picture?

The Foreign Hand
Huge spikes and corrections in the BSE Sensex have lately come to be associated with the infusion and withdrawal of capital from foreign institutional investors (FIIs). Are India's stock markets becoming over dependent on FIIs?
More Net Specials
Business Today,  November 6, 2005
How We Did It

The methodology behind The Business Companies to Work for in India.

Food for thought: Infoscians at the company's Bangalore campus canteen chat up

Five 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.

Data Collection

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 firms.

Data Analysis

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.




Partners: BT-Mercer-TNS—The Best Companies To Work For In India