Vivek Rao
Deputy Manager,human Resources
Shrinivas
Sr Manager Hr
Harshitha Hegde
Content Writer

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The Topic: How IT HR professionals are addressing the challenge of increasing productivity in the face of appreciating Rupee.
1. How much is Rupee appreciation an HR Concern?
2. In the face of rupee appreciation, what are the moves by the industry to increase productivity of their people?
3. Is increasing work hours for the same pay is the only solution?
4. Are we then going to see reduced pay scales in future for IT professionals?
5. Are we going to see decrease in spends on training and development?
6. Are we going to see campuses becoming less extravagant?
7. Are we going to decrease in spending on non critical assets such as gym, play courts,, etc?
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Hi Harshita,

Wont be able to give answers to your quetsions as I myself am novice..but wud like to join you...its because I m working in a BPO and am going thru all such situations exactly the same way you cited.

Well I am in the industry of Medical Transcription where only the highly qualified transcriptionists and editors are taken up for the job.The no. is limited.

Very small companies in the state have closed down or are on the verge of same...which is proving marginally beneficial to us ..as my company is big enogh to take the employees of such closed companies.Most of the times I get the employees from other companies which is putting not much but a little stress as far as "extended working hours" is concerned.

Yes, but certainly ,now what earlier our employees used to get as "fixed salary" has changed to the concept of "Performance package"and the situation is bit critical. and DICY too.

Can somebody help in making us understand as to what to do...becuase no matter the company is still running..but the dicy and doubtful situation is bringing the morale of our employees down..day by day. :(
Hi,
Increasing Productivity by increasing working hours is a 'mathematical' solution and is certainly not what is expected as a solution from a HR professional.
You have to make the 'work environment' friendly for employees so that they are happy with work place and have sense of 'belonging' for the organisation.
Shrinivas
i guess decreased over the board spending may be a temporary solution to rupee appreciation. But cutting costs in areas like training and developemnt would have a backlash on productivity( how can ppl perform better if they arent trained well!!!).and reduced pay would lead to employee dissatisfaction and thus adversely affect productivity.

one area i can see is new business development,not strictly an HR concern,but companies can look beyond the global delivery model.

also, companies can slow down thier massive recruitment drives and instead concentrate on developing in house talent to meet changing business needs. on pay cuts,which is a really thorny issue, i feel that companies can probably slow down salary revision, ie. stay put at current levels. no point in taking losses by pegging salaries above market rates.

( one ''innovative'' idea i have, dunno how feasible, if the same question be put before the employees and they be allowed to spend a small amount of time on coming up with innovative solutions to combat rupee appreciation(the client can of course be billed ;-p), like they say, ek se bhale do!!!!)
Hi harshita,



1. How much is Rupee appreciation an HR Concern?



Yes this is a serious concern for companies those who have signed contracts before rupee appreciation. Companies those who are providing offshore support services are mainly following hourly billing and when rupee appreciates, no client is going to reconsider the deal. Secondly, the weak dollar represents US economic slow down and this again may force clients to cancel the deal and go for fresh deal with some other service provider (Eg: - a small ITeS firm with average working capital can't offer services at a reduced cost but a big company can afford this by considering various strategic aspects)



2. In the face of rupee appreciation, what are the moves by the industry to increase productivity of their people?



Who told you that productivity of Indians is less? According to a very recent study, Indian workers are more productive when compared to their US counterparts. As far as my understanding is concerned, IT/ITeS professionals are not working merely on the basis of fixed time shifts but most of them spend more hours in office depends on the

project requirements. But when companies start making Saturday as working day for these professionals that may demotivate them. But alternatively corporate management can request them to reduce project delivery time.



3. Is increasing work hours for the same pay is the only solution?



Yes if the time demands...HR needs to take initiative for this. But already people are working more than 12 hours (need basis) and I think a formal change in pattern of work hours is not required. In case optimum utilization of resources is not happening in a company, need of the hour is to check its processes and project management strategies?

Self-managed teams (SMTs) are proved to be very effective. Are we using this concept or still following the traditional vertical patterns?



4. Are we then going to see reduced pay scales in future for IT professionals?



If the time demands such a step, there is no alternative. It is an undeniable fact that IT and ITeS are knowledge intensive sectors but if there is no business, how does the company exist? and if there is no company, what do the IT professional do?

Some companies will offer CTC just to hire some key personnel from its competitor and during turbulent period, they fail to retain the employee. Is that the right way of hiring?



Also from the HR perspective, one should ask some thought provoking questions?



What should be the basis for salary structures?

Do we structure salary standards purely based on billing?

Do we offer salary structure just to hire skilled people?

Do we conduct job analysis?

Do we conduct a salary comparison study?





5. Are we going to see decrease in spends on training and development?

At least some companies will go for a cut on ‘time pass’ training programmes or ‘show offs’ If your training system is not linked to corporate objectives and not based on TNA, I would say allocating money for training is of no use to the company/employees and this will ultimately benefit some training service providers only.



6. Are we going to see campuses becoming less extravagant?

Depends on the extravaganza. If companies spend more on extravaganza with a hope to reduce attrition, I would say it is just a myth. People are unique and interests are different. So it is advisable to control expenses and limit the number of programmes and cut costs.



7. Are we going to decrease in spending on non critical assets such as gym, play courts etc?

If the time demands such a step, there is no alternative. For a company the first and foremost aspect should be the business profitability.

If the business is not viable, obviously corporate management will check for all sorts of alternatives and HR folks should be able to suggest best alternatives for optimum utilization of human resources and in order to support the business needs and should be able to support the genuine interests of employees.





regards



Sreekumar.J
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