Background : A blue chip IT Firm with more than 40,000 employees , offering IT services. The Offshore centre in India caters to the US Clients. It works under the two-in-a-box method. Here these IT Services are managed by a highly specialised team at the client site , called as onsite , whereas the other team, which is comparatively bigger , remains anchored in India Offshore Centre , supporting the onsite team with services and consultancy they would need.
Talent: The talentbase constitutes primarily , of the engineers and other technical degree holders such as MCA and MS , with a smaller percentage to MBA as the Business Development team. The India offshore centre employs engineering graduates with a minimum of 3 or more years of experience . The entry level works on programming and other technical areas such as quality assurance. This level forms the bottom few bands as C1, C2 and C3. The mid level delivers certain degree of client interaction and manages the production at the managerial level. They form the next few bands , as B1 and B2. Finally the executive level includes the Organization and business heads, who works only on the business responsibility. The band to this level is A1 and A2. The total strength of this centre is 2000
Case Facts: A CISCO project is allocated to this centre . This project had a huge valuation and would be required to be delivered, for a duration of three years. The project requires three engineers to work at different levels under a Project Manager .
As the project would scale, the work is supposed to grow beyond a team size of 5-6 , towards the end of the year. One of the team members would travel onsite, to manage this project for these three years and would be supported by the offshore team. The Delivery Manager who is responsible of this new project , allocates this to one of his Project Managers, who was already handling few teams .
The Project Manager is asked to set up the work at the earliest and get started. The PM hires one of his old reportees to the new team, to begin the transition. This reportee, Mr.A had been working at the firm since last two years . He is an engineering graduate with an experience of total seven years, collectively . As per the PM , Mr.A had been the best performer since his joining , dependable and is being groomed for the next level .
Leadership Development and Talent Management: The HR Head shares the big picture to the talent management plan with the Delivery Manager and the Project Manager.
1.The DM , who already was offered the Profit Sharing Option, with a position in US , has plans to move within a year. He is in Band A1. He will not shift through the bands, but will have higher compensation offered.
2.Upon his transfer, the PM then becomes the Delivery Manager, as he is already managing few teams and the new one comes to his kitty. The PM is in the band B2. His promotion might take him to A1
3.Mr.A would remain the Project Lead in the team and manage the brand new members to scale-up. As in when this team size would increase Mr. A , based upon his performance would be made the PM, thus implementing this entire Leadership Development Plan. He is in C3 , will move into B1 upon his promotion.
New Team Formation: The core team is formed, and the hiring for the two new positions begin. The project suddenly grows complex, where the PM realizes they might need to hire an expert . One of the new hires is almost poached from a competitor , where he was managing a similar project. This new hire Mr. B, had an engineering degree with six years of experience. Since the hiring were taking time, he was offered a good salary hike and an opportunity to work onsite. He is offered C3, Senior Programmer. The third hire to the team is a relatively less-experienced talent , with four years of work-ex, an engineering degree and certification. He is a topper to his batch , hence very high on learning. This hire, Mr. C is offered the least salary of the three and given a band less, i.e C2- Programmer.
[B]Situation[/B]: As the work evolves , the client is not too happy about the delay in rolling the project. On the top , first few escalations were badly managed . Hence, they put a cap to the growth during the year and delay it for next year, that too tentative. The pressure further builds when the new hires take time to settle. The Knowledge Transfer from Mr.A does not take place properly, to Mr.B and Mr.C. As a result the performance within the team staggers. The DM calls for a skip level meeting and addresses the PM and HR about the condition. The HR Manager speaks to the team and finds out the gap. He asks the DM to allow the new hires to be trained directly from the client’s team.
This brings the new hires to the forefront, and Mr.B starts performing the best , among the three. The communication thereafter settles as Mr. B manages the client-end relationship and works with the other two , on the project delivery. The setbacks are recovered with extra man hours spent in office , where the team members work for up to 17 hours a day.
As the time pass by, the power play deepens among the team members. Mr.C feels cheated, as he delivers the same work for less money. He even finds out about the bleak opportunity to grow and the fact , that only one among them will travel onsite.
Mr.B is the best performer , hence gets all the limelight. He remains the highest paid and quickly establishes himself with other Team Managers. Mr.A feels threatened. He is the senior most , yet is paid less. He had been the best performer so far and clearly, everyone’s choice. Nevertheless, now he often stands in Mr.B’s shadow, hence underplays everyone’s effort and reports their mistakes badly to the PM. Few errors made by Mr.B and Mr.C is taken on the records, and they were asked to watch out for their performance. This is the second time since their hiring, they are given a performance feedback. The first time was during the Knowledge Transfer.
After eight months, when it is time for one of the three to leave for Onsite , preparation begins. The PM sends the travel request documents for all the three team members to ensure a fair play. The client interviews all of them to decide who would be traveling. Skill and efficiency remain client’s requirement .
It almost remains evident. That Mr.B would travel as he was hired for the role and remained the best performer throughout. He had even received favorable feedback from the client , after the interview. His discussion with the Project Manager remains very positive, throughout. As time draws close , client’s call make it apparent that he would be traveling by Dec 2012. He relocated to this new city, because of this job in the company. So, he wraps up his establishment , sells his bike and doesn’t revive his rent agreement with his landlord.
Problem: On the first week of December, the name of the person , traveling to deliver the onsite project is announced, and that is, Mr.A. The team morale breaks down. Mr.C puts his papers down and agrees to serve the notice period . Mr.B is demotivated to the extent of resigning from the job. Any further distortion to the environment, within the India Centre will affect the client and business.
Plan of action: The Delivery Manager calls for the HR Manager , Project Manager and Mr.B to discuss a solution. Mr.B is advised to maintain a balanced behavior and continue communicating with the client . He is asked not to discuss anything about why is Mr.A traveling. To make the matters worst , he is asked to support Mr.A from India , as the offshore team , for the next 3 years. A junior member from another team is internally hired, to backfill Mr.C’s vacancy. Mr.B is directed to train the new member and make him productive before Mr.C leaves.
Conclusion: This makes it clear that Mr.B doesn't have too many options to grow. He will have added responsibilities . Any further hike or addition to the financial compensation couldn't be promised to him, as it remains sensitive to the market movements. Mr. B uses' Open Door , and calls for a meeting with the HR Head.
Points to ponder:
1. If you were heading HR in this firm, how would you solve this situation?
2. If you were Mr. B what would be your plan of action ?
From India, Pune
Should Mr.B fight back his case and settle for what he was offered, initially ? As practising HR’s , how far do we see an opportunity within the situation, to accommodate his demands ?
From India, Mumbai
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