THE CHAIRMAN OF WIPRO, Rishad Premji, shared an interesting take on value system of a company at a recent event organised by Nasscom. “People don’t experience your values, they experience your behaviour and interpret whether you live your values or not,” he said. As chairman, he has spent 300 hours meeting nearly 35,000 employees and talked to them about why showing up and living the values of the company is important in people-oriented businesses such as IT. This is how seriously Wipro takes its five habits — Being Respectful, Being Responsive, Always Communicating, Demonstrating Stewardship and Building Trust.
Wipro, one of India’s largest IT services companies, has been vocal about getting employees to offices for building better relationships post-pandemic. However, one can’t deny that hybrid work is the future; Rishad agrees. Since the pandemic, while quarterly attrition at large IT firms Infosys and Cognizant peaked at 24-25% and 28-29%, respectively, Wipro’s attrition peaked at 23.3% in Q4 of 2022 and has been moderating since then. “We have always been committed to understanding employees’ needs and have reshaped our policies accordingly,” says Saurabh Govil, president and CHRO, Wipro. “The pandemic taught us how workplace and workforce can be synced through hybrid working. Employees are attracted to human-centric organisations where hybrid work provides flexibility for balancing personal needs with autonomy for achieving business outcomes.”
After simplification of its organisation structure and delivery model, Wipro has been focusing on transforming the workforce through its ‘4M’ framework — Model, Method, Machinery and Mindset. Model involves focusing on global, distributed and boundary-less working; Method is about being agile; Machinery leverages AI and automation; and Mindset is about problem discovery, customer intimacy and constant learning. “We are ensuring that employees can achieve personal and professional goals through our flexible working model and well-being programmes,” says Saurabh.
Wipro has initiated an individual learning plan that it has built into employee performance goals. It has also invested in reskilling workforce in client relevant areas through digital learning platforms. While focus remains on building scale in specialisations such as AI, data science, cybersecurity and engineering, the company is also investing in building talent in niche areas such as Web3, 5G and quantum computing. “In FY23, Wipro has upskilled over 45,000 employees in digital technologies such as big data, advanced analytics, cloud, digital security and DevOps. We will continue to nurture top talent and enhance leadership diversity,” says Govil. Another initiative is Top Coder, a gig platform that provides clients access to a community of over 1.5 million developers and data scientists. This enhances client outcomes. TopGear, another internal crowdsourcing platform, lets younger employees get hands-on experience in project execution. “Our talent development plans are designed to ensure we develop an internal talent pool ready to work on projects,” says Saurabh.
Apart from getting its workforce ready for the digital world, Wipro has also launched an internal transformation programme called Ignite 2.0. The programme aims to improve employee experience by putting them at the centre of changes undertaken within the company. The initiative has been identified as one of the five top strategic priorities. The company has been executing it across work streams in HR, finance, sales and talent supply chain.
The company has also made diversity and inclusion a way of life. The key initiatives are inclusive/gender neutral restrooms at most offices and helplines to address queries from employees with disabilities.
The company is also putting emphasis on women representation at senior roles where fewer women make it to top positions. Wipro tracks this metric through monthly and quarterly scorecard sent to CEO and Executive Committee. This has significantly increased women representation at senior leadership level over past two years, says the company. Last year, Wipro launched ‘Enrich,’ a sponsorship programme for high-potential women leaders for strengthening the talent pipeline. Under the programme, high potential women leaders are mapped to ‘sponsors’, who are leaders in the company. It is a comprehensive programme designed with goal setting, monthly connects and enablement sessions. At present, women account for 36% workforce and 15% leadership.