The loss of experienced senior engineers, technical leads,
architects, and junior-level project managers at iGate Global
Solutions climbed to 103.96 percent and cost the Bangalore, India
company more than $23 million annually.
After careful analysis, leaders identified a lack of growth
opportunities within the organization as the main reason for the
employee attrition. The existing systems were not robust enough to
provide professional development opportunities or career growth
based on capability. Employee advancement largely depended upon a
supervisor's subjective judgment.
The tenure of these individuals ranged from two to five years, and
the knowledge of the technology, internal processes, and client
understanding gained through on-the-job learning was not easily
transferrable, resulting in loss of organizational knowledge. The
delays in the delivery of projects, due to the transitioning of
work to new employees, resulted in customer dissatisfaction.
Career management system
As a solution, a competency-based career management system was
created. This online system caters to employees' career ambitions
while still meeting the dynamic resource needs of the organization.
- provides information on the factors that contribute to
successful performance on a job
- uses a competency profile of the individual as the key criteria
for movement of people from one role to another based on the
competency requirement of the role, making the process transparent
- provides a visible organizational commitment to people
development through structured development initiatives built around
- ensures that the roles are acquired by the most capable
individuals and the deliverables are met effectively.
The system includes 22 new learning modules to build leadership and
behavioral competencies and 53 learning modules for technical
competencies. Along with formal training, the system includes
mentoring and e-learning, a process to tap into the tacit knowledge
that exists in the organization, and a knowledge management portal.
Managers serve as career counselors by helping targeted employees
identify aspirations and gain access to organizational support. The
knowledge management portal provides road maps for employees to
develop the necessary leadership, technical, and behavioral
competencies for advancement through the different learning
solutions, such as formal training, on-the-job training, mentoring,
and knowledge sharing.
Integration with training and performance
The core philosophy of this initiative rests on the
competency-based learning system that was brought into effect to
support a structured development of people through the career
ladders available in the organization. Thus, the initiative
strengthened the following practices:
- Creation of a well-defined competency management
system. One of the key steps of the initiative was to
clarify each of the roles in the organization through a
well-defined competency framework that germinated from the
organization's core competency, vision, mission, and strategy. The
competency-based role definition provided every role holder with
adequate information on the factors that lead to successful
performance in a role.
- Definition-development solutions for each competency and
proficiency level. This exercise provided road maps for
individuals to develop competencies and move to higher
proficiencies. This exercise enabled the organization to understand
and capitalize on different learning interventions such as formal
training, on-the-job training, mentoring, and knowledge sharing
through knowledge-management portals for developing specific
- Creation of 22 new learning modules for building leadership
and behavioral competencies and 53 learning modules for the
technical competencies. The key differences between the
development initiatives of the organization that existed earlier
and the ones created as a part of this initiative are as follows:
- Formal training was the only development engine that was used
earlier and in the new competency-based learning maps; newer
methodologies such as mentoring and e-learning have been studied
- The process helped to tap the tacit knowledge that existed in
the organization. Leaders could identify a minimum of 25 people for
every competency across various proficiency levels who are playing
the roles of mentors and SMEs. This process addressed the specific
developmental need of every individual which was not fully possible
in a group learning setup that was available in formal training
- The knowledge management portal was revived to align with the
competency framework. The increased focus on the development
resulted in the number of users of the knowledge management portal
increasing by 65.4 percent compared to an increase of 17 percent in
the previous year.
- The e-learning module was introduced to the users based on the
competency development needs, and the investment on e-learning was
increased by 33 percent to $83,333. The results of usage were
immediate - the user percentage improved from 5 percent to 59
percent in the first three months of opening these modules.
Since its inception, more than 3,220 employees have participated in
the initiative. Top organizational objectives were met. Within the
first year of this initiative, the attrition rate dropped from
103.96 percent to 5.2 percent. This reduction in attrition led to
improved morale among employees due to increased faith in the
organization to provide growth opportunities and invest in people
development, and increased customer satisfaction.
This initiative met the employees' objectives of career growth
opportunities, because structured development initiatives made the
process transparent and consistent across the organization.
Employee development programs helped individuals get ahead in their
careers by using the organization as the platform.
The practice is evaluated at three levels:
- Impact from a business impact and financial impact perspective:
- controlled attrition
- enhanced customer satisfaction
- reduced billing loss
- reduced ACC (average compensation cost) of the units affected.
- Impact from an employee morale perspective:
- improved employee satisfaction scores on career-related aspects
- Impact from a process effectiveness improvement perspective on
- improved clarity among hiring and training due to clarity in
the career paths
- enhanced performance standards of people playing the roles
before and after the exercise
- improved return-on-investment made in the learning and