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Mood turns sombre as Infosys turns heat on below-par pros

business Updated: Mar 07, 2014 00:22 IST
Vivek Sinha

A pall of gloom is hanging over Infosys campuses across India. And it seems to be spreading ever since executive chairman NR Narayana Murthy recently said that all non-performers would be asked to quit.

Ever since the company recently introduced written tests for lateral recruitments, speculation has been rife that a similar step would be taken for existing employees.

While Infosys has categorically ruled this out, there is lack of clarity over who would be bracketed as an under-performer, and what would be the yardstick for such an appraisal, fueling the fear psychosis.

“It is not the test that is being feared… rather, who will be asked to take this assessment test and what happens after that,” a senior Infosys executive said requesting anonymity. Several other senior and mid-level Infosys executives expressed anxiety that the company’s effort to retain the “right” employees is likely to have an adverse effect on employee morale.

When contacted, an Infosys spokesperson said, “There are no plans to introduce a written test for employees.” She said the company reviews employee performance on an ongoing basis. “Our employees must assess themselves for various skills and certifications from time to time. This is no different from systems adopted by organisations of repute globally,” she said.

“I do not see any merit in subjecting existing employees to assessment tests to ascertain if they can continue with their current position,” said Kamal Karanth, MD of staffing service firm Kelly Services. Such tests are okay if done to evaluate bigger roles for an individual within an organisation, he added.

The attrition rate at Infosys is 18.1%, higher than the industry average of 14-15%.