Infosys gifts iPhone6 handsets to 3,000 employees as a ‘Holiday Bonus’.

Infosys gifts iPhone6 handsets to 3,000 employees as a ‘Holiday Bonus’.

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Ever since Chief Executive Vishal Sikka took the helm at Infosys, his focus has clearly been on the employees- from easing internal processes to encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. Now, possibly the first time ever, the IT outsourcing major has gifted some high performers Apple’s latest iPhones as a token of appreciation.

InfosysBSE 5.02 % has given 3,000 iPhone6 handsets to employees who have done “extremely well”, across verticals and across geographies, ET learns. Labelled “holiday bonus”, the phones were delivered to the deserving employees along with a gift-themed letter signed by Sikka.

“Two people I know received the iPhones, and they were also surprised. We have heard the company is rewarding the high performers. We have received no formal communication, and do not know who the high performers are because the CRR’s (consolidated relative ranking) have not been intimated to us yet,” said a Europe-based employee who did not wish to be named.

The CRR is the ranking system Infosys adopts to evaluate its employees as part of the annual appraisal cycle. The rankings are between 1 and 4, with 1 being the highest. Some exemplary employees however, get a ranking of 1+. The CRR for this cycle has not been announced yet so the “gifts” came as a surprise for the people who received them.

Infosys has grappled with high attrition rates in past year, which crossed 20% in the July-September quarter. However, Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao told ET earlier that he expects attrition at the IT major to come down to 13-15% by the end of June 2015.
Sikka has engaged with the employees in several ways, heeding to some long pending issues. For instance, at a town hall address to employees in October, he relaxed the dress code norm which required male employees to wear ties once a week. He also allowed access to Internet for all employees across job levels, called for simplified internal processes and increased the budgets for team awards.

Gifting the iPhones is being seen as another step towards rewarding employees to boost their morale. “I do not remember anyone having received this kind of reward for their work at the company before this. Let’s hope this is not a one-off thing and will inspire people to perform better within their job roles,” said another employee who has been with the company for over nine years.

Sikka has also been stressing on the need to encourage “design thinking”, a creative and systematic approach to problem-solving by placing the user at the centre of the experience. “Vishal Sikka’s initiative to train employees on areas like design thinking is a step in the right direction but the fat in the middle management needs to be trimmed and trained to enable employees at the bottom of the pyramid to use the knowledge they have gained…,” said Hansa Iyengar Analyst – IT Services and Sourcing at Ovum.

This article has been adapted from The Economic Times.

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