Blogroll Internal Communication

Making Sense of the ‘Best’ Employer and Workplace Studies in India

Tried making sense of the numerous surveys and studies that rank best employers?

There are many surveys and studies to recognize the ‘best’ companies in the country and abroad that it can often overwhelm those who want to make a decision about participating in a study, joining an organization or just understand best practices that work.

I blogged earlier on relevant criteria to consider for entering a survey and what a few surveys highlighted –  the Outlook-AON Best Employers in India study in 2011 , the Great Place to Work study in 2010 and the 2009 Outlook Business – Hewitt Associates study.

Here are a few more interesting studies that might be relevant to your understanding of the Indian workforce’s mindset and how employers are ranked and rated.

I came across one that evaluates how students perceive organizations – called the India’s Ideal Employers 2012.  It is unique in a sense that it puts the ranking in the hands of students and helps gauge organizations from a recruitment marketing angle.

Then there is the Randstad’s Award for the Most ‘Attractive’ Employer. The 2012 study indicates that in India long term job security and financial health of an organization are among the top influencers for a prospective candidate to choose one employer over the other. The others factors are career progression opportunities, competitive salary & employee benefits and international career opportunities. The award aims to identify the perceived attractiveness of a company based on 10 factors by talking to employees and job seekers.  The 2012 survey conducted amongst 8,500 respondents from over 150 biggest employers in the country had most people under 40 since it targets potential employees. Good to know: the study distinguishes between ‘absolute attractiveness’ (covers all respondents) and ‘relative attractiveness’ (among those who know the company) to stay fair to small sized organizations and those with lower brand recall.

The Hay Group recently announced their India’s 50 Most Admired Companies list for the first time. The Tata Group’s companies Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata Motors featured in the top 10. The reputation of the firm was the pivot for arriving at the top list. Other factors were consistency, quality, talent management, corporate governance, social responsibility and delivering value to investors.

Another recently launched study called the WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces™ 2012 lists the most ‘democratic’ firms across the globe based  on their commitment to ‘practicing freedom and democracy’. The organization claims to be a ‘global network of organizations committed to practicing freedom and democracy in the workplace’. You would expect more companies to be featured from India, a democracy. In 2011 however, among the fifty organizations that made it to the list only two India firms got placed – 3i Infotech and HCL Technologies.

The Business Today’s Best Companies to Work study in 2011 highlights culture of a place as most important for staff in defining the appeal of an employer – topping compensation and growth.  Work satisfaction and having a good supervisor were top of mind for employees and the growth opportunities, varied roles and empowerment were crucial to employee engagement.

You also have the Dataquest-CMR Best Employer Survey 2011 which lists companies based on an initial survey of 200 IT companies and then a shortlist of 38 participating finalists. Over 3,000 employees are polled in second phase of the survey on 70 HR-related topics.

This is where things get a bit intriguing – Google incidentally drops off their list while it ranks numero uno on the 2012 Great Places to Work Survey in India which believes that ‘a great place to work is where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do and enjoy the company of the people they work with’! You are left wondering about how the surveys stack up against each other.

Among the trends from the latter study are a higher positive perception about culture among senior management, attrition is lower among the top 50 – by one-third to two-third of the industry average and overall improvement in work-life balance, flexibility and workplace practices. Among best employers the perception to fair pay and fair share of profits improved.

Overall, while these studies share insights for decision makers in organizations to gauge where they ‘stand’ vis-à-vis peers they fail to give clear directions for employers to remodel the way they operate and arrive at a strategy to overcome staff’s perceptions.

Know of other similar studies in India? Share them here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *