While IT services giants are public about their focus on company culture, employee benefits, and nurturing talent from within as methods to decrease attrition, they seem to be neglecting what employees actually want – an acceptable work-life balance, career growth, and better salaries.
Online job board Glassdoor is a fairly reliable measuring stick for employee satisfaction, as reviews on the site cannot be altered by employers and require both the pros and cons to be explained.
When looking at some of the largest IT services providers on the site, an obvious pattern emerged – employees are in some cases unhappy with the work-life balance the companies provide (or don’t provide, as the case may be), the limited career growth opportunities, and low salaries compared to industry standards.
Arguably the largest IT services provider out there, Accenture scored a reputable 3.8 out of 5 average score from its 35,000 employee reviews – the most reviews received in this list.
The biggest positive aspect of working for the company is a “good work life balance, if you push for it”. Employees also enjoy the company’s “good work culture and environment”.
The primary cons are that “work life balance can be improved” and “long working hours to be checked”.
We met with Accenture in Monterrey, Mexico, in May 2017, to talk about why talent in the city was hard to keep hold of. The company highlighted that people have the freedom to study what they like, as the firm has 24,000 online courses to choose from, as well as the mandatory ones. Perhaps this extra-curricular study is contributing to the work-life balance complaints and reported long hours.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
This global giant from India is on a continuous growth mission, especially in North America where it hit record profits last quarter. Employees think quite highly of the firm, with 31,000 of them scoring an average of 3.6 out of 5 on Glassdoor.
Almost 5,000 reviewers wrote that a “good work-life balance is maintained”, while only 1,200 wrote the opposite. Even so, salaries were also mentioned, in that there are “less salary hikes” and “low salary levels than the overall IT industry”.
Workers enjoy TCS’s “flexible work environment, good onsite opportunities, and career growth”, but a few hundred say that there is “no work-life balance, especially on some projects” and a “lot of politics” to endure.
We spoke with Adriana Torres, Country Head for TCS Mexico, in February 2018, who defended the company’s stance on salaries, saying “We cannot increase everybody’s salaries so we are not competing with [other] companies, instead letting go of the people that choose to leave – we have to respect the salaries bands and the progressive growth in the company.”
While over 4,000 employees at Infosys enjoy the company’s work culture and environment, around 3,000 have issues with the salaries in comparison to market averages and other companies. Some reviewers attribute a high attrition rate to the low pay.
Overall, India’s second-largest firm scored an overall 3.4 out of 5, coming from 28,000 reviews – the lowest on the list when you consider the averages. Even so, high flexibility, good work-life balance, and excellent growth and learning opportunities for new hires have positioned the company as the “best kickstarter for fresh recruits”.
The company’s total headcount was over 204,000 at the end of March 2018, with an attrition rate of 16.6%, so, as a way to reduce this, the firm announced that it would roll out a company-wide salary hike for the majority (85%) of its employees, with managers getting their cut in July.
Since then, many employees have reported that the hike was “minimal” in their Glassdoor reviews, showing that it wasn’t enough to satisfy the troops. While Infosys is lauded as a great place to start a career, it will need to fix its wage system in order to please its loyal, long-term workers.
Matching TCS’s average review score with 3.6 out of 5 from 24,000 reviews, US-founded provider Cognizant is mostly praised for its work culture and environment, its work life balance, and its “technology oriented” ethos.
Still, many reviewers mention that advancement and career growth is difficult at the company, with one person writing last month that “employee career growth is going downwards day by day” and that the “appraisal process is not too clean”.
It seems that Cognizant is aware of this issue. In an interview with Noe Gutierrez, Country Head for Mexico, in November 2017, he stated that “if you don’t provide people an environment where they can grow, then they leave. If people can experience new opportunities, continue to develop their career and skills, then retention is not that difficult.”
While Wipro has been fairly slow to take hold of the Latin American market, the Indian IT Services firm has been able to recently carve out an identity in the outsourcing sector, mainly through an intense focus on business process services (BPS).
The company scored an average of 3.4 out of 5 from 16,000 Glassdoor reviews, with employees praising the work life balance, worldwide exposure, good people and work environment, and ample opportunities to learn.
Almost 1,300 workers complained about salaries, saying that the “annual salary hike is pathetic” and that even after years of experience the salary doesn’t get much better. Over 600 junior employees also complained about the lack of work-life balance, so it seems people have to work for that privilege.
When speaking to Gurmohan Dugal, Head of Business Process Services for Wipro Latin America, in November 2017, he stressed that the “silver bullet” in most companies’ talent retention schemes in the region is to pay more, which he doesn’t believe works. “Instead, employees’ knowledge that the company is growing and providing opportunities for development makes a lot more sense,” he said.
Notably, when looking at all the companies on the list, not one of them had significant positive feedback on salaries — any mention of wages only appeared in the “cons” section. However, it’s clear that promises on company culture, work environment, and opportunities for new recruits to learn new skills are being met in the IT services sector as a whole.