Dear Mr. Chandra,
TCS is world leader technology service provider. You are working hard to make TCS more agile and competitive. All employees are happy to strengthen your hands. You have won various prizes like best CEO of the year. TCS market cap has grown multi fold, TCS margin is highest above 27% (far above it was in IT golden days), utilization above 86%.
TCS management official version on these mass layoffs says, it is routine process of involuntary attrition happening every year for low performers. Previous 2 year numbers have been disclosed first time with 2 figures for this year (initially around 25,000 and now 2574 till now).
We all TCSer request you to transparently communicate exact layoff criteria and policy. On media they say only under performers are laid off while letters and HR team is giving different message. TCS top management talks about ethics, Tata code of conduct etc. But same level of ethics is not followed in this mass lay off.
This unethical mass lay off has raised various questions and all TCSers want answer from you.
- TCS is doing lay off with even ‘C’ and above bands. As per TCS curve fitting process more than 60% associates are given band ‘C’ or below. Band ‘C’ is given to associate achieving 100% result, “Meeting Expectations” and gets regular increment of fixed & variable component as well. Are these more than 60% associates underperforming? How is TCS running with these large numbers of low performers? How was TCS able to manage with these low performers for so long?
- Various committed, dedicated, hard working associates servicing TCS for more than 10 years are laid off. How did they become low performer all of a sudden?
- TCS has a process to improve associate performance though Performance Improvement Process (PIP). Can you share the details of how many of these ‘low performers’ were put under PIP for how long? What is outcome of that? How many associates didn’t improve despite going through PIP? Disclose all these data. Disclosing the data could prove your claim of following ethics a little at least. One good point may be to accept all layoff numbers, reason transparently with proper severance package.
- ‘Under performers’ is very bad label painted on various hard working, committed, dedicated associates despite consistent good rating. They are seen as under performers by kids, wife/husband, family and society. They will hear same if they go to any new employer. It is very bad slap on committed associates’ There are so many associates who never got rating below ‘C’. As per TCS appraisal process ‘C’ band is given to associate who is achieving 100% assigned goal (meeting expectation). It is perfectly fit situation to file reputation damage case in court. Why are you demoralizing, insulting your own people and TCS at large?
- TCS is a very large organization and has a well established appraisal system for long time. There are certain unwritten guidelines prevailing regarding rating. One of them is even if you have done work of ‘A’ rating and taking release then associate should be ready to go 1 or 2 steps down. It is openly discussed. Supervisor says if you want release then will be given 2 levels below rating and associate accepts considering other critical factors. Rating is given based on what is anticipated out of associate in next year rather than work done in previous year. Supervisor wants to keep good rating for associates who will work with him in next year because they are just focused to own team. To keep them “happy” and “motivated”. Are you unaware of this practice? What have you done to address this?
- Various letters and HR staff discussion with associates suggest various reasons of lay off. Some of reasons cited are:
- TCS has reviewed the available pool and skill requirement at your level and had come to decision that your skill is no more required for company. If company feels that existing skill set is not in much demand and some different skill is in demand. Why did company not follow a more transparent ethical approach like?
- Prepare details of skills in excess and communicate organization wide.
- List of skills in demand
- Arrange training, course material, support associates who wants to get trained in new skills in demand.
- Still if there is any gap and associates are not upgrading then give them warning to those specific associates, time period to upgrade before taking any drastic step.
- Did HR and business units communicate such message in the organisation? Why such specific message is not conveyed to impacting associates that you upgrade your skill in this duration else you will be laid off within ‘N’ number of days?
- Is there a single example like this even discussed in organisation and communicated to organization?
- TCS will not be able to provide you more opportunities at your level to go up higher ladder.
- Performance rating is considered as key parameter
- Scalability to new role
- Requirement of skill
TCS was the only organization to honour the campus offers during 2001 slow down. This mass lay off has created a big panic in associates. Everyone is feared; highly de-motivated, good associates are leaving themselves. It will give long lasting bad impact to TCS. Associates are feeling cheated. Same top management (CEO) teaching ethics, Tata code of conduct etc is following all unethical practices.
Now TCSers who are share holders along with other shareholders planning to attend AGM and get clarification because CEO feels answerable to only shareholders and not to employees.
You have tarnished the reputation of TCS and Tata group based on ethics and people oriented image built over years by previous leaders. It gives message to ranks that everything is happening to justify 60% increase in your compensation and remain CEO until your retirement.
( The above open letter is written by a TCSer in New Delhi)