Brian Humphries, CEO, Cognizant Bijoy Ghosh BIJOY GHOSH | Photo Credit: Bijoy Ghosh
There is a war on for talent, saysBrian Humphries
In a bid to arrest employee attrition, IT major Cognizant Technology Solutions spent an additional $1 billion on compensation in 2021.
“We invested more last year in compensation than at any stage in our history, and more than that budgeted at the start of the year due to the labour market dynamics,” Brian Humphries, CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions, told BusinessLine . “There is a war on for talent,” he added.
Though attrition is an industry-wide problem, Cognizant has been losing people at a pace that is higher than the industry average. The Quarterly Annualised Attrition in the December 2021 quarter was 35 per cent.
To arrest attrition, Cognizant has adopted a multi-pronged approach around career path and learning development; overhauling promotion process from tenure-based to role-based apart from higher compensation. “We spent a lot listening to our employees and celebrating the success,” he said.
It was through such an exercise that the company learnt that its employees preferred a hybrid, rather than a work-from-home, environment. The company has taken steps to make this possible. Such a model will help the company employ more women and also meet its ESG norms, Humphries added.
At the end of December 2021, Cognizant had 3.30 lakh employees globally, of whom over 80 per cent were employed in India.
On a number of senior executives leaving Cognizant, Humphries said most had left in the first 15 months of his joining in April 2019, but the company has become a lot stable in the last 18 months. There have been a lot of internal promotions. Cognizant now has a strong leadership practice, and the next generation of talent is emerging, he said.
With various measures in place, Humphries expects attrition in the March quarter to be lower than the levels seen in the December quarter.