Infosys Is Crowdsourcing Employee Feedback to Improve Its Managers

SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock.com

Using an online platform betters the “frequency, ease, and measurement of this feedback."

The work culture at India’s large corporates, especially in the technology industry, has often been criticized for being toxic and demoralizing.

It’s particularly hard for the junior employees, whose concerns often go unheard. “They lack vision, will throw you under the bus if things go south, lack mentorship skills and are (sic) will preach BS philosophies that will take you nowhere,” one Amazon employee said about Indian managers on Blind, an anonymous social network for professionals.

But times are changing.

In recent years, Indian firms have taken a “360-degree” approach to gathering feedback on employees. This means that instead of the age-old practice of seniors reviewing juniors, now even subordinates are encouraged to give feedback on their managers.

Already, companies like electronics major Havells, the consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever, and the State Bank of India have adopted such systems. Now, India’s $150 billion IT outsourcing industry is starting to take a leaf out of their book, and even taking the practice a notch higher.

For instance, the country’s second-largest IT services company, Infosys, has developed a digital crowdsourcing platform called Manager Quotient to collect feedback on managers in order to hold them more accountable and make life smoother for lower-level staff.

Using an online platform betters the “frequency, ease, and measurement of this feedback,” said Kamal Dutta, managing director, India, for the U.S.-based online learning platform Skillsoft.

Managing managers

The brainchild of Nandini S, senior vice president and group head of organization development, human resources, at Infosys, MaQ helps managers self-evaluate on an on-going basis.

The MaQ dashboard crowdsources a team’s feedback on a manager across various competencies: how they inspire their team, coach teammates, connect with them, innovate, and execute their project. The data points for the various metrics are gathered from employee engagement surveys as well as exit interviews conducted during the year.

“Managers play a very important role. We needed a way to make them play their role in a much more focused way,” Krish Shankar, group head of human resources at Infosys, told Quartz.

The aim is to help manager-level employees recognize their strengths and weaknesses. The assessments indicate which areas they are doing well in, highlighted in green, as well as which ones need to be improved, demarcated in red. Tips and fixes are also suggested by the platform.

MaQ was rolled out across Infosys as a pilot a year ago. For the last nine months, it has been fully deployed for the company’s around 18,000 managers, across the globe. Around 60 percent of them have utilized the platform and believe it has helped them improve, Shankar said.

“A lot of companies today are collating peer feedback, feedback from subordinates and also from reporting managers. Like we have a system of rating products we buy on Flipkart and Amazon through a star-rating system, such platforms are a unique way of assessing employees,” said N Shivakumar, business head of recruitment process outsourcing at Teamlease Services.

Another Bengaluru-based IT firm, Mindtree, has also been gathering feedback about its managers. The company worked with both non-anonymous feedback collection methods as well as anonymised, digitised ones. Both yielded drastically different results.

“The real issues wouldn’t come up in a non-anonymous feedback because employees were afraid of being judged or ridiculed,” said Anish Philip, assistant vice president for people function at Mindtree. “(Where) feedback is anonymous, employees are much more inclined to share valuable information and give actionable observations. What makes the data even more valuable is that we correlate it with moods and we track the reasons registered (so) managers get a detailed report of how their team is feeling and why, along with useful, anonymous feedback.” 

But such systems aren’t without flaws.

All is not well

An attempt to get a 360-degree feedback can get derailed if the evaluation criteria are not laid out specifically.

“Any gap in framing the right questionnaire for the feedback survey could have serious implications and derail the whole program,” said Tonmoy Shinghal, co-founder and COO of talent assessment firm Mettl. “No matter how brilliant a tool is, if the questionnaire is not well curated, the program will be a failure.”

With anonymous feedback collection, there’s also a danger that employees may offer critical or negative feedback for reasons that are personal in nature. On the other hand, employees may shy away from saying anything negative about colleagues they consider friends, as per Debra Steele, director of marketing and communications at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a Chicago-based non-profit working towards adult learning and workforce development.

There’s also a chance that some people don’t use the platform at all. Mindtree’s Philip admits that their feedback methods don’t clock 100 percent participation. “Low response rates could be one downside of such online tools but even that is being solved through easy-to-use, highly engaging, and gamified platforms,” said Singhal.

Consequently, such review systems may tilt in favor of the most popular employees rather than the most competent ones.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.