Infosys has re-launched its employee stock option plan (ESOP) for junior to middle level management staff in a bid to rein in rising attrition that stood at 21 percent in the April-June 2016 quarter. The company is however not “unduly concerned” about the jump in attrition, which read 17.3 percent in the March quarter and 19.2 percent in the year-ago period. Also Read - Work from home: Here is a look at TCS and Infosys' long-term planAlso Read - Infosys has just launched a learning app for engineering students
“Today, we relaunched our ESOP program after a gap of 10-years plus, after about 13 years. We are rewarding about 7,500 of our employees from junior to middle level management with restricted stock options and we will extend it to middle management to senior leaders and title holders subsequently,” Infosys Chief Operating Officer UB Pravin Rao said. He added that the company continues to focus on re-skilling employees and has also revamped its leadership development programs.
ESOPs allow employees to own equity in the company, which is seen as a morale booster for them. Infosys added 13,268 (gross) and 3,006 (net) people in the said quarter, taking its headcount to 1,97,050 at the end of June 2016. Elaborating on the higher rate of attrition, Rao said one of the reasons is “seasonality because typically in Q1, we have higher exits due to higher studies”. He added that while the attrition levels have shot up, Infosys has been able to retain “high performers”. “We are really encouraged, we also track high performers’ attrition, which has come down. Earlier last quarter, it was 13.4 per cent and this quarter, it has come down to 11.2 percent, so we are encouraged by that,” he said.
Rao said Infosys will “watch out”, but at this stage, it is “not unduly concerned” and continues to focus on employee experience and engagement. This year, Infosys has given wage hikes of 6-12 percent to its employees in India and about 2 percent to onsite workers, apart from offering equity to incentivize top performers. Infosys, which is undergoing a turnaround under Sikka’s leadership, has been witnessing a string of senior leaders quitting the firm. These exits include high-profile names like former chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal, head of manufacturing and EVP (Executive Vice-President) Sanjay Jalona, Infosys BPO head and EVP Gautam Thakkar, and Infosys EdgeVerve head and EVP Michael Reh. The most recent exit was that of Samson David, Infosys’ head of cloud, infrastructure and security business. David, who had joined Infosys as a trainee software engineer in 1992, had been recently tasked by Sikka to spearhead the company’s flagship artificial intelligence platform Mana.