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TCS plans to change its appraisal system

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Tata Consultancy Services is rethinking how it appraises its over 3,70,000 employees after scrapping the Bell Curve model.
As the Indian IT sector moves away from the relative ranking of its 3-million employees, most companies are bringing in new models.
TCS is rebuilding its appraisal system from the ground up. To begin with, some employees will be assessed after a project is completed instead of half yearly.
“There will be separate appraisal systems for IT and BPO employees and we are even looking at how senior executives should be appraised. This is all being tested out now. Nothing firm has been decided,” a TCS executive with knowledge of the matter told ET.
Indian IT services companies and large firms across the world will keenly watch how TCS manages its appraisals, given the scale of the exercise. KPMG, Microsoft, Accenture and Deloitte have abandoned the Bell Curve, a performance rating system that requires managers to rank employees against each other TCS is looking to adopt a system of continuous feedback, a goal that may be hard to achieve given the number of employees.
ET had previously reported that TCS was building a technology platform to manage the process of regular feedback. The TCS executive said the company will modify an existing platform for IT appraisals, while for BPO employees it would be more of a social media system.
“The system for BPO employees would be more based on social media, like the internal Knome platform we currently use,” the executive said. The change in the performance review process has started for some TCS employees.
Earlier this month, a subset of employees received an email detailing the modifications. “This is with reference to certain changes being introduced in the Performance Management System. Stage-wise timelines for appraisal process were discontinued last year to encourage continuous feedback,” the email said.
“We are now moving towards having one appraisal cycle for entire year applicable for all employees.” The email added that, instead of half-yearly appraisals, targeted employees would move to a project-end appraisal cycle — and that the projects could last anywhere from two months to a year. ET has a copy of the email. “These appraisal cycle changes are in a beta mode and will get rolled out to other employees over time,” a TCS spokesperson said, declining to comment on other changes. TCS is not the only IT company building new platforms — HCL Technologies has one called iSuccess and Wipro’s is called PerformanceNext.
Infosys launched its iCount platform this year and is building a mobile application to record real-time feedback. “This is beginning to happen. If you build technology to handle the change in the appraisal system worldwide and you have a good use case, even if it is yourself, it helps selling it to clients,” said an IT consultant who has worked with IT companies, asking not to be identified.

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