In the context of fostering a culture of innovation and growth, listening plays a pivotal role in the success of companies. Amdocs recognises this need by actively listening to employees’ opinions and ideas, ensuring their continuous engagement and motivation. By valuing and incorporating the diverse perspectives and voices of its workforce, the organisation cultivates an environment where individuals can make meaningful contributions and create a positive impact on the world.
Amdocs embarked on the journey of people centricity three years ago, with listening being a significant component of it. Reetu Raina, VP & global head of talent management, Amdocs, shares, “It became very clear to us that if we were to succeed as an organisation, we had to keep people at the centre. Thus, we started listening to our employees’ feedbacks from the ground.”
After gathering feedback from the employees, the company introduced many policies and practices to engage people more effectively. The three major components of this people-centric journey includes empowerment, flexibility, and of course, listening, which works well for both the employees as well as the business side.
- Vacation without limits: The first initiative within this journey removed restrictions on vacation time. By doing so, the organisation aimed to prioritise employee well-being. The understanding sought is related to the notion that unlimited leave policies are often perceived as impractical due to the inherent belief that people will misuse the freedom granted to them. However, Raina believes that it is important to recognise that true empowerment is the key, rather than unrestricted freedom.
“It became very clear to us that if we were to succeed as an organisation, we had to keep people at the centre. Thus, we started listening to our employees’ feedbacks from the ground.”
Reetu Raina, VP & global head of talent management, Amdocs
In many organisations, different types of leaves — paid leaves and sick leaves — exist, but ensuring that employees use them appropriately can be a challenge. At Amdocs, a culture of trust has been fostered, where employees are trusted to make responsible decisions regarding their time off. The introduction of ‘vacation without limits’ reinforced this trust, indicating that the organisation believes in its employees and wants them to take breaks from work, whenever needed.
The key question, however, is, ‘Are employees delivering as expected and effectively managing their work-life balance?’
“This approach does not imply compromising on deliverables,” points out Raina. “Instead, it focuses on empowering employees by setting clear performance expectations. While concerns about potential misuse may arise, it is crucial to believe in and trust employees,” asserts Raina.
Based on this trust, Amdocs successfully rolled out the policy. As a result, employees felt a genuine sense of care from the organisation upon their return, leading to increased productivity. This concept (unlimited leave policy) resonated with the employees, leading to a significant increase in vacation usage. Vacation days taken per employee rose from an average of 13 to 70 days, allowing employees to achieve a better work-life balance, and enhancing the organisation’s focus on employee well-being.
“Concerns regarding potential misuse of this freedom are valid if there is a lack of trust in people. If a policy heavily monitored and lacks clear performance measurements, the risk of misuse may arise. However, when all three factors are present — clear performance measurements, trust in employees, and the belief that they will act responsibly — the worry about misuse diminishes. While exceptions may occur, they should not dictate the rules of the system as a whole,” advises Raina.
‘Vacation without limits’ is one of the highly successful and most popular policies at Amdocs.
- Internal mobility: This is yet another initiative that is part of Amdoc’s people centricity. During the listening process, valuable feedback emerged, highlighting the challenge employees faced in moving due to their manager’s reluctance to release valuable and essential team members. Recognising this hurdle, Amdocs made significant changes to the policy allowing employees to apply for internal positions and go through a selection process. If selected, the employee is formally informed by either the new hiring HR manager, eliminating the risk associated with making a move.
“By placing the employee at the centre of the policy, Amdocs aims to facilitate the discovery of their next dream job within the company,” enunciates Raina. Moreover, the company made another policy adjustment reducing the timeframe from 18 to 12 months for internal job changes, although the duration applicable is different for graduate engineers and relocation cases.
With multiple business verticals and over 53 geographic locations, Amdocs provides ample opportunities for its 30,000 employees. These policy changes resulted in a remarkable increase in the internal job mobility ratio from 42 per cent to nearly 50 per cent.
Through these much-needed changes, the company manages to offer the employees an opportunity for personal growth, to learn new skills, and explore different cultures by relocating to various geographies with each transition. This internal marketplace within Amdocs has transformed the company’s talent landscape, enabling employees to advance their careers within the organisation rather than seeking opportunities elsewhere.
Pointing out the increasing impact of the policy, Raina adds, “The internal mobility rate, which stood at around 38 per cent, has now soared to an impressive 58 per cent. This is a significant shift, particularly in a geography (India) with a relatively young workforce. Instead of seeking opportunities outside of the company, these youngsters are actively exploring and advancing their careers within Amdocs.”
- Employee stock purchase options: Another significant step towards people centricity was the introduction of employee stock purchase options (ESPP) at Amdocs.
Generally, companies face a significant challenge with stocks in terms of immediate gratification, especially among the younger employees in the workforce. However, as a retention strategy, ESPPs have yielded positive results at Amdocs.
The company recently introduced its Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and experienced remarkable results in terms of employee participation. In countries such as India, where a significant portion of the workforce consists of young software engineers, the percentage of employees opting for the ESOPs reached around 17-18 per cent!
A similar rising trend was observed in geographies such as North America (40 per cent) and Israel (50 per cent).
“Despite potential financial constraints, employees choose to invest in their future rather than immediate enjoyment. The answer lies in their belief that the company’s actions and future prospects are aligned with the organisation’s success and growth story. Employees have faith in the company’s strategy, vision and promise. Therefore, they are confident that investing in the stock purchase plan will yield positive results,” points out Raina.
Additionally, the flexibility and empowerment provided by Amdocs, as reflected in its rewards and recognition policy and compensation structure, are also appreciated by employees.
How successful have these initiatives been?
To evaluate the success and effectiveness of these employee-centric initiatives, the company looks at its attrition rate as a significant key performance indicator (KPI). Interestingly, Amdocs has witnessed a reduction in attrition to approximately 15 per cent, compared to the higher rates seen during the ‘Great Resignation’, of around 25 to 26 per cent. Another important measure is the number of leaders who have grown within the company.
“When employees stay with the organisation for extended periods, they are more likely to be promoted to leadership positions. Amdocs has filled most of its leadership roles internally, with few positions needing external hiring. Additionally, the company’s positive reputation and perception among employees, as reflected on platforms such as Glassdoor, further validate the success of these initiatives. Overall, the lower attrition rate, internal leadership growth, and positive social impression indicate that Amdocs prioritises its employees, creating an attractive and sought-after workplace,” concludes Raina.