Human Resources Development Techniques for Marketing Personnel in Selected IT Companies of India


By

Dr. Sonal Saxena
Asst. Professor
Pacific Institute of Management
Udaipur
 


Introduction & Brief Review

Human Resource Development (HRD) is concerned with the development of human resources in an organization. The term 'Human Resource Development' has two parts namely: 'Human Resource' and 'Development'.

"Human Resource" may be thought of as "the total knowledge, skill, creative abilities, talents and aptitudes of an organization's work force, as well as the values, attitudes and benefits of an individual involved (Panigrahy,1990) in the organization.

"Development" means enhancing/improving skills/capabilities of an individual in the present job as well as bringing into the light the hidden qualities of an individual for a future job assignment (Gupta, 1996) . These skills/capabilities have to seek congruence/correlation between organisational and individual goals. The essence of Human Resource Development (HRD) is to bring out the best in man. To bring out the best in people means the better performance of the employees at all levels in the jobs they hold. Better performance or higher productivity depends upon the levels of knowledge, skills, capacities and positive work attitudes and values of all employees in the organisation. It is a process of raising increasing potentialities of manpower resources (Singh, Kaur and Kumar, 1995). This process may result in integration of the goals of individuals with organisation goals, improving performance of individuals and effective groups (Panigrahy, 1990) . The organisation as a whole aims at optimum utilisation of human resources in the organisation. To achieve this, organizations should provide a development climate as well as opportunities to the employees.

Evolution of HRD in India can be traced back from 1974 onwards when Larsen and Toubro Limited had set up a separate HRD department. On 2nd March, 1985 the National HRD network, an institute was created by eminent academics, social scientists, professionals and CEOs of the country for providing a forum for sharing experiences and learning from each other by introducing the concept of `networking'. The emergence of National HRD Network and the growth of profession are already known to the corporate sector much before Indian economy has opened its gate for foreign investors and more flexibility for Indian business community to do business with foreign partners. One major factor for the growth of human resource development has been found as knowledge dissemination.  HRD Newsletter, published by the National HRD Networks, and XLRI, Jamshedpur was a product of a few visionaries to meet this need.

Mechanisms suggested by Rao (1985) and Pareek and Rao(1984) aid in better understanding of HRD and facilitate implementation and establishment of the linkage between each of the sub-systems. They have conceptualized the process mechanisms in the following manner.

 Performance Appraisal

An HRD oriented performance appraisal is used as a mechanism to:

i) Understand the difficulties of their subordinates and try to remove these difficulties & encouraging them to accept more responsibilities & challenges.
ii) Understand the strength and weaknesses of their subordinates and help the subordinates to realise these.
iii) Help the subordinates to become aware of their positive contributions.

Potential Appraisal and Development

It is assumed under this system that the company is growing continuously. A dynamic and growing organization needs to continually review its structure and systems, creating new roles and assigning new responsibilities.  Capabilities to perform new roles and responsibilities must continually be developed among employees.

Feedback and Performance Coaching

Supervisors in HRD system have the responsibility for ongoing observation and feedback to subordinates about their strengths and their weaknesses, as well as for guidance in improving performance capabilities.

Career Planning

The HRD philosophy says that people perform better when they feel trusted and see meaning in what they are doing. In the HRD system, corporate growth plans should not be kept secret. Long-range plans for the organization are made known to the employees. Most people want to know the possibilities for their own growth and career opportunities. Because managers and supervisors have information about the growth plans of the company, it is their responsibility to transmit information to their subordinates and to assist them in planning their careers within the organization.

Training

Training is linked with performance appraisal and career development.  Employees generally are trained on the job or through special-in-house training programs. 

Organization Development

This function includes research to ascertain the psychological health of the organization. This generally is accomplished by means of periodic employee surveys. Efforts are made to improve organizational health through various means in order to maintain a psychological climate that is conducive to productivity.

Rewards

Rewarding employee performance and behavior is an important part of HRD. Appropriate reward is not only to recognize and motivate employees, but also communicate the organization's values to the employees. In HRD systems, innovations and use of capabilities are rewarded in order to encourage the acquisition and application of positive attitudes and skills.

Employee Welfare and Quality of Work Life

Quality-of-work-life programs generally focus on the environment within the organization.  HRD systems focus on employee welfare and quality of work life by continually examining employee needs and meeting them to the extent feasible. 

Research Methodology

An empirical study based on descriptive research design was therefore undertaken with the help of structured questionnaire to study the HRD Techniques for Marketing Professionals in IT Industry which is based on the responses of five Top Management Personnel & 25 Marketing Personnel from the sample of five IT organizations in the year 2003. Sample Organizations were Infosys Technologies Ltd, Wipro Enterprises Ltd, Lanco Global Systems Ltd., Infotech Enterprises Ltd, & Inner Space Info Research Pvt Ltd. Four of the organizations are located in Hyderabad (AP) and one (Inner Space Info Research Pvt Ltd) is in Udaipur (Raj.).

Brief about Questionnaire

Questionnaire on `HRD Techniques for Marketing Personnel' contains 74 items on the following HRD techniques/tools:-

    1) Performance Appraisal
    2) Training and OD Interventions.
    3) Performance Counseling
    4) Reward Mechanisms
    5) Promotion Decisions
    6) Other HRD instruments for marketing personnel and
    7) Interaction among HRD instruments and training

Each sub item on the questionnaire is having different scale & score range which are mentioned below:

1. Performance Appraisal

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 14 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 5 point scale:
Fully =5,  To a considerable extent =4,  To some extent =3,  To little extent=2,  Not at all=1
Score range is within 14 to 70.  Interpretation will be as under:
56-70        Excellent        42-56 Very Good 
28-42        Good             14-28 Satisfactory
Below 14    Poor.

2. Training and OD Interventions.

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 15 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 5 point scale:
Very True =5,  True to a great extent =4,  Somewhat true =3,  Little true=2,  Not at all true=1
Score range is between 15 to 75.  Interpretation will be as under:
60-75           Excellent  45-60          Very Good
30-45           Good       15-30          Satisfactory
Below 15        Poor.

3. Performance Counseling

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 9 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 5 point scale:
Always =5,  Mostly =4,  Sometimes =3,  Seldom=2,  Never=1
Score range is between 9 and 45 .  Interpretation will be as under:
36-45       Excellent  27-36       Very Good
18-27      Good        9-18        Satisfactory
Below 9   Poor.

4. Reward Mechanisms

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 10 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 3 point scale:
Frequently =3,  Fixed time period=2,  Not at all=1.
Score range is between 10 and 30.  Interpretation will be as under:
20-30 =Excellent    10-20= Good
Below10 =Poor

5. Promotion Decisions

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 5 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 5 point scale:
Always used =5,  Frequently used =4,  Seldom =3,  Sometimes=2,  Never=1
Score range is between 5 to 25.  Interpretation will be as under:
20-25     Excellent   15-20    Very Good
10-15     Good        5-10       Satisfactory
Below 5  Poor.

6. Other HRD instruments for marketing personnel

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 6 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 5 point scale:
Fully =5,  To a considerable extent =4,  To some extent =3,  To little extent=2,  Not at all=1
Score range is between 6 to 30.  Interpretation will be as under:
24-30      Excellent  18-24      Very Good
12-18      Good       6-12         Satisfactory
Below 6   Poor.

7. Interaction among HRD instruments and training

Scoring and Interpretation:
This subscale contains 15 items.  The respondents are required to respond on each item on a 5 point scale:
Fully =5,  To a considerable extent =4,  To some extent =3,  To little extent=2,  Not at all=1
Score range is between 15 and 75.  Interpretation will be as under:
60-75      Excellent  45-60      Very Good
30-45      Good       15-30      Satisfactory
Below 15   Poor.

Data Interpretation & Findings

Following is table showing comparative analysis of organizations for profile of HRD techniques for Marketing Personnel as per rating scales.

Organizations

Infosys Technologies Ltd.

Wipro Enterprises Ltd.

Lanco Global Systems Ltd.

Infotech Enterprises Ltd.

Inner Space Info Research Pvt. Ltd.

HRD Techniques

Performance Appraisal

56.90
III (Good)

57.50
I (Excellent)

53.87
IV (Good)

57.46
II(Excellent)

56.90
V (Good)

Training & OD Interventions

66.53
II (Excellent)

66.83
I (Excellent)

63.06
III (Excellent)

55.76
IV (Good)

42.06
V (Poor)

Performance Counseling

36.26
II (Good)

37.30
I (Excellent)

35.60
III (Good)

34.93
IV (Good)

33.10
V (Good)

Reward Mechanisms

23.16
II (Excellent)

24.23
I (Excellent)

22.76
III (Excellent)

21.86
IV (Excellent)

15.16
V (Poor)

Promotion Decisions

19.43
III (Good)

20.20
I (Excellent)

20.20
I (Excellent)

16.23
IV (Good)

14.06
V (Poor)

Other Instruments for Marketing Personnel

25.13
II (Excellent)

25.46
I (Excellent)

23.56
III (Good)

19.90
IV (Good)

14.13
V (Poor)

Interaction among HRD Instruments & Training

62.80
II (Excellent)

64.30
I (Excellent)

60.47
III (Good)

53.23
IV (Good)

40.43
V (Poor)


The collected & tabulated primary data have been analyzed and interpreted using the following hypothesis. For testing first hypothesis, calculated mean weighted scores of each sample organizations were rated according to the prescribed scale of HRD Techniques for Marketing Personnel questionnaire, and for testing the second hypothesis one way classification of ANOVA(Analysis of Variance) was used.

Hypothesis 1 : Organizations under study are having excellent HRD Techniques for Marketing Personnel.

Hypothesis Testing:

As has already been discussed through comparative analysis table, following are the organization wise conclusions for HRD Techniques questionnaire for Marketing Personnel.

* Infosys Technologies Ltd:

* Rating of Performance Appraisal technique was found to be 'Good' . Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Training and OD Interventions technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Performance Counseling technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Reward Mechanisms technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Promotion Decision technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Other HRD Instruments was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Interaction among HRD Instruments and Training was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.

* Wipro Technologies Ltd:

* Rating of Performance Appraisal technique was found to be 'Excellent'. Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Training and OD Interventions technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Performance Counselling technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Reward Mechanisms technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Promotion Decision technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Other HRD Instruments was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Interaction among HRD Instruments and Training was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.

* Lanco Global Systems Ltd:

* Rating of Performance Appraisal technique was found to be 'Good'. Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Training and OD Interventions technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Performance Counselling technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Reward Mechanisms technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Promotion Decision technique was found to be 'Excellent'.  Therefore the hypothesis is accepted for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Other HRD Instruments was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Interaction among HRD Instruments and Training was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.

* Infotech Enterprises Ltd:

* Rating of Performance Appraisal technique was found to be 'Good'. Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Training and OD Interventions technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Performance Counselling technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Reward Mechanisms technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Promotion Decision technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Other HRD Instruments was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Interaction among HRD Instruments and Training was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.

* Inner Space Info Research Pvt. Ltd :

* Rating of Performance Appraisal technique was found to be 'Good'. Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Training and OD Interventions technique was found to be 'Poor'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Performance Counselling technique was found to be 'Good'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Reward Mechanisms technique was found to be 'Poor'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Promotion Decision technique was found to be 'Poor'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Other HRD Instruments was found to be 'Poor'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.
* Rating for Interaction among HRD Instruments and Training was found to be 'Poor'.  Therefore the hypothesis is rejected for this HRD technique.

Hypothesis 2: Organizations under study do not differ significantly in their HRD Techniques for Marketing Personnel.

Hypothesis Testing:

On the basis of one way classification of ANOVA, the following are the item wise conclusions for the sample organizations:

* Performance Appraisal

It was found that Calculated value(=6.002) of F is more than the critical value(=2.5130) of F hence null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant difference in the use of Performance Appraisal technique in the Sample Organizations.

* Performance Counseling

It was found that Calculated value(=0.8890) of F is less than the critical value(=2.7587) of F hence null hypothesis is accepted. This implies that there is no significant difference in the use of Performance Counseling technique in the Sample Organizations.

* Training & OD Interventions

It was found that Calculated value(=38.061) of F is more than the critical value(=2.5026) of F hence null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant difference in the use of Training & OD Interventions technique in the Sample Organizations.

* Reward Mechanisms

It was found that Calculated value(=11.197) of F is more than the critical value(=2.5787) of F hence null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant difference in the use of Reward Mechanism technique in the Sample Organizations.

* Promotion Decision

It was found that Calculated value(=1.1468) of F is less than the critical value(=2.8660) of F hence null hypothesis is accepted. This implies that there is no significant difference in the use of Promotion Decision technique in the Sample Organizations.

* Other HRD Instruments

It was found that Calculated value(=8.722) of F  is more than the critical value(=2.7587) of F hence null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant difference in the use of Other HRD Instruments in the Sample Organizations.

* Interaction among HRD Instruments & Training

It was found that Calculated value(=20.389) of F is more than the critical value(=2.5026) of F hence null hypothesis is rejected. This implies that there is significant difference in the Interaction among HRD Instruments & Training in the Sample Organizations.

Recommendations & Suggestions

The ability of organization to focus on its core competencies and at the same time exploit the opportunities presented from within or by market, are a key ingredient for long term survival. Every human resource is to be considered as living being with emotions, personal needs and views and with certain limitations, and not like perfectly designed computerized machine, which can work without taking any rest. Practice of meditation and yoga along with other HRD tools will surely lead to the healthy work culture and environment.

Implementation of HRD mechanisms should be at a time in all of the organizations. Sometimes there is tremendous attention on the training activities, however, at the same time, other HRD mechanisms are neglected. Thus for making HRD function a success, the mechanisms should be implemented at a time and not in piece-meal manner.

As has been found that there is no specific training programs for marketing personnel in sample organizations, it is recommended that organization have to recognize marketing personnel's training as a long term ongoing process if they want their marketing personnel to perform at their full potential. Marketing personnel's training not only helps salespeople to grow in knowledge and develop good attitude but also enhances their ability to understand  and meet the needs of customers effectively. Unless provided special training, marketing personnel would find it difficult to meet the competitive challenges of growing Indian market.

Though Infosys and Wipro conduct business development programs for their marketing team, still there is a necessity of specific training programs for marketing personnel. These companies may design a comprehensive training program for their marketing personnel that should include skill development, knowledge about company's products, customers' and competitors' characteristics, field procedures and responsibilities.

No HR mechanism can be successfully implemented unless top management has belief in basic goodness of the people. Therefore, in Lanco, Infotech and Inner Space Info Research more emphasis should be laid on the implementation and improvement of mechanisms focussing on the employee development both personal and professional. Desired improvements in training program recommended for these organizations are: there should continuity of training program in the organization, enough opportunities for implementing knowledge through training should be provided, and training should be according to trainee's needs, skill and aptitude. In Lanco, more emphasis should be on the improvement/betterment of performance appraisal and performance counselling mechanisms.

With all the limitations in the Inner Space Info Research , management might make attempts to introduce HRD mechanisms such as rewards, improved training methods, genuine promotion decisions, and excellent interaction among various HRD instruments. For successful implementation of any HRD mechanism, organization has to win the trust of the people working in the organization. The promises given have to be kept in toto and there must be synergy and consistency in words and actions of top management of the organization. Poor interactions among different HRD mechanisms are also the major area of concern in this organization.

Rewards, incentives and adequate publicity for exemplary conduct, work and innovations of marketing personnel should be awarded frequently.

Sample Organizations should evolve better corrective mechanisms for ensuring higher degrees of professionalism on HRD aspects.

The development programs for marketing personnel on the following aspects may be conducted:

    • Problem solving and Decision making skills.
    • Creativity and Innovation at work.
    • Time and Stress Management.
    • Vision workshops for perspective planning.
    • Norm establishment and values workshop.
    • Interpersonal effectiveness training.

Through HRD mechanisms, emphasis should be on channelising the competence and motivation levels of marketing personnel so that they can better analyse their strengths and weaknesses.

Promotions should be timely and merit based. 'Espirit-de-corps' should be fostered among all employees by better two way communication among all of the sample organizations. A mechanism for rewarding good work is the major area of concern in Wipro. In Infotech, top management should take active interest in the development of marketing personnel and should devote more time and resources for the same.

As has been found that there are no specific training programs for marketing personnel in sample organizations, it is recommended that organizations have to recognize marketing personnel's training as a long term ongoing process if they want their marketing personnel to perform at their full potential.

To make marketing personnel more professional, especially in Lanco, Infotech and Inner Space Info Research, methods such as Total Quality Management, Quality Circles, Re-engineering etc.  may be given more emphasis for improving their functioning.

HRD mechanisms in these organizations should aim at various operations to be taken at all level of organization not only to develop human competencies but also for developing a multi purpose and dynamic organization and work culture. It should be the continuous strategy which is required for organizations' survival , complexities of business management and continuous growth and progress in a positive direction.

To develop committed majority of employees, HRD courses must convey clear message to the professionals that the organization has serious concern with the employees, their quality of life at work and at home, their security welfare and convenience.

In brief, it can be suggested that replication of this study on other randomly selected IT organizations, and comparative analysis of IT organizations with other organizations can be made. Also further study can be done to identify the performance indicators of various categories of IT professionals with a view to evolve performance appraisal system and the training policy/designs for marketing personnel.

References

Abraham S.J., E. and Rao T.V.,  Human Resource Development : Practices in Indian Industries A Trend Report,  In: Readings in Human Resource Development, Rao, T.V.,(edr), Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Limited, New Delhi, 1991, P 262 268.

Costa, Leonard D.,  The Role of Human Resources Function in the Service Sector, In:  HRD in the New Economic Environment , Tao, T.V., Silvelra, D.M., Srivastava, C.M. and Vidyasagar, Rajesh, (edr),  McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, New Delhi, 1994,  P  170 173.

Manohar Reddy, C., Kumar, C.N., and Kaa Jacob ;Divakar, J.,   HRD Issues in the Indian Information Technology Industry Mathew, In: Managing Transition - The HRD Response, Pareek, Udai et. al. (eds), Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, New Delhi, 1992, P   69 82.

Pareek, Udai, and Agarwal, Ashok,   The Role of HRD in the Service Sector, In:  HRD in the New Economic Environment , Tao, T.V., Silvelra, D.M., Srivastava, C.M. and Vidyasagar, Rajesh, (edr),  McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, New Delhi, 1994,  P  174 189.

Rao, TV, Strategies for Human Resource in Public Enterprises, In: Management of Human Resources in Public Enterprises, Ravishankar and Mishra RK, Vision Books Private Ltd, New Delhi, 1985.

Internet: www.hewitt.com
 


Dr. Sonal Saxena
Asst. Professor
Pacific Institute of Management
Udaipur
 

Source: E-mail October 13, 2006

     

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