Company alters appraisal to facilitate separation after a poor rating in a single year.
Wipro, India’s third largest IT services company, has tightened its appraisal and separation policy, following protests from employees who were asked to resign because of a poor appraisal rating in the current appraisal cycle.
Under the earlier appraisal policy, employees rated ‘More Contribution Expected’ (MCE) for two consecutive years could be asked to leave. However, the company faced resistance when it asked employees with one MCE rating to resign during the latest round of lay-offs.
Consequently, on May 10 , the company’s human resource department sent out a mail which said: “MCE rating for two consecutive years is a mark of non-performance of an employee. All consequent appraisals of these employees will be blocked and separation process will be initiated for them. Nevertheless, the organization reserves the right to initiate the separation process for employees who are rated MCE for one year, irrespective of the rating the previous year. For Geos other than India, laws of the land shall take precedence and action will be taken in alignment with those laws.” The mail further said that no exception to this policy would be valid unless such exceptions are expressly approved by the CEO/CHRO of the company.
Wipro is in the process of trimming its workforce by 10 percent this year as its aims to boost productivity through automation. However, the company has called these baseless rumours.
As a result, several employees who got a low rating of MCE (more contribution needed) this year were asked to resign instead of referring them to a performance improvement plan (PIP) as was the practice.
“The performance evaluation guidelines are a part of the well documented appraisal system and have nothing to do with the separation policy,” Wipro said in a statement.
Employees of Wipro have alleged that the company is looking at weeding out the middle management under the pretext of poor performance. Employees say the company is targeting employees in a certain age bracket (35 years and above) and salary bracket (Rs 10 lakh per annum and above) and which is why managers are giving poor rating indiscriminately.
The revised appraisal policy will make it easy for Wipro to weed out employees without putting them through a performance improvement programme.In response to a questionnaire on the change in policy, Wipro said: “Wipro’s transparent and robust performance appraisal system offers multiple opportunities to employees to improve their performance along with regular quarterly feedback. Also, the appraisal rating process includes reviews by the manager, followed by the manager’s supervisor. They look at the output for all four quarters to arrive at the final rating of the employee. The annual appraisal process including the finalisation of merit salary increases extends from April to June.”