Business Research Assignment: Impact of COVID-19 on TCS
Task: Write an business research assignmenton the topic- the impact of the pandemic on the organization and organizational responses based on the organization "Tata Consultancy Services"
A report on business research assignment is prepared in favour of the Indian IT firm, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as it is coping to counter the global pandemic of coronavirus. Alike other businesses, TCS has come under the severe grip of the pandemic which led to changes in its operations, HR matters, and other avenues. The company in response to the pandemic has initiated to offer work from home facilities for its employees. So through this paper, an attempt would be made to understand the initiatives adopted by TCS to bounce back in the fold. Accordingly, the report would take relevance of the change management issues enabling the organisation to accept the changes and make modifications in itself to sustainthe scenario.
1.1 Prevalence of change and change management –
TCS is the biggest IT Company in India and the outbreak of novel coronavirus stalled its business operations as ithas done globally. TCS taking the cue of the present scenario realised to have an effort that would align with the current business circumstances as changes tend in sorts of services demanded. The phenomenon of making the employees work from home is one of its kind coupled with the changes in the delivery medium(Vakil, 2020).It is like having a more secure network to support the employees working from remote locations. In such a scenario, change management is a plausible solution that would enable TCS to look through its ambit. Change management is a methodical procedure to deal with the transition taking place within the business in lieu of its goals, technologies, and business model(Oreg & Berson, 2019). So through the implications of change management, TCS would bring forth the tactics to initiate the changes as required to cope up with the pandemic situation.
1.2 Statement on the study –
Change management is the most effective tool for TCS to mend the changes in its business process like the majority of its employees, say 75% of the workforce would work from home.
1.3 Aim of the study –
The study aims to implicate the requisite changes in the business process of TCS through the implications of various change management tools.
1.4 Structure of the study –
The study would start by providing a glimpse of the organisational background of TCS.Then it would throw light on the theoretical perspective of change management tools in lieu of globalisation and the ongoing global pandemic. After that, the report would cite an exclusive case example of TCS showing the impending changes owing to the pandemic situation and its implications in the business process. Lastly, the report would conclude regarding the outcome of the changes brought in for TCS and recommendations to facilitate the changes well for a better outcome.
2. Organisational background:
Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) is aMumbai based Indian Information Technology Company. In 2018 it ranked 11th on Fortune India 500 list. TCS with its subsidiaries operates in 149 locations across 46 countries. As of 31st March 2020, TCS total employee strength was around 448,000(Tcs, 2020). TCS offers IT related products and services which include consulting, software management, enterprise software, business process outsourcing, payment processing, education services, application development, and capacity planning.
TCS took proactive measures in the initial stagesof COVID-19 scare like travel limitations, termination of events and large internal meetings, and safe working environments and processes, which helped to minimize the impact. They had launched a program to ensure relentless business continuity using their Secure Borderless Workspaces (SBWS™) model. It allowed TCS employees to work from home with assistance from nominal associates working from offices.
COVID-19 harmed the pay packet on several top TCS executives. According to the company's annual report, it had shrunk more than 16% in 2019-2020 in comparison with the previous fiscal year(Vakil, 2020). Overall managerial salary had reduced by 15% and the average annual salary increment was 6% in India. It was done by the management to extend the group’s solidarity and preserve resources. The salary increase outside India varied from 2%-6 %.
TCS had announced to honour each of its commitments on new hires by taking all the 40,000 people who have been given offers on-board and had promised no layoffs or retrenchments. The March quarter result for TCS reported healthy profitability. But there are anticipations of difficult times in the first two quarters of 2020-21apparently due to the COVID-19 crisis, including a dip in its revenue(Mair, 2020). To steer amidst turbulent waters during this crisis TCS had to make some changes in its leadership. They had to identify areas where they could get volume business to continuously engage with the clients and bag deals. Henceforth, TCS would be taking a strategic and observant approach to acquisitions, which would not solely be motivated by revenue increases.
Financially, The Work from Home or virtual working concept amidst the crisis had cost TCS more money(Tcs, 2020). Its overhead expenses are very much the same as the company has long term lease agreements for its office spaces. The company is now acknowledging this trend and wants to make significant investments as a long term arrangement.
3. Theoretical perspective:
Change management strives to guide the way in which the business would plan, initiate, and put in efforts to adapt to the changes successfully facilitating organisational results and successes(Al-Aliet al., 2017). The change management strategy strives to provide an organised approach to support the businesses to modify its operations to meet the future requirement.
3.1 Importance of change management –
• External factors – The extent of globalisation and the ongoing pandemic of novel coronavirus are striving to make new changes in the business scenario(Burnes et al., 2018). Companies like Nokia, despite being once the market leader could not sustain the market for not being able to adopt the changes in market.
• Successful ideas – Business across the board are responding to change management for facilitating innovative ideas to succeed the market in terms of having new capabilities and exploiting talent of the workforce.
• Cross-functional changes –Each of the business units in the contemporary businesses depend on change management to tune the impending changes with the wholesome business strategy(Oreg & Berson, 2019).
• Engagement of people –Change management provides an opportunity to engage the workforce in a greater way and effectively take them into confidence by communicating the changes before-hand.
• Organisational transition – The change managers in the organisation are responsible for adopting the changes efficiently like restructuring the job roles, business operations and application of new technologies.
• Reducing resistance to change initiatives –Resistance seems to be certain during the change process as things are to be done differently(Rosenbaumet al., 2018). So the change managers are supposed to face issues like refusal from the staff which needs to be overcome by having a transparency in the process.
• Developing productivity –Change management tends to develop the working pattern leading to innovation and ultimately, better productivity(Judge et al., 2017).
• Cost reduction –A positive change for the business would lead to reduced wastes ultimately bringing down the costs(Waddellet al., 2017).
3.2 Models of change management –
3.2.1 Kotter’s change management model –
John Kotter came up with the change management model to implement a change in the businesses through eight effective steps(Croitoruet al., 2018). Kotter’s model is widely used worldwide consisting of the following eight stages and each one of them emphasizes employees’ reactions to change.
• Building urgency – Recreating a scenario of urgency is a big driver of employees’ outlook to being engaged and stay motivated(Burnes et al., 2018).
• Team Building– Identify employees with skillsets best suited for the job role to welcome change.
• Be a Visionary– Visualize feelings of the employees, purpose of the project and strategize accordingly.
• Clear Communication – Keep each of the employee up-to-date of changes happening in the organisation(Petrouet al., 2018).
• Remove obstacles – Accept constructive criticism and be supportive while implementing receptions.
• Goal-oriented – Set achievable small goals and reward employees to acknowledge accomplishments.
• Persistence – Changes have to be constantly pursued and could not be achieved overnight(Oreg & Berson, 2019). It would be effective not to give up the efforts to bring a change however dismal things may seem.
• Integrate change – Change must be a part of the culture of the organization by rewarding the employees embracing change.
3.2.2 McKinsey 7-S Change Management Model
McKinsey 7-S model was developed by Robert Waterman and Tom Peters identifying the internal elements of the business that could be put to use to contemplate the changes successfully(Blighet al., 2018). This model consists of 7 crucial categories that businesses should consider while incorporating any change.
Figure 1: McKinsey 7-S change management model
Source: (Blighet al., 2018)
• Tactic – Strategize and take baby steps towards the devised plan to attain a competitive edge in the market.
• Organization Structure –These factors in hierarchies or operating procedures which the organization follows(Rosenbaum et al., 2018).
• Methods – This stage focuses on the different methods that will be used to accomplish routine activities(Al-Aliet al., 2017).
• Values – Values are core to any enterprise which are shared by everyone inside the organization in relevance to the corporate culture and its work ethics (Huffington, 2018).
• Style – The way changes are embraced is known as ‘style’.
• Staff –Staff means employees and utilising their abilities to implement the changes for the business.
• Skill Sets – The aptitude as well as any other expertise possessed by staff working in the organization(Oreg & Berson, 2019).
3.3 Impact of globalisation in change management –
Globalisation in the context of business comes up with its share of reimbursements and costs. The costs could be counted as the impact of the unprecedented global expansion without taking due relevance and concerns of the infrastructure and labours(Waddellet al., 2017). Globalisation strategy is a live instance of change management in contemporary times but it overlooks the interest of the workers giving due prevalence to its profitability. This element of globalisation is in sharp contrast to the elements of change management which strides to take due acceptability of the workforce in the process to implement the changes purposefully. It is indeed a fact that the purpose of change management is to bring a change in the mindset of the people and that isthe most difficult part even in the globalised world(Burneset al., 2018). Therefore, for the organisations to accommodate the changes purposefully, an effective training and development session ought to be organised for the staff to make them feel part of the organisation.
3.4 Changes owing to coronavirus outbreak –
The outbreak of coronavirus has stalled the business activities and social life to a standstill across the horizon. The global pandemic hit the economy severely and pushes the entire scenario into an uncertain future(Rosenbaumet al., 2018). The phenomenon strives to make plausible changes in the manner businesses being done as repercussion of changes has been felt in wages, productivity, and global supply chains across the industry. The situation has deeply affected the mental and physical state of the workforce across the world as they were out of work and plausible pay-cuts for a considerable period(Mair, 2020). But among so much negativity, one positive thing could be evident in terms of reviving the environment as the pollution level dropped drasticallydue to shutdown of factories and less traffic in streets. The extent of lockdown strives to bring forth an economic recession across the world raising stakes of jobs in differentindustries. It is supposed to have the practice of social distancing and frequent recession a norm even in the aftermath of COVID-19.
4. Case example:
4.1 Changes brought in TCS due to coronavirus outbreak –
TCS has come to a decision allowing 75% of its workforce numbering to 350,000to continue the services through work from home facilities(Vakil, 2020). The arrangement is to be full-fledged implemented by 2025 and TCS owing to its innovation spree has facilitated the Secure Borderless Work Spaces (SBWS). The in-house technology would help the workforce to continue the office works from a remote location. Though this sort of technology was in a developing stage for quite some time in TCS and the outbreak of the pandemic facilitated the organisation to implement the same(Tcs, 2020). These sorts of changes are to be accepted those in the IT industry for sustainability.In this context, even the big organisations like TCS and others are bracing up to meet such kinds of unforeseen activities in the upcoming future. Accordingly, the staff ought to adjust themselves with these new changes as a way of life to carry on their work effectively. For TCS, the current scenario served as an ideal opportunity to fulfil its prolonged planning of ‘virtualisation’ of business practices. The impending changes say making the staff work from home would help the company in managing the costs, say less office space leading to lower rent expenses or facilitating the shared space business model. In this way, TCS would be able to reduce the fixed expenses and divert the resources for strengthening its innovative spree to hone its expertise(Judge, Weiss, Kammeyer-Mueller, & Hulin, 2017). The changes could be evident in the business scenario of TCS through its reduced pay package in the current fiscal.TheTCS managers faced a reduction in pay by 15% while the average scenario of pay cut was around 6% across the country. The TCS employees need to accept the changes as there are massive lay-off in the IT sector as Cognizant had announced to cut down 18,000 jobs. So the employees are fortunate enough to have their job with a marginal deduction in pay.
4.2 Situation before the changes –
Before the outbreak of coronavirus, the business scenario for TCS was quite normal as it was dealing with innovative technologies and providing software to the clients. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, there was a trend of work from home facilities for the employees among the IT giants like TCS. But it was counted to a mere of 20%, so a handful of employees were always given such facilities for a variety of reasons(Vakil, 2020). The trend reversed with the outbreak of COVID-19 as work from home facilities are not optional but necessity at the moment. Previously, TCS from interviewing to conducting training sessions used to adopt the face-to-face mechanism, and now it got virtually replaced. The FY19 for TCS was bright with a revenue growth of 19% but it came down to 7.2% in FY20 owing to the coronavirus outbreak. It is further estimated that the revenue growth of the IT major would reduce to 1.1% in the FY21.
4.3 Managing changes and its impact on TCS –
The outbreak of coronavirus has been a challenging proposition to the entire business world and TCS is no exception to it. TCS strives to have collective responsibility for all those who are working for it and the communities, it serves. So the company throughout maintained a wise,transparent communication process to gain confidence among the workforce as many fear job loss owing to this pandemic situation(Tcs, 2020). TCS sees the ongoing situation as an opportunity to introduce its SBWS™ model for facilitating majority of its workforce to work at a remote location, say from the comforts of their home. The work from home facilities assured the staff of their livelihood and enhance the productivity as they could devote more time to their families. For the company, it meant lower costs owing to less office space and tracking the staff digitally.
4.4 Outcome of the change management process –
The aspect of the changes brought in by TCS say the work from home facilities is comparatively a new phenomenon and it is too early to quote about its success. So far TCS is concerned, it has not retrenched any staff and offered work from home facilities strengthening the reputation of the TATA brand globally(Huffington, 2018). Measures like work from home facilitates in greater work satisfaction for the staff as they could spent quality time with their family, simultaneously working on their productivity. It could be productive as such facilities could tend to greater job satisfaction as they does not need to ply office daily and focus on the work, saving their time and energy (Waddell, Creed, Cummings, & Worley, 2017). It would also be helpful for the companies in saving costs owing to reduced office spaces, even they could resort to space-sharing models saving millions of rupees.
The report concludes that TCS has strived to maintain its sustainability in the market tackling the outbreak of coronavirus due to proper implementation of the change management process. The organisation was resilient enough rather a visionary to have an effective plan or technology in mind, say the SBWS™ tool to facilitate alternative propositions like work from home facilities for the workforce. Through this mechanism, TCS has proved its worth to implement the change management efficiently without axing any jobs, rather facilitated them with proper protocol for work from home facilities. The change management tools like Kotter’s and McKinsey 7-S change management models has been stated which would guide TCS to implement the changes in a cohesive manner and extract effective outcome increasing productivity of the workforce. The phenomenon is sure to enhance their productivity as they would be able to balance their professional as well as their personal lives and it is to become a trend in the upcoming days as well. The work from home facility offered by TCS to its employees would be effective in attaining a greater level of customer satisfaction. It would lead to brand loyalty in favour of TCS as the staff could retain their job and strive for more productivity in the long-run.
5.1 Recommendations –
• It would be effective for TCS to fully implement the virtualisation process not only for its projects but for recruitment and other purposes as well.
• TCS strive to use a share space model enabling it to control the costs in such grim situations.
• The company owing to work from home facilities could save on the transport allowance of the employees diverting such resources for research and technology to have more such futuristic models.
• TCS could use the change management models like Kotter’s and McKinsey 7-S tools to facilitate the changes successfully.
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