Employees First, Customers Second in the news

Employees First, Customers Second

September 14, 2011Hartford Business

For instance, HCL Technologies doesn’t just do 360-degree performance evaluations; Nayar posted his evaluations on the company’s intranet, and urged other managers to do so.

And the company doesn’t just have an employee grievance committee; it has a resolution system where anyone can open a “ticket” with any department’s “service desk,” and management is expected to respond — and respond quickly

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DIFFERENT APPROACH Employees First: A policy worth pursuing

August 22, 2011The Nation

When Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, a global IT-services firm, published last year his book "Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down", it caused quite a stir. Nayar's mantra seems to reverse conventional business beliefs

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Re-Balancing Organizational Structures By Putting Employees First

Aug. 3, 2011Business Insider

We have often read that the recent “great depression” has led to a “great rebalancing.” Highly respected analysts at McKinsey, Morgan Stanley and Deloitte have all dissected and discussed various ways in which organizations, companies and societies witnessing rebalancing in the aftermath of the downturn

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Democracy Brings Innovative Solutions out of Economic Challenge WorldBlu founder shares how transparency saved HCL Technologies $260M

July 14, 2011axiomnews

One of WorldBlu CEO Traci Fenton’s favourite stories about organizational democracy in action is how HCL Technologies used the power of transparency to overcome challenges during the economic recession.

Many people have asked Fenton whether being democratic during the economic recession puts a strain on the company or is helpful.

She says she believes when companies build a democratic workplace it’s the hard times that “you really see the value of democracy in action because you’ve built trust within the organization.”

Noida, India-based HCL is an example of this, she says. The $5-billion global technology and IT enterprise has nearly 80,000 employees in 25 countries worldwide, and won a spot on the WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces in 2010 and 2011.

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Employees first, customers second

Feb 23, 2011

HOW do you take a company from US$700 million (S$892.6 million) in annual revenue to US$3.1 billion in under five years? How do you transform a company that had lost its competitive edge because it had become tolerant of gradual change - when the industry itself is rapidly changing - and take it back to the top rungs of the global industry ladder?


Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down

Nov 9, 2010LSE

Differentiation is crucial to maintaining and growing market share. But many organisations lack the courage to look inwards and discover exactly what their competitive advantage is and change accordingly. However, 5 years ago the Delhi-based IT Service provider HCL Technologies started on a change journey that identified exactly where their strengths and weaknesses lay and culminated in an entirely new management philosophy and organisational culture - one in which, for example, employees are not only accountable to managers but managers are accountable to employees. In this session Vineet Nayar explains the reasoning and methodologies and the dramatic impact the philosophy has had on company results. Vineet Nayar is Chief Executive Officer and whole time Board Director of HCL Technologies Ltd

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Interview: Why Indian Outsourcer HCL Technologies Puts Employees First

2nd Nov 2010CIO.IN

It's a practice that's worked well for HCL Technologies, whose revenues have grown from $762 million (about Rs.3,429 crores) in 2005 to $2.7 billion (about Rs.12,150 crores) in 2010. Nayar has worked hard to actively engage employees in the outsourcing company's strategy and future. He went so far as to invert the company's hierarchy so that management is accountable to employees, and he describes the reorganization in his book Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down

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Managing Millennials: The “Employees First, Customer Second” Experiment

October 4, 2010Human Capital Institute

As the Millennial Generation joins the workforce, they enter an alien environment. Used to the meritocracy of the web, they meet an often rigid organizational hierarchy. Comfortable with the transparency of social networking sites, they find information silos and knowledge hoarding.

Over the past five years, HCL Technologies, a global IT services company, has engaged in a company-wide experiment to test an alternative to the traditional organizational model – one more closely aligned with the new workforce

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Employees First, Customers Second

September 26, 2010Cheif Learning Officer

By putting employees on top of the pyramid, an organization can hold on to talent while strengthening relationships with customers.

When I became president of global IT services firm HCL Technologies in 2005, the company was in a perilous situation. We were growing at a brisk pace — as high as 30 percent annual revenue increase — but even so were steadily losing market share to our competitors.

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All Hail the Employee: Why CEOS Must Bow down to their Workers

September 17, 2010Zengage

The idea that the customer always comes first has been the cornerstone of capitalism for as long as anyone can really remember.

So it took a true visionary, revolutionary, very innovative CEO to propose otherwise. In his recent book, “Employees First, Customers Second,” which quickly became a bestseller, Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies (HCLT) argues that in order to kick growth into high gear, we must quite literally put employees first and customers second!

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Nayar: Put Employees First to Grow Business

July 27, 2010SHRM

There are two things Vineet Nayar wants employers to know. First, the author of the popular book, Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down (Harvard Business Press, 2010), says that “none of the ideas in the book are mine; I just vocalized it.”

Second, nothing in the book is “magic.”

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Going up, from the bottom up

Jul 25 2010liveMINT

The HCL Technologies CEO believes one reason his firm grew even during the recession was that it made employees the core of organizational strategy

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Employee Engagement–Practice or Perish

Jul 24, 2010Express India

Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Tech in his path breaking book “Employees First, Customers Second” puts conventional wisdom on its head. Vineet is candid, brutally honest about himself and believes that it is important to break down the conventional hierarchy in an organization to unleash the potential of employees

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Employees to Bosses: Listen Up

July 23, 2010Baseline

Fewer workers trust senior management to make the right decisions, says ”Employees First,” a survey by HCL Technologies. Workers want more opportunities to provide input and solve problems. They believe that the rank and file wins over customers, not managers who devise grand plans. Yet many managers turn a deaf ear to employees' insights. “Leaders must recognize – particularly in the era of social media and the democratization – that the key to success and growth is getting employees to tell you what’s really going on,” says HCL CEO Vineet Nayar, author of the book Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down (Harvard Business Press). “

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For better customer relationships, concentrate first on employees

July 23, 2010smartplanet

The first priority of every company should be serving customers, right? Wrong, according to a new book from IT services firm CEO Vineet Nayar, called “Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down.”

This is the management philosophy that HCL uses to run its business, a philosophy it embraced back in 2005. Why should you listen? For one thing, HCL actually grew during the 2008 to 2009 recession, recording revenue expansion of 23.5 percent last year alone.

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Why HCL Technologies puts employees ahead of customers

July 22, 2010CNN Money

During the recession, HCL adopted an unconventional business structure under CEO Vineet Nayar, who took the helm in 2005. The company puts its focus on employees first, with the idea that creative employees lead to better innovation, which results in customer satisfaction.

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Employee first, customer second: Vineet Nayar's mgmt mantra

Jul 16, 2010

Employees must feel an integral part of any company's success. That's the cornerstone of Vineet Nayar's management philosophy.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, the CEO of HCL Technologies who unveiled his new book - 'Employee first, customer second’ discussed his management mantra


Free The Workplace!

June 6, 2010Forbes

HCL Technologies, based in Noida, India, with nearly 60,000 employees worldwide and more than $4 billion in annual revenue, calls its management approach "Employees First, Customers Second." That's about inverting the corporate pyramid. Vineet Nayar, the CEO, seeks to figuratively "destroy the office of the CEO" and encourages employees to look beyond just him for answers to many of their questions

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HCL: Extreme Management Makeover

JULY 6, 2010The Wall Street Journal

How’d you like to put a question to one of the world’s most inspired management innovators—a CEO who’s challenged a host of management orthodoxies? At the end of this post, I’ll explain how you can do just that.

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Let employees lead

July 05, 2010Business Standard

Conventional wisdom says that companies must always put the customer first. HCL Technologies CEO Vineet Nayar, however, thinks otherwise.

He says that in any services business true value is created in the interface between the customer and the employee. So, by putting employees first, one can bring about fundamental changes in the way a company creates and delivers unique value for its customers and differentiates itself from its competitors. The following excerpts from Nayar’s new book, Employees First, Customers Second, talk about how employees can drive organic transformation within the organisation to produce better results.

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Nayar: Rethink Management-Employee Relationship

30 June, 2010SHRM

Business leaders who truly inspire, enthuse and induce fundamental changes in the businesses they operate come along once or twice a generation. Vineet Nayar, chief executive officer of HCL Technologies Ltd., appears to be just that kind of leader.

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A Radical Idea: Put Employees First, Customers Second

June 29, 2010CIO Zone

HCL Technologies had a successful history when Vineet Nayar took over as CEO in 2005. But changes in the IT services market had made it harder for the company to match the success of its biggest competitors. Nayar believed a radical management transformation was necessary to change the company's future, but he didn't have a grand plan for how to achieve this.

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Put Employees First: A Conversation with Vineet Nayar

June 29, 2010Fast Company

When Vineet Nayar became CEO of HCL Technologies in 2005, the company was in trouble. The IT firm was profitable but it was losing ground to major competitors and risked slipping into irrelevance. Some CEOs might have been tempted to hire a new team of executives from the outside to revitalize the company. Not Nayar. He did what great CEOs do: he looked inside the company and found a vast untapped resource: its employees.

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True value is created in the interface between employees and customers

June 27, 2010Business Today

Why is it that not many service enterprises have gone down the employees-first path?

I believe that it is not true because South West Airlines was the first company to talk about this, and I think Starbucks too...I think the thought is different out here. Employee centricity has always been a common theme and people have built great businesses on employee centricity.

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HCL's Vineet Nayyar: Putting employees before customers

Jun 19, 2010The Economic Times

In his HCL Comnet days, Vineet Nayyar used to run a boot camp for his new recruits in a far-off place. For a week, the cadets went through hell, doing team tasks in high pressure situations, mostly in a sleepless zombie-like state. It was Nayyar's way of stretching their limits and making them value teamwork. Remind him of the bootcamp and he reminisces, "I was in search of my team's inner strength".

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Why I Put My Employees Ahead Of My Customers

June 18, 2010

The head of HCL Technologies does not do it to make his employees happy.

Here at HCL Technologies we developed a management approach called Employees First, Customers Second that has become known around the world. It is not what you might think. It is not a human resources initiative, as many seem to assume. "It's an employee satisfaction program," one person who heard about it said. "It involves picnics." No. It is about employees, but it's not about HR.

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Employees First, Customers Second

June 18 2010

Should employees really come first in a company as I have very publicly suggested and as we have implemented as a policy at HCL Technologies?

Let me answer the question with another question: If not employees, who should come first? Lets consider the usual suspects:

Shareholders. Putting the shareholder first has been the mantra for many years in several companies. It provides a simple, convenient way to think about the purpose of a company, especially a publicly-held company: The primary responsibility is to create wealth for those who have placed their trust and invested their money in the group. But we’ve seen some problems with the idea of obsessively putting the shareholder first.


Staff first, customers second for HCL boss

Jun 12, 2010The Times of India

Within a month of being hired by HCL Technologies, Vineet Nayar, who later rose to become the company's CEO, was asked to leave. For Nayar, there were two major takeaways from it — a company is not always right, and neither is the individual. As for his management thought on the event — there is a need to search for a thought-in-between.

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Employees First, Customers Second - Turning Conventional Management Upside Down

Jun 9, 2010fresh business thinking

In Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down (Harvard Business Press, June 8 2010), we argue that the best way for companies to meet their customers’ needs is to stop making customers their top priority. Instead, companies should shift focus to empowering employees to solve customer problems–in part by making management accountable to employees who are the real creators of value.

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Putting employees first naturally leads to transparency

June 8, 2010Ancelary Group

Intuitively it makes sense that transparency with employees allows for greater engagement and more lucrative financial outcomes. Leaders who are transparent evoke trust and a higher level of loyalty.

That newspaper turnaround that I mentioned a few weeks back was accomplished by opening the books and sharing financial results on a monthly basis. It empowered employees to participate in developing new and better processes and products.

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When the boss doesn't defend you

May 19, 2010CNN Money

"There is only one way to maximize revenues and profits, and that is through the employees who deal directly with customers," says Vineet Nayar, author of a forthcoming book called Employees First, Customers Second (Harvard Business Press, $24.95). "By insisting that the customer is always right, no matter the circumstances, top management is de-motivating those valuable front-line employees. Is that really what they mean to do?

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Conventional Management Structures Undermine Companies' Potential and Curb Contributions of Gen-Y Workforce

May 13, 2010marketwire

Invert the Management Pyramid and Transfer Responsibility for Change to Employees, Says Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 13, 2010) - In a world where many products and services have become commodities, companies often can distinguish themselves not by the "what" of their offering but by the "how" of their delivery. However, this fundamental shift in the nature of competition has not yet induced any significant change in the way most companies are structured and managed. While they compete in the 21st century, the majority of today's companies are still driven by outdated management ideas that have their roots in the manufacturing industries of the early 20th century

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The Andrew Davidson Interview: Vineet Nayar

May 9, 2010

The businessman has transformed the Indian IT giant HCL by making employee satisfaction his primary focus. Now he wants the world to follow suit

It seems that Vineet Nayar wants to put profile writers like me out of business. The cult of the chief executive must go, he says.

“CEOs behave as if they only care that they have a job, and that’s a disaster for society. If we don’t destroy this whole order of CEO, we are going to build enterprises that constantly create recessions, again and again.”

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Leadership, made in India

April 13, 2010Washington Post

The first described HCL Technologies, a leading IT firm, whose provocative slogan is "Employee first, customer second." The firm sees itself as a company that must lead by example. Transparency is the rule within the company -- so much so that senior executives post results of their 360-degree behavior evaluations online for all employees to read.

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The Upside Down Company

Briefings on Talent and Leadership

When Vineet Nayar, the 48-year-old chief executive of HCL Technologies Limited, took the stage at the company’s fifth annual global conference in April in Orlando, Fla., he signaled for some heavy Bollywood disco music and began to shimmy and shake across the stage with his best Elaine Benes dance moves. The 1,000 HCL employees and customers roared and egged him on as the evening’s festive party turned into a raucous Bollywood extravaganza, replete with actresses, dancers and a faux wedding. The $2.6 billion global information technology services firm based in Noida, India, had reason to celebrate, having emerged from the recession with stunning growth and newfound global recognition. Since 2005, when Nayar took over as CEO, revenue and operating income more than tripled, the number of HCL customers grew fivefold, attrition among the 58,000 employees in 26 countries dropped by 50 percent, and HCL was named “Best Employer” in India and Asia by Hewitt Associates.

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How to Retain Gen Y Employees? Invert the Pyramid

Retention of top employees is, of course, an issue for every large organization (at HCL Technologies we employ some 60,000 people.) But some categories of employees are tougher to keep in the fold than others -- Gen Y, in particular. In this regard, we have had a lot of success with a management approach that we call Employees First, Customers Second or EFCS.


Firms must enthuse employees: Nayar

Jul 13, 2010The Economic Times

As India's $60-billion IT industry comes out of recession and prepares to chase the $100-billion goal, rising attrition, commoditising of workforce and wage inflation are among its top worries. Vineet Nayar, chief executive of HCL Technologies, who created a debate with his 'employee first, customer second' philosophy, tells ET that many Indian tech firms are only serving shareholders and are ignoring their employees

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