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Catchy acronyms, serious business

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

COMPETENCIES: IT and ITeS firms are investing heavily in staff, their most prized assets
The terms SEED, LEAD, GROW, CEO, STEP, LEAP and STAR are not clues to a crossword puzzle. The one thing these catchy acronyms have in common is that they are integral parts of the training programmes of information technology and IT enabled services companies.
Mumbai-based Intelenet Global Services, an ITeS company, has bet big on SEED , its 'Skill Enhancement and Employee Development' programme for employees who have been with it for 6-12 months while GROW refers to 'Get Ready for Opportunities at Work' programme.
CEO is short for the 'Complete Employee Ownership' programme. Other programmes, such as LEAD ('Leadership Excellence Accreditation and Development') and STAR ('Set To Augment Result') are career advancement enablers.
Then there are a host of programmes to help employees develop their potential: STEP ('Strive Towards Excellence Programme', which helps employees develop the skillsets to reach the next level; LEAD ('Leadership Excellence and Development'); and STAR ('Strive Towards Achieving Results' programme).
However, two identical acronyms may have completely different expanded forms. At Intelenet Global, LEAP is 'Lead Energize and Accelerate Performance'"" a programme for team leaders, while at Patni Computer Systems, an IT company, it stands for 'Leadership Excellence At Patni'.
But training is hardly a game of acronyms; it's a deadly serious business in two fiercely competitive industry sectors, and the aim of HR and training managers is to constantly look for new ways to beef up the skills of employees.
Succession planning is another activity that companies in the IT/ ITeS space take seriously. At Intelenet a programme tailor-made for the middle-level includes identifying and training three or four successors for each level.
The objective of the programme is to build capability to ensure that the business always runs smoothly, even in the face of sudden resignations, according to Sandeep Aggarwal, the company's vice-president for sales, solutions and transition.
At Patni, says vice-president for HR operations and people development Kalpana Jaishankar, a programme is underway to develop a leadership pipeline through mentoring, so that employees are ready for leadership roles three or four years earlier than they would otherwise have been.
At Sapient Corp, says director (people strategy) Binoo Wadhwa, middle managers are put through a six-month leadersip development programme. Bosses are also graded on whether they develop their teams.
The final element of the competency building strategy is tie-ups with engineering and institutes. Patni, explains Jaishankar, has an arrangement with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, for a two-year MS programme for engineering graduates and a four-year MS programme for science graduates. (The company reimburses the cost of the programmes in full.)
Patni also has a tie-up with IIM Kozhikode for a one-year eMBA programme. Intelenet runs two onsite programmes with the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies"" a one-year Diploma and a three-year MBA.

First Published: Wed, January 24 2007. 00:00 IST