Global professional services company Accenture which has over 5 lakh employees worldwide is to cut at least 5 per cent of its ‘low-performing’ workforce and thousands of Indians are set to lose jobs owing to the sluggish business the company is witnessing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) first reported this, citing an internal staff meeting by Accenture CEO Julie Sweet in mid-August.
India, which has the largest Accenture employee base of nearly 2 lakh employees, could see thousands of workers being affected by the move.
Accenture told IANS that at this time, the company is not planning extraordinary global workforce actions.
“Every year, as part of our performance process, we have conversations with our people about how they are performing, areas for improvement, their potential to progress, and whether they are a long term fit for Accenture,” it said.
“This year, across all parts of our business and all career levels, we will identify approximately 5 per cent of our people as our lowest performers, and these individuals will transition out of Accenture. This is consistent with our actions each year,” the company informed.
According to the AFR report on Tuesday, Sweet said in the global staff meeting: “In a normal year, we transition out about 5 per cent and we hire to replace them, because we are in a demand scenario”.
“Right now, we’re not in a demand scenario, so if we manage out the same percentage of people and don’t replace them, it allows us to continue to invest and preserve some people who have lower chargeability for when the market comes back.
“This year, in addition to the normal 5 per cent, we’ve identified more people who need improvement … So we’re making sure … if we have to make other actions, we know where our performance is,” she was quoted as saying In an internal global staff meeting streamed online.
Accenture said that In India, “we continue to hire, and as part of our ongoing compensation programs, we also recently recognized a number of our people with bonuses and promotions”.
Sweet “faced questions from staff about changed internal performance assessments” in the global meeting.
“She said that despite cutting subcontractors and halting fresh recruitment, the company still needed to reduce numbers,” the report said.
“We finished our second quarter at the end of February and we were growing 8 per cent. We were having an incredible year”.
The growth had collapsed to 1.3 per cent owing to the pandemic.
Accenture currently has 513,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries.