Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to search Skip to footer


The Employees-First Effect

Faced with one of the toughest recessions in recent history, HCL Technologies called on the talents and insights of individuals across its 95,522-strong organization and became one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

Call it the Employees-First Effect.

In 2005, HCL had begun a series of experiments based upon a radical new management philosophy, "Employees First, Customers Second," which in many ways turned the traditional management hierarchy upside down. The aim of EFCS was to create trust grow through transparency, to make managers as accountable to employees as employees were to their bosses, to transfer the responsibility for change and value creation to front-line employees working in the “value zone,” where HCL and its customers interact. Systems and processes were put in place designed to achieve these goals.

As a business philosophy, EFCS attracted the attention of academics (Harvard Business School did a case study on the approach), the media (Fortune magazine characterized HCL management as “the world’s most modern”), and analysts (a Gartner research report highlighted the customer benefits of Employees First).

But it has been the newly encouraged and empowered employees who have brought the philosophy to life. They are now running the next era of growth at HCL, leading implementation of EFCS 2.0.

  • What about you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  • The recognition that you are an employee?
    Not really. . .
  • The realization that everyone is an employee?
    Well. . .
  • The belief that every employee is a hero?
    Hmmmm. . .

Aren’t you an employee first? Let’s go to work.