Category Archives: Performance Management

Enable a productive environment to perform.

When it comes to performance and productivity, measurement is the word which pops ups. What about enablement?

Creating an environment to perform is the investment we need to make- measurement is an outcome.

Taking a cue from India’s participation and results in Olympics, the discussion is always on the number of medals not on building an ecosystem, which enables performance.

Similarly, in teams, today review conversions have superseded coaching conversations. Which leads to transactions, not value! The questions we have to ask -are we enabling performance of our team members or just measuring outcome?

At qilo, we did a work place culture study, wherein we asked people what does it take you to perform in an organisation. Two most important factors and dimensions, which came out, were alignment and coaching.

Clear direction, defined roles and continuous coaching and feedback enable performance. Critical areas we miss out in while driving and focusing on transactions.

Performance measurement is an output – Enablement is an input.

Focus on input outcome will definitely be great!

Wise Man – Home Sapiens

Flipping pages of Yuval Noah’s Spaiens made me realise; one of the primary reasons for humans to survive has been hunger of constant evolution and to become a dominant race

Adapting with changing times, identifying threats and innovating survival strategies. Our agility and responsiveness towards constant evolution have ensured our survival for long. These traits have become part of consciousness and DNA

However, when we try to map these to organisation’s DNA – which is the culture. In some cases, it does not map with the DNA of the wise men.

Suddenly evolution becomes an effort and teams are too lazy to change. The hunger to become a dominant force get’s overpowered by complacency and mediocrity. Till the time we do not get a threat of extinction, we keep on procrastinating.

But, the organisations, which challenges the legacy, work’s for the future readiness, acknowledges evolution and drives these behaviours as a way of life – Performs and evolves. Rest all survives till the time they can.

Build organisations’, which performs and evolves or get ready to be extinct!

Feedback !

Feedback is breakfast of champions. Feedback is for those you are hungry for success. Feedback is for those who never settle on ordinary. Feedback is for those to want to strive for growth.

If feedback is so good, why does it lead to conflicts?

It’s because people do not know how to give feedback and people do not know how to receive feedback.

Behaviours expected from the feedback givers are off coaching, leadership, and empathy. Behaviour expected from the receiver is of learning.

Wherein in reality behaviour exhibited by giver is like an authoritarian and of an assessee is; I know it all.

The problem is much bigger than just receiving or giving feedback. The challenge is of lack of trust and belief between leader and subordinate.

Leaders have to first display a coaching behaviour and lead by example before even giving feedback. You have to pitch yourself as a leader first and ensure that you succeed in pitching.

The day you do correct this core and build managerial effectiveness – You will have a culture of constructive feedback conversations.

Build leaders first before building feedback culture…

Deconstructing Employee Engagement

A lot has been written and spoken about employee engagement. Everyone knows how important is this for innovation ,success and growth but not many people are clear, what is takes to create a culture of performance.

Employee Engagement is as complex as a human brain — It has Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology and Social Psychology

Engagement first starts at an individual level, what is that I am too looking for and what is that I am doing, then it moves to a relative state — what others are doing and what do they get… and so on

Behavior’s, attitudes and perception are as volatile as the stock market and at one instance I believe you and at another I do not .

So how to address the problem ?

There is no formula, but if you dig deep you realise it’s not that complicated. If you as an organisation believe in;

  • Transparency — Do what you say and walk the talk
  • Admitting Mistakes — Where you went wrong
  • Communicate , communicate & communicate — Kill the perception or an imaginary devil
  • Show Purpose & Vision — Show where you are headed to and why you are doing what you are
  • Participate — Ensure people participate in the journey, show them the larger picture
  • Involve Employees — In decision-making
  • Don’t kill creativity — There are no SOPs for innovation , encourage people to do creative thinks — Ideas happen when the mind is free
  • Coach — Turn you managers into coaches, respect is earned not commanded

Remember if you ask an employee to dig the earth , they will dig a hole. If you ask them that we are constructing a canal, helping water reach million of thirsty people — they will dig passionately , purposefully , creatively and most importantly timely

What I learned in Asia’s biggest techHR conference

Last week, we at team qilo participated in the Asia biggest techHR event. We got an amazing response for our cloud-based technology solution. But rather than talking more about how it went for us, let me share top 10 learning from techHR -2016.

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  1. Gerry Crispin, one the recruiting industry veteran, shared that “give a good experience while hiring,  and get more candidates. Give a bad experience, and you’re losing candidates before they even apply”.Start treating your prospective employees in a way you will treat your first customer, and you will start attracting awesome talent.
  2. Josh Bersin shared his views on how new age technology tools are changing the way people are managed, assessed, engaged and learn at the job.
  3. More and more business and HR leaders in India are realizing the importance of people focused technology solution and how it can enhance their business success.
  4. Organizations are adopting cloud-based solution more than the in-house solution to reduce the time and cost in implementing the technology.
  5. HR technology 3.0 is on the way and big ERP vendors are not able to invent and innovate at the same speed.
  6. New age solutions need to be employee-centric and should be habit-forming products which enhance day to day professional experience of the employee.Design think is what is missing in all the tools which are today consumed by employees.
  7. Performance management is changing for sure. It has to a continues process, more meaningful , should enable managers to become coaches and enable employees to be more productive.
  8. People analytics solutions are improving at a very fast pace. And rather than just showing vertical bars and pie-charts, technology solutions should throw meaningful data to the leadership of organizations to drive their talent strategies.
  9. Employee engagement needs to move beyond the surveys. It has to be real time and it has to bring impact at the bottom of the pyramid.
  10. Organization who will understand the way people want to work,engaged and deliver will succeed in future.

And by the way, did I mentioned that we got High-fives from Josh Bersin, the guru of HR technology. Josh’s word’s like “this is the kind of solution organizations needs and I am glad that startup’s like you are doing it here in India” was music to our ears.

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Dear HR leader, KRA’s are dead

Over the weekend, I was discussing with my friends how critical it is to define goals in the organization. The discussion became more meaningful as in few organizations where my friends are working , mid- year goal defining exercise has started. And every time goal setting and performance activity come up, this entire exercise seems to be meaningless and wastage of efforts. KRA-KPI-OKROur discussion became more intense when we started seeing specific goals & KRA’s assigned to them in their organization.

One of the friends who is working in one of the top 5 IT MNC highlighted that following KRA’s are assigned to him :-

  1. Help delivery managers in selling services to clients.

  2. Focus on retention of existing clients.

  3. Enhance CSAT score.

  4. Enhance quality of technical solutions.

One of the friends who was working in a software product development company highlighted following KRA’s:-

    1. Deliver excellent quality in deliverables

    2. On time delivery

    3. Contribute in innovation at organization level

Another friend was working with a manufacturing organization has following ones:-

  1. Meet quality targets on monthly basis

  2. Regularly check the physical quality of the raw material

  3. Enhance supplier relationships

And one friend was working in a consulting organization has following KRA’s:-

  1. Develop and inspire people by sharing experience and insights

  2. Enhance operational efficiency by managing timelines and profitability

  3. Contribute in business growth by spending time about industry trends and competitor movements

  4. Achieve high CSAT score by developing new methodologies and processes.

There are 3 major problems with the above defined KRA’s:-

  1. These are NOT KRA’s, but parameters on which employees should be assessed.Throughout the year, employees are involved in different engagements . In the case of ITES, Software product development and consulting organization, they are involved in different projects and consulting assignments.Their actual goal should be those projects and those consulting assignments. And probably when these assignments are over, they should be evaluated on parameters currently defined as KRA’s:-
  • “How much they have contributed in consulter delight”(Rating on the scale of five)
  • “Have they done deliverables in-time, on-time or delayed those”, or
  • “Have they done any innovate in this assignment”
  • “Did she contributed towards process improvements while executing these goals”
  1. For employees, it’s difficult to give data points against above defined goals that how they have performed on these KRA’s.

Think from employee perspective that if you have to enter details about what you have done throughout the years to achieve these goals, what all points you will enter? And will you be able to collect all those data points which will justify that you have performed well in achieving those ? This is precisely the reason employees give them highest scale when putting data against their achievement against goals which are not defined properly.

     3. For manager, it doesn’t enable them to evaluate and give feedback to employees properly .

Consider this, as an employee if I have worked on two assignment through the year, I will keep mentioning same points in above KRA’s. Will this give enough data points to the manager about how his team member has performed with respect to that KRA. Will it give manager enough data on which things she should recognize the employee or coach the employee on for her better performance. Again employee will be evaluated on the basis on perceptions and not on actual data.

Every problem has a solution. Here’s what I think few solutions for the above problems:-

  1. Define KRA’s and KPI’s which employees are able to correlated with their day to day work. Or why can’t the KRA’s be same as project or assignments which employees get involved in. These KRA’s should push employees to aim high. When aiming high, even failed goals tend to result in substantial advancements.
  2. Left the exercise of defining KRA between manager and employee. As an HR leader, you should focus on enabling the team on defining the relevant KRA’s. Off course, you need to keep an eye on whether KRA defined are relevant or not from organization respective and within defined boundaries or not. Leaving these exercise between manager and employee will also enhance the employee engagement.
  3. Use a proper tool to automate the entire process of defining KRA,KPI. And monitor the progress on those in real time basis.

Goal setting and defining KRA impacts talent engagement the highest level, as it impact how employees should perform their jobs and are evaluated. Making KRA more meaningful will NOT only help engage employees but will impact overall organization growth.