7-Parameters for Building Performance-Oriented Organizations

As a strategic HR partner, we are about to complete two performance cycles using a performance management system that we designed and implemented at one of our manufacturing clients in 2019.  From a stage of people’s reluctance to the process to voluntarily asking us when are we initiating the goal-setting process, has been yet another phenomenal journey for us.  We consistently believed in the below seven parameters which helped us succeed and improve continuously in building performance-oriented organizations

1. Top leadership’s resolve:

Unless the top leadership is on the same page these organizational transformation interventions become extremely tough if not impossible.  This is the time leaders need to instill belief in the system and inspire the organization

2. Performance management mechanism should be an integral part of the business:

Performance Management System (PMS) mechanism may actually be counterproductive if it’s not aligned with the business.  It should be simple to understand and yet powerful enabling mechanism to define objectives, criteria for measurement, and tracking progress periodically.  Therefore, it is vital to ensure alignment of philosophy, process, terminology, performance objectives, metrics, and evaluation methodology are in sync with the business

3. Communicate – Communicate – Communicate:

It’s people who should own this process.  This can happen only by consistently communicating the process at all levels.  For better understanding, it is important to cite the purpose of each process step and relevant examples on how the mechanism will work and help people to perform better by chasing a purpose

4. Setting goals sharply

Though looks simpler, setting goals sharply is often said to be one of the toughest tasks for business managers and HR.  Goal-setting is indeed a validation on the levels of understanding of the process, ability to align thought process with the business and understanding the interdependencies of functions and individual roles.  HR has to play a key facilitator role here in supporting business managers to set individual SMART goals in alignment with the business and functional objectives

5. Push managers for periodic performance dialogue

Many business managers see this just as another process.  Having a performance dialogue is actually not about what has been achieved and/or what should have been achieved in a period.   It’s about deeply understanding the individual team member’s approach and ability to perform a particular task, inspiring and coaching the team member to introspect, resolve and move forward. Having these performance dialogues regularly will immensely help team members in raising their performance bar

6. Ensuring process transparency:  

For people to believe in the performance management system, it is imperative to have process transparency at every step.  The evaluation process can be stringent but need to be consistent across the organization.  One must also understand that process transparency is not breaching confidentiality, its rather upholding the standards of governance and making people more accountable

7. Be explicit in handling consequences:

The performance cycle is not complete without managing consequences properly.  All cannot be goody-goody all the time and this needs to be communicated.   While the exceptional performers are asked to sustain their performance, below par performers need to be told to pull up their socks and give their best shot by seeking developmental help; and what happens if there’s a consistent mismatch in the standards of performance delivery

Seshagiri Pattamatta
Partner & Head – HR Services


Related Blog: https://hrfootprints.com/happy-employee-engaged-employee-high-performance/

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