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Steering Performance Management in the Development Sector

Steering Performance Management in the Development Sector

“It’s not the right figure!” exclaim disgruntled staff at their annual ratings. If you are an HR person, I am sure you are familiar with this scenario soon panning out to include a host of emotions that  imply anything from the exercise “ not being very fair”, or “not engaging” to “too demotivating” etc. etc.

But this need not be so.  When key elements are carefully woven together with transparency and efforts even the most complex process turns out to be, a simple and purposeful one for all involved.

Keeping pace with needs

Effective Performance Management systems are at the core of driving organisational goals and culture. Unfortunately, organisations have been following for too long traditional systems that have stopped contributing to the reason they were set up and are not relevant in the new dynamic nature of organisational functioning. And this is more pronounced in the development sector, where paucity of HR staff, money and time may compel HR teams to follow established exercises rather than experiment with new practices to motivate staff, and thereby overlooking the fact that employees across all sectors are people first.

Also, organisations grow with time and with changing times and changing needs, perhaps it is time to question some of the merits of the traditional system and instead learn from some of the best practices to ensure staff motivation is always at its peak.

For example, at Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, the Performance Management System was redesigned to integrate practises that contribute towards achieving the purpose of building a fair, transparent, simple yet effective system for everyone.

 Our New Mantra – Employee First 

The fundamental goal of this new matrix was to maximize organisational productivity by enabling employees to perform to their potential, align their goals to the organisational priorities, help employees with pointers to monitor their own results and support them in identifying and removing hurdles to performance.

So while assuring every employee, the organisation had their development in mind, the new matrix included features like more dynamic quarterly goals linked to clear expectation-setting between the reportee and manager; supported by weekly check-ins allowing more opportunities to provide and seek support. This was supplemented with the coaching of employees to achieve their maximum performance levels, periodic review of priorities, platform for providing on-going feedback for both managers and the reportee, all initiated by the employee.

The modified platform enabled and encouraged staff to use their strengths while challenging themselves to go to the next level and thereby, powering the performance of the organisation.  And so the rating exercise was a participatory and a fair measure of the deliverables agreed and committed to by all concerned, instead of limiting it as a year-end exercise.

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