Day one of the virtual conference ‘Talent Tech Evolve’ brought us an energizing panel discussion on “cracking the code of performance management.”. The discussion was very well moderated by Vijay Gandhi, - Regional Director EMEA (Korn Ferry) and the two-panel members; Manu Narang Wadhwa, - Head - HR, India & South West Asia (The Coca-Cola Company) and Nisheeth Pathak, - Head, of OE (Commercial Bank of Dubai).
The panel discussion began on a note of how the majority of organizations are still wired to the old world of managing people and using the stereotyped classical method of driving their HR function. In fact, the performance management system still continues to have those standardized rating scales and annual cycle menace with a strong traditional foothold. Ironically, by living in the past laurel one cannot foresee the expected fallout when it comes to effectively measuring and enabling performances driven workplace culture.
Tech advancement and people development
Manu rightly points out that in a 130-year-old organization of hers, driving a cultural shift can be done only when the innovation machine is more agile. She further states that
“PMS has truly been a reflector and driver of our growth strategy”. In Coca-Cola, they have seen a transformational shift when they moved away from a classical rating system and converted it into an ongoing continuous dialogue process that cascades in both directions. In fact, even the leaders were well communicated and made aware of their improvement areas on how to elevate their own leadership style through a robust 360 feedback system.
In Coca-Cola, Manu has used technology-enabled performance management system to reap in maximizing people development. The tech-enabled performance developmental approaches have effectively supported employees to adapt to changing the ecosystem. In fact, as per according to Nisheeth, there’s a huge gap in user experience when it comes to operating tech-tool in personal life vis-aà -vis the tools being used in the HR systems. In performance management systems too, employees are facing a cut off between the technologies available to them in their personal lives and those at work. He uses a principal at his workplace which states that no one should be required to click more than three times in order to complete a process.
Performance driven tech-culture
The discussion continued and reflected the following top five key takeaways for creating a performance-driven culture:
- Goal setting is no more a one-time task. If required, both the employee and their manager can re-calibrate the goalposts.
- It is imperative to align and cascade goals through right performance planning process.
- Technology has to be the frontrunner in creating a performance-driven culture.
- There is a need to have continued dialogue between employees and managers, which ends up in an effective real-time feedback process.
- Integrating rewards with performance stretches the manager’s tendency to a socialistic culture; hence there needs to be a differentiation between performance and rewards.
It is quite evident that traditional performance management approaches are not able to keep pace with the growing changes around us and succumbs to the need of catering to individuals’ goals. Non- tech-based systems or traditional methods are primarily based on business efficiency and processes only and tend to neglect individual engagement and growth. Actions taken are often too little or too late, owing to the mechanism of the classical approach. Through advanced digital technologies, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools, employees have begun to take a more active role in managing their own performance and careers. Hence, an improved performance management capability can be achieved by reorienting performance management towards shared outcome and using technology tools as a prerequisite when it comes to maximizing people development.