Navneet Kumar Ahluwalia is responsible for leading the human resources discipline for Fujifilm India. As the HR Head of the company, he provides strategic leadership on people's agenda to build Fujifilm as an employer of choice in the country. Talking to People Matters, he shares his thoughts on the current pandemic and what should employers keep in mind while measuring performances.
As a leader, do you measure performances during the crisis? If yes, what are the key parameters that are considered while measuring performances?
All our employees, partners, dealers, suppliers, and other stakeholders have always been an integral part of our journey and success in India since the very beginning. In difficult times like these, we stayed connected and continued supporting.
To bring in a sense of positivity and motivation among employees working from home, we are measuring performance during these challenging times. The key parameters for us are clear & tangible goals aligned with the overall business needs and employee-owned productivity.
What should employers keep in mind while revising the performance framework for their remote employees?
- Understanding the unique situation we all are in, organizations need to redefine goals that can be measured in a remote working environment. Key factors employers should keep in mind while revising the performance framework for their remote working employees are -
- Communication is crucial: Focus more on improving communication, be aligned with the teams and make Partnership, commitment, and flexibility of goals
- Stay Connected: Managers and employees should be encouraged and extend support to their employees wherever required.
- Move ahead with One Goal: Align their goals with the overall organization’s objective keeping in mind both the employee and the current market-related situation
- Be Synced: Set individual goals in a more collaborative way between the manager and employee which are realistic and can be achieved by the employees.
- The overall performance framework should enable individuals to learn & receive feedback from each other and grow together during the crisis period.
How do you recommend addressing performance management today? What are some of the pillars of performance that you focus on?
Performance management isn’t an easy field to navigate. It’s constantly evolving. New performance management trends emerge every year and this year because of the ongoing public health crisis a change in performance management was inevitable. For addressing performance management today we need to build a framework that creates alignment and a shared understanding of what has to be achieved and what individuals or teams have to do, learn, and develop to be successful.
It is a continuous process of improving performance by setting individual and team goals that are aligned to the strategic goals of the organization. Regardless of the model, a company has selected, performance management plays a vital role in driving employee productivity and engagement during this uncertain time.
- Amid COVID, more and more companies are waking up to the importance (and resulting benefits) of effective performance management systems. The first step towards revitalizing and improving our existing performance processes is to understand the effective pillars we should ground our system on. Our key pillars of performance are
- Define KPIs to meet the current needs in line with the business goal
- Maintaining employee motivation and engagement
- Offer regular feedback and coaching to employees
Should employees be judged on their functional responsibilities alone given that the situation at the moment is different? There are instances of employees going above and beyond their call of duty, to make the lives of their superiors easier and support the business.
We are responsible for our employee’s holistic input/output and their overall growth. In addition to their functional responsibilities, we also focus on performance behavior and skill development. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked transformation in the workplace due to the evolving marketplace, changing business models as well as the accelerated push to adapt to digitization, automation, and virtual workspace.
With this ‘new normal’ in place, we are rethinking our broad ‘skilling agenda’ to include skills that will play a crucial role in the organization’s recovery business model. The first step to do so is to identify the skills which will be required in the evolving workplace, and then map skilling programs aligned to it. Skills (both behavioral and functional) have developed prominence in the last few months. We believe the weightage difference between ‘What’ & ‘How’ needs to shrink. In these unprecedented times, we’re looking at upskilling, reskilling, and managing the crisis at hand.
Industry-wide pay cuts have sent several employees 2 or 3 years behind in their financial standing. With finances expected to be in a slump for an unpredictable time period, what reward strategies can organizations consider helping employees navigate these challenging times? How should employers go about managing rewards, particularly if they’re unable to bounce back to previous pay levels?
All businesses across sectors have been impacted due to the wave of COVID-19. The unprecedented global pandemic has disrupted the demand-supply chains, business productivity, employee well-being, and the work environment at large. The organizations are not only mitigating the crisis for day-to-day operations but are also working towards adjusting employee rewards strategy for the year ahead.
We believe that transparency with employees during these uncertain times is crucial, especially when everyone is working remotely. We have enhanced our sick leave policies in response to the infected employees and workers who need to take care of their elderly family members or children, insurance cover, WFH policies, and compensation plans. Apart from these benefits, we feel that it is important to engage with our employees during their day-to-day work and recognize their contribution to the organization. The more thoughtful employers are about how they support their employees, there is a better chance they will be prepared to recognize and retain workers for the long haul.