Learnings from PMS Certifications
Pandemic changed the way we look at Performance Management System in the organizations. Employees are demanding more outcome-based objectives and goals. Its important for HR Professional to relook into the PMS in the organization and align them as per the current need. Sharing here some of areas to reflect upon basis the cohort-based learning journey curated by the People Matters on #BeNext Learning platform.
Step 1 Start from where you are:
Review the current talent philosophy and explore the opportunities to align it with the hybrid/remote and return to office model. Review the organization's objective & goals and understand the executive leadership view about the purpose of the PMS & Which goals they would like to achieve through an effective PMS process.
Step 2 Re-state your People Philosophy & Vision
Pandemic has given us a scope to re-visit certain components of talent philosophy and align it with the future of the workplace and workforce demands.
Step 3 Define the Purpose of PMS system & Measures of Success:
Few questions which need to be re-addressed:
- Whether PMS is a transactional activity or transformational?
- Define the hybrid talent philosophy?
- How we can evaluate: Performance, Behaviour, Differentiation, Transparency, and Accountability in the process?
The above questions will help in redesigning the purpose of the PMS, and in alignment with the purpose, how we will measure the success of the PMS?
As Peter Drucker said: if you can't measure it you can't manage it. Clear definition of tangible goals and baseline the same before implementing the revised PMS.
Step 4 Define Leader & Stakeholder Accountability
People Managers are the main foundation stone of this entire exercise. Employees always look up to their Leaders/Managers for development feedback, fair evaluation, and rewards. Managers should do this exercise as an accountability not just as a responsibility to get rid of. How much quality time they are spending with their team, how frequently, quality of the content of the discussion, all these factors decide the growth of an employee and eventually employees develop trust and faith in the organization's performance management process and overall culture. The overall commitment to making an impact should always come from top management, PMS should be a BU driven process, not only HR driven
Step 5 Define Hybrid Goal Setting Process
Goal’s setting is the basic and most primary step in the overall PMS process, if you fix this part, most of the subsequent steps fall in place. Every employee looks for clear, elaborated, and tangible goals - that can be achieved with support from the team and manager. We need to ensure managers are helping team members to set effective goals and track them till closure. Again, this exercise should be driven in a top-down manner. The top leader in the business hierarchy can design goals in alignment with the CEO's goals and share them down with their subordinates. these second-level leaders should further drill them down and align them with the sub-processes and share them downwards.
Goals Calibration should be done if the team is working across other horizontals, this will improve the coordination and collaboration level.
This is the step where max. bias may happen in terms of assigning strategic goals to the favorite team members, gender bias, etc.
Step 6 Define Hybrid Communication & Feedback
Feedback should be given in a form of a development structure: 1) what they should continue doing it 2) what they should stop it 3) What they should start doing it. Frequency should be quarterly, (can be done on monthly basis depends on the size of the team), 2-2 counselling model can also be adopted understanding the team's need, there should always be a provision of an ad-hoc check-in as well.
Format for documentation, understanding the fact we may need such documents/instances for reference later for an audit or external review purpose. Leverage of technology to conduct effective communication over a virtual medium that is clear, transparent, and crisp
Step 7 Define Outcomes of PMS: Ratings in a Hybrid Workplace Communication & Training:
Depending on the size of the organization, they can decide on the approach to design the outcome of the PMS: To have a bell curve or not, give a rating or relative ranking, etc. To run this process effectively and eventually and use the output of this exercise as an input to the other subprocess like revision, bonus, pay differentiation, etc. we need some quantitative output.
Step 8 T Hybrid Managers’ Critical Role: Expectation, Communication & Training
Managers play a critical role, they should Model >> Coach >> Care. Can leverage the best practices of the power coaching, speed coaching, 2-2 coaching model, or simple 20 min 1 on 1 connect on regular intervals to make this exercise more relevant.
Managers should be trained on 1) Virtual coaching 2) Empathy 3) Leading the team in the virtual set-up 4) Un-conscious bias
Link Manager's performance with the team's performance metrics like 1) Attrition 2) Engagement 3) Productivity etc. and design manager's goals with at-least 40% weightage to people management metrics. (this step is just to make managers accountable)
Step 9 Technology as an Enabler for Experience, Scale & Business Impact
Technology can be an enabler in the overall exercise to enhance the employee's experience and reduce the bias as much as we can:
1) Online portal to track goals/completions/status reports to drive compliance
2) Timely review of goals on the portal
3) AI/ML logics to evaluate the quality of the goals
4) Validate the documentation done by the Managers
5) Features for Ad-hoc check-in/self-assessment/seek feedback from peers
6) Notes section for associates to track performance, upload appreciations, etc.
Technology should be used with the purpose to scale the overall process but this shouldn’t be a replacement for the human touch.
I am thankful to the People Matters team for designing 5 weeks cohort-based certification on PMS that helped us to learn the best practices from peers & industry experts. Marc Effron, Founder & Leader, The Talent Strategy Group. Michael Schrage, Research Fellow, MIT Sloan School of Management's Initiative on the Digital Economy. Puneet Swani, Senior Partner, Career Business Leader, Mercer. Cynthia Lee Mai, Global Head of Career and Performance at HP Ester Martinez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, People Matters