#1 Peter Lemperis, Global Director of Compensation, Benefits, and Mobility at a leading supply chain and logistics organization
Peter, a Senior Human Resources professional, believes many organizations are unable to successfully deliver on their imperative of objectively evaluating performance and improving individual and organizational performance because they follow a formal performance review process.
Peter outlines the following components which organizations’ should incorporate into their performance review process to drive a long-term sustainable performance:
1) A mechanism for constructive feedback – For many Managers, the process of providing feedback to employees can be a daunting task. The most successful performance management systems provide a framework to give and receive feedback on a continuous basis and not just during the performance cycle. Many organizations have taken this one step further through the introduction of 360 Degree Feedback from peers and subordinates.
2) Learning and development – Once the performance management process is complete, employees have a clear understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Successful performance management systems take this a step further by providing the relevant learning and development opportunities to immediately enable the process of continuous improvement.
3) Total reward system – For organizations wishing to embrace the ideals of meritocracy, there should be a clear link between the performance evaluation and remuneration. More specifically, performance reviews should be a guiding factor in the annual salary review process.
4) Career aspiration and succession planning – The outcome of a robust performance management system is the development of detailed succession plans for their organization. In order to ensure appropriate alignment between employers and employees, it is imperative to understand the employees’ career aspirations and goals. There is often a major disconnect between the career aspirations of an employee and employer; the ability to understand these aspirations allows for a more precise succession plan.
#2 Giovanni Gavino Everduin, Senior Advisor HR and Organizational Development at Boston Global Communications & Performance Inc.
Giovanni, a global Organizational Strategy expert, believes in measuring (the impact and perception) of people’s behaviors within the organization as it is critical for any company, and a great proxy for understanding how sustainable their performance will be.
Giovanni emphasizes the following rules to attain organizational success:
A broader conversation on the employee’s ambition, growth, and career development. The narrative should always be framed around how an organization can align it’s needs and aspiration with the employee’s, to create a win-win.
- Implementing a 360 Degree system for feedback.
- An open conversation on how the organization in general and the direct manager, in particular, can better support the employee to achieve his or her goals and ambition.
- A review within a review – focused on the target/goal setting process itself. Was it fit for purpose, what unexpected factors impacted the process that should be considered for the next cycle, how did the frequency of one-on-ones / performance reviews work, to what extent did the targets/goals set at the beginning still reflect the business needs and strategy towards the end of the cycle.
“Appraisals should never be one-way conversations, and if sustainable high performance is truly the goal, then an open conversation on both parties involved is critical for its success.”
– Giovanni Gavino Everduin
#3 Ali Khaled Al Hashmi, Senior VP Human Resources and Center of Excellence Group at Union National Bank
All too often, reviewing performance is something that happens only once every six months or year, guided by the structure of the appraisal form. This should not be the case. The performance review process should be a continuous exercise.
Continuous communication opens up the opportunity for helping employees to improve their performance through regular coaching activities. Having an ongoing connection with employees is also more rewarding than simply using the appraisal form at a predetermined time. Also, if issues are not addressed at the time they occur it can be hard for employees to recall them in a review, six months later.
“For the best performance results try to develop a regular two-way communication bond with team members.”
– Ali Khaled Al Hashmi
#4 Vaclav Koranda, Vice President of Human Resources at T-Systems
Vaclav, a seasoned Human Resources professional with international exposure, believes that the appraisal form is the least important part of performance review. The most important part is an honest and open dialogue between the employee and their supervisor, which is the best way to provide feedback and clarify expectations. Two-way communication is necessary and even better if you can implement 360-degree feedback. Both participants should ask open questions and practice active listening.
“The most important thing is a mindset – main focus should be the human side, not the process side of performance reviews.”
Vaclav always emphasizes that at the end of the performance review, the employee must have a clear notion about their future career and how the company can support them throughout their career path. This is the key to retain top talents.
The traditional yearly cycle (or even twice a year) of performance reviews is no more suitable. We should carry out performance review discussions every month to ensure ongoing alignment of individual and company’s business goals. They don’t have to be highly formalized though and if, must be supported by a sound online tool.
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#5 Harini Sreenivasan, Chief People Officer at WorleyParsons
Harini, a seasoned HR and OD professional with expertise across geographies, reckons Performance appraisals are probably the most redundant of people processes if they are a mere annual ritual. Both managers, as well as those getting evaluated, find this an extremely demotivating, subjective and a non-consequential exercise.
With the changing scenario in the employee behaviors, let us superimpose the 5 stages of Design Thinking on the current situation:
Empathize: What do I feel as an employee during appraisals?
Define: What is the concern?
Ideate: What can be done to alleviate the pain?
Prototype: How has the feeling changed?
Test: How does the employee behave now?
The design of performance appraisals should be beyond just filling of forms and more towards having an engaged workforce.
Here are some tips from Harini for a futuristic development of the workforce:
Look towards the Future: Spend less time discussing ‘what happened wrong and why?’. Instead talk more about ‘what is going to be better and how?’
Encourage the spirit of accountability without fear: Let the performance review discussions move towards setting realistic expectations by providing
platforms for employees to voice their thoughts.
Raise the bar: Progress should be visible to each employee irrespective of level in the hierarchy. Performance goals are great tools for this.
Be transparent: Tie your individual goals to the organizational goals. Set procedures to track, monitor, evaluate and reward without waiting for an annual ‘ritual’.
Move from judgmental appraisals to an employee experience: Effective performance management is an employee-valued system of encouraging and rewarding employee contribution and building a path for organizational growth by creating a unique and enjoyable employee experience.
#6 Harry ENAHOLO, Head-People, Culture, and Projects at Mettalloids Limited
Harry, a passionate and agile human resource manager, quotes “Performance review is perhaps one of the least fun parts of human resource management for me”.
Harry believes Feedback given in real time serves both the company and the staff better in the long run. You don’t need to wait too long to let anyone know about a bad performance. This can even make good staff relax in the long run and create room for mediocrity.
#7 Oludare Shobajo, Head Performance, and Talent Management at Sterling Bank
Location – Nigeria
Oludare, a Performance and Talent Management Professional with over 10 years of work experience across the various focus areas of the Human Resource Management function reckons a critical part of performance appraisals which is often ignored is the fact that it’s actually an opportunity to reflect on the period under review, assess how well we have done as employees and also recharge our batteries in preparation for the next review period.
Oludare outlines some important tips to follow during performance discussions:
- Ask questions and listen. Be receptive of views and sentiments presented.
- Discuss strengths. This creates a feel-good factor and motivates high performance.
- Make suggestions constructive. In instances where change is necessary, offer suggestions for improvement.
- Consider each other’s point of view. Remember each person will respond differently in a performance discussion meeting.
- Keep comments job-centered. Only bring up personalities when they have adverse effects on job performance and the unit or departments productivity.
- Be objective. Remove individual bias and feelings of nepotism.
- Consider each performance area independently. Do not assume that excellence in one area implies excellence in all areas or that poor performance in one area implies poor performance in all areas.
- Base your appraisal on observed performance during the appraisal period, not on what is expected in the future or what transpired in the past.
- Evaluate overall performance throughout the entire appraisal period. Do not base the ratings only on significant successes and failures. These should be considered in context with the total performance.
- Consider various aspects of the employee’s performance that you want to discuss with the employee. The appraisal process should serve as a stimulus for better communication between you and the employee.
- Consider your appraisal in terms of the employee’s present duties, not in terms of the duties of a future or past description.
“Feedback is key. If effective feedback is given, performance will improve and employees will have a sense of where they are headed.”
#8 Emeka Dibia, VP of Human Resources at ARM Pension Managers (PFA) Ltd
Emeka, a Certified Global Professional in HR, feels Performance reviews and talent reviews should go hand in hand.
Emeka is a big advocate of the quality of the process before the razzmatazz of technology. Most organizations have ended up making performance management look like a management chore for keeping or firing people rather than a valuable means of driving business growth and employee engagement.
#9 Alvin Kipng’eno, HR Manager – Recruitment, Reward & Recognition at Crown Paints Kenya Plc
Location – Kenya
Alvin, a seasoned HR manager with more than 10 years of experience managing all aspects of the HR function, feels that Regular check-ins should be the core of the continuous performance management framework. When performance discussions happen with greater frequency, it allows employees and managers to step back from what is urgent to discuss what is important. During this time, managers and employees should discuss items such as progress against objectives, forthcoming priorities, strengths and achievements, personal development and career goals, values and behaviors, issues or concerns, and action to be taken before the next check-in.
“Frequent feedback is genuinely possible with continuous performance management, and may be made simpler with the advancement of performance review software.”
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#10 Thuvi Wijenathan Kulkarni -Head of HR at Jumia Group
Thuvi, an experienced Human Resources Development professional, believes there needs to be education about what the performance management system is about- to ensure that it is a system that employees value and find meaning in as opposed to a tick-box bi-annual exercise.
One of the key aspects is linking performance management to employee development whereby clear actions are defined to enable the employee to grow – good performance management systems highlight what the employee needs to keep doing and what they need to change and while it is also used as a process of governance to direct increments and in turn career progression decisions.
#11 Ibukun Igbinosa, Human Resources Manager, The Place Nigeria
Ibukun, an astute HR consultant with over 9 years extensive experience providing talent and business solutions, believes that a pre-appraisal training is required to educate people on the need for the appraisal, the expected KPIs, how ratings will be done and expected rewards or otherwise.
The next is appraisal feedback which is highly recommended by Ibukun. Sometimes, managers/ supervisors do appraisals without giving candid feedback especially in cases whereby the appraiser is not confrontational and doesn’t like addressing issues headlong.
#12 Michelle Loong, Head of Talent Acquisition and Development, Richemont
Location- Hong Kong
Michelle, an experienced HR executive, believes in real-time feedback and not just a piece of paper on an appraisal form.
When doing appraisal we genuinely want our feedback (both ways) to help improve and better the person. To make them more self-aware and grow.
“360 feedback is critical as it promotes and demonstrates transparency, openness, and trust.”
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Michelle is not a believer of appraisal that happens once or twice a year. She strongly believes in real-time feedback and not a rating or a piece of paper on a person’s performance.
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