Aayush Sikhwal, Senior Talent Management Partner, Flipkart

Aayush Sikhwal is a passionate and hands-on HR professional currently working on Total Performance and Talent Development at Flipkart. He is an IIM Ranchi alumni with an undergrad degree in Electrical Engineering. He strongly believes and follows the saying “Opportunities don’t happen. We create them.”
He is inquisitive and likes learning new things. He pushes the boundaries and aspires to make each day better than the last.
When not indulged in professional endeavors, he delves into philately, swimming, and table tennis. He enjoys conversing and is keen to talk about anything under the sun.

Here are his key experiences in the industry in relation to Performance Management.


How important is Performance Management in today’s high-flux organization?

In today’s world, people are not only concerned about what they do, they are concerned about if they are making a difference. This thirst for making a difference creates a high-flux environment in an organization. In such a scenario, performance management becomes a very important part of enabling a fulfilling career, which brings employee ownership to the forefront.

The concept of Performance Management has broadened in scope from just a yearly evaluation exercise to an overall development and engagement process. The shift from the traditional “Judgement/Evaluation based” system to a more connected and development based approach is what makes it important for today’s high-flux organization.

The reality is you can never have a single lasting solution in a high-flux organization, it needs to evolve continuously according to the needs of the people and the environment in which it operates. We need to reinvent continuously, redesign radically and personalize to suit the needs of the people we enable. Provide multi-source feedback and create an environment that promotes transparency and accountability. Not only will this help create individual differentiation but also build organizational citizenship with team-based differentiation.

How does Performance Management actually help companies like yours?

E-commerce, like any other industry that changed the status quo of things, needs a very robust performance system that continuously enables the following:
● Efficiently change with the evolving business and people needs
● Recognize the efforts of people
● Enable employee development
● Determine pay and promotions
● Handle low performance

What are the key gaps in current industry practices in managing employee’s performance?

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply does not exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I will exist” – Stephen Hawkins.

I believe any process in an organization also falls in a similar situation. Nothing is perfect and there will always be gaps that need identification and course correction. A few gaps that I think exist in managing employee performance are:

A once-a-year process with no other touchpoints: Having a year-end process that only delivers a judgment on an employee’s performance with no round-the-year feedback and opportunities to improve will always top the list.

Considering it as an exclusive HR process: Performance management is a process that is employee-owned and HR facilitated. Disconnecting it from the business is a pitfall that should be avoided.

Lacking authentic leadership: No process can be effective if not embedded and followed consistently by the organization starting from the top. This makes authentic leadership one of the most important parts of the overall performance life cycle.

Not using Technology: “Hear the things that are not being said” If we do not use technology to feed into review/feedback, we are basically managing performances based on perceptions. Technology-enabled decision-making for each employee helps counter not only perception but also biases.

Disconnected systems: Performance management is not an exclusive singular system. It must work hand in hand with other processes like L&D, Recognition, Talent Management, Succession Planning, etc. If not, we are not unleashing the actual power of performance management.

Ignoring Change Management: In a constantly evolving business environment, all HR processes need to evolve as well. If the change is not managed efficiently and effectively it will not become a part of the organizational DNA.

Over focused on either Impact or Behavior: Performance management needs to be balanced to recognize both the impact created by the employee and the behavior that needs to be reinforced as the corporate values.

What makes a really effective Performance Management program? Any best practices to share.

The most effective way to do it, is to do it” – Amelia Earhart

Continuous improvement and touchpoints: An efficient and effective performance management process is one where the employee is given a chance to develop, grow, and course-correct throughout the cycle. Not just at the end of the year.

Connected Systems: The performance management system should be an input to define people development strategy. This enables the personalization of other people’s management practices.

Enable managers with technology and feedback: The most effective way to remove biases and perceptions from the process is to provide multiple sources of data to enable performance management.

Continuous and Multiple sources feedback: Employee and Manager: Feedback is the most critical part of the performance management process. It should be continuous, effective, and honest.

Business owned and HR facilitated: An ideal performance management process is weaved into the day-to-day working of an organization, owned by the manager and employee, and facilitated by HR.

Balance Impact and Behaviors: Create a balance in the process, take both the performance and the potential into consideration.


Disclaimer – The views expressed are personal, and do not represent Flipkart’s view.


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