Gulshan Walia, Human Capital Consultant & Coach at Infinitzus Consulting

Gulshan Walia is a Human Capital Consultant and Coach. Her areas of expertise include coaching,
leadership development, behavioural training workshops, HR processes, performance management,
strategic HR, organisation development, career planning and high potential development. More details
about her work can be viewed at www.infinitzusconsulting.com

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


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

Performance management is as important as it was earlier, and it will never diminish in importance. It is one of HR’s core functions that needs a lot of thinking, and deployment throughout the organisation. However, the methods and techniques of performance management (PM) are undergoing a change. We are moving from a traditional PM system to Agile PM, which emphasises flexible goals, frequent feedback discussions and regular coaching. Agile performance management is the need of the hour for a high-flux, VUCA world.

How are the best practices that make Performance Management effective in your customer’s organisation?

Performance Management has two important pillars. First is the process and its implementation, which is owned by HR. And second is the leadership capability of the organisation, as it is the leaders who execute performance management. Organisations with well defined processes, implemented rigorously and capable leadership are able to ensure the effectiveness of performance management.

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

Lack of meaningful feedback discussions, and regular performance reviews are two of the biggest gaps in industry practices. HR needs to impress upon leaders that feedback discussions and reviews are excellent opportunities for coaching their team. Many leaders do not have regular 1-on-1 meetings with their team members to discuss their performance and help develop them. If every leader starts doing this regularly, it will give a huge boost to employee engagement and therefore performance. Many organisations are still following traditional performance management which is a once a year activity. It’s important to change over to Agile performance management to navigate the continually changing realities of business.

What are the common mistakes made by organisations in managing performance?

A lot of times organisations use time spent in office as a proxy for performance. This is especially true in India where working late hours is a norm. Its’ important to measure performance against defined goals, as that will ensure alignment with business results. Again, lack of regular feedback discussions and performance reviews is a big mistake that happens often.

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

Leadership commitment to performance management is important. The business leaders must partner with HR in the implementation of processes like annual reviews, feedback discussions and development planning. Training leaders on the critical elements of performance management (how to give feedback, goal setting, having difficult conversations, appreciation and motivation) equips them with the skills to execute performance management. Talent reviews with senior leadership to identify high-potential employees, and crafting challenging opportunities for their development is also essential for sustaining high performance.

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