Kevin is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Dream11.com, India’s biggest sports game. Kevin has led the HR teams at leading internet and e-commerce firms like Flipkart.com and InMobi.
How important is Performance Management (P.M.) in today’s high-flux organization?
When goals rapidly change, the adaptability of performance management programs is usually called into question. By nature, everyone wants a rigid set of rules that are easy to follow. But when things are in flux, it is best to have a system that relies on trust and the scientific approach to problem-solving viz. create a hypothesis, experiment, take actions and learn from them. Rinse and repeat. Companies that adapt to a framework that is flexible and suited for high-flux will thrive.
Whose responsibility is Performance Management?
It is everyone’s responsibility. The culture, leadership, managerial focus on enhancing performance and encouraging people to be the best version of themselves by supporting them and not penalizing them can help in celebrating this responsibility every day.
What are the key gaps in current industry practices in managing employees’ performance?
Communicate more often than you’re comfortable with. That more than anything else can prevent surprises and lead to better outcomes.
Should Development discussions be de-linked from Performance Reviews?
You cannot develop if you don’t know what you are good at and what you need to improve upon. The journey starts with knowing yourself. An honest data-driven hypothesis about performance with evidence and an openness to learning, changing and experimentation is highly valuable. And performance review data should be used but should not be the only data point in discussions. Development discussions should be more forward-looking and should focus on growing a person and the opportunities they can access.
What makes a really effective P.M. programme? Any best practices to share.
Trust. No one comes to work wanting to free ride and not perform. An openness to improving and developing oneself with feedback and a deep desire to envision a future self that’s better than today is important. Nudging managers to provide an environment that genuinely celebrates people’s achievements and coaches them to improve is very important. When the deep desire for improvement combines with the right environment, any performance management program will thrive.