Navin is responsible for Service Delivery, Operations and HR at Aujas for the last 2 years and has over 15 years varied experience in Operations, Business Development, and Marketing for Aujas, a global Information Risk management company with presence in US, India and Middle East.
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In an exclusive interview with GroSum Performance Management eMag, Mr. Navin Kotian, Co-founder & President, Aujas Networks, stated that employees need to be responsible about their own performance backed by involved Line Managers !!!
How important is Performance Management in today’s organizations?
We are a growing & people driven company. The quality of our services & the success of our customer relationships is solely linked to the people delivering them. Needless to say, Performance Management is very critical for a company like ours.
How does Performance Management actually help?
There are two key aspects of managing performance in a company like ours.
One is the operational monitoring & review of key aspects of how we are doing business. This happens frequently & structured typically to the needs of the function, say a Sales or a Project Delivery.
The other aspect is strategic/ tactical where we take a pause to review with the employee on how he is evolving, what has worked or hasn’t and identify needs for capability development. This happens periodically – twice in a year & is also the time to recognize & reward good performance & set standards within the team.
Both these aspects are inter-linked & equally significant to ensure employees are working towards the common objective of the organization.
What are the key gaps in current industry practices in managing employee’ performance?
Reviews are typically seen as an HR process that happens once or twice a year when people fill up forms that are somehow related to getting increments. The mindset has to change to employees taking ownership of their performance ably supported by Line Managers who provide continuous feedback & guide them around the year.
Reviews have to be context sensitive & cannot be one-size fits all. For example, in the BPO Industry, one Manager can oversee 100 employees, while in knowledge-based industries, a Manager can do a good job only if the team size is around 10, that too depends on the function i.e. Consulting, IT Services, Sales, etc.
Finally, technology has a big role to play to eliminate the manual administrative tasks of intimation, reminders, review forms, data collation, reporting etc. This can then free up employees to concentrate on the core strategic aspects of the review.
How many employees in your organization & how are you managing their performance?
We have a strength of 250 employees currently & have grown at a pretty fast pace compared to our competitors. We are also growing in different geographies as well that now adds a different dimension towards managing the performance of our employees.
Our Performance Reviews are based on Balanced Scorecard objectives laid out across Customer, Financial, Internal, and Learning & Development categories. Formal reviews happen twice a year interspersed with quarterly informal discussions between employees & Line Managers.
Of course, Line Managers are encouraged to monitor & give feedback to employees on a continuous basis. Recently, we have also piloted a monthly semi-formal review exercise and we look forward to evolving towards a more continuous but less tedious exercise in the future.
What makes a really effective Performance Management programme? Any best practices to share?
The effectiveness of a Performance Management Programme lies with the 3 key stakeholders (1) The employee, (2) The Line Manager & (3) HR
I believe that the main responsibility lies with the employee. Employees need to be responsible & take ownership of their own performance. If they are not engaged, then the rest of the process becomes forced.
Next, the Line Manager has an important role to play to continuously monitor & give feedback to the employee. It need not be formal always. It goes a long way to show that the Manager cares enough about the Employee’s development & contribution to the company.
Finally, HR is the process gatekeeper & ensures that the Employee & Line Manager is sufficiently enabled to comply with the company’s process within the stipulated timeframe.
Once in a month or quarter review is a good practice to adapt to overcome the recency bias in performance ratings that happens with half-yearly or annual reviews. It may not be elaborate & tedious but just significant enough to capture a snapshot of the employee’s performance with more continuity.