Poorna Pushkala, Senior VP HR & Training and Branding, Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services Private Limited

Poorna Pushkala, Senior VP HR & Training and Branding, Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services Private Limited

Poorna is responsible for Samunnati’s people function and performance by participating as a strategic partner from the perspective of the impact on people and a resultant effect on business performance. Poorna is also leading the branding and communications function at Samunnati to ensure the “Why of Samunnati with its values” is communicated effectively.

A senior certified HR professional, Poorna has over 17 years of proven expertise in setting up the entire human resources function for start-up organisations and taking them to scale.

In this Interview, Poorna shares different aspects of the Goal Settings process in her organization:

Do you follow a collaborative goal settings process between managers and employees in your organization? How has it made the goal-setting process more effective?

The goal-setting process is collaborative and is a merger of both a top-down and bottoms-up approach. Initiated by the team members, the manager collates inputs and then engages in a conversation to tweak the goals, as required.

We have adopted the OKR approach for our goal setting. A combination of both of these have made the process effective and we continue to be on the journey of refining the goal-setting process constantly.

How important is goal cascading & the need to tie every employee’s goals to an organizational objective? Is it always practical and effective?

OKR as a framework is very helpful in ensuring that the goals get tied to the larger organizational goal. While it is very important to cascade goals across hierarchies/ teams, we also have scenarios of individual contributors where the cascade may not be applicable but the tie-up to organisation objective makes the job more meaningful. It is indeed practical.

Do you follow the process of setting sub-goals to make the goal settings more effective? How has it helped you?

It’s a very natural process to have sub-goals linked to the major goal and this has happened without any specific additional effort. As mentioned earlier, we are still on the journey of refining the goal-setting experience. With the experience we have had so far, the sub-goals help see the progress towards the larger goal and has also created an increased sense of ownership & accountability while building transparency.

How do you approach measuring the performance of zero-target goals in your organization?

The performance on these goals are measured by way of retaining the standards (mostly instances where there is a need to be 100% or moving towards 0% – 100% in case of compliances; reducing trends or 0% in case of TATs, Grievances, Complaints etc.,). We do not differentiate these from other sets of goals and these are given the same importance and follow the same process.

Are all the goals in your organization measurable? How to incorporate measurable parameters into subjective goals?

We embarked on the journey to make all the goals measurable last year and we have seen a good success. Almost all of the subjective goals have a measurable metric. This shift in the thinking of having a quantifiable parameter has helped us refine processes too and enabled us to inculcate a culture of delivery focus while appreciating the efforts made.

Incorporating measurable parameters doesn’t come very naturally and it takes efforts. The efforts would involve going deeper into what are we accomplishing by doing that and how it adds up to the larger goal. While these are reviewed, one can identify areas that can be quantified (metrics or measures).