Saurabh Nigam, Vice President-Human Capital, Omidyar Network

Saurabh Nigam, Vice President-Human Capital, Omidyar NetworkSaurabh Nigam is the Vice President-Human Capital of Omidyar Network. He has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Future HR Leaders of the Country by People Matters & DDI International.

With the backing of a varied experience and an ever increasing desire to add value to self and exceed organizational expectations, He has risen up the corporate ladder at a fairly young age. He is the recipient of “HR Leadership Award” from the Asia Pacific HRM Congress 2010, “Young HR Professional of the Year” at Asia’s Best Employer Brand Awards 2012 and the “Young HR Manager of the Year Award” at IHRD National HR Conference 2012.

Saurabh is a regular speaker at numerous National & International Conferences on topics like Compensation & Benefits, Talent Management and Managing Gen Y.

How important is Performance Management (P.M.) in today’s high-flux organization?

Performance Management is perhaps one of the most important people intervention for any organization. A strong performance management system not only helps in getting everyone aligned on the over organization mission and goals but also goes a long way in building a culture of trust and meritocracy.

How does P.M. actually help companies like yours?

  • Helps build alignment with organizational goal and mission
  • Provide clarity on expectations from each and every individual in the organization
  • Build a culture of trust and meritocracy
  • Helps build a linkage between rewards and performance

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

  • Many a time the performance management process is seen as a checkbox intervention and not enough emphasis is put on its usefulness.
  • Not enough time is spent on defining clear and objective goals for every team member, which in turn defeats the whole purpose of having a performance management system
  • Many organizations do not spend time and resources to build managerial capability in their managers which in turn can facilitate meaningful conversations and feedback discussions between managers and team members

How many employees in your organization & how are you managing their performance?

  • We have 25 team members in India
  • We follow a bi-annual performance cycle
  • Individual goals are set for a period of 6 months and the same is evaluated at the end of the period
  • There are structured feedback sessions which take place between managers and team members at the end of 6 month period
  • The managers also provide a performance rating on a 5 point scale to their team members at the end of every 6 months
  • The individual bonus is linked to this performance rating

What makes a really effective P.M. programme? Any best practices to share.

  • A robust process to articulate organizational goals and objectively cascading them down to functional and individual goals
  • A strong communication channel to articulate organizational goals and the process of performance management system
  • Enabling managers to be objective in their assessment of team members and hold meaningful feedback conversations
  • A good technology tool to automate the performance management system – should be intuitive and easy to use
    Building a strong linkage between rewards/incentives and performance

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