Shadman Ahmad, Sr. HRBP, Consumer Products, Pidilite

Shadman is a postgraduate in Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has more than a decade of experience as a Human Resources practitioner, working with Indian conglomerates such as ITC, Aditya Birla Group and Pidilite.
Shadman’s professional journey has led him to experience best practices in Talent & Performance, Employee Engagement and Young Talent across FMCG, Fashion Retail, Information Technology and Mining industries. He specialises in supporting business units in building strong leadership pipelines and a winning performance-oriented culture.
Shadman is based in Mumbai where his current assignment is as Senior Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) for the Consumer Products Division in Pidilite. He is focussing on implementing a new Performance Management system and strengthening the ways of working for greater productivity. In his spare time he enjoys reading autobiographies, exploring developments in the digital/tech world and playing dad to his 2 year old daughter.

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


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

Performance Management has acquired an increased importance in the post- covid world where several roles are being delivered off-site (outside of office). There is increased focus on output and measuring productivity and reduced focus on measurement of effort. Performance Measurement systems should help in objective measurement of employee productivity and should include dynamic mechanisms which deliver improvement-oriented feedback to the employee continuously. The PMS system also needs to account for the fast changes in the external operating environment and should be flexibility to adapt to these changes.

How does Performance Management actually help companies like yours?

Objective measures of employee performance are extremely critical to drive the right behaviours in all organisations, especially Pidilite. There has been overall focus on performance improvement through measuring deliveries on the role. The orientation is also increasingly towards incremental improvement instead of just running the show. Our PMS philosophy is to ensure continuous incremental improvement at all levels along with measuring delivery on the role to ensure that it adds to the achievement of organisation’s objectives.

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

Performance management in the industry today is largely static. Goals/KRAs are set at the beginning of the year and employees are evaluated at the end of the cycle. This makes it inflexible and the process does not account for dynamic changes during the year.

PMS today is also a lot linear. Feedback from the supervisor (at max skip level supervisor) is considered the be all and end all. There is a need to look beyond and seek improvement- oriented feedback from other cross functional stakeholders as well.

How many employees are there in your organisation & how are you currently managing your employee’s performance with any tools?

We have about 5000 employees. A large number is the field sales force whose performance is measured through a scorecard containing elements of sales and distribution performance. This is measured on a tool developed in-house which is dynamic and gets refreshed every time an order is punched by the sales officer.
The managerial cadre performance is measured on the delivery of their roles, improvement initiatives taken and how well do they work with people. There are monthly reviews on an employee’s deliverables and course correction happens during the reviews. The whole system sits on a 3rd party tool which has been customised to our unique needs.

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

An effective Performance Management program would –
a. Help the employee deliver on his/her role elements
b. Have objective measures of performance
c. Should help measure and improve employee productivity
d. Should include feedback from multiple stakeholders to make it well rounded
e. Should help clearly identify areas of strength and improvement for the employee
f. Should be flexible enough to account for dynamic changes in the employee’s operating environment
g. Should lead to improvement in an employee’s performance over a period of time (long-term capability building)


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