For most of us, THAT time of the year is just around the corner!
Carrying with it new hopes, a lot of anticipation and some amount of anxiety.
Upbeat or Sad – it’s all about to present itself for us to experience in a month or so.
The moment of enlightenment that defines the Dream On’s OR Move On’s!
If some of you are left guessing, we are talking about the appraisal time – the usual yearly evaluation cycle where two people (sometimes more) sit across the table and discuss what went right and wrong in the past 365 days, about what was expected and what was not delivered and so on. Quite a long drawn and stressful process, isn’t it? Not just for the employees who are getting reviewed on their performance but also for the reviewer. The many dilemmas and difficulties inherent to the annual appraisal process have been discussed and debated over and over again in the past decade.
The point in reference are the older performance management methods which may not fit well in today’s hyper-competitive, digital and fast-paced work environment, as these are viewed as:
- Individualistic: Reviewee based methods, instead of a concerted process where outputs and results are inter-dependent between manager and team members to promote collaborative success.
- Annual: Once a year process with little involvement throughout the year leaving scope for mistakes.
- Enigmatic: Vulnerable to personal biases and favoritism in presenting the verdict based on one person’s opinions and thought process.
- Non-committal: Less focus on employee engagement, missing out on encouraging discretionary effort, wherein employees only put in the bare minimum that’s required of them to avoid any negative impact at the end of the year.
In fact, a recent article, ‘the war for talent is over and everyone lost’, published on the www.fastcompany.com can be linked to some of the possible reasons why things long needed to change. The article links back to the 20-year-old McKinsey report which stated the “war for talent” will be the biggest challenge and success factor for companies in the years to come. The article in fact, much like the title, deliberates on today’s talent issues and expectation gaps, to have lost the talent war. Fundamentally, its about trust and transparency in the digital world.
Change takes you to the place where the magic begins!
Two and a half years back, basis our internal experience and feedback received from various corners of our business environment, Teleperformance in India took a hard look at its own annual process of performance management and decided to modify it to suit the shifting needs of the employees and what the future of work demands. This step was another reaffirmation of our Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership.
About 2 years back, with a small set of employees, we introduced and tested waters with ‘daily scorecards’ as a measure to evaluate employee performance almost real-time, based on our key frameworks, value system, employee first philosophy, and organizational metrics. This meant that at every given point, each manager had a view of their own and their team’s performance, creating a transparent performance management system based on collaboration. This was also the natural next step to sustain the high trust and performance culture we built over years, with people care for everyone alike –Employees, Clients and Customers.
We started this journey of process re-engineering by automating the performance rating process and incorporating real-time data analytics into the employee scorecards that enlisted all their key KPIs and corresponding performance data, thereby reducing effort and ambiguity of manual review and rating methods. We also based the new system on four key mandates, to tackle the misses of the traditional method and ensure alignment to our culture and people practices, including:
- Transparency: Making the scorecard process data-driven, helped gain the fundamental level transparency which meant, anybody from the organization across any program or site had access to anyone’s scorecard, ensuring complete objectivity of input and output, to set personal targets and construe coaching needs of the team members.
- Self-governance: The new process offered a vision into the future, today. It presented the moment of truth in time to encourage proactive effort and decision making to bridge any gap real-time.
- Inclusivity: Transparency and commitment to change have also been established by making this process all-inclusive, covering frontline associates to the senior most leadership in the teams across all functions and sites.
- Collaboration: The most important aspect of this process lies in its collaborative approach wherein it mandates that a manager’s success is based on his/her team members’. As it requires 80% manager’s effort on coaching and training the team, bringing them up the curve.
“People skills have been given high priority in building the scorecard framework that measures how our managers are investing time in their teams and driving their growth. It’s a soccer match every day where each player’s performance increases the team’s chances of winning.” – shares Amandeep Singh Arora, Executive Vice President – Talent Excellence, Teleperformance India
However, it’s no secret that the going was tough initially and this, like any other change received push backs. Reaching a more practical solution as we engaged further, we made this a monthly process meaning to encourage employees and drive performance as an outcome, keeping the process intact.
Aligned to our core 5Ps Culture: Enabling discretionary effort
The course of action for this process like many others at Teleperformance, has been based on the 5Ps methodology (refer image below) that focuses on five main Ps of success for any business, including – People, Passion, Purpose, Pride (Inspiration) that feeds into the output = PERFORMANCE. This is a unique force multiplier of our endeavours for our efforts and processes.
Sustaining the High Performance, High Trust Environment
After disassembling the traditional model, it was also necessary to make the new one robust and one that delivers better results on all counts. We made the monthly scorecard – evaluation process standardized yet customized to individual needs which also concurs with organizational objectives of TRUST & TRANSPARENCY at various levels that included the following measures:
- As the scorecard clearly highlighted top performers, it also helped identify opportunities for managers for coaching and hand-holding within their teams.
- New joiners were given step-targets to get enough time to improve while still on the learning curve.
- Scorecards included quantifiable and well defined Key Performance Metrics and targets.
- They laid high emphasis on people skills and customer experience at all levels, aligned to company goals and value system to ensure purpose led efforts from all.
Turning things around
Today, over 94% of our employee base in India is aligned to the monthly scorecard process with a planned 100% coverage in the coming months.
Sanjay Mehta, MD & CEO, Teleperformance India says, “We understand that the sense of passion is correlated with success and as per our predictive analytics, the transactional process and metrics did not do justice to today’s needs. The new process is a data-driven shift in talent management that is real-time and directed at boosting work performance. It is our way of driving discretionary effort through increased transparency and self-governance.”
This journey has helped gain excellent momentum for us internally, shrinking the bottom performing group to a mere 1% of the entire employee base, within two years of its application, along with improving the overall employee retention.
Like we benefited from this shift, we’re glad that the speed and scale of this movement are being unlocked by many leading companies today. A recent article in Forbes discusses some key highlights towards this momentum – ‘Overcome the pain of the old school annual appraisal’. If you already have or are thinking of re-looking your performance management practices, do share your experiences with us. We are eager to hear from you!
Visit us at: www.teleperformance.in
Contributor: Neha Sethi @nehacsethi