Performance dialogue: An effective daily ritual at Blue Dart

This global practice at Blue Dart has given great results in terms of employee engagement

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While ‘continuous feedback’ is discussed a lot, not many actually practice it with seriousness. Blue Dart, however, not just embraces continuous feedback for the benefit of its employees, but has made it a daily practice!

Speaking exclusively with HRKatha, Rajendra Ghag, CHRO, Blue Dart Express, shares that the Company has an everyday practice of giving feedback to employees on how the previous day went.

Ghag reveals that it has now become a daily ritual at Blue Dart that all regional and local managers give a 15-30 minute feedback to all their subordinates. Blue Dart calls this activity ‘Performance Dialogue.’

With 12,500 employees on its rolls in India, about 60-70 managers are involved in a performance dialogue every day, at the regional and local levels across Blue Dart’s offices.

Subject of discussion

Service quality: As part of these ‘conversations’, the managers normally discuss the service quality standards of the company on a daily basis. “For us, all that matters is service to our customers. Therefore, these conversations talk about the previous day’s service quality, things that may have gone wrong and how they were handled, as well as how their recurrence can be avoided in the future,” assert Ghag.

Rating: The managers usually maintain a whiteboard for the performance-dialogue session based on a common template across the organisation. On this board, the team members rate themselves on various aspects, including service quality.

Motivation: Along with critical feedback, the managers also communicate to the employees how their hard work and efforts are helping in the success of the Company, which further motivates them. “The employees know how they are contributing to the success of the company,” explains Ghag.

Two-way communication: The performance-dialogue sessions also serve as a great communication channel for the Company. All sorts of strategic or change-management decisions that flow from the top are conveyed through this channel.

These sessions, aptly called ‘performance dialogue’, ensure two-way communication. The employees also get back to their managers with all the challenges they may be facing at the ground level. “This way, we also get to know about the business challenges on ground,” admits Ghag.

The performance-dialogue practice is a global activity, and Blue Dart takes it quite seriously. Every 15 days, there is a review at the regional and local levels, on the number of performance-dialogue sessions conducted, and the report reaches Ghag.

“For us, all that matters is service to our customers. Therefore, these conversations talk about the previous day’s service quality, things that may have gone wrong and how they were handled, as well as how their recurrence can be avoided in the future”

Rajendra Ghag, CHRO, Blue Dart Express

Advantages of ‘performance dialogue’

Though the evaluation of a performance-dialogue session does not directly impact the appraisal of the employee, it is linked to the employee-engagement score of the region.

Ensures employee engagement: For Blue Dart, performance dialogue is more of an employee-engagement activity since it is conducted every day, and is more like a dialogue rather than a review.

“If we observe a fall in the number of performance-dialogue sessions in some area or region, marks are cut from the employee-engagement score,’ explains Ghag.

As an HR leader, Ghag believes that to drive performance in the Company, employee engagement is very important. In fact, he has frequently seen how a better employee-engagement score impacts the revenue of the Company.

He further elaborates that having a performance dialogue every day helps the Company keep its employees engaged. “Internally, the Indian region’s employee- engagement score was 97, which is the highest, globally,” states Ghag proudly.

Controls attrition: Performance dialogue has helped Blue Dart keep attrition level in check. “It always stays below the double digit mark,” reveals Ghag.

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