Continuous performance management: Keep employees engaged

Other than pay-checks and benefits, employees derive satisfaction from the knowledge that their talent is influencing business growth and that their strengths impact the greater mission of the organisation.

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If you have done a good job, you obviously do not want to wait for six months for a word of praise from your boss. Similarly, if you have done thing wrong and the boss waits for the annual appraisal meeting to point it out, you would have forgotten by then, what all you did.

This is probably why companies have realised that annual performance reviews are little use. Organisations are now adopting ‘continuous performance management.’ It keeps the workforce, high-performing, motivated, happy and engaged.

Makarand Khatavkar, group head, human resources, Kotak Mahindra Bank is an advocate of an informal continuous performance management.

He says, “Informal ways to have a culture are always better; there are opportunities in conversations between managers and employees over a cup of coffee.”

Kotak Mahindra has a practice ‘TALK-TO-DO’, through which the head of HR shares via email, a story with a moral. The objective is to make the interaction conversational.”

Ramesh Mitragotri, CHRO, Ultra Tech Cement concurs with Khatavkar. “Organisations end up formalising processes, which become a ritual. Rather, we should give flexibility to managers to learn and explore and to converse and lead the team towards the greater good of the organisation,” he says.

Ramesh Mitragotri

“Continuous Performance Management is a ‘development dialogue’, which helps managers to get to the ‘root cause’ of employees’ temperament by providing them with their true underlying motivations, and giving them an understanding of how that leads to their visible behaviour ‘within an organisation-towards an organisation.”

However, there is certainly a need to formalise the process at some level.

Mitragotri adds, “Continuous Performance Management is a ‘development dialogue’, which helps managers to get to the ‘root cause’ of employees’ temperament by providing them with their true underlying motivations, and giving them an understanding of how that leads to their visible behaviour ‘within an organisation-towards an organisation.”

Employee engagement can happen when employees see an opportunity to learn and grow in an organisation. Engaged employees are much more productive than the rest of the workforce.

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Organisations should have regular meaningful communication with team on key results (OKRs) that are aligned to the company’s priorities. This allows managers to finalise their projects as individual contributors.

Makarand Khatavkar

“Informal ways to have a culture are always better; there are opportunities in conversations between managers and employees over a cup of coffee.”

Senior HR leader Sanjeev Parkar opines, “Continuous feedback’s output is baked into the development plan/ learning calendar, which helps people to take ownership of their own careers. Hence, continuous feedback is the new-age workstyle, which leaders and organisations will have to adopt to create a culture of ownership, trust and resilience.”

Employees are happy and satisfied when they feel they are contributing their talent towards influencing business growth. They feel good when they realise the manner in which their strengths impact the greater mission of the organisation.

Continuous performance management focusses on looking forward to aligning work with results, thereby recognising employee achievements. Only pay-checks and benefits do not inspire them anymore.

Parkar says, “People managers have to understand that ‘performance=achieving results + demonstrating behaviours’ (competencies).”

In continuous performance management system, instead of the traditional top- down manager evaluation, a 360 degree feedback from peers, direct reports and others throughout the organisation should be encouraged.

It helps set clear goals that are aligned with the organisation’s, with clarity in deadlines.

It captures all information on tasks, actions, deadlines, feedback in a single solution. This makes the task of quarterly assessments simple and effortless.

Sanjeev Parkar

“People managers have to understand that ‘performance=achieving results + demonstrating behaviours’ (competencies).”

Continuous performance management is an innovative culture, where it is ensured that employees talk to each other more, increase engagement with the company, and drive best results for the organisation.

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