Revisiting Organizational Values

Human Capital interacted with Pallavi Kapoor, Head HR, India and SAARC, EMC and learnt the various ways in which the company has begun to revisit performance management to percolate the values of organizational goals among the talent pool. She also elaborated on various employee connect initiatives such as vENGAGE, HiPo, Women Advocacy and many other engagement tools to ensure better employer-employee harmony in the days ahead. — BY S.AJAY KUMAR

An efficient performance management system must be such that it should ensure that the employees are in line with the goals of the employer and therefore must carry a bearing on the performance of the employees at all times, by way of accumulating and collating employee assessment from multiple sources. The system must therefore be able to devise the growth trajectory of the employees and at the same time cater initiatives to the top talent. However, work place dynamism and the manifesting VUCA environment in which the organizations are pitted against, it has become perennial for them to revisit the very values of performance management, and devise several parallel initiatives that ensure optimum employee engagement.

HC: What are the various parameters devised to measure performance management at EMC? What has been the root motive behind the conception of such a model? PK: EMC’s performance management philosophy encourages the managers to give feedback to their employees, and focus on continuous development through the year. Hence, the performance management system is of two types- Annual and Quarterly. While annual appraisal focuses on the goals and key responsibility areas set in the beginning of the year, the quarterly appraisal system focuses on the milestones set for the quarter and competencies required to achieve the same.

HC: While devising the performance management model at EMC, did you draw inspiration from any prevailing model that has been deemed successful?

PK: We at EMC, have focused on continuous feedback and development and are moving away from traditional way of evaluating employees only at the end of year. The model at EMC encourages the employees and the managers to have a constructive discussion once every quarter. It also gives the employees a good view of prioritizing goals for the quarter, and aligning to the organization’s performance. We strongly believe in the pay for performance model and besides development, there is a direct correlation of Annual & Quarterly appraisal process with monetary gains.

HC: What is your opinion on the findings of Erhard, Jensen and others that individual perceptions can hinder the development of his cognitive abilities? What ways have you devised at EMC to overcome this barrier?

PK: The model largely iterates that the given models are constrained and shaped by the paradigm from which they are generated. A truly new model of performance would require a new paradigm of performance, rather than adding more explanations as to why people do what they do, and why they don’t do what they don’t, and provides actionable access to performance. In my opinion, this model of evaluating employees restricts ones creativity and innovation at workplace. As an organization, we have been able to strike a balance between the traditional ways of evaluating employees, and also added an element of creativity and innovation, which is time flexible.

HC: As has been perceived by a certain section, do you see a corelation between performance management and organizational performance? What according to you is the relation between these two entities?

PK: There is a strong correlation between performance management and organizational performance. Unless the organizational goals are stated in a smart manner to the employees, they may not be able to achieve and prioritize. A strong and effective performance management system will and should enable measurement of such short and long term goals, encourage the communication mechanism/constant feedback through the year, and focus on enablement of specific competencies to achieve the desired results.

HC: Do you further feel that these two aspects would yield better ROIs in terms of direct financial gains, employee motivation and superior management control?

PK: Employee motivation is the key here, and an organization that invests time (regular employee manager meetings), enables (through training and development) and focuses on overall performance and productivity of employee tends to have a more engaged workforce, which in turn would result in financial gains and management control.

HC: How would you differentiate between individual performance management, performance management of a team and organizational performance management?

PK: An organization’s strategy and vision is translated to performance management (long term and short term goals) which in turn is cascaded to a team, and then to the individual. Similarly, a two-way approach would look at consolidation of the individual goals at the team level and a team’s performance at the organization level.

HiPo connect: Hi-Potential or HiPo programme was an initiative launched in 2015 and fifty eight employees were identified. This programme was and is based on three important elements in an employee life cycle- Aspiration, Engagement and Ability. This programme has already seen the completion of two modules across locations. It covers specific sessions on negotiation and influencing, emotional intelligence, executive presence, conflict management and much more along with a right mix of internal and external trainings.

HC: Do you feel that the absence of a performance management review system reduces the points of contact between HR and the rest of the employees? How have you ensured that there is constant contact between HR and the employees at EMC?

PK: While most of the organizations are moving away from traditional way of appraising people, and are adopting a real time feedback through the year, it certainly reduces a structured connect with employees. In my opinion, an ideal performance management system should be a middle path where one connects on a regular manner instead of a yearlong wait and bring in a little more structure. As a team, we have regular interlocks with employees through various signature engagement initiatives which range from vEngage to HiPO connect, Women advocacy, Meet the stars and focuses on various segments of our workforce.

vENGAGE was created as an Engagement Brand where employees across the team collaborated to make EMC a fun place to work. Emphasis was laid on the Social factors of employment, relationship, teaming, Family & Work Life Balance. Thirty four employees across locations and Business groups had volunteered to be part of the task force to engage, make work fun as well increase participation. This was part of the employee engagement programme.
This engagement was launched under the YouDefine campaign, and this started the first ever EMC India Sports Day Month across four cities (Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai). The event had an overwhelming participation and around 75% of the employees participated in each city and showed off their skills and their fighting spirit in eight tournaments- Cricket, Football, Table Tennis, Badminton & Lawn Tennis, Volleyball, Carom & Football. Families of the employees were also invited to join in on the fun and offer their support. The team has also organized many other employee initiatives such as Bring your Kids to work Day, Health check days, festival celebrations etc. and has seen increased participation from employees.
Pallavi Kapoor

Pallavi Kapoor is head, HR- India and SAARC, EMC. She was previously responsible for leadership competency development as well as sales talent assessment and review- coaching and enablement in EMC. She has previously worked with Wipro Technologies and Wipro Infotech. She holds a M.B.A. (HR & IT) from the Institute of Management Studies & Research.

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