HR Services1

HR Services1

Sunday, 30 June 2013

6 Things to keep in mind while taking actions based on outcome of performance management system

We discussed a lot about, what is performance management system, especially matured performance management system and how to build such systems? We also discussed about various actions which we, as HR professionals, should take depending upon performance rating patterns available from month to month. We understand the importance of actions which we should take because this way, we will help organization retain employees who are performing well and get rid of those who are not fit to our expectations even after counselling and giving opportunities to improve.

In this post of mine, I would like to discuss about 6 important things, which you need to keep in mind while taking actions mentioned in my earlier post i.e. Various actions HR should take post performance evaluation of employees.

You have all the data points which indicate performance level of an employee, still there are occasions which need human interpretations, hence sometimes, you have to take decision which are different then what your process suggests. Let review each point one by one.

1. Always give time to new joinees to settle in the system

When a new employee joins organization, he is new to the work culture, processes, project or department he is involved with, hence a new joinee need some time to settle down in the system. You can refer my post- What is Buddy Program and how to design it?- to implement a system which help new joinee settle down in organization.

It is obvious that new employee will also be given his KRA and evaluation criteria so that he is also clear on organization expectation from him and his deliverable. We can keep lenient target for such employees as compared to other team members who are already settled in the system. I would strongly recommend that new employee should be given minimum 2 months time to settle down before organization start expecting deliverable from him. You can also keep it 3 months, if you feel so. More than 3 months will be too much but it depends upon project and department new employee is deputed to. This means doesn't mean that new employee performance will not be evaluated for first 2 months. New employee’s performance will be evaluated in similar fashion as other team members but actionable suggested for settled employees should not be implemented in case new employee’s rating is less than 3 which means if his performance is not as per expectation. After 2 months or whatever settle period you decide, actions should be taken.

2. Evaluation should be on basis of data points.

Although, matured performance management system, itself means that employees are evaluated on data points. Every employee evaluation criteria is driven from some data point like tracker, daily report, analysis etc. I would like to mention it again to emphasis on importance of data driven approach while evaluating employee performance. As HR, you should be convinced about action taken on employees, basis performance rating and you can only do so when you have data point with you. Employee may approach HR to discuss about such actions and HR should have all relevant data to discuss and take conversation ahead with employee.

3. Be ready for exceptions

As HR, you should understand that same formula may or may not be impactful even if the situation is same. We need to understand circumstance associated with such incidence and take actions applying our experience. Let’s take an example here. A sale person who is associated with company since last 6 months and doing well in terms of his performance suddenly score Rating 1 in 07th month. He has performed very poor due to low sale in that particular month. He has not achieved his target. HR should ask for reason as why an employee doing well suddenly score so low rating. HR comes to know that there was a problem in supply of goods which this sales person need to sale and due to which he couldn't sale much. This is not in control of sales person. In this situation, after discussion with his line manager, HR should recommend for normalization of his rating and make it to 3, so that employee should not be impacted adversely.

4. Follow up with managers to action on suggestion actionable else escalate.

While implementing action post performance evaluation, I have realized that sometimes line managers do not take such actions seriously. It can be due to many reasons- Line managers are busy with operational work, Line manager do not understand importance of these actions, Line manager is not a good leader etc. In such situations, HR should act. We should not think that merely by informing managers to take actions, our work is complete but we should follow up and take status of action taken by line managers and record it. If you feel that line manager, due to any reason, not taking this seriously, you need to escalate the matter above line manager to ensure that action is taken and employee under that line manager should not get impacted. Trust me, if you follow up properly, all line managers will respond back and further you need not to follow that much.

5. Performance rating not necessarily be consecutive but it can be based on pattern

In my earlier post, I have suggested many actions, when an employee gets the same rating on more than one occasion. It is not necessary that second occasion is consecutive to first one. You should refer to the pattern and then take your call. For example, An employee score Rating 2 in first month, as per set process, you along with line manager should counsel employee and find out difficulties faced by employee in executive responsibilities. You record all this in Employee Counselling Form and place it in personnel file of employee. 2nd month, employee scores 3, meaning fit to expectation, hence no action required by HR but 3rd month, this employee scores rating 1. Now his 3rd month rating should be considered occasion two under action on rating 2 and employee should be put under PIP-Performance Improvement Plan.

This also suggest that HR person analyzing performance ratings patterns should take care of examples like above.

6. Keep record of each steps for future reference

Always keep record of each and every stage during performance management and action based on it. You should maintain proper record of Performance ratings- month by month- of each and every employee. You can download template of such format from link-“Performance Rating Tracker Format”. You should also keep record of mails from managers and supporting documents and tracker in support of employee ratings. You should also maintain record of supporting documents which comes in force after you take actions like counselling employee, PIP mail, appreciation mail to employee, incentive paid to employee etc for future reference.

Do visit previous post on performance management to understand better.

If you are really serious about learning HR and want to grow then visit our web page LEARN HR THROUGH PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

How to design and implement PIP-Performance Improvement Plan policy?

As mentioned in my previous post “Various actions HR should take post performance evaluation of employees”,  it is equally important for HR to take action on employees who are not performing well with help of their line manager and help such employees by all means, so that they start performing well. 

Please note that objective of PIP is not to show out door to employee but to ensure that employee understand seriousness of situation and give his best to come out of it.

Objective is not to show employee out door

Employee should know that organization has identified non performance and would like to help him to get out of non performance. Everyone should know that the objective of PIP is not to show employee out door but to ensure all kind of help is provided to employee by manager and HR. Employee should be given fair chance to talk about concerns / hurdle in executing his responsibility. Manager and HR should answer his concerns and ensure correction if required.

Actions before putting employee in PIP

In ideal situation, employee should be counselled by HR and manager at very first time when he does not meet company expectation, before putting him under PIP. Download Employee Counselling form.
Also ensure that performance management system is matured i.e. based on data point and not on manager perception else it will be difficult and ill logical for both HR and manager to make employee agree on his non performance.

Communication during PIP should be clear

Communication between employee, HR and manager should be very clear. It is responsibility of HR to ensure communication during PIP should be clear and to the point. 

Once both HR and manager come to conclusion that an employee should be put under PIP due to non performance then there should be a round table discussion with employee.

After discussion, HR should send a mail to employee cc to manager stating about what went wrong with employee’s  performance, what do organization expect from employee and assuring all possible help from organization side. You can download draft of such mail from link “Mail draft-Communicating employee about PIP-Performance Improvement Plan”

Manager should submit week wise progress report of such employees with HR and Head of Department so that everyone is aware. You can download format of such format from link “ Evaluation sheet-Post PIP-Performance Improvement Plan”.

PIP tenure should be relevant

Employee should be aware about tenure of PIP. PIP tenure should be sufficient for employee to achieve target given during PIP otherwise employee will not take it as an opportunity but a step before asking to leave. In such situations, employee will spend his time finding new job rather than achieving target.

Actions at end of PIP tenure

HR and manager should keep note of last date of PIP and have a meeting with employee on outcome of PIP at end of PIP tenure.  There could be three possibilities:

(1) Employee comes out of PIP

Employee meets his targets given during PIP and successfully come out of it. Congratulate the employee and manager. Send mail to employee about the same and keep the copy of such email in employee’s personnel file.

(2) Employee partially achieve target

There could be a case where employee is not able to meet 100% target given during PIP but achieve substantial portion of target. In such cases, both line manager and HR can take a decision to extend PIP tenure of employee so that employee should be given another chance to prove himself.

Employee should be communicated about same along with reason and an email should be sent cc to manager and a copy of such email should be kept in employee’s personnel file for future reference.

(3) Employee do not meet target

In case where employee do not meet target then organization should take hard decision, meaning asking such employees to leave.


Below is the draft of PIP policy. You can modify it as per your need.

Performance Improvement Plan ( PIP ) Policy

For all confirmed employee, your manager will initiate corrective action if your performance is unsatisfactory. He/she will discuss the specifics of the problem, recommend changes that you must make to correct the problem, and establish a time frame within which the changes must be made.  If the problem is not corrected within the agreed-upon time frame, your manager may initiate a formal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), which outlines steps for correcting the areas of deficiency.

Performance Improvement Plan Summary

This is intended to be a brief overview of our PIP Plan. The entire process, including the expectations and potential consequences, will be described in much greater detail to any employee who is put on a PIP.

A PIP is effective immediately when it is presented to an employee. The PIP document describes the areas in need of improvement; including specific, measurable goals and the deadlines for meeting them. The PIP is written to last no more than 12 weeks, with checkpoints at six weeks and at 12 weeks. Basic goal of PIP is to bring improvement in the employee’s performance. The PIP document becomes a permanent entry in the employee's personnel file unless he/she successfully completes the PIP at the six-week checkpoint and requests (via e-mail to his/her manager) to have it removed.
The PIP guideline is provided as a tool for improving performance, but it does not provide a contractual right to be placed on a PIP.

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Various actions HR should take post performance evaluation of employees

End objective of a matured performance management system is not to evaluate performance rating of an employee but to take actions basis these ratings. Readers should go through my previous posts on matured performance management system to understand how to build mature performance management system and what do rating scale means which I will refer in my post here.

Below are links of all previous post on matured performance management system:

HR should take action in both cases-(1) where employee is not performing as per expectation and (2) where employee is performing more than expectation

I am sharing one of such model, which I found most effective. Hope it will help you take suitable actions post performance evaluation to strengthen productivity level of your organization at each level.

Actionable on Employee scoring Rating 1 

Rating 1 signifies that performance level of the employee is far below expectation /  poor performance. This is not at all acceptable for any profile (except where employee has joined within 2-3 months). HR should be extra concerned about such cases and take appropriate action along with reporting manager on immediate basis.

Below are suggested actions depending upon number of occasion employee score rating 1.

Ist Occasion :

HR Action : Put employee in PIP (Performance Improvement Plan). To know more about PIP, refer the post- "How to design and implement PIP-Performance Improvement Plan policy?"

Manager Action : Counsel the employee and explain objective of PIP to employee along with HR.

You can download it from link “Post PIP Evaluation format”

IInd Occasion :

HR Action : Ask employee to go.

Manager Action : Communicate employee along with HR and exit from system.

Actionable on Employee scoring Rating 2

Rating 2 signifies that performance level of the employee is below expectation but can be improved after some training or counseling. 

Below are suggested actions depending upon number of occasion employee score rating 2.

Ist Occasion :

HR Action : Counseling of employee- Employee should be counseled along with manager. Employee should be given fair chance to mention obstacles in performing duties. Manager and HR should try to resolve concern raised by employee so that employee can perform. Whole process of counseling should be properly documented and counseling form should be filled, which should be signed by employee, manager and HR. Filled counseling form should be kept in personnel file of employee for future reference. 

You can download format of Employee Counseling Form format.

Manager Action : Manager need to be present in such counseling session and has to find solutions of problem stated by employee and resolve them.

IInd Occasion :

HR Action : Put employee in PIP (Performance Improvement Plan).

Manager Action : Counsel the employee and explain objective of PIP to employee along with HR.

IIIrd Occasion :

HR Action : Ask employee to go.

Manager Action : Communicate employee along with HR and exit from system.

Actionable on Employee scoring Rating 4 or 5

Rating 4 or 5 signifies that performance level of the employee is above expectation.

Below are suggested actions depending upon number of occasion employee score rating 4 or 5.

Ist Occasion :

When employee scores rating 4 or 5 for first time, it implies that employee has started performing well. I believe there is no need to take any substantial step when employee scores rating 4 or 5 for first time. Still below action should be taken so that employee is motivated to perform well.

HR Action : Appreciation mail can be sent to all employees group email id mentioning name of employees who have scored rating 4 or 5. You can also mention name or place photograph of such employees on Wall of Fame.

Manager Action: Manager should also appreciate team member verbally or written. Manager can also appreciate team member during team meeting etc.

IInd Occasion: 

When an employee score rating 4 or 5 again for second time then HR should take substantial action such as follows.

HR Action : Rewarding employee in some way. HR can decide way of rewarding employee after due approval from management. You can give monetary incentive to employee or gift vouchers etc.  Also you can publish list of such employees who have achieved incentive.

Manager Action : No as such action is required by manager.

IIIrd Occasion:

Such team members are asset to organization and organization should spend time and efforts to make them ready for next level.

HR Action : Discussion with team member in presence of manager to understand what are his expectation from organization and how he want to grow professionally.

Manager Action: After discussion with employee, manager and HR should internally discuss on possibility of profiles where they want to grow these employees professionally. Framing career road map of such employees in organization.

IVth and more Occasion:

HR Action : At this point of time, we will know where we want to take such employees then HR should plan for various training program for them so that they can be groomed for such profiles.

Manager Action:  Manager should be part of action taken by HR. At the same time, manager should allow and make employee free for such training programs otherwise there is no point of organizing training programs which employee will not attained. 

Actionable on Employee scoring Rating 3

Rating 3 signifies that performance level of the employee is fit to expectation meaning employee is doing what he is suppose to do. Hence there should be no action required as such from HR and manager.

Actionable when there is a difference of 2 or more ratings of an employee

HR should also do some analysis of performance rating patterns and take actions accordingly. If an employee’s rating gets changed by 2 rating scales (Eg. In March employee’s rating was 3 and in April his rating is 5 or vice versa) then HR should definitely clarify the same from manager and ensure data points in support of that.

Actionable when Bell curve is not matching for a department or project

HR should also prepare bell curve of a particular project or department and share findings of analysis with manager and project Head. In case of higher deviation clarification should be taken or advise to manager accordingly.

I have also made a spreadsheet of above suggested actionable and you can refer link “Actionable by HR post performance evaluation” to download it.

If you are really serious about learning HR and want to grow then visit our web page LEARN HR THROUGH PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION

Monday, 17 June 2013

How to design a suitable sales incentive policy for your company Sales force?

 Every company has a sales force to sale its products and services. We all know that a motivated and self driven sales force can contribute a lot in financial growth of the company. A well structured incentive scheme for such sales force can act as a catalyst to ignite the fire of desire to over achieve their targets. Same way, a poorly designed incentive scheme can be just a scheme for sales force and can demotivate them. Hence as HR, we need to play important role while designing such incentive schemes for our sales force and for that matter for any profile in the company. In this post, we are concentrating more on incentive scheme for sales force hence I will keep my discussion around it only. I think we design most of incentive schemes for our sales team.

Throughout my career, I have learnt following things to keep in mind while framing incentive policy for sales force. These are also useful tips to keep in mind for designing any kind of incentive policy. Let’s have a look at each one, one by one.

It should be based on facts and figures

Before you design an incentive policy, you better get the data in place. You should collect at least last 12 months data to see pattern of sales happening in each month. If your company has presence in more than one city, then you can also take city-wise and month-wise sales data both in terms of quantity and revenue. This will help you to understand, how each region does in terms of sales?

You can calculate average, minimum, maximum and median of all 12 months sales data. You need to carefully observe the sales pattern, like how many times average of all 12 months was met in last 12 months, how many times company did above or below average. Once you have all this data in place, you can easily determine starting level and next levels of sales incentive plan. 

You should do it for each region as each region data will be different. These facts and figure will help you in putting your incentive scheme strongly in front of sale team and team will not think that scheme is made ill logically but in a logical way, considering all data points. Hence it is easier for them to accept and adopt it. Please note, until sale team adopts incentive scheme in positive way, they will not put their 100% efforts to make this a success hence their buy-in is very important.

Sale projection should also be kept in mind

As it is important to see, what we have done in history as organization in a particular region, same way, it is also important that we should know that what the sales projection in future. Here, sales head can contribute a lot. Sales head knows total leads in hand, hot leads, cold leads etc. Basis which, Sales head can project sales projection in coming quarters. 

You should also keep this in mind and incorporate such inputs in your incentive plan. For example, if last 12 month’s sale average is 1000 and projection by Sale head in next quarter is 1500 then you cannot simply make starting level of incentive scheme as 1000+. It has to be somewhere from 1250+ product sale. This way you have considered both historical data and projection.

Also keep individual sales person capability in mind

You also need to consider individual person’s sale record and capability to sale. A high performer can easily achieve your given targets and can claim higher incentive if you make easy targets for him. Same way, a sale person not doing well, will not be able to achieve anything even if the incentive scheme is on basis of data points.

But, you can also not make different incentive scheme for different person. It has to be identical for a group of sale team. You can certainly make different incentive slabs for sale teams located at different regions or working on different product but it has to be identical in same group. 

Idea should be ensuring sales team earn more

Idea while designing an incentive policy should never be to not to give but it should always be giving more to sales team if they sale more. This way it is WIN-WIN for both individual and organization. But at the same time, it should not be designed in such a way that sale team can achieve it easily with normal efforts. Incentive scheme should motivate them to do little extra than their normal efforts. Please note that sale team also gets salary other than incentive for sale. They also need to justify their salary hence there should be a minimum target which they need to achieve. Incentive scheme should start after that normal target.

Ensure that incentive should not eat up major portion of your profit margin

You need to also ensure that incentive you are paying for a sale should not be that much that it eats up your profit margin substantially. Hence incentive payable against each sales slab should be evaluated considering this. You can also check what is the total amount you are paying on same sale? Example, you might have incentive scheme for individual on a particular sale and at the same time you are also giving incentive to team lead and project manager on same sales in some way hence total impact of incentive paid on particular sale should be kept in mind.

Check 360 degree impact of incentive scheme

An incentive scheme can be linked with other ongoing policies or scheme in the company. Hence as HR, you need to ensure addressing all such impacts on other existing scheme or policy. Example, if a sale person already have some incentive scheme which is similar to new incentive scheme which you are planning to launch then you need to make it clear which one will be applicable.

Launch incentive scheme for limited period to test

There could be situations when you are not sure about success of incentive scheme which you are planning to launch then it is better to launch this scheme for limited period like 3 months. By doing so, you will be able to evaluate success of incentive scheme. If incentive scheme do well, then you can continue with it else you can review the incentive scheme and re launch with changes.

Take all stakeholders in confidence before launching the scheme

Ensure that all stakeholders should be involved before finalization of incentive policy and give their buy-in. This will help you to implement the policy and impact will be much higher. These stakeholders can also give you valid inputs and suggestions which will help improving the incentive scheme and making it more robust so that there is less loop holes in your incentive scheme designing. It is better that all such things should be addressed in your scheme during designing phase as it is difficult to make changes in your incentive scheme again and again after launch. It also gives bad impression about planning team.

Articulate the incentive policy clearly

As mentioned in my previous post on “Do’s and Don’t while making or reviewing Company HR Policies” articulation of incentive scheme will be very important. It is written document and will be referred in case of any clarification and concern raised by anyone in future. You may or may not be present at that point of time hence ensure you draft the incentive scheme in such a way that all aspects which can come up should be clear.

If you are really serious about learning HR and want to grow then visit our web page LEARN HR THROUGH PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION

Friday, 14 June 2013

How to measure ROI (Return on Investment) of training programs in your organization?

One of the challenging tasks, which very few HR professionals dare to do is to determine ROI of training program. I was one of them for around initial 8 years of my professional experience. I use to conduct training programs, take feedback from participants, update my training calendar and that’s it. I never thought of determining ROI of training programs, which I have conducted in my organization. Later on, I realized that all efforts put in by me and my team is of no use, if we can’t measure ROI (Return on Investment) of training. We should know whether we have achieved our objective or not? If not, then where we were wrong and redo it. If yes, then how much and how it is benefiting organization as well as individual?

Management is also interested to know about returns they got after investing so much money on various training programs conducted across organization. 

Today, I am sharing my experience on how to determine ROI of training programs. As mentioned in my previous post “How to get best out of training programs conducted in your organization?” training programs are conducted to enhance knowledge of participants, developing skills in participants or moving them to a particular behavioral change.  Hence we should keep in mind the type of training program we have conducted to find ways to determine ROI.

You can measure ROI of training in following ways:

  • Enhancement in Learning / Knowledge gain of participants
  • Positive change in behavior of participants
  • Impact on business due to skill development of participants
  • Return on investment of training program

Enhancement in Learning / Knowledge gain of participants

After conducting a training program, which focus on enhancing knowledge of participants, you should evaluate impact in the terms of knowledge increase among participants. You can do it simply, by taking pre and post test of participants and measuring improvement in their knowledge. 

For example, if you have to conduct a training, on Awareness of AIDS-HIV (Download presentation on AIDS-HIV), you can design two question papers- one for pre test and second for post test. Download sample test paper to evaluate effectiveness of training on AIDS-HIV.

You can see the impact of the same by comparison of both pre and post test marks. You can download spreadsheet to determine effectiveness of knowledge based training programs.

Positive change in behavior of participants

In case of training based on behavioral change, you can check participants applying those behaviors, taught during training, in their day to day to operation. Also you can see degree of application of such behavior before or after training program. 

As trainer, you can observe it by yourself, while participants are on shop floor or you can also take help of their supervisors to give their inputs. It is time consuming process and trainer or training co-ordinator spends good amount of time in evaluating each and every person.

For example, if you have conducted a training program on customer relationship for a team of sales person who are suppose to sale mobile phones on mobile counter, then you can prepare a list of behavior taught to them during training program and evaluate them on application of those behaviors when they are live on sale counter.

You can evaluate them on following behaviors. 
  • Greeting customer in nice way
  • Listening customer queries/ requirement/ grievance before replying
  • Keeping calm even if customer is angry on you
  • Addressing customer as SIR And MADAM
  • Getting customer feedback form filled by customer
  • Thanking customer for visiting you

Impact on business due to skill development of participants

Every training program, directly or indirectly, should impact business in some way whether it is to enhance knowledge, change behavior or develop skill, it should lead to increase in company business. You should determine impact of training on business. It has to be tangible. Only tangible impact can be quantified. Also there are non-tangible impacts of training on business.                                                  

Tangible impact of training can be determined by improvement in followings:
  • Increase in sales
  • Reduction in wastage
  • Increase in quality of production / work
  • Increase in production
  • Increase in Customer satisfaction rating
  • Increase Turn around time of an activity
  • Reduction in error while working

Non Tangible impact of training can be determined by improvement in followings:
  • Increase in customer delight
  • Increase in Job satisfaction of our employees
  • Effective communication etc

Return on investment of training program

I would not suggest you to determine ROI of each and every training program. I would suggest that first of all you should find out training programs, for which you want to determine ROI. 

You can choose such training programs keeping following in mind:

  • How much time, energy and money, company has spent on a particular training program?
  • How important this training program is for achieving company objective. 

This way, you will choose training programs where management is keen to know ROI and these programs impacts organization overall growth. I have shared an example of a training program on computer skill during time when banks were going automated in my previous post. These kinds of programs should be evaluated and ROI should be determined.

You can determine ROI by following method:

ROI = ( Net Benefit from training program / Cost of training program ) x 100


Cost of training program on running a new machine     : Rs 20,000/-

Benefit in production after training program (in a year) : Rs 2,00,000/-

Net Benefit = 2,00,000- 20,000

ROI = ( (2,00,000-20000) /  20,000) x 100 = 900%

You can also visit Training and Development section of our HR Forum  to find out many other things about training and download useful material.

If you are really serious about learning HR and want to grow then visit our web page LEARN HR THROUGH PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION

Thursday, 13 June 2013

How to get best out of training programs conducted in your organization?

Training is an integral part of employee skill development plan. Now days, companies are serious about training programs happening and kind of returns organization is getting. As HR, it is our responsibility to plan, execute, document and evaluate training happening in our establishment.  We can do it casually or align it with business so that company gets benefited out of it. Choice is yours. Aligning training with business need is always tougher than doing it for sake of doing it. 

If you wanted to choose tougher way then this post will help you to get ready for it. I am sharing some points which you should look into before planning your training activities.

Always keep organization, department and individual training need in mind

Normally, training programs conducted in organization are meant for meeting followings:

  • Organizational training needs
  • Departmental training needs
  • Individual training needs
  • Training needs arising due to changes in external factors

Hence, we need to classify every training program in above categories to see number of training programs conducted in each segment and ensure that it is in line with company objective. Example, Few years back, when banks started moving to computerized system to save cost, making banking system faster and robust and in line with government vision of e commerce. Bank identified that one of the biggest challenge is computer ill-literacy of its employees , hence it became organizational training need of company to train all its employees on computer skills. In that year, HR has given higher weight-age to organizational training need and ensured that employees are trained on basis software like MS Office, MS Outlook, net surfing etc. After that, employees are trained on banking software which they are expected to use in day to day operations.
We also need to ensure that individual training needs are in sync with departmental training need and departmental training needs are in sync with organizational training needs.

Spend good time in identifying TNI-Training Need Identification

TNI (Training Need Identification) is one of the process which is not given due importance by most of us. We get some paper filled by employees and managers and god knows what we do with it. I have come across many cases where HR is asking employees and managers to fill Training Needs for the upcoming year in their appraisal form and 90% of them do not bother to forward the same to training department so that some actions can be taken on it. 

We need to pay extra attention to this process. It is very important tool to identify individual level training needs. We can use competency mapping to find out skill gap in employees and type of training which can be conducted to fulfill that gap, so that employee can be prepared better to deliver his/her KRA, which benefits both individual and organization at large.

This is a time consuming process and that’s the reason most of us do not want to pay attention to it or even if someone who dare to start get busy with other operational issues and forget about it. End of the day, TNI is neglected. No doubt, you need to spend your bandwidth to get it completed.

Always look for right method of training which gives maximum return in low cost

Training can be imparted in various ways. Some of them are:

  • Classroom training
  • Online Training
  • Video Training/ Webinar 
  • On Job Training etc.

We need to choose which method is most suitable to execute a particular kind of training program by which we achieve our objective in minimum cost. 

Training programs are designed either to deliver knowledge to participants or develop skills in them. I have experienced that, if it is about delivering knowledge to employees like making them aware about company policies, training on energy saving methods, Awareness on AIDS and HIV etc, where our objective is to make them know about something, then online training or video training (pre recorded) are economical yet effective. We need not to call employees in a conference room and deliver the same presentation. This way, we will incur more cost and may or may not get the same result as doing it online.

But, when you are planning for a training program, where objective is to develop a particular skill in participants then classroom or On the Job Training method are more effective. You can also try combination of Online and Classroom training in such training.

Always push for maximum participation of employees

Well, this is one the biggest pain area of HR professional –Low turn up of participants in training program due to various reasons like busy in meeting / work or un-willingness to participate in training programs. Hence we need to ensure that we exercise all ways to ensure that turn up is maximum, so that more employees can be trained at one time. 

One of the major factor of employee unwillingness to participate in training programs is NO understanding of how this training will benefit me or in other word what are the take away of this training program? Hence HR needs to ensure that they communicate effectively about learning which an employee can get from the training program and how this will help him as a professional? 

I would like to share one of the example, where I have seen drastic change in participants turn up after communicating them about usefulness of a particular training program. We have organized a training program on EXCEL which has 3 levels i.e. Beginner, Advance and Expert level. We communicated employees, asking nomination for the training program. We hardly got 4-5 nominations. I was surprised to see so low nomination as I was aware that this is very useful training and employees need it for their day to day tracking of activities. When I sat with my training coordinator to understand the reason, I found that we have not effectively communicated about usefulness of Excel training. We re-designed our training EDM (Electronic Direct Mailer) focusing on learning which employee will get after getting trained on each level followed by person meetings with managers. We have seen overwhelming nomination from employees for same training program.

Don’t forget to calculate ROI of training

Very difficult but most important thing-ROI (Return on Investment)- we need to determine for each training program. Management is always interested to know what is the return on various training programs which we have conducted in a quarter or a year? It can be in form of skill development, behavioral change or knowledge gain, which directly or in directly impact company revenue.

You need to use different methods to evaluate ROI of a training program. For a knowledge based training program, you can have pre and post test papers. In this, you can take test of participants on a training topic before or after training. Difference in marks scored will let you know improvement in knowledge of participants for that topic. 

In case you are conducting a skill based training program then trainer should rate employees on the skill developed after the training. Example, if you have conducted a training program on MS-Excel, then you can give some exercise to employees and give marks according to their performance in given exercise.

Check out my post How to measure ROI (Return on Investment) of training programs in your organization? for more details.

Ensure 100% documentation of each and every training program.

Documentation is very important and it gives a base for analyzing various training programs conducted in organization at any point of time. In absence of data, you will not be able to know what kind of training programs are conducted in past and what did organization achieved out of it? You may create same training programs once again which are already conducted in past. It will be waste of time.

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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Do’s and Don’t while making or reviewing Company HR Policies

In continuation to my earlier post 8 common mistakes most of HR Professionals makes, today I am sharing my experience on HR policy formulation.

As HR professional, we play important role when it comes to making new policies or revise existing one. During my experience of policy formulation for various companies, which belongs to diverse industries, I have learnt many Do’s and Don’t which I would like to share with other fellow professionals and especially those who have just taken up responsibility of making HR policies for company. I hope this will help you to see other important aspects related to policy formulation and understanding that policy formulation is not just articulating some terms and conditions but a lot more than that.

Don’t neglect change in behavior pattern of employees due to policy change

 Every policy gives direction to a certain behavior pattern. Any new policy which you are planning to implement or change, you need to understand what could be possible behavioral change in employees and impact of those changes on their productivity, moral, motivation and satisfaction level.

Eg. Company don’t have any policy where short leaves are allowed and you want to change it, so that each employee can avail two short leaves in a month. Your motive of change in policy is to give flexibility to employees and you want that employees can use this in time of urgency. But there could be other behavior change which you need to keep in mind due to this change. There is a possibility that each employee is taking these two short leaves irrespective of need. They just think that it is there right to avail these short leaves. Sometime it can be a matter of loss of productivity.

Always discuss policy changes with key members of organization

Always discuss about changes in policy with key member of organization and take their views about it. They have understanding of organization culture and can give their ideas on impact of the policy under discussion. Sometime while framing a policy we neglect some important aspects hence discussion with key member will initiate a dialog on pro and cons of policy which will help all of you to understand different impact of the policy change. After taking suggestions from those key members ensure you make necessary changes. There is no harm in discussing policy change with some employees informally (on lunch table etc) to get a feel what could be possible impact if you implement it.

Cover employees of each grade

Keep every level of employee in mind. It is not mandatory that you should have a common policy for all grades of employees (barring law requirement). You can make your policy different for each levels. For example, Leave Travel Allowance-LTA eligibility can vary from grade to grade.

Need of employees on various grade is different. For example, there is no logic of announcing a policy of Company Car Lease for each grade for purpose of tax benefit. You should do it for employees who fall under 20% or 30% tax slab. These set of employees will be more inclined towards this policy as it is beneficial for them. Employees who are not in tax bracket or can save tax by simple method of tax saving, this policy is not useful at all. You can think of some other policy which will benefit them better as compared to employee on higher grade.

Pay extra attention to articulation / wording your policy

Always articulate the policy in such a way that, there is no scope of confusion. You should cover every aspect of it. It is a written document and any type of fault in writing policy can create confusion among employees and can be a reason of dispute in future. For example, while making incentive policy for sales team, word “revenue” can be a reason of confusion. If incentive policy says that a sales person will be given 2% of sale revenue as incentive, it may be understood as total invoicing value to client acquired by a sales person, which also includes various government taxes but it may not be the case. Then it is better to write “revenue without government taxes” for clarity.

Make policy on facts and figure and not on assumption

Very critical. You should do your home work before you articulate your policy. If you are making policy for local conveyance then you should know what are current rates of Petrol, Diesel  and CNG. You should also keep Car or Bike maintenance and parking cost in mind. If you are making policy of tour and travel then you should do study of hotel rates in various cities-tier 1, tier 2 etc. You should also know what is the food cost?
This will help you to answer employees, in case they have any concern over local conveyance and tour & travel policy. You can also show them your working sheets so that they can understand that policy is framed after considering and evaluating various aspects related to it. It takes time but make a policy which is logical. You will have less grievances if you do this before.

Don’t forget to communicate the policy to employees

You don’t make policies to keep it in file or computer and use it when required. You should communicate new policy or revision to employees. Policies are for employees hence should be communicated to them and in proper manner. If you are using any HR Software with ESS (Employee Self Service) module then announce changes in policy using announcement tool. You can also keep it in download section so that employee can download it as and when required. You can also keep sending it to employee after some interval of time so that they get educated about it.

Take feedback from employee both formal and informal way

Always get feedback of employees on new policy or change in policy through formal and informal channel. It is very important. Policies are for human being and every policy has an objective. If you feel that after feedback, policy is not able to achieve its objective as expected by organization, you can make changes in this to ensure it works. In worst case, withdraw the policy which are just policies and have no impact on organization in any way. Don’t hesitate.


Following is one the sample to describe what should be covered in your policy document.

Policy Number : It more for documentation purpose.

Objective of Policy : What is the objective of policy?

Applicable to : Which grade of employees are eligible for this policy. It can be for all employees

Applicable from : From which date this policy is applicable from

Applicable till : Till when this policy is applicable. If there is not end date then you can mention till next communication.

Last modified on : When did the policy revised last time.

Main Policy wordings: Write policy with all terms and conditions

Definition : You can define various words and what do you mean by it in this section. For example what do you mean by “revenue” in the policy etc.

Related Documents : You can attach various formats or forms which are mentioned in the policy.

Who has approved the policy : Designation and name of person who have approved the policy.

Please do share some other things which should also be kept in mind while framing policies and If you are looking for any specific policy, visit and register your requirement. There are many policies which are already available.

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