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


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Alex July said...

Hi, it's a nice share. I like the 6th step. Yeah, it's important to keep recording of each step.

Suzan Brown said...

Thanks for this practical guide to properly implement a performance management system. Best Performance Management Software can help you to set-up the most suitable performance management system in your organisation. You can compare between various software and can choose the one that gives you the desired results.

Linda said...

This article is really fantastic and thanks for sharing the valuable post.

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