Performance management resourcesThis century has belonged to the manufacturing sector. Starting from the days of Fordsassembly line to the present emphasis on quality systems. The next millennium willbelong to the convergence of Information Technology. How organisations are able toleverage IT to get advantage in a highly competitive market will be the key to success.Leading the way would be the organisations which are in the IT industry. These are theones which have shown that the quickest way to business excellence would be throughoptimum utilisation of IT.The IT boom has brought with it, its own set of challenges to organisations. How to putin place systems and process that are in tune with the IT revolution, how to strategies andcompete in the IT era? etc. But a major challenge that the IT industry per se has beenfacing is in the field of Human Resource Management.The IT industry is a service industry. How well are you able to offer quality service toindividuals and organisations will determine the success of your organisation. This leadsus to the fact that the creativity, innovativeness, knowledge and skill of your employeesare your important assets. How you are able to manage these assets is the challenge thatthe IT industry is facing. It is not capital or finance or marketing management that givesthe competitive edge but rather how well you are able to manage your human resourceswhose intellectual applications drive your business.Recruitment has become an important sub system in HR especially in the IT industry.When your major asset are your Human Resources, it is important that quality people joinyour organisation.How you are able to fine tune your recruitment process in a manner that you are able toget the best talent available and how well you have been able to put systems in place sothat the people that you recruit are a perfect fit for the job and the organisation is one ofthe major challenges.The challenge does not stop with recruiting the right person but with how you are goingto manage the performance of your employees. The challenge would be to create aperformance culture wherein opportunities are provided for enhanced performance andwhere giving out optimum performance becomes a way of life.Training & and Development is another area where challenges arise. In the IT industrytraining takes a new connotation. It will not be just identifying training needs and givingthe required training. It is foreseeing and anticipating the requirements and developsuitable training so that the employees are well equipped to handle the challengesforehand.The IT industry is one of the high paying industries. Since it is also very
competitive, vying with each other to attract the best talent, offering the best possiblecompensation package to their employees is in itself a challenge.But the real challenge would be how we are able to incorporate all the sub systems in HRand help them in achieving the ultimate goal - exceptional performance. In a highperformance driven industry like IT, this becomes all the more important. People have tobe groomed to get in tune with the performance culture. Creating an environment thatstimulates the creation of knowledge, its sustenance and its dissipation throughout theorganisation will be the challenge for organisations in the future. How to go about doingthis will fall on the HR department. No longer will the HR department carry on with itstraditional functions. That will take care by Human Resource Information Systems thatwill be put in place. The function would be to build and sustain a performance drivenculture. The role will shift to that of a facilitator. Facilitate the process of change, forchange would be the only thing that will be constant in the future. HR will have toinvolve the whole organisation in this process and act as a guide, counselor andfacilitator. In the future the competitive edge that the organisations will get will only bethrough their human resources. How organisations are able to manage them, willdetermine whether they will run the race or be left behind.HOW THESE CHALLENGES HAVE AFFECTED US :Any organisation in the IT industry will have to face these challenges.We are leaders inthe industry. And the reason we are leaders is of the fact that we have been able to meetthese challenges quite effectively. As far as recruitment is concerned we have been ableto address the issue effectively. We have an excellent databank where updating takesplace on a daily basis. This serves as the major chunk that addresses our recruitmentneeds. Further we also use the services of placement agencies. The real catch lies in ourselection process. All the probable candidates have to go through a battery of tests thatnot only test their technical skills but their all round personality to find out if they will fitinto the job as well as into our organisations culture. The rigorous selection processensures that we get people who will fit into a culture that is our own. But this challengeof recruiting the right person is a continuos one and one that needs continuos refinement.Performance management is a practice that few organisations follow. We happen to beone of them. We have put in place a system that evaluates the organisation as a whole,the systems and processes that are followed in our organisation and the performers. Thisis done on a contineous basis and the feedback is passed on to the concerned people totake corrective measures. Thus we have been able to tackle the question of performancein a fairly efficient manner and the quality of our services serve as a testimony for this.In the software industry where skill reduncy is very fast there is this need for givingtechnical training to the employees on a continuos basis. We are one of the very few whoprovide our employees with the opportunity to get trained on various platforms. Thisapart from keeping our employees highly skilled, also gives them a sense of security.Apart from this, training is also given in personality development, team working relatedareas etc to enhance the quality of life of our employees.
As discussed earlier the most important of all challenges is in culture building. Now allour efforts are diverted in bringing about a performance driven culture. The very tightschedule ensures that our employees have to perform to the optimum. Apart from this thevarious systems that we have put in place like the performance management system helpsus to work towards achieving a performance driven culture. We are constantly refiningour practices in order create an atmosphere where our employees are able to perform totheir full potential.MAJOR ISSUES FACED IN RECRUITMENT, ATTRITION AND RETENTION:- RECRUITMENT:The major issue would be of getting the right type of person. The issue would be that wefirst have to find a person with the required skills and experience, and also he must besuitable for our organisation. Finding such a suitable person is the obstacle that we willhave to cross over.- ATTRITION AND RETENTION:Software is one of the industry with the highest attrition rate. The challenge facingsoftware companies is how to keep this as low as possible. Various companies adoptdifferent techniques to retain their employees. Most of them offer exorbitant pay packets.But the attrition rate is low compared to industry standards. Though our compensationhas been on par with what the industry is offering, thats not the reason why our rate islow. It has to do with the opportunities that are offered to our employees andorganisational climate prevailing here. Our employees are given the opportunity to learnand grow in the company itself. They are given a lot of technical training and exposure tovarious types of project. The challenging work makes it difficult to leave ourorganisation.- WORK FORCE RETENTION AND MOTIVATIONRetention and motivation of personnel are major HR concerns today. People inmanagement of human capital in IT organizations has observed that the average tenurefor an IT professional is less than three years. Further, the use of new technologies, thesupport of learning and training, and a challenging environment ranked higher thancompetitive pay structures as effective retention practices. Our own recent survey of 1028software professionals from 14 Indian software companies, showed that while theprofessional gave importance to personal and cultural job-fit, HR managers believed thatthe key to retention was salary and career satisfaction. Money was a prime motivator forstarters, but for those into their third or fourth jobs, their value-addition to theorganization was more important. Monetarily, offering the best salaries in industry is theminimum every company is doing, apart from performance-based bonuses, long-serviceawards, and stock options. Many organizations frequently conduct employee satisfactionand organization climate surveys, and are setting up Manpower Allocation Cells (MAC)
to assign the right project to the right person. In fact, some are even helping employeeswith their personal and domestic responsibilities to satisfy & motivate their workforce!- ATTRECTING THE BEST TALENTIn a tight job market, many organizations often experience precipitous and simultaneousdemands for the same kinds of professionals. In their quest for manpower, they arecajoling talent around the world. In such a sellers market, software companies arestriving to understand which organizational, job, and reward factors contribute toattracting the best talent one having the right blend of technical and person-bound skills.This would mean a knowledge of the tools of the trade combined with conceptualizationand communication skills, capacity for analytical and logical thinking, leadership andteam building, creativity and innovation. The Indian software industry suffers from ashortage of experienced people such as systems analysts and project managers, andattracting them is a key HR challenge.- COMPENSATION AND REWARDIncreasing demands of technology coupled with a short supply of professionals (with therequisite expertise) has increased the costs of delivering the technology. This makesincentive compensation a significant feature, with the result that software companies havemoved from conventional pay-for-time methods to a combination of pay-for-knowledgeand pay-for-performance plans. With the determinants of pay being profit, performanceand value-addition, emphasis is now on profit sharing (employee stock option plans) orperformance-based pay, keeping in view the long-term organizational objectives ratherthan short-term production-based bonuses. Skills, competencies, and commitmentsupersede loyalty, hard work and length of service. This pressurizes HR teams to deviseoptimized compensation packages, although compensation is not the motivator in thisindustry.- ENCOURAGING QUALITY AND CUSTOMER FOCUSToday`s corporate culture needs to actively support quality and customer orientation.With globalization and rapid technological change, quality is of utmost importance forthe Indian companies, which earn most of their revenues through exports. Hence, the HRprofessional as a strategic partner needs to encourage a culture of superior quality toensure customer satisfaction. To be competitive today, an organization needs to becustomer responsive. Responsiveness includes innovation, quick decision-making,leading an industry in price or value, and effectively linking with suppliers and vendorsto build a value chain for customers. Employee attitudes correlate highly with customerattitude. The shift to a customer focus redirects attention from the firm to the value chainin which it is embedded. HR practices within a firm should consequently be extended tosuppliers and customers outside the firm.Where HR can add the most value
- Start the culture conversation at all levels. One way to accomplish this is to conduct acultural assessment or audit of your organisation through employee surveys, focus groupsor interviews. Review your organisational history, leadership styles, HR programmingand industry practices to determine what currently drives and reinforces the culture.Finally, what is your customer experience? What cultural elements are obvious tocustomers? Is culture aligned with business strategy? What needs to change? This can bethe basis for healthy discussion at team meetings and employee chat sessions.- Develop a business case for cultural change. Why is the change needed? How willdesired changes in culture support the business strategy?- Work with the senior leadership team to determine the desired culture. Core values,desired behaviours and shared vision are essential for a positive culture change effort tosucceed. Every leader must embrace the need to change.- Develop an agenda or action plan for enhancing the culture or bringing about change.Start with the highest priorities and work on the toughest issues. For your culture tobecome self replicating, the way things are done will have to reinforce the core valuesand the culture.- Communicate what needs to change and why. Solicit input from people. Once theneeded changes and process for change is defined, tell people what is expected. What arethe rewards for changing, and the consequences for more of the same.- Change the organisational structure to enable change. Find new ways to accomplishwork tasks. Use teams for one-time projects. Broaden roles and responsibilities.- Acquire talent based on cultural fit. Identify the characteristics of people who exhibitthose behaviours that youve identified as desirable. The people who fit and thrive in yourculture will perpetuate that culture in everything they do. If you have to choose betweenthe candidate who has better skills or knowledge but doesnt fit, and a candidate who isslightly less qualified but fits culturally, choose the slightly less qualified person andprovide the necessary training or on-the-job experience. Get rid of those who dont fit inthe culture.- Redesign your on-boarding process. Make sure that every new hire knows what it willtake to fit in, and understands the cultural imperatives. Talk about the ways of workingthat lead to success and those that will derail careers. Create legendary stories ofsuccesses and failures.- Create cultural messages. Be sure that every meeting, every training program, everycommunication to people includes cultural messaging and reinforces the values, mission,traditions and practices.- Involve everyone. Southwest Airlines has a culture committee, but there are many waysto get people involved. Try focus groups around topics. Form cross functional teams. Call
random groups of employees together for monthly breakfast or lunch meetings. Engagethe help and support of a group of passionate, committed people to identify culturaldisconnects and recommend remedies.- Build an internal brand that supports the external brand. Make a promise to deliver aconsistent employee experience. Be sure that your employees know the differentiatingelements in their experience in the organisation that will enhance their work lives andcareers. Begin to create an employer of choice reputation internally and externally.- Recognise and reward results. Your recognition and rewards should support the culturethat you are working to reinforce.- Cultivate leaders who promote your culture. Develop excellent leaders who will propelthe culture down the ranks. Identify high potential leaders and promote them. Invest inleadership development programs. Be sure content reinforces cultural messages. Keep thegood ones, and get rid of those who are unable to pass the culture on.- Make it interesting and fun. Create contests, activities that enhance the culture. Decoratethe office in inspiring ways. Celebrations and events can reinforce the message.- Use of HR tools. Something as mundane as the annual benefits enrollment can be asource of key cultural messages. Every training class should reinforce the basic behaviorsand values that reinforce the culture. Performance review forms should measure culturalfit, as well as, job performance.- No one should be locked out of the efforts to build a high-performance culture. Culturehas to become the DNA that forms the building blocks over everything else. So the entireorganisation must have a role in keeping it alive. Work with corporate communications,advertising, and marketing to capture the culture messages and tout these internally andexternally.With lifetime employment in one company not on the agenda of most employees, jobswill become short term. Todays high-tech employees desire a continuous up-gradation ofskills, and want work to be exciting and entertaining a trend that requires designing worksystems that fulfill such expectations. As employees gain greater expertise and controlover their careers, they would reinvest their gain back into their work. HR practitionersmust also play a proactive role in software industry. As business partners, they need to beaware of business strategies, and the opportunities and threats facing the organization. Asstrategists, HR professionals require to achieve integration and fit to an organizationsbusiness strategy. As interventionists, they need to adopt an all-embracing approach tounderstanding organizational issues, and their effect on people.Finally, as innovators, they should introduce new processes and procedures, which theybelieve will increase organizational effectiveness. With the advent of a work situationwhere more and more companies are having to concede that their valued employees areleaving them, a new concept of career and human resource management is bound to
emerge. The focus of this new paradigm should not only be to attract, motivate and retainkey knowledge workers, but also on how to reinvent careers when the loyalty of theemployees is to their brain ware rather than to the organization.http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.