Article (February-2019)


Focus will be on culture, leadership and people capabilities

Sanjeev Sharan

Designation : -   Director HR

Organization : -  ZTE Telecom India, Gurgaon


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This is simple looking but highly complex question to prioritize new year goal. As a normal practice un-finished goals of previous year are generally carried forward and add the new ones. In the existing VUCA environment while it is difficult to set the consistent goals and on the other hand it is more difficult to prioritize them and stick on maintain the priority.
The priorities differ from organization to organization depending upon business challenges as well as internal factors. In case of Human Resource Internal factors are more influenced by Culture, Leadership style, Organization Structure, People capability, & Process.
In employee led technology, organization would prefer to focus on 3 core priorities with high business impact. These priorities are cultural in nature but strongly linked to process execution and business impact in terms of revenue, profit, EBIDTA & cost.
1. Building credibility of performance evaluator :
This is most important priority for any organization. It may sound "heavy culturally inclined" but if dig deep, can measure the impact and importance.
Why it is important :
Out of all the engagement initiatives, I personally feel performance management & evaluation is strongest employee engagement initiative. Employee and employer relationship is based around "work performance". On one hand employer expects the employee to perform the work efficiently and in lieu of it the employee expects due recognition and feedback. It sounds simple but most of the conflict arises around the "quality of evaluation" done by evaluator. Performance evaluation is serious activity deeply linked to "self esteem" of an employee. Any wrong evaluation leads to "disengagement" of the employee.
What to focus on : The focus will be on "Evaluator" and its capability. An evaluator is not an authority to find fault rather needs to be an enabler.
  • Capable : Is evaluator capable to understand the deliverables of team member?
  • Knowledgeable : Does she/he possess full knowledge.
  • Unbiased : Does she/he have the maturity to evaluate the team without any bias? Or works on likes and dislikes?
  • Clarity : And most importantly does evaluator evaluates the member on good behavior or on delivery.
What are the impacts of failing on these critical areas?
  • Disengaged employee : Wrong evaluation might lead to disengaged employee.
  • Productivity dip : It will lead to lesser productivity resulting in loss of overall organizational productivity. E.g.; If 20 employees' productivity dips from 85 to 70 levels, equaling overall team dip of 3 to 4 good employees' thus compelling organization to hire 3/4 additional employee to close that gap.
  • Loss of trust on evaluator : A wrongly evaluated employee looses trust on manager not only as person but also professional capability wise.
  • Brand loss : Informally the market branding gets negatively impacted as "Place to earn instead of place to learn."
2. Strengthening confidence on recognition process :
Recognition is very important aspect of an employee's life cycle. Again it is linked to "Self esteem and Social esteem". Interestingly recognition process also reflects Organization capability to recognize the "value contribution" of every department, and secondly Manager Capability to differentiate between contributor and non contributor.
At times it has been observed that leadership level fail to measure the contribution of back-end, support functions. Hence they follow the easy path of "recognizing the measurable functions only" like Sales, Marketing, Production output, etc. Following Impact can be felt on employees and organization :
Action plan:  Serious action plan to be designed to address these challenges.
  • Designing strategic plan focusing on managers and leadership level.
  • Sensitization of leadership level through workshops & brainstorming sessions.
  • Designing workshops on skill enhancement for managers.

3. Pursuing hobby :
The more important priority will be to encourage people to pursue "hobby of their choice". It is important step towards their mental and physical, peace and wellness. In professional rat race employees especially from millennial ones are moving away from normal work life and are mentally engrossed into work round the clock. Objective of taking up this priority is to help them in balancing their life in terms of professional and personal. I am sure with this new change there will be long term impact on their productivity and quality of life also. To take it forward would design workshops and sharing sessions around pursuing hobbies consistently. These workshops will be aimed at educating employees that happiness is their personal responsibility and spending "few hours" for self has miraculous positive impact. The focus will be on consistency and quality time" spent on it.