‘Meets Requirement’ employees are valuable
Public sector enterprises (PSEs) need to switch to a performance management system (PMS) that not only celebrates tangible performance but also pays equal importance to intangibles like sustainability.
HR schools of ‘excellence’ have educated droves of human resource professionals who advocate the American hand-me-down PMS. Common terms that are bandied are High Performers, High Potentials and the Fast Trackers. Weeding out the bottom 10% like an organisational mine sweep is a practice in vogue in many of the ‘work hard, party harder’ organisations. All this is done with fairly moronic insensitivity. The forced distribution—the bell curve that tolls for the lesser of the equals—is a perverse solution garbed in statistical propriety.
It is unfortunate that our PSEs in pursuit of a mirage of ‘excellence’ have aped this model of performance management. As incongruous as elephants in dancing shoes, PSEs have adopted a system that is designed for culturally distinct private sector organisations whose nature of work and definition of performance in many cases are vastly different from their own. PSEs business in essence requires shop floor cooperation, dependence and reliability are tying themselves in knots trying to differentiate performers on degrees of ‘individual excellence’—an irrelevant measure for such organisations.
The biblical winnowing to separate the chaff from the grain, from which our performance management systems take a cue, is presumptuous in assuming that there exists the chaff and the grain in an organisation. It’s better to work with the whole grain; there are
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