Overall 90% of managers believe their organization’s Performance management process does not correspond to the actual work done by their teams and consequently, there is significant dissatisfaction with annual evaluations! It has been seen that an enormous extent of administrators who give this input are from the venture is driven associations or organizations where work is done in groups.
Project-fundamental organizations include Professional Services companies, Not-for-Profits, EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction), Consulting, IT Services, Staffing, and Product improvement organizations among numerous others. Marketing, R&D, Strategy and even HR departments of many companies are project-fundamental too.
In project-fundamental organizations, employees move from one project to the next instead of working in one job position for many years. In many cases, employees work on multiple projects together. The goals profession requirements and timelines for each project vary, can expand continuously and are largely dependent on the end-customer. In fact, in today's’ gig-economy, more and more work is project-based instead of a large chain of importance detailing structures.
Most project-fundamental organizations have a very high proportion of the white-collared workforce – that is technologically aware, wants transparency and prefers a flexible and nimble work environment. It does not work if you enforce an inflexible and hierarchy performance management process that includes top-down goals and common competencies in project-fundamental organizations.
HR has been struggling to address this challenge and various techniques and solutions have evolved over the past decade. These incorporate Continuous Performance Management,360 assessment Review, Pulse feedback, OKR, Balanced Scorecard and so on. Unfortunately, none of these have been effective in meeting the objectives of a Project-fundamental organization since these processes (and associated tools) are either too flexible or too rigid.
If you are a part of a project-fundamental organization or your employees work in teams and would like to introduce an effective performance management process, you need to:
1. Empower the Project Manager/Team director: Enable each project manager/team director to own the performance management process. Allow them to add or remove members in their project(s) and to set targets, skills, vacancies, budgets and job requirements for each project that they manage.
2. Implement a flexible workflow: Let employees or the manager create the opinion, setup the parameters of measurement, provide comments in an additive manner across the entire project lifecycle not only for themselves but for other team members.
3. Setup Project/Team target: Assign target at the project level and cascade selectively to team members. Track progress and realization to recognize and reward teams that meet or exceed expectations.
4. Encourage clarity: Project team members are permitted to view each other’s Target and encouraged to add notes and comments for everyone including their Team Leader.
5. Enable multiple assessments: Carry out periodic check-ins in a year for each project the employee works on.
6. Capture Feedback on Project Manager: Allow team members to give feedback on the project's health and their manager and provide suggestions for improvements.
7. Create Event-based clarification: Automatic creation of an evaluation whenever the employee exits the project, or the project shuts down.
The above approach for performance assessment will yield a higher level of satisfaction from a process that has been largely maligned in recent times. Project-fundamental evaluations will be the norm moving forward that will be used by all kinds of organizations to have a more meaningful performance management process.