Author: Debabrata Dash, Chief Human Resource Officer, TS Alloys Ltd, Tata Steel

Member – L&D Global Bhubaneswar Chapter

One of the Game-Changing Performance Management Trends Predicted for 2018 is the Shift of Leadership Attention from quantity to quality of conversations and feedback. Companies of all sizes may shift away from annual appraisals to more regular ‘check-ins’ and frequent real-time feedback and the redesign of performance management is now a high priority for 79{8ead27c4518c0b10559874054ae3fda4d54ed4b9784c4144c679fdb93c45d0af} of executives according to Deloitte.

While it is relatively easy to give attention to Top Performers who constitute around 25-40{8ead27c4518c0b10559874054ae3fda4d54ed4b9784c4144c679fdb93c45d0af} of the workforce and bottom performers who are around 10{8ead27c4518c0b10559874054ae3fda4d54ed4b9784c4144c679fdb93c45d0af}, Managing Solid performers who are in between Top & Bottom has of late become a challenging area especially in large organisations. Solid Performers constitute the major chunk ( around 60-70{8ead27c4518c0b10559874054ae3fda4d54ed4b9784c4144c679fdb93c45d0af}). So, how are the Leaders Prepared to give attention to them?

Who are these Solid Performers?

They meet the established job expectations and reliable soldiers. These employees generally perform well and require little additional guidance. They enjoy doing the routine assignments, supporting team members when required, having the knowledge of product/ process/ service they handle. They will perform the job as per the SOP following all instructions.

Possible Limitations of Solid Performers

They take time to adapt to any change. They may not be Game changers but good firefighters, need guidance to handle any specific assignment which is non-routine in nature.  May take less interest to update themselves on the latest trends.

Engagement Plan for Solid Performers

Reporting Managers formally take up Performance Improvement Initiatives for Bottom Performers and assign key tasks viz Special Projects/ taskforce related to Quality Improvement & Innovation to the Top Performers having high visibility. The Captains who manage these  Soldiers ( Solid Performers) should plan to understand the individual Strength, Interest and passion of Solid Performers. Every Solid Performer must be given feedback about his/her limitation in Potential during performance conversations and their goals must be suitably aligned to their strengths. Let us not forget that some of them can act as Mentors to the New Joinees and Youngsters. Conscious attempts should be made to leverage their specific competency which may be beneficial for the organisation and they may be recognised suitably. Some Solid Performers suffer from the syndrome of Self Limiting Beliefs. A structured Coaching intervention will be helpful to unlock their potential.It may also be a good idea to give them the scope to be a part of a specific project team in which they will work with the Stars and Promising Youngsters. These  Steady Eddies must appreciate the Winning Strategy rather than confining themselves to the Survival Plan.

Leaders should trust these Warriors, set appropriate targets, make them accountable, check the consistency of their actions, motive them to learn and share, seek the feedback of their performance from Multiple Sources to avoid any bias, provide feedback  & recognise their efforts. This will be helpful towards gaining their commitment to various organisational tasks.

Finally, one should not forget what Ken Blanchard has quoted – “Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions”.

Author: Debabrata Dash, Chief Human Resource Officer, TS Alloys Ltd, Tata Steel

Member – L&D Global Bhubaneswar Chapter