Creating Culture of Accountability, Performance and Coaching – Lean Performance Management

If there is ONE talk-show that is very scary and beat the shit out of everyone, right from the CEO of an organization to fresh-graduate Trainee is – Performance Management Talks. Why people are so scared to discuss their performance? There can be many reasons and few of them are -

Format – Performance is considered as an event which is organized once in a year or at the best once in every SIX months. However, the fact remains that Performance Management is a continuous process.

Poor alignment of performance scores and merit increase – No matter how much an individual score in his performance assessment, it is his reporting manager who decides his merit increase percentage and usually there is no correlation between the two. Hence, employees don’t believe in the process.

Incompetent and untrained Assessors/Managers – Many managers do not consider performance management as one of the key components of their role. They believe it to be a job of HR. Probably they don’t want to spoil their relationship with their team members. Managers are usually biased in their approach towards assessment of team members. They want to keep everyone happy.

Poorly defined KRA’s and KPI’s (What needs to be measured and how it will be measured) – In many organizations, performance goals don’t seem to have any relation to organizational goals. They work in silos. They don’t have defined success criteria’s of their goal. There is no clarity about what need to be done and when the task will be labeled as “successfully completed”.

Poor communication between assessor and assessee – Communication regarding the change in goal or change in success criteria rarely gets communicated to employees. They are up for a surprise when they are told about these changes in the final review meeting. This leads to irritation and frustration and as a result, leads to unhappy, disengaged employees.
What gets measured gets managed. And what gets managed gets improved upon. What organizations should do to overcome these challenges and fears of employees and can do to create a culture of performance?1) The Role of a manager is to manage – It is one thing to roll-up your sleeves and get to work and it is another thing to do what you are hired for. A team member is promoted to the position of Team Manager to guide the team, manage the team and show the direction. If he will continue to contribute as a team member then he is not doing his work properly. As a team manager, it is his responsibility to manage his resources, communications, customers, performances of the team and deliver within specified timeline. Performance Management and Performance Coaching must be one of the key competencies for an individual to be hired to or promoted to the level of manager. “Don’t promote your subject-matter expert as Manager. An efficient and effective manager need not be subject-matter expert”. “Performance Management or Resource Management is not my work” is an excuse.2) Aligning KRA’s and KPI’s of an individual with organizational goals – Every organization carve annual goals and growth targets for itself. Every employee in an organization must contribute towards those goals and targets. Every goal has defined success criteria; hence, every goal or target is measurable. Every employee in an organization contributes towards the goals of his department or team, which in turn inches organization closer to its goals. For an individual to win his team must win and his organization must achieve its targets. Its collective win and collective failure. Someone said, “But I did my job properly”. Unfortunately, your contribution was not sufficient or good enough for the organization to achieve its goals. One question an employee must always ask himself, “how better I can contribute” or “what else I can do”.3) Aligning Performance Assessment scores with Merit Increase Percentage – “I have scored 85/100 in my annual performance assessment. Another team member scored 75/100. I am awarded 10% increase over my existing salary and he has been awarded 18% increase over his existing salary, how”? Usually, managers don’t answer these types of questions or they put the blame on the management team of organization and thereby creating an impression, “if you want to give increments as per your whims and fancies then why you did this drama of appraisals, you could have given us increment without assessing us”. There has to be a direct and clear correlation between assessment scores and merit increase percentage. This correlation can be drawn at grade level or functional level based on the business model of organization and its compensation philosophy.4) Performance Management is a process (creating a culture of performance coaching) – Performance management is not once a year activity. It is a continuous process. A manager shall have monthly performance review meeting with his team members to assess their progress and communicate any deviation in goals. A manager must create performance review tracker. In such circumstances, your annual review meeting becomes less tedious and less scary because before even entering for the final assessment, both assessor and assessee know what to expect from the meeting.Secondly, there is another advantage of monthly performance reviews. If the concerned manager decides to separate from the organization at any time during the year, the new manager will not find himself out of place. Through performance tracker, he will be able to trace performance goals and progress of individuals in his team.Thirdly, monthly performance reviews will let the manager know challenges faced by his team members in achieving their goals and hence he will be able to coach him and take corrective actions at an appropriate time.Fourthly, organizations and managers set their annual goals at the beginning of a year. Many changes might occur during the due course of year forcing organization and employees to realign their goals. Monthly review meetings provide a platform for every type of correction and communication. Lastly, monthly performance assessments will eliminate any kind of bias from the process.5) Lean Appraisals – THREE of the biggest drawbacks of annual performance appraisals are -A) Managers can compare performance scores of their team members and hence will be biased towards their favorite team member, which creates unrest and frustration among employees.B) When appraisals are done once in a year, there will be a huge increase in cash flow in one given month, as per the performance cycle of the organization.C) During the year, many new employees join the organization and old employees resign, therefore, in annual appraisals, there will be few employees who will be assessed for SEVEN months and few will be assessed for FIFTEEN months. It might create unnecessary difficulty in allocating increment percentage to employees. Hence, there is a need to have lean appraisal system.Lean appraisals mean doing an annual assessment of employees in their month of joining. A manager managing a team of 24 employees will be required to do TWO assessments in a month, instead of doing 24 in one particular month. It will not be difficult for the organization to arrange for a big chunk of cash-flow in one particular month. It will eliminate any type of bias from the system. There will not be a comparison of performance scores and increments among employees.On the part of the management team of the organization, they need to allocate budget to each manager to manage his team. The budget shall be driven by market and industry and a manager will get it proportionate to the number of members of his team at the beginning of financial year. This fund shall be called as Performance Management Budget for the year ****. Thereafter, it shall be the responsibility of a manager to manage his fund and report back to the management.Let’s understand and accept this. Performance Management and Coaching is one of the integral responsibilities of a manager. They shall not push it on the management of human resource function. HR is to facilitate the process. Management is to allocate the budget. Employees working in the organization are not your personal friends. They have been hired to perform a specific role. They are paid for their performance. As a manager, you must help them improve their performance.Readers might think that this type of performance management system is not feasible and not practical, however, the fact remains that such system is scalable and manageable. I have done this in my several consulting assignments.Your feedbacks and comments will be highly appreciated.

Top 5 Spas and Health Retreats

If you like the idea of spending some time relaxing at a top spa or health retreat, why not go all out and really indulge your senses. To help you choose which one to visit, here is a list of what we believe are five of the top spas and health retreats in the world.1. California Health and Longevity Institute, California, United States:This is the ultimate in opulence! The California Health and Longevity Institute offers a wide range of holistic therapies, combining ancient Asian wisdom with Western awareness. This is a world-class facility where your personal Life Advisor will help you to devise a plan for your life, health and rejuvenation. Complete with numerous experts on hand including a health chef, this venue has an amazing 40,000-square-foot spa where you can be pampered to your heart’s content.2. Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand:The Chiva-Som International Health Resort is a stunning resort that is perfect for a luxury Thailand holiday. This sanctuary offers a variety of spa treatments along with physiotherapy, iridology, live blood analysis and electro-dermal screening. They also provide US qualified doctors, nurses and naturopaths enabling visitors who feel like a total rejuvenation to have specialist treatments such as botox injections and laser resurfacing. While in Thailand, make sure you rejuvenate your soul too by exploring some of the mystical ancient temples or meditating with monks.3. Lausanne Palace and Spa, Lausanne, Switzerland:This exquisite resort is sure to leave you spellbound! Imagine spending a week or two of total bliss in this spectacular palace, with breathtaking 360o panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Geneva. There are various refreshing treatments available here, from wellness, fitness, beauty – even an Aveda hair spa. To complement these treatments, the Yogi booster programme offers nutritional advice to help you create total health balance.Enjoy an aromatic massage and rejuvenating facial treatment before venturing into the nearby town to explore the city and enjoy some well-deserved shopping. Make sure you add the Lausanne Palace and Spa to your luxurious travel itinerary.4. The Grove, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom:This prestigious escape is sure to impress even the most discerning traveller. An extraordinary estate, The Grove leaves most five star resorts way behind. Just a short drive from London, this Cosmopolitan Country Estate is located upon 300 stunning acres. The services offered at the award winning The Grove include state of the art leisure and sporting facilities such as an 18 hole championship golf course and a world class health and fitness centre. For your total pampering, spa treatments incorporate a delicate blend of aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and Ayurvedic philosophy. This is an ideal retreat that is adored by men and women from all over the world.5. Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa, Gold Coast, Australia:For the ultimate in 5 star resorts you can’t beat the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa on the gloriously sun-drenched Gold Coast. This oasis retreat is nestled amongst 37 lush, tropical acres alongside azure waters and golden beaches – just the right atmosphere to begin your relaxing vacation. This resort boasts a spectacular 2.5 acres lagoon – as well as smaller lagoons hidden throughout the resort – a variety of elegant suites or villas to choose from and several award winning restaurants and bars. For your pampering, the resort’s Golden Door Spa and Health Club provides an array of sumptuous treatments. Once you are feeling re-energised and refreshed, you can enjoy an invigorating workout in the gymnasium, a game of tennis, swim in the lap pool or just put your feet up in the relaxation lounge. If you are planning a wedding, the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa would be the perfect place to spend a luxury honeymoon.There is no doubt that we all need some time out now and then, and what better way to refresh than by spending time at one of these exclusive health retreats? If you can’t decide which one to go to, perhaps you can take an extended vacation and visit them all!

Mind Body Soul Spirit Information That Will Challenge the Way You View Life!

Regardless of personal viewpoint about spirituality, many have wondered what would have happened if Saddam Hussein hadn’t been stopped when he first invaded Kuwait back in the early nineties? Well, this story explores that scenario to its surprising conclusion and then reinvents the scene time and again in a sequence similar to ‘Groundhog Day’ but in a mind, body, spirit theme. The result is a story that has lead many readers to question their concept of so-called reality!I initially believed I was writing a fictional story about angel ET benefactors influencing our world. But when I completed the first book, The Blue Star Millennium, many readers were convinced that the depicted world events had actually happened, even though recorded history shows a different outcome. That’s when the concept of an alternative reality suddenly gelled into the possibility that world events could change depending on the will of the masses.As far as I was concerned, I was simply writing an inspirational mind, body, spirit story about angel extraterrestrial intervention, but I didn’t know where the story was going until it unfolded before me… and I have to admit, I was surprised at some of the content.The story largely centered on the Gulf War and the changing of events under the influence of a benevolent, angelic race of Beings in the form of extraterrestrial benefactors. The central character in these books is an angel who integrates with human society under the watchful influence of his mentor, the White Star.Many who have read these esoteric books have queried whether the White Star is real … and if so, did he help change world events in keeping with the will of the masses – the ones currently inhabiting our world … You and me? From that angle, did he also influence my writing in a more spiritual slant?To be honest, I don’t know!If he did, I am grateful that he shared this metaphysical knowledge, but a little confused why he would choose me. I’m just an ordinary guy who grew up on the rougher side of town with few privileges, and new age spirituality was not part of my upbringing. I have had my share of knocks that life tends to deal out to all those who walk this earth. However, I have also had my share of unusual (for want of a better term) experiences … but we are getting off the track here.If we take this concept of ET extraterrestrial angels to its logical conclusion, are we not all such Beings? After-all, we are simply visiting this planet for a short while to experience our individual lessons and then we depart – so how can we say that we are of this planet? We simply inhabit a body here temporarily so that we can function in this world.So, whether these metaphysics philosophy books are influenced by extraterrestrial angels, or resulted from my own tapping into the higher consciousness that is the source of us all … what is the difference? The result is equally fascinating and the concepts that these self improvement stories present will challenge your view of life as you know it.