India’s Performance Management Problem

The following blog post discusses this article published by Gallup.

This article discusses the challenges India faces in companies’ performance management systems. The article emphasizes that above all, “Indian employees need to establish an emotional connection with their superiors or peers at work” to further establish employees’ faith in the evaluation process. Although this is somewhat true in all environments, it is particularly relevant in India where, according to a study by Hofstede, personal trust among members of a workgroup is particularly important. Although Indian employees respect the processes required to run a business, they also tend to doubt whether standardized performance management systems can actually identify and reward good performance.

The article talks about how many Indian employees feel that the performance management systems cannot adequately recognize superior performance. The book discusses several performance management system recommendations that could mitigate these employee concerns. Some of the recommendations include “decide, design, and publicize the evaluation process,” and “ensure clear and obvious links between performance an outcomes.” By effectively designing a system and ensuring that employees are aware of the decisions behind the design, it would help employees understand the purpose of performance evaluations. Furthermore, by clarifying the links between performance and outcomes, employees would understand that existing performance evaluation systems properly recognize and reward superior work. According to article, reassuring employees of the existence of this link would increase employee engagement. Chapter 12 also talks about the importance of establishing clear goals and evaluating employees based on the accomplishment of these goals. The article indicates a strong association between employees who understand the main objectives of their job and employees who are engaged in their work. When employees feel validated in their work and that the evaluation system is fair, they are more likely to be emotionally engaged in their work. For Indian employees, this emotional engagement is crucial for a successful working relationship.

I was really intrigued by the fact that the emotional connection with coworkers is such an important aspect of employment in India. I thought this somewhat paralleled the book’s discussion about how Indian managers’ evaluation were often skewed because of the paternalistic nature of Indian culture and managers’ unwillingness to give low ratings to subordinates. I also really personally agree with the article’s point that employees who are aware of their job’s defined primary objectives are more engaged in their work. I tend to perform better when I am given a clear outline of what is expected of me.

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