Human-Centric Approach – The Missing Fuel To Supercharge Employee Performance

Many times, we don’t realize that the Performance management process and the outcome might have a negative impact on an Individual’s morale which could further damage the situation & performance of employees and at the same time lead to ill feelings about the manager, management, or organization.

While in an ideal situation, the organization must be driven by data and metrics, but we should not forget that every score carries someone’s hope, dream, need and desire to get recognized, and career aspirations. In addition, forward-thinking organizations are shifting away from a process-centric performance management approach and focusing more on the people at the core of their businesses. Employees and their supervisors are both involved in people-centric performance management.

Being a Leader, it is imperative for us to identify or forecast such an instance rather than to recover the damage later, which in most cases is difficult and maybe impossible. But again, the question – is it possible to strike a balance between data and desire which could be true or even false.

How do I ensure that the system that I design helps me achieve two major Objectives:

Measuring Actual Performance: Measuring performance is an essential component in determining the worth of employee and management efforts. Most firms provide formal reports on performance metrics that managers analyze on a regular basis. Employees’s total impact, cost efficiency, effectiveness, and capacity to apply best practices should all be considered when evaluating their performance.

Managing Aspirations of employees: Showing your employees that you care about their objectives is an effective strategy to establish rapport and boost motivation. By demonstrating that their achievement is important, even if those objectives aren’t precisely aligned with their present position, one should also establish trust.

After extensive work and research to have robust PMS, it is now feasible for organizations to address the first one by having Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound targets. However, it is essential for organizations to recognize the need to deal with the second Objective.

Employee aspirations differ from individual to individual. For some it could be better increments, for some it could be recognition through good ratings, for some it could be Promotion, big projects, new assignments, international opportunities, etc. But there is more on the list, and they are psychological needs – Fairness, Consistency, Clarity, Sense of belongingness, Feeling Valued.

How to recognize the need of employees so that the organization can strike the right one and
accordingly drive the performance of an individual. The proven way is to have a simple one-on-one
conversation with the Reporting Manager for an absolutely clear & transparent relationship.

Fairness & Clarity

We need to understand that the ratings are short-term, but the impact of Ratings could be long-term. And hence it should become the moral responsibility of the Reporting Manager to have a fair and open conversation without any unconscious bias with their team members.

The Reporting Manager should provide clarity to the Individual and have an absolute candid discussion around the rationale of ratings, discuss critical incidents and help team members reflect on those critical incidents leading to a given rating. The Reporting Manager shall allow their team members to speak their minds and provide them with the comfort that the conversation shall have a neutral impact on the growth of the individual.


We know that we are more convinced with logical reasoning. The Reporting Manager shall explain the process of Assessment and the basis of arriving at ratings. Let the discussion help the individual understand the expectations and how he/she met or didn’t meet the same.

The Reporting Manager should explain what the organization is doing to have an objective evaluation and the process adopted to neutralize the unconscious bias which could be achieved by having a neutral Appraisal Committee, or two levels of Performance Review. The team member should be allowed to ask a lot of questions or just share his/her feelings about the entire process. This shall also foster a culture of openness & collaboration. This will enable team members to look forward to having continuous performance review meetings and will not have a negative disposition towards the Performance Appraisal process.

Promise to Perform

Performance should not be expected just from employees, but the promise shall also be made by the Reporting Managers or Organization to provide required support, be it physical or morale to improve their performances. During the conversation, the Reporting Manager shall commit to providing the same to enable performance by individuals. The individual shall feel motivated through the conversation & support that RM extends.

There is a need to humanize the Performance Management Process through continuous performance conversations. The Process should not just lead to the Ratings but also Recognize their contribution and make them feel valued, give them a sense of purpose, and provide them with the opportunity to exceed the performance expectations.

The Performance Management System should have a human element through Continuous Feedback and Feedforward Sessions focusing more on psychological needs and less on the Performance Scorecards.

While involv­ing employees in the designing of your per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es is required. They will most likely be unable to provide all of the answers. You may need to give them choices based on best prac­tice from outside the organization at times. For this rea­son, you should make it a top pri­or­i­ty to stay up to date on per­for­mance man­age­ment trends, given that the field of HR is ever evolving.

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