Your Performance Management System

What is the purpose of road traffic lights?

Above all, to create some sort of order in the streets!

Can you imagine a busy street without traffic lights?

Can you imagine a busy roundabout, in a busy city of this planet, where you see drivers, but you are not sure if they are drivers, you feel as if they are the “supermen”, or maybe I should call them “headless men” on a mission to save half of the world, while on their way they are ready to kill the other half!!!

Am I making any sense? Maybe not, but here you go, the morale of the story is that the purpose of a performance management system is to create an order in the “traffic” of people coming in and going out from an organization!

First of all, how do you hire the people, what criteria do you use? Do you have a standard evaluation system of how fair the recruitment process is? Do you take feedback from both the people you hired and the people that did not actually get the job? I do not think a successful performance evaluation system starts from the moment you hire someone, actually, in my view it starts much before that; the moment you have called in someone for either an initial test or an interview! At that moment, you are already setting the standard of your performance evaluation system.

Once the person is in the job, how do you go about explaining the process of his performance evaluation? Do you actually sit down with new comer, or do you just “fire” a numbers of emails for him/her to read and revert to you with any questions.

Now let’s go back to our busy roundabout, I am sorry it is late at night and now my driving is not spot on and so bear with me, I am bound to take some wrong turns and might end up using a route that I had not originally planned!

Are we so busy getting things done, that we have stopped thinking about HOW we get things done and the impact of doing the things in the wrong way? Do we actually ever maintain, repair or replace the “traffic light system” in our organization?

So, when you see a lot of people exiting your company well before achieving what they were supposed to or planned to achieve for the company or for their career, then surely someone needs to reflect on the actual reason for such an exodus. How good are we at understanding the dangers of the yellow light? The yellow light is a “SIGN” – decision making time! There is a potential danger or maybe not, but there is a risk! High turnaround is usually a sign that something is wrong and you need to take action. High turnaround can actually tarnish the reputation of a company, so beware of it! Big brands are built by people and not by machines!

Key reasons for high turnover that you want to ponder on are lack of recognition, lack of advancement opportunities, bullying, underpayment “unfairness’/favoritism, long hours; no life/work balance…and many more.

I would like to leave you today with a question: How well is your company’s “traffic light system” working? Have you ever questioned its effectiveness?

Nusrate Ibrahim is Managing Director of NTI Consulting a business and training consultancy based in Dubai. Prior to working as an independent training consultant, Nusrate worked at Deloitte, Transaction and Reorganisation Services in Abu Dhabi, UAE; National Grid Plc. and British Airways Plc. in the UK.

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