Techsense (Pvt) Ltd was established in August, 2007. It is an I.T solution and services company that, in addition to being preferred partner of IBM, Oracle and Microsoft develops customized business automation softwares. Techsense has its headquarters in Karachi, Pakistan. Techsense also has an office in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. Techsense is growing on a fast track. The company pays great attention to its employees and their skills’ enhancement as the management realizes that employees are its capital and pivotal to the company’s business growth and image.
The company’s board of directors’ faced a major challenge on deciding the right appraisal system for the company employees. This was necessary to realize its objective of creating a right kind of human capital. The company’s board of directors had two options to achieve its goal. The first option was the conventional appraisal and the second option was performance management system.
However, after threadbare discussions, the board decided to go with the rigorous performance management system model which involves an in-depth analysis of employee’s evaluation. The appraisal system at Techsense now highlights key points such as increasing productivity, individual appraisal, high-performers, financial and non-financial benefits, quarterly, bi-annual appraisal, setting objectives and unit-based appraisal. This is better than following the conventional appraisal system which involves yearly appraisal, evaluation on past record and is hence less effective. The board of directors was, therefore, spot-on after choosing the right appraisal model for the company, as effectiveness and high-performance was the company’s priority and policy.
How can performance management help appraise employees more effectively at Techsense Pvt Ltd?
At Techsense, the board of directors’ faced a major challenge on deciding the right appraisal system for the company employees. This was necessary to realize its objective of creating a right kind of human capital. The company’s board of directors had two options to achieve its goal. The first option was the conventional appraisal and the second option was performance management system.
In conventional appraisal, the employer appraises its employees on yearly basis and the depth of evaluation is weaker. It involves the appraisal of the employees based on their past record. The employer’s evaluation of the employee is weak as the employer assesses the employees on without proper assessment criteria. On the other hand, the employees are unaware of their objectives, which is a vital indication of their performance.
The new appraisal system popularly known as the performance management system is now used by many prospering companies around the world, including Techsense. It is carried out on a quarterly and bi-annual basis, with individual employee-employer meetings and the employees are assigned targets that they have to meet. At Techsense, every employee is rated individually against a certain set of criteria. (Afterwards, the results are combined to determine the overall productivity, efficiency and health of the company.)
Each employee is assigned tasks that are to be completed by a proposed deadline. Along with that, employees also sit individually with employers or human resource managers to discuss their problems and set objectives, which make issues clearer to them. At Techsense, individual appraisal is encouraged as it creates a relationship of the employees with the management.
According to the performance appraisal model at Techsense, the employer has the right to recommend another employee for a certain position to the CEO as it is in the company’s profile to make way for new talent on a merit basis. However, the appraisal of employees is encouraging and it builds a character in employees which benefits the organization in the future eventually. At Techsense, appraisal is carried out bi-annual which is once every six months or quarterly. It is sufficient to appraise employees after a six month break-up as it allows keeping a check on their tasks and performance.
Techsense believes in a high-performing unit, demanding the unit performs cohesively and see each other as equals. An employee X performs exceptionally well than an employee Y but his behavior in the organization is unacceptable. The employer then has the right to give the employee bad comments and lower marks on the marking criteria. Therefore, the employees’ behavior is very important in appraisal.
Performance appraisal is necessary in order to maintain a high-performing unit in the organization. At Techsense, a high-performing unit is described as the employee and his working unit i.e. the computer.
I conducted primary research in form of a questionnaire and two-minute interview sessions. The survey results are based on a 15-person data, including the employees and the employers at Techsense. The questionnaire had questions relation to the importance of appraisal of employees and how does it affect the productivity and the performance of the company and the employees.
The results from the questionnaire showed that majority of the employees felt happy that when someone keeps a check on their performance and were eager to achieve the targets assigned to them. The pie charts of the survey explains it further.
(Please see appendix 4)
The 2-minutes interviews:
The combined result of the employers’ and employees’ responses is described as above.
At Techsense, employees and the employers thought that it is effective to appraise on the performance management system because of the following points:
1. Allows targets to be created and the management knows their strengths and weaknesses. In conventional appraisal,
2. Gives an opportunity to deny anything formally, e.g. if you feel that you’re being treated unfairly or your performance isn’t being recognized. Feedback to the employee regarding how the organization viewed the employee’s performance.
3. Recognition of contributions made by departments and individuals in achieving the set objectives.
4. Financial rewards and non-financial rewards: appraisal can allow to identify theory x and theory y employees.
5. Increasing productivity of the business, as employees are being kept a check on their tasks and they meet deadlines (Just-in time production), so the performance level in result high
6. Employee names for other evaluation purposes. Each employee meets with the person employer/ human resource head to resolve issues. This is good as it does not bring a rift amongst the employees.
7. When there is a common problem that needs to be addressed, the CEO holds a conference at the media room (in Techsense) which further clarifies the problems.
8. It allows making way for new talent, high performers and quality employees. If appraisal was not carried out at Techsense, it would have affected the performance as the weaker employee’s weakness would not have being evaluated. It brings an opportunity as there is room for improvement.
9. At Techsense, employees are rewarded for their achievement once in a year. This encourages the growing employees to perform alongside their high-performing peers.
The Appraisal Process
Tools used for appraisal and the incorporation of technology at Techsense
1. Computer softwares are used to categorize evaluation data.
(Incorporation of technology)
2. Various forms and criteria guidelines are used to make appraisal more effective. The model of appraisal at Techsense ensures that each individual is evaluated against the criteria. Unlike conventional appraise (where employees are accountable for their past record), employees are demanded to chalk out their agendas relation to their next tasks. This type of appraisal technique ensures that the responsibility of the employee remains intact. (see appendix 1)
3. Checklists are used by the employer/human resource department to make evaluation process much easier. (see appendices)
4. Communication between the employer/human resource/evaluator and the employee is encouraged. Appraisal is based on team work output. As described earlier, every employee as a unit is accountable for their own output.
6. 360 degree feedback is also used. In the 360 appraisal, Techsense ensures the peer reviews are anonymous, in order to prevent any rift amongst the employees. Its main purpose is to provide another perspective of evaluation of the employees.
Performance Review (See Appendix 3)
Three Mission Critical Factors
(30 points are awarded for each factor)
Forms used by Techsense for appraisal
1. Performance Review and Recognition Matrix
2. Performance Balance Sheet (See Appendix 1)
3. Objective Form (See Appendix 2)
In conclusion, it is learnt that Techsense decision on appraising employees in a more effective manner allows it to increase productivity and make the company work as a team, as a unit where each employee’s evaluation is properly carried out. This further strengthens the organization as each employee does not only work on the tasks provided, but also works on his/her to develop the character and work on the weakness and maintain the strengths. It has been understood that Techsense decision to use the new performance management system/model to appraise its employees more effectively rather than using the conventional appraisal method which does not allow an in-depth evaluation of the employees. Also, the appraisal model of the Techsense has another important factor to it. It is divided into a set of objectives in which every skill of the employees has a different weightage and is assessed using the main criteria of productivity, affiliation and quality. Therefore, the employees and the supervisor/employer have an idea of the area where the improvement is required. It is the performance management system of the Techsense, which will take appraisal to the next level as a major step towards boosting the company’s performance.
To add to the appraisal model of Techsense, I would recommend the appraisal of the management/heads/supervisor by the employees/sub-ordinates. This is would allow the relationship between them to increase, in which the employee and the supervisor would have a better understanding amongst each self, which ultimately allows the employees to work with zeal, and contribute to the increasing productivity of the organization.
Another recommendation is the incorporation of advanced technology, which will allow appraisal to be conducted even more easily and professionally. Using new softwares, the human resources department/employer/supervisor should be able to judge the percentage of work done on each task by a certain employees at a working station that is the computer. It means that softwares are installed on the working units of each employee to determine their task work output. This is a good option as most of the work is computer based at Techsense.