Simplifying Entrepreneurship

25. The Importance of Performance Management with Vaishnavi Hariharan

November 02, 2021 Pete Mohr Season 1 Episode 25
Simplifying Entrepreneurship
25. The Importance of Performance Management with Vaishnavi Hariharan
Show Notes Transcript

Vai Hariharan brings her 20+ years of experience in Human Resources to the Simplifying Entrepreneurship podcast as we chat about Performance Management in this episode. Whether you have a formal system in place or not, there is a lot to learn in a short period of time here!

Here’s a glance at what you’ll learn from our discussion in this episode:

  • What is Performance Management (PM) anyhow?
  • How to properly integrate PM into your business
  • Why it’s important to start PM today
  • My favourite part was the “Santa Claus effect”

If you’d like to reach out to Vai you can email her at

If you’re ready to transform your entrepreneurial frustrations into freedoms by cutting through the chaos and using frameworks that help you run an even better business and enjoy an even better life, simply go to:   www.Mohr.Coach

Take the free assessment on the top right-hand side of my website and we’ll set up a time to chat!

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Vai  00:00

The word management itself, nobody wants to be performance managed because the sound of it is a little bit, you know, you're going to be tapped on your hand or something. And you know, going to be disciplined. And it's not that it also for people who are afraid to come across with the results of their actions, you know that that can be sometimes anxiety, creating situations for them. And not all managers. And not all entrepreneurs are trained how to deal with those discussions. And that's why human resources play a very important role in kind of hand-holding managers and facilitating those discussions so that they happen in a much more robust manner. It is very easily overlooked to not have a performance management system in most organizations. And it is because nobody wants to be the messenger of bad news, right? If the performance is poor, because the performance is good, nobody ever will have a performance management system. Yeah.


Pete  01:00

Hey, it's Pete, and welcome to another edition of the simplifying entrepreneurship podcast. It's the series designed to provide the tips and tools that will help you cut through the chaos, create clarity, and transform your business, and life as a leader. After all, running a business shouldn't be so hard. You just need the frameworks and tools to help you get there. And today, I had the opportunity to speak again with our current guest, vi Howdy, Heron, we're going to talk about human resources, you know, HR, the soft part of our business, the most important part my opinion of our business, people. And we're going to talk a little bit today about performance management, you know, how are you ensuring alignment of your team's performance? And what is your process for performance management? Do you even have a process for performance management, all of those kinds of things we're talking about. And you know, Vice shares a really fun little story about Santa Claus, too. So you'll want to listen to it here. We'll dig right into our conversation with vi howdy Hatton. Hi, vi Welcome back to The simplifying entrepreneurship podcast. It's a pleasure to have you back again. Hello, Pete. So good to see you again. Yeah, it is. And you know, I'm excited. As always, when I talk to you about the topics that we talk about. And today, it's all around the idea of performance management. And so many of our listeners are sort of small to medium-sized businesses, and may not really understand what performance management is. So why don't you kick us off by just giving us a little sort of description of what is performance management?


Vai  02:35

So if you just break up the words performance is any action, and that is directly connected to a result. So in terms of an organization, it's managing your actions so that you're able to achieve desirable results? And how do you manage your actions, your behaviour, your results? Is what performance management is all about?


Pete Mohr  02:55

Yeah, no, I think that's great. How would you separate them between what a smaller organization would do for performance management and what a bigger organization would do for performance management? Before we kind of get rolling with some of the other stuff?


Vai  03:10

You know, when you're a smaller organization, which most entrepreneurial organizations begin to start off as a smaller organization? Yeah, performance management is usually the first or the second thing or easily overlooked thing in any organization. And that is not because it's a deliberate thing to Oh, yeah, we don't need it. It's, it's more because the results are very obvious. Whether you are succeeding, whether your actions are showing immediate results, or you're going in the right direction or not, your results are very immediate and very obvious. And because this team is very similar, the collaboration and the coordination works much better. And that's why there is no basic necessity to be able to implement a performance management program or a system. And that's why it gets overlooked. It's not a deliberate effort. And if that same thing is you know, if there is a failure, or if some of your results are not desirable, that the course correction happens way too quickly. So you know, it means that okay, we don't need it, we don't need to performance management, someone's behaviour or someone's performance. So what is the need to implement a program or a system? We don't need one we have good? When do


Pete   04:17

Do you think people need one? And when should they start looking at this and how do they start to implement one?


Vai  04:22

Ideally, if I were a teacher, then I will tell you that you need it like on day one, because


Pete  04:29

because I agree, by the way,


Vai  04:31

yes, because you know, even when you're introducing it much later in your employee lifecycle or in your organization lifecycle, it comes across as a band-aid solution. You are already trying to repair something that's broken, and that's a negative side of performance management when you're being more proactive and it kind of comes with a positive connotation. When you're doing it right from the get-go that you know this is a performance-driven it will even impact your culture. You are a performance-driven culture, your performance striven organization, it gives you a very good starting point that you know, yes, we are all worried about results, and we are going to achieve it together. It's more collaboration that way.


Pete   05:10

So what are the three main things that you need to begin doing to get the ball rolling for people that haven't implemented already, and they're ready to say, and they're listening to this or saying, you know, I really do need to get going on that.


Vai  05:21

So you don't need a big jazz program or anything like that, you know, you just need your human touchpoints and be human, everyone needs a little bit of tap on the shoulder, everyone needs a little bit of, you know, a comforting hand, everyone needs a little bit of feedback and critique so that they can get better when the tone is set. As we're all growing together, and we are all in it together, performance management becomes just easier. When you're a smaller organization, it actually is much easier to kind of build something that is just around the framework of what is more important in terms of the organization's vision itself and values itself. So if you know as an organization, you want to reach a goal of 1 billion, you have to just keep that 1 billion or 1 million goals in mind and have a trickling effect so that the goals can trickle down to the other areas of the business. And then it becomes a shared goal that together we achieve the 1 million or 1 billion whatever the target is for the organization. You know,


Pete   06:18

one of my favourite business gurus, let's call him Zig Ziglar. And I like to share quotes and stuff like that. But he said research indicates that workers have three prime needs interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on the things that are going on in the company. And you were just talking about that whole recognition and everybody needs a pat on the back and things like that. What do you think about those three parts?


Vai  06:42

Yes, that those are the most three important things but then that is only when you're talking about performance management as a whole. The piece that you spoke about only relates to one of the variables in the whole performance management piece. So if you're talking about an entire formula and this is right out of my book from university, it is decorated knowledge which is if you're going to be a doctor or an engineer, when you're out of your university you know exactly how to be a doctor you know the basics of what that and what tools to use, and so on and so forth. And then when you come out of university, you get into an organization they teach you the procedure or knowledge what are the implications of being in an organization what's the framework what are the implications of working in a union collective agreement as far as HR professional is concerned, the procedural knowledge also really talks about the systems that you're going to be using the software that you're going to be using and the last variable is motivation, okay. So it is decorated knowledge times procedural knowledge times motivation, if any of these three variables is zero, the net performance is going to be zero. Very, very simple math. So even if somebody is like 10 on 10 on declarative and procedural knowledge of their motivation is zero they don't want to get up to come to work Guess what? So so you know there's not going to be any results that you're going to be assessing them on. So, the piece that you spoke about you know people need interesting work they need it to need a little bit of love and care is false in the motivation aspect of it which is also now divided into some people are intrinsically motivated some people need external motivation right. So the external motivation is what the organization is responsible to provide employees with. And we are more moving towards the external motivation factor as we grow in organizations which is both good and bad I have my own views on that but you know, we are getting there


Pete Mohr  08:38

tell us quickly sort of your own views with regards to that you know, when you were saying it's good and bad What are one or two good things and what are one or two bad things?


Vai  08:46

The bad things I would call that out first is you can't really you can take a horse to drink water but you can't really get it to drink water is the really bad thing you how do you motivate How do you really kind of get into that internal aspect of it because you are constantly there's a lot of efforts that go into you know, having an employee to succeed you know, there's a lot of hand-holding there's a lot of care there's a lot of empathy that goes into making sure that the employee is really intrinsically motivated and the results usually at least in my experience has not been very encouraging. Now the flip side to it as maybe we are not doing something right that could be completely possible but you know, when you've tried five out of the seven tracks that you have and you still fail, then you know, we don't know what to do really, the good thing about it is that organizations have really really come to understand the real impacts of on employees about you know, the work culture the work tools that you provide the overall you know, happiness quotient in an organization and, and I think that's a big big plus, you know, working with organized their employees need very simple things, you know if you're perceived as being consistent if we are as an organization perceived as being fair, and we are perceived as being compassionate, then that's a big one in itself.


Pete   10:04

Yeah, love those like to go back one more time here via with your formula. And can you give us the Formula One more time? Sure.


Vai  10:13

It's declarative knowledge, which is the truth, the facts, the actual stuff, the know how, right? times procedural knowledge, which is what you learn in an organization, when you get into an organization, the organization programs, the systems, the laws, what you learn how to do your job in a particular procedure, times motivation.


Pete  10:35

Yeah, that's great. I love the fact that, if any one of those is 00, it just doesn't make sense. It just doesn't add up, it doesn't. So that's, that's my big learning here for the day today, I really appreciate that great framework that you've put it into, were there any other things that you wanted to chat about here today on performance management,


Vai  10:54

I would definitely like to speak a little bit more on you know, an organizational attitude in your let's get into that, yeah, in terms of not wanting a performance management system. So and a couple of other you know, behaviours that entrepreneurs can look out for within themselves as a collective organization. And but then employees as well, right for managers, some cool tricks and tips, I would say. So awesome. Performance Management is, you know, the word management itself, nobody wants to be performance managed, because it has the sound of it is a little bit, you know, you're going to be tapped on your hand or something. And you know, going to be disciplined. And it's not that it also for people who are afraid to come across with the results of their actions, you know, that that can be sometimes anxiety, creating situations for them. And not all managers, and not all entrepreneurs are trained how to deal with those discussions. And that's why human resources play a very important role in kind of hand-holding managers and hand-holding and facilitating those discussions so that they happen in a much more robust manner. It is very easily overlooked to not have a performance management system in most organizations. And it is because nobody wants to be the messenger of bad news, right? If the performance is poor, because of the performance is good, nobody ever will have a performance management system. Yeah. Then you have Oh, it's time for your appraisal. And we suddenly remembered that, although we have a program because you've performed poorly, that's the trend unless there are organizations that are big, huge, and you have a process that in second place. But even when those organizations were much smaller, I bet you that they did not have a proper performance management system, because they were getting the results. Nobody cared about poor behaviour. Right, right. Exactly. You know that is one thing that that young entrepreneurs or people who are new in business should always consider to have some form of a framework. I'm not saying have a you know, every three months check in or have coaching or feedback sessions, just I would once in a year habit once in six months, that would be ideal, or at least the bare minimum would be once in six months, you can course correct, you can course-correct, the employee has a chance to course-correct, the employee has a view as to where I should have been and where I am and what I need to do to back up basically, exactly, yeah, that's one thing that I would strongly recommend for organizations. And if from an employee perspective, you know, what managers could probably look out for Have you heard about the Santa Claus behaviour syndrome?


Pete  13:27

I haven't, that's a new one. Do


Vai  13:29

you have good speed. You know, when kids when they are closer to Christmas, or it's closer to their birthday, they are in their best behaviours. Similarly, employees are at their best behaviours right before appraisal time.


Pete Mohr  13:43

Let's I can totally see that. So I love that analogy.


Vai  13:50

So when you want to do a just once in a year, kind of a performance appraisal that you have to be very cognizant of the Santa Claus behaviours that you're going to be coming across from employees, you know, there'll be their best behaviours, they'll show up on time, they will do extra work they will do you know, so many different things to be just on your face. And you either forget everything that they have done in the past eight months or 10 months, or you just don't remember them or you know, you just remember the most recent incidents.


Pete   14:19

Exactly, no, I get that. That's a great thing to look out for. For sure.


Vai  14:24

Yes. And similarly, unfortunately, some managers I wouldn't say all of them most managers get fooled by the Santa Claus behaviours, but some managers are the reverse of it. Okay, now is your appraisal time. I am going to be looking at the clock and seeing what time you're coming into the office, what time you come into work, so on and so forth. So you know, it's got both sides to it. So I think our job collectively to kind of make sure that managers are aware of those Santa Claus behaviours.


Pete   14:52

For sure. I love that one. That's great. And, you know, I think that's a good place for us to end our conversation here today. And I just wanted to know, do you have any final words here before we kind of head out? And we'll give it get everybody your information, everything too. Is there anything we missed here in the last minute or so?


Vai  15:09

No, I think I think we are good. You know, we shouldn't overload our listeners, a lot of HR techniques, and they had


Pete   15:16

some fun too with Santa. So there you go. Well, thanks so much. Why and you know, as always, always want to let everybody know how they can reach out to you if they have any further questions, or if they want to get in touch with you. Maybe for some more information or to learn more about what you do.


Vai  15:33

I'm easily available on email, my email address is VI sH 30 I usually respond to my emails within 24 hours. So feel free to give me an email and about what I do I do the most fun part of my life, which is my work and working with people, which is the most fun part of what I do.


Pete   15:52

Yeah, it's awesome. I know so much appreciate all the wisdom that you've helped us out, learning more about human resources and all the soft parts of our business here in our series that we've had together on the simplifying entrepreneurship podcast, really look forward to our next conversation up and coming to so I'll say bye for now via and we'll talk to you soon.


Vai  16:13

Talk to you soon. Take care.


Pete Mohr  16:18

Well, thanks for spending some time with VI and I here today, think about how you can apply today's simplifying entrepreneurship topic of performance management into your business. And you're probably already doing some of this, but how can you make it even better with some of the tips and tools and things that vi brought up here today, and we discussed how can you put it into action as soon as we get off this podcast, you want to be writing down a couple of quick wins the low hanging fruit so that you can have an even better business and entrepreneurial life. When you have a wonderful team around you and they're happy, your happy life is better for you as the manager and owner of the business. Always remember clarity creates confidence and confidence ignites momentum. So if you'd like the podcast, please share with your friends, invite them to listen, and most of all, subscribe to it so that you can hear future episodes. For more information on my coaching and leadership programs visit http://www.mohr.coachor you can email me directly at Pete@Mohr.Coach. And until next time, make it a great day.



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