Thursday, July 15, 2010

Career Advancement -A View (part -I)

Working for the goals set & achieving them in excelling mode are the year round run for corporate executives. At the end of the year another short but very tough process begins. That is the self appraisal & its appraisal by superior which in-term is linked to the promotions/ pay revision /Career growth trainings/ firing etc.

It is not only sufficient to achieve the goal to climb up in the corporate ladder but it equally requires how loud you publish, your leader evaluate & how well it is taken.

Normally there are two categories of people in the organisation at the evaluation of performance point of view,
• Performers &
• Non – Performers

Non performers again sub classified into two categories,
• Non performance due to individual (because of him) &
• Non performance due to environment

These classes are further sub classified into two each as,

• Non performance due to individual (because of him)
1. Lack of job aptitude &
2. Lack of job knowledge

• Non performance due to environment
1. Internal Environment &
2. External Environment

Performers are also classified into three categories,
1. Meeting Expectations (ME)
2. Exceeding Expectations (EE) &
3. Far Exceeding Expectations(FEE)

The people under ME simply achieve what has been targeted for them. Whereas people under EE are achievers more than what they have committed in quantity & quality. While people under FEE are exceeding their target abnormally both in quality & quantity with some innovation ideas which bring the highest productivity that has been ever-defined within the organisation set up. The productivity is increased by achieving the target level using reduced inputs(cost control) or by increased out put using same level of input or by both (means reduced cost & increased production from defined levels).

The people under category of non performers due to lack of job aptitude are considered as Far Below Expectation (FBE) where as the people under category of non performers due to lack of job knowledge are considered as Below Expectation (BE).

Meanwhile the non performers due to environment are not identified as performer or non performer individually, as their non performance is beyond their control. However indirect parameters are used to evaluate them to fit in the above 5 broader categories (FBE, BE, ME, EE & FEE)
The criteria for categorising the non performers due to environment, into above five classes are their previous performance levels, their additional responsibility shouldering, alternate job involvement on voluntary basis, responding to adverse -internal & external environment hindering their performance, fire fighting plans & execution, communication of adversities, punctuality, sincerity, loyalty, time sense, discipline etc.

However there is target & achievement in terms of quality & quantity for the Key Performance Indices (KPIs) for every Key Responsibility Area (KRA) of an employee to evaluate his performance. This has to be evaluated first by self & endorsed later by his reporting officer later.

There is scope to comment for under performance whether environment is responsible or lack of job skill to execute targeted work (Training & development needs).

Normally the employees by nature can be categorised as,
• Who works & talks the work (His achievement)
• Who works & not talks the work
• Who not works & talks the work &
• Who not works & not talks the work

The reporting officer of any employee will have following attitudes about his sub-ordinate,
• Favour
• Neutral (Impartial) &
• Against

Reporting officer is considered as God-father of those employees whom he favours & Evil-father of those employees whom he is against. He will be truly Reporting Officer when he is neutral to all the employees reporting to him.

Hence a Reporting Officer may be true Reporting Officer or God-father or Evil-father to an employee. When several employees are reporting to him he may be one of the three or two of the three or all three in one based on his attitudes on employees reporting to him.

will be continued.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mining Industry - Performance Appraisal -Poor Performance -Forced Ranking (Bell Curve)

Uniqueness of Mining & Military employments over other employments

  • Tough physical working.
  • Working in open environment ( Exposed to climate directly & working in remote adverse ground condition)
  • Working against nature in case of mining.
  • Team work for team goals with line organization.
  • Statutory frames for physical fitness for employment.

Basic reasons for Low Performance

  • Personal Laziness
  • Lack of job appetite /aspiration. Name shake job requirement (Job is not needed for them to survive).
  • Lack of job skill
  • Lack of motivating work Environment (facility, pay scale, equipment, treatment, level, accountability, authority wrt responsibility,

The first two are the reasons from employee & last two are the reasons from employer towards low performance of any on broader perspective.

Bell Curve Analysis of Employer performance

Normally corporate organizations to keep their organizational performance to high & in continual improvement every year from previous year, they adopt the forced ranking method to compare group of similar employees to broadly on three categories as BE (Below Expectation), E (Expectation) & AE (Above Expectation) OR as 5 categories as FBE (Far Below Expectation), BE, E, AE & FAE (Far Above Expectations). Normally the organisations will have 20% , 80% & 20% in 3 categories system OR 5%, 15%, 60%, 15% & 5% in 5 categories system. If figures are not arrived then relatively compared by one another & these hypothetical figures are arrived to divide the employees in this category matching to percentage forcibly. Then the poorest (FBE) is in the list of downsizing, poorb(BE) will be given chance to improve with proper training , Average(E) is nurtured & trained to move up, better (AE) will be given good hikes in salary & facility and Best one (FAE) are promoted to next level. Every year 5-10% of employees identified as poorest & removed to add new recruits in their place. This way organisation filter to maintain the best employees every year & uplifting the best measure every year. It is to be noted that the best ranked employee today will be rated as poorest over a period when standards go up every year in this system unless he is enhancing his competition & performance levels every year.

When the number of employees are plotted in the X-axis against the performance Y-axis representing the FBE, BE, E, AE &FEE a typical bell shape curve is developed as below. This is called Bell curve of Performance Appraisal of employees by forced Ranking.

Low performance in Mining industry

Bacause of its above mentioned uniqueness the job openings in the mining industry are not attracted to people who are basically lazy & having lack of job appetite (atleast in the openings of worker & supervisory category).

The people who are lazy & lack of appetite normally choose physically comfortable jobs even for lesser jobs pay-scales. Hence such people not opt for mining profession & even if they join by ignorance they run away in short period.

The issue of lack of technical skill & various work environment issues are addressed properly by Mines Act, Rules & Regulations. That means mining is being hazardous profession where people are working against nature risk of life is high. Hence to minimize the risk & ensure safety all over the world the governments of the countries irrespective of whether it is Democratic or Communism or King's ruled, have framed the stringent Acts, Rules & Regulations to address the issues of safety in this hazardous profession especially in the areas like - The required physical standards, Education, Competancy Certificate & Qualification for the each & every category of employees to be employed in the mine; The required initial basic training, Job specific special training, Periodical updating training, Periodicity of training, Training subject &etc.; The personal protective equipments to be used for general & job specific to the employee & providing them; Working standards to ensure safety on each and every mining operations; Provision of periodical health check for occupational health hazards; Standards of welfare amenities; First aid & medical facility; Minimum Wages standard categorically; periodical inspection by statutory bodies regarding implementation & collecting returns from the mining agency in assurance of law.

The organization wherever statutory requirements are implemented properly there is no issue of poor performance in this aspect.

Since the targets/goals in mining are linked with team efforts one or two below performance are absorbed by one or two excellent performers to maintain the average level. In mining industry the individual performance even though excellent can prove low if colleagues are not co-operative. e.g. if one tipper operator is excellent & other tipper operators are average & one among them is poor & all are working together for transportation of waste to dumps from an excavator use to load them, then best & low performers will drop to average. If all tipper drivers are excellent & excavator operator is below the level then the out put of tipper drivers will also fall to low.

Average mechanism is achieved normally & excellent performances due to team synergy with conscious will in mining industry. Periodically the poor performers are automatically eliminated in the system by supervising authority or he will himself get motivated to move further to perform well to be set in the system.

In this way the normal bell curve of organizational performance will not hold good for mining industry. The bell curve holds good for average industry where individual performances are directly connected to individual goals to move with organizational goal. The poor performers by their own reason ( lazy & lack of appetite) will not opt for mining or even they come by ignorance will run away.

If we consider employees joined & ran away, employees expelled periodically by team for their non fitting in the system for plotting performance we can get bell curve. But forced ranking to employees to get bell curve by comparing to one another & identifying 10% of people as low to downsize every year, will have adverse affect in mining operations as listed below,

  • It is difficult to get 10% of people for mining industry every year as it is least opted profession by job-seekers.
  • The competency holders to mining industry are very less & difficulty to get.
  • New entrants require 3 stage trainings (Initial, Special & organization team related) before engaging to the job which result delay in his output.
  • Team fitting of new entrants will be time consuming which drops the productivity of team drastically
  • Forced ranking creates the message of insecurity among existing employees creating the tension which may lead to inconvenience to the safety.
  • Safety standards will get deteriorated in race of achieving the top performance leading to accidents.
  • Setting of new entrants to work environment & their acceptance to team work synergy will also have some turbulence period which drops productivity.

In this view I feel the forced ranking system is irrelevant to mining industry. However the statutory norms & the nature of profession will eliminate the poor performers by default & forced ranking may lead to loose the well set employees being replaced with new entrants creating risk of safety & threats to team synergy in achieving safe productive performance.

The nurture of team synergy may lead to the continual improvement in productivity of existing team.