Being a HR manager is tough, we get it. But the HR community is as strong as it gets, and other HR professionals and experts are here to help you with it.
This interview is one in a line of a series of such interviews that we at TeamGraph are conducting. The agenda is to know how HR Managers across companies in the IT sector deal with productivity and engagement challenges within their teams.
- Expert bio:
- Shivani Mamidi
- HR Manager — Quad One Technologies
- 6+ years of experience across different HR roles
- Connect with Shivani on LinkedIn here
Q1. How do you keep a track of employees performance?
Since we are an IT company, our work is in the form of projects and products. Adhering to the industry standards, we use a performance management system in our company. It helps us allot goals, tasks and projects to the employees. We can then find the gap in provided goals and achieved goals. Of course it isn’t completely black and white. Our system also keeps a track of the billable and non-billable hours worked by the employees. The system lets me pull up reports based on this data. This helps me understand the productivity of the employees better.
Q2. I can certainly see that you have a system in place to figure out if there are gaps in performance. My next question, what do you do about these gaps? How do you identify their cause and tackle them?
It’s definitely a difficult situation when employees don’t perform as much as we expect. In fact, as senior HR at QuadOne, this is one of my main responsibilities.
The process is quite manual and involves my own personal involvement. I arrange meetings with the team leads and discuss project allotment. It often happens that there is a mismatch of skills during project allotment. An employee unfamiliar with a particular technology is assigned a project related to it. In such cases we resort to in-house training of the employees or change projects if needed. Resetting project allotment also allows me to give employees the roles they are most skilled at.
Q3. That sounds logical. What are some other factors that could cause the gap in performance? Maybe some interpersonal reasons within the team or with the manager? How do you tackle those?
Yes, this often occurs as well. As a standard procedure we wait for one month after the first action to see if there is any change in the results. If not, we move forward to consider the cause as interpersonal relations. Then, I arrange meetings with the employee(s) and personally discuss with them the cause of their low performance. After much drilling employees open up to the pain-points they have, be it managers or any other team members. In such a case, we try to accommodate the employee’s requirements as much as possible and try to bring a mutual harmony within the team.
Q4. From the way you tell me, I’m sure this must be a daunting task to take at hand. How much investment does this take?
I spend 2 hours of my working time daily on this. Speaking to managers, team leads and employees, trying to dig into the cause of low performance and solving issues that crop up
Q5. What are some other fallouts? Employee turnover? Failure to deliver on deadlines?
Yes, fallouts are certain. Sometimes, even after the resolution, employees quit after finishing their term/projects. But the real fallout in this case is in terms of the stress it creates in the system. My role as an HR is to make sure that the teams perform irrespective of the inner dynamics. Hence, when I’m interacting with an employee or a manager during my 2 hours, I make it a point to keep a substitute ready. This essentially increases the burden on one employee due to lack of performance of other employee. This ripple effect pulls down the entire team in the long run and is one of the reasons that we sometimes have to let go of employees before it’s too late.
Shivani’s role as HR Manager at QuadOne seems like a mix of being an expert HR but also a great detective. One thing we can certainly learn from her is asking the right questions to the right people. Because only through that she’s able to catch up with the performance goals she’s set for her teams.
We discuss this same issue with Mr. Ramchander Maddela, ex-Board Member of National HRD Network where he tells how asking the right questions is all it takes for a manager or an HR to keep their employees at their toes. You can read more of that here
We at TeamGraph are on a mission to help business owners and HR partners discover and address underlying issues affecting team performance and engagement in real time.
TeamGraph uses AI to choose and send 30 personalized questions to every employee once every quarter, and generates deep insights on 30 engagement KPIs on all teams & groups on how to go about improving productivity and engagement, fully automated!
All this so that you have valuable data and insights in hand every quarter on why your teams are performing the way they are!
We are currently in touch with Shivani to deploy a demo of our product at QuadOne. Stay tuned to see part 2 of the interview!