Friday, October 23, 2009

“Our performance can’t be measured”

Print Friendly and PDF I had taken the responsibility to establish the HR department in Sakaal Media Group. I left Mahindra & Mahindra and decided to join this company. This company was traditional managed company and HR department was not in place. Establishing HR department in this company was a big challenge and when I told this to my friends and relatives, they were surprised. “You are leaving M&M, So great company and joining media company? Are you mad?” was the first reaction. I saw the challenges and decided to go ahead.

Sakaal has almost 2600 employees all over India, mainly in Maharashtra. 60% of population is comprised of journalists. I always enjoyed a good relationship with all journalists. During my college period, I was working as an honorary sub editor for one local newspaper, Deshdoot in Nashik. I was also writing columns in different newspapers that time. I have lot many friends who are journalist. So I could easily connect with the issues, journalists have.

One of the main responsibilities was to implement the Performance Management System in the organization. I designed the system based on Balanced Scorecard. I also designed the Key Performance Indicators which can be used in editorial function. My plan was 100% error free implementation. The system was based on qualitative and qualitative measures. In editorial function, KPI can be linked with ABC figures (Certified circulation, sale of the product), IRS, NRS (Readership profiles & product read by each profiles certified by agencies) or even the readership satisfaction mapped through specific readership surveys. Typically to start with it can be stories filed, exclusive and special reports carried etc. However it must be the combination of qualitative and quantitative KPIs. I prepared a blue print for implementation. The main task was to communicate what the performance management system means. The people were not aware about such crazy concepts like KRA, KPI, measures, targets, goals, objectives etc.

I made it very simple in layman’s language. It was a big challenge to explain, convince them and make them ready to fill the objectives. It was extensive experience and I was traveling almost two months, taking intensive workshops all over the offices.

During journalist’s workshop, one common question was always used, they used to ask me “Our work is related to mind, how our performance can be measured? The performance of journalist can’t be measured.”

My answer was simple, “We had examination is our 10th and 12th. We had language subjects and we had to write essays and answers of the questions, which were purely qualitative, still we were rated, our examiner had given us marks base upon our answers, something out of 10,100 etc. We accepted this and passed our examinations. We made our careers in different professions after passing these examinations. Now how one can say that performance is not measured.” I replied, “The only change is, we should make the measurable more objectives and linked to the customer (readers’) expectations”.

Off course, the system got introduced and people accepted the fact.

“Every performance can be measured, only Indicator should be clear and absolute.”

3 comments:

santosh said...

Good one. The process of performance is a very tricky subject. The concept is different in each individual's mind. Getting this in one plane is very difficult. THe eg. given by you is very apt.....
Good going man...

KarthikKaraikudy said...

Very good example.
The biggest problem in a local setup is performance measurement. So it is all of If you take the road to nowhere any road can take you.....
It is a big challenge....

Good luck
Also I agree that what gets measured-gets done. Yes, ofcourse, what gets done need to be rewarded...

Karthik
Bangalore.

khengjoo said...

Yes, performance can be measured. My view is that KPI shd only be used for measuring performance of strategies - business, tactical or operational and never on individuals. Performance of individual like jounalists is already assessed from their daily work output contributing to the big picture.

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