Aligning With The Tech Of Our Times: Decoding L&T’s PMS

Dr C Jayakumar, VP and Head of Corporate HR and Yogi Sriram, Advisor to CEO & MD, Group HR of Larsen Toubro’s leadership explain the organization's tech-enabled Performance Management System and the company's AI enthused e-learning options.


BW People reached out to the L&T leadership team to explain how their company uses technology to improve their data on Performance Management, tune learning strategies to the current pandemic environment and model their recruitment strategies for the same. Dr C Jayakumar, Vice President & Head Corporate Human Resources L&T and Yogi Sriram, Advisor to CEO & MD, Group HR, L&T jointly answered our queries on the subject. 


  1. How has technology rendered your company's institutionalized Performance Management System more effective?  


L&T’s performance appraisal system is called FAIR which is an acronym for “Framework for linking of Appraisals, Incentives and Rewards. Implemented over two decades back, FAIR has evolved into a digital system with goals and performance conversations that are recorded in a paperless process. Business identifies thrust areas of performance and goals which are cascaded in digital formats to individual employees. FAIR has several layers of checks and balances to ensure that the process is objective and free from bias. The ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform used for our PMS facilitates seamless alignment of goals to strategic and tactical business imperatives.  

The design allows for dynamic goal setting and real-time event-based performance conversations. The real-time nature of feedback makes it highly acceptable and employee-friendly. The digital PMS also offers a Goal Library populated with standard SMART Goals that can be easily modified to suit any business context including Key Result Areas (KRA’s) and Key Behaviour Indicators (KBIs). And the system features metrics that measure the quality of performance interactions through employee feedback. Given our projects business environment, the fungibility of skills and talent is important and our PMS platform enables such potential mobility through a network of assessment and feedback workflows.  

Most of all, all these features are made available through a mobile app. LTI (Larsen & Toubro Infotech) and other Group Companies have institutionalized frequent performance discussions which is the main emphasis of the Performance Management System. Notably, Mind Tree has introduced gamification for making the process engaging. We use ERP platforms in most of our business entities to capture the important aspects of a PMS digitally such as goal setting and performance conversations.  


2.Performance Management Systems offer chunks of information on multiple data points rooted in mechanical objectivity. What measures has your organization undertaken to equip managers to efficiently interpret managerial data and evaluate performance?  

Our data management and interfaces of information are highly digitised and we use a plethora of platforms and dashboards for the analysis of information and data at multiple points. Most of the data and information are in real-time. There is continuous beaming of progress on major projects relayed through a battery of sophisticated synchronous cameras.  

Project progress is also monitored closely with mobile phone apps where real-time information is beamed. Our businesses have engaged data scientists who augment the culture of the company that encourages debate and discussion even as the budget figures are finalised.  

Our 5-year strategic plan called Lakshya guides the budget with sessions to deliberate threadbare business-by-business targets and interdependencies. Extensive Performance Management Training is undertaken by each business to build capabilities in managers and to set fair but challenging goals, in interpreting data and in evaluating performance.   

We consider training in the art of conducting a performance conversation as a must-have in many of our training calendars. Different tools for monitoring business performance are used by different businesses. Some use the balanced scorecard, some the X Matrix, some MBO to achieve the same outcome of conducting a “fair” PMS. 


3. AI techniques have emerged as a powerful tool in redefining learning and training programs across the globe, could you please throw some light on how you've harnessed AI? 


L&T used a powerful AI L&D platform called ATL Nxt. Any-Time Learning or ATL Nxt is a recommendatory platform that uses adaptive learning. The platform is extremely popular with our employees and is a step ahead of most LMS (Learning Management Systems) that Companies use. Content here is a blend of behavioural and domain skills which is offered for fulfilling learners' developmental needs. Bite-sized learning to full courses with multi-format learning enables L&T and its Group companies to foster a culture of continuous learning using AI. AI helps in recommending an optimal learning path for a focussed approach in improving competencies.  


4. With the pandemic disrupting operations and efficiency, how has your organization fared? 

The pandemic has taught us many things. While adhering to the core values of L&T, of not reneging on appointment offers made to candidates at campuses and caring for our people in every way possible, we have learnt to rally around and rise when faced with adversity. This is not the first challenge that L&T and its employees have faced and the company has quickly adapted to new ways of working such as inducting engineer trainees virtually, conducting meetings virtually and cutting down on business travel.  


5. The pandemic also accelerated a new wave of onboarding strategies for recruits, could you illustrate the technology employed at your organization for the same? 


We ran an assessment process online for a large number of engineering graduates and onboarded them virtually. Despite the lockdown, L&T kept its commitment to investing and onboarding over 900 Graduate Engineer Trainees and Post Graduate Engineer Trainees. The Corporate HR Department’s young talent acquisition team organised an unprecedented 17- day virtual Induction programme through a blend of platforms. As per the joining engagement, L&T used its internal AI platform, Anytime Learning (ATL) courses, which were assigned to the trainees interspersed with interactive digital icebreakers. Joining formality documents were collected through Tydy, a virtual onboarding and automation tool that helps companies digitise and personalise the employee experience. L&T’s Talent Acquisition team leveraged the tool’s key feature of being a single platform to manage the onboarding across locations and regions.  


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