Evolution In EVP Practices And Appraisal Processes In Manufacturing Space

Companies can yield dividends of robust, transparent, and streamlined appraisal exercises writes Gautam Kumar, CHRO & Director- People Experience, SKF India & SEA


Dealing effectively and judiciously with the issues standing between an employee and optimal performance is critical for the success of an organization. Appraisals are one of the several ways in which organizations communicate with their employees. It is an excellent opportunity for employees and their managers to reflect on the hits and misses of the year gone by and plan ahead. The manufacturing sector is no exception as it has workforce spread across different locations, factories, and corporate offices, it becomes crucial to effectively align employee strengths with larger corporate initiatives. To tackle this challenge, manufacturing companies must evolve their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) practices and appraisal processes. By aligning employee strengths with larger corporate initiatives, we can foster a problem-solving culture and make the appraisal process easier for all stakeholders.

Here are a few ways manufacturing companies can develop a robust and transparent appraisal exercise that delivers real results:

Delivering performance appraisals that get real results: The implementation of an effective appraisal system in manufacturing companies can bring significant benefits by prioritizing the balance between employee aspirations and learning needs while aligning them with the organization's goals. By identifying areas of development and growth, employees can take ownership of their career progression and ensure long-term success. A robust appraisal cycle involves regular constructive feedbacks and timely goal-setting exercises aligned with the aspirations of both the employee and the organization. This can in turn, help improve employee engagement, their morale, aspirations, identify high-performing employees and potential leaders. An effective appraisal can help foster internal mobility by identifying top performers who have the right aptitude, motivation, and transferable skills to be moved into more challenging roles. For example, managers at SKF are accountable to work with their teams to define individual and team goals, to link their achievements to the overall result and strategy. This process is supported by a global platform where managers and employees can agree, review and update progress and priorities throughout the year. Managers can address performance gaps effectively by aligning individual goals with organizational objectives, providing on-the-spot feedback that can resolve conflict, and motivating the team.

Objective and transparent performance appraisal:   It is crucial to establish structured processes that prioritize unbiased evaluations based on job performance rather than personal relationships. In the expansive manufacturing sector, where thousands of workers operate across diverse areas of expertise, digital systems can streamline and standardize the evaluation process, ensuring that assessments are focused on objective measures of job performance. Tech-based performance management systems offer standardized templates for measuring progress, setting goals, and tracking milestones. Once an organization has created a culture of trust and transparency, it’s important to communicate about that culture as part of a clear employer value proposition. It also sends the message that employees are seen, valued, and rewarded based on their skills, which fuels engagement and retention and boosts talent acquisition. In SKF, not only the people managers are recognized as leaders. All employees are exercising leadership through being experts in their own work fields and are expected to act in line with the SKF leadership expectations. Strong leaders at SKF can balance leading yourself, leading others and leading the business. This is a model that has been focused on during 2022 and is now a foundation in leadership assessments and the performance development process.

Gather 360-degree feedback: To keep pace with an ever-changing talent market, manufacturing companies need to adopt a holistic, 360-degree feedback mechanism that transcends hierarchies and can foster a strong culture of trust and loyalty. Manufacturing companies can empower their employees to collaborate seamlessly towards common organizational objectives, find collective solutions to complex challenges, support each other's professional and personal growth, break silos, and create a unified organization. The feedback mechanism helps identify performance gaps at a granular level, enabling HR and people managers to assist employees in developing plans to overcome them. Within the manufacturing sector, employees greatly appreciate the opportunity to build their skills, knowing that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded with career advancement, further fuelling their motivation and dedication to the organization's success.

Data and insights: Manufacturers can leverage the potential of data analytics in performance appraisal offers substantial benefits by delivering valuable workforce insights, leading to more accurate evaluations and improved decision-making. Companies can use data to conduct skills audits to identify the skills the workforce has now and the skills it will need that are most closely linked with business priorities. This way every piece of data can offer valuable insights on what people want out of their work experience in order to feel engaged and motivated. HR and people managers can take a holistic approach to data mining throughout the employee lifecycle; emphasizing collaboration and displaying entrepreneurial thinking by collectively problem-solving; and taking ownership of shared challenges like retention. At SKF, we believe that synergies through digitalization in operations and business are important to reach efficiency. This is enabled through a more centralized and regionalized approach to processes and systems. New common systems and functionality are being put in place to facilitate this work. During 2022, the new Performance Development Process, replacing the Performance Management Process, has been applied. This drives continuous alignment and feedback between managers and employees, and increases focus on what will come, rather than looking in the rearview mirror. Additional people digital tools have developed further.

Manufacturing companies face the challenge of adapting to the rapidly evolving needs and aspirations of their employees, as well as changes in the market and competitive landscape. Building a robust appraisal strategy can feel daunting, but it is important that manufacturers take the first step to be vigilant of the emerging trends shaping the talent pool in our country and respond accordingly. A culture that values diverse opinions, an employee value proposition that caters to the needs of both the organization and the employee, and a robust, transparent, and streamlined appraisal cycle can help organizations optimize their human capital and drive success. These shifts can unleash an era of sustainable, inclusive growth for companies looking to outperform in this era of disruption.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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