A Deceptive Clean Slate

Client: A media agency start up with around 60 employees

The Problem:                                                                    

The client is a new age company started by a leader who believed in contemporary employee practices. The leader shunned traditional Performance Management practices as not suited to the current generation. Most of the employees are Millenials (Gen Y). This meant that the majority of the employees are tech savvy, have short attention span and hate to be bound by rules. The biggest challenge was to manage the performance and rewards objectively keeping the sentiments of the generation in mind yet ensuring accountability for client delivery

The Solution:

It looked like a coveted clean slate for us when we first got the client brief but it was only a temporary deception. The challenges working with this client were more complex than we had anticipated

We spent the first few weeks being a part of the crowd and just getting to know the people first hand. Had we not spent this time, the project wouldn’t have been as successful as it eventually did. We learnt that the success lay in simplicity. It was important to get the employees to take accountability for their work, respect organizational needs, and follow necessary protocol and policies, yet be themselves as people. Almost everyone had a parallel life as a band artist, a photographer, blogger, fashion designer or musician and that had to be respected.

We created a fairly simple performance management system and a simple, easy to understand competency framework. Implementing this simple framework itself was so challenging and that kind of speaks about the kind of stakeholders we dealt with. We had to enforce some mandates in the process but we successfully completed the project. The client has been using the system we set up for a few years now and we have over the years fine-tuned it to evolving needs.

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