How do I roll out the new performance management system to 70 companies with no budget ?

How do I roll out the new performance management system to 70 companies with no budget

Nadia, a reader, asks :

“My main struggle with C&B stems from performance management. The organisation I work for is a large conglomerate with companies operating mainly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We have recently re-designed the whole performance appraisal system where we now have a system that is no longer paper based and no longer rates on ‘factors’ but where KPIs are now recorded on one form (excel) and ratings are calculated automatically.”

I feel the new form has reduced a large amount of bias involved in the appraisal process and allows for a true analysis of staff performance as it is now based on quantifiable evidence.

Although that was a huge hurdle in itself, my next problem lies with the roll-out of the new system. I have conducted a small pilot study where training workshops were held and specific training was given on the new system with a special emphasis on setting KPIs.

As I am waiting for the results my biggest challenge now rests with rolling it to the entire organisation. Since we are a conglomerate with 70+ companies under the group, the physical training would be almost impossible on this scale. I am thinking of the idea of a Train the Trainer approach where I could train key personnel and their managers on the system and provide a training workshop to ensure the key personnel who will be responsible for the roll-out within their companies will ensure that the same message is echoed throughout.

With absolutely zero budget to turn this into an electronic system, and making it trully interactive using things like video podcasts etc, I am assessing my resources of two existing staff members who could assist with about 50% of their time dedicated to the roll-out phase.

My question: what would be the best approach with very limited resources in this exercise? And who would be the key staff to roll-out the Train the Trainer workshops to ?

This is an interesting challenge… 70+ companies and 0 budget to roll-out your new performance management system…

First I would like to dis-spell the myth of expensive technology.

You can combine your Train The Trainer with the use of free techology to have on-demand reference.

Webinar technology

For example you can subscribe to Go To Webinar, they give you a free access for 30 days. Use your presentation that you prepared for your TTT program and deliver the same training as a webinar (or a series of shorter webinars, one for each section of the training). Don’t forget to hit the “record” button… And you now have a free reference video !
Video recording of a live session
Nowadays, many people have smartphones, right ? Then you don’t need to spend money on video. Simply deliver your normal TTT workshop and ask your two team members to record you from 2 different angles, not forgetting to record the audience from time to time and especially when they ask questions. Then use the free software on any PC or Mac to edit the videos and reconstruct them in a dynamic one. You may want to spend a little bit of money or borrow some tripods to make sure that image is stable (mine cost 100 AED – around 20 euros at Lulu…).
Slides voice-over
Otherwise, did you know that you can record a voice-over of your powerpoint slides, and it will replay smoothly like a video ? This is inside Powerpoint, no extra money needed. Powerpoint 2010 and 2013 even give you the possibility to save as a proper video format.
Audio quality is most important
So – it may not be super sophisticated, but you will be able to have some recorded version of your training. Trust me, people won’t mind if it does not look as slick as a movie or an ad – what matters is that the content is good, and the sound is good too.
Consider getting a microphone if you record your live event because smartphone cameras are not great for sound – and if you record the powerpoint from your PC or the webinar, a simple microphone/headphone like one you use for skype or video messaging will be more than enough.

With technology out of the way, you can now focus on the rest of the roll-out plan

Approaching multiple audiences

I think that you need to think of your multiple audiences. Of course you need to train HR in each organisation, but that should be step # 2.
Step #1 is to educate the senior management of each of these organisations about the new system. I don’t mean training them on the details of the new system, but “selling” them the why of your new approach and the benefits they should receive from ensuring it is properly adopted at their organisation.

Only after you have convinced them (the CEO + his direct reports in each of the companies) should you roll-out your new approach. Otherwise, it will fail because it will be perceived as “HR for HR thing” and no-one will care.

Planning the roll-out

You also need to think of how you want to roll-out : will you do all companies at once ? Roll it in some pilots first to get some feedback and then expand to the rest of the companies ? Go for staggered deployment for example one industry first, then the next one, then the next one….

As far as the audience is concerned, of course HR should be trained (you can decide a minimum number of HR people trained per company based on the size of the company). But you could also decide to train some employees who are “performance management champions” and they will help you deploy the scheme. These can be your employees in corporate HR, or employees from each of your companies.

Managing your performance management champions

How do you find these champions ? You can request the bosses from each company to send you XX employees to go through train the trainer, along with local HR, to deploy the training later on. Or you could find volunteers in your own company/headquarter, who are interested in doing it (so they are more likely to do a good job of explaining the new system).

And why not include this assignment as one of the KPIs on which they will be measured, effectively rewarding them for their participation through the performance rating they’ll get at year-end ?

Don’t forget recognition, in the form of having a little launch ceremony, regular updates in your newsletters / intranet, and an end ceremony where these champions receive a nice certificate or award or something from your CEO (best) or your HR Director (a bit less prestigious, but good enough). Don’t forget to take pictures and post them on your intranet !

I’d do 2 types of trainings : one for all employees including people managers about how to use the system as an employee, and another one with the specifics for people managers (and managers need to attend both).

Learn from the past, and allow for extra time

Finally, I would say to try and find out if another initiative was rolled out to your companies in the past, for example a new accounting system, or a new group strategy etc…What was done then ? Find someone who was involved in this deployment at the time and ask them what went right and what went wrong. No need to reinvent the wheel !

My last tip will be to say : it will take longer than you expected. People get sick, there are business emergencies, scheduling is complicated, people forget to attend… not to mention the sometimes passive resistance you will encounter ! So – make sure to plan as much as you can before you get started. You won’t regret that little time spent at the beginning of your deployment ! Remember, “failing to plan is planning to fail” !

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  1. Thank you! Sounds great. So simple and at the same time so many free tools that don’t come to mind at once. Sure they will come to handy.

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