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I setup Synergy Management Associates ( in 1993 as a center for promoting business excellence through its training and consulting services We have promoted innovative managment ideas, managing senior level projects and for delivering creative client solutions across business segments. We has shown time-tested capacity to build "Peak Performance Organisations" . by Designing Business Excellence Models, Audit and Design HRD Systems, Implement Performance Management Systems. I have been called “disruptive thought leader in the boardroom ” or “contra rebel” for my tangential thinking and ideas to improvise business vision and policy as a corporate advisor; I have helped young managers business scions and young entrepreneurs (who wish to become future CEOs) through my META+COACH MODEL. I have been called “performance turnaround specialist” by the sales managers for the quantum improvement Direct Marketing Campaigns and Steping -up Salesforce Effectiveness, I found time to be a visiting professor and seminar leader at India's premier management institutes and Chamber of and a keynote speaker for numerous conferences & seminars.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

If the CEO or the executive team is not able to answer all of the above questions, then the leadership team suffers from management blind spots.


The proper evaluation of the CEO and the executive team is critical to the company’s performance. The evaluation framework of the CEO can be summarized into two major areas; business strategy formulation and execution.
According to a best practices study conducted, the CEO’s key challenge in formulating and executing the business strategy is not in finding answers to the tough questions, the challenge is in asking the right questions. 

Asking the wrong questions will result in skewed operational or strategic plans.

The top 10 questions every board must ask its CEO:

1.    Are we in the right business and markets? What are the growth areas to invest in and declining areas to divest?
2.    What are the economic and market research data that support our strategy?
3.    What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOTs)?
4.    What are we doing to address each one of the SWOTs?
5.    What are our core competencies? How we can leverage them?
6.    What are the key strategic and operational risks? How do we manage them?
7.    What are our key performance targets?
8.    How do we plan to achieve those targets?
9.    How can we build a sustainable competitive advantage?
10.                    How can we improve governance, control and reporting functions?

The top 10 questions every CEO must ask his executive team:

1.    Do we have a big growth idea?
2.    Do we have the right growth engine (business model, infrastructure, resources and network)?
3.    Does our operations management efficiently and effectively support our performance targets? How do we know?
4.    Which vendors, partners, clients and employees are delivering the real value? How do we get more out of the rest?
5.    What are the key SWOTs in each function, and how do you manage them?
6.    How can we build a sustainable competitive advantage in each function (Marketing, R&D, SCM, IT, etc)?
7.    What initiatives/programs/projects are needed to execute our strategy? How do we ensure that they are aligned and executed with the right quality, on time and within budget?
8.    What are the key performance targets and incentives for each executive (CMO, CFO, COO, CIO, and CHO)?
9.    Do we have the appropriate organization in place to meet those targets? (IIM’s 5D strategy framework: budget, tools, products, processes and people)?
10.                    How can we communicate our plans better to our stakeholders in order to win their support and achieve our goals?

If the CEO or the executive team is not able to answer all of the above questions, then the leadership team suffers from management blind spots. Every CEO/CXO must be able to provide the answers to the preceding questions, readily, clearly, and precisely. The executive team members must be able to provide qualitative and quantitative answers.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


the CEO must be effective in performing seven versatile roles To produce exceptional results, the CEO must understand how to perform all roles well and must recognize that near to success is not good enough.



Too many CEOs allow themselves to get drawn in to the maze of day-to-day firefighting – we call this working in the business.  On the other hand, outstanding CEOs make the time to rise above the firefighting and focus on the big picture – we call this working on the business.  From personal experience and in working with others, we have found that there are six core roles that the most effective CEOs perform on a consistent basis..
And CEOs don’t have a choice when it comes to their responsibilities – they must see that all are done and done well.  There is no one to pick up the slack if the CEO does not tend to them. We can help ensure that these responsibilites are effectively executed. 

To lead, a CEO must first define a unifying direction for the company.  Choosing the right vision and expressing it with clarity is the first challenge of true leadership.  A well crafted vision statement forces the CEO and management team to come to grips with a number of subtle, but very important considerations: the vision statement should identify what is unique about your company; it should guide the activities of all employees; it should inspire them to choose to work for your company and give their all; and it should be stated in such a way that you can measure progress and know when you have achieved your vision.

There are fundamental rules of markets and competition, and there are inherent capabilities and limitations of any organization -- together these make some visions attainable while others are not.  The CEO needs to be able to articulate a strategy for achieving that vision in light of the overall market, the company’s position, the competition, as well as other potentially significant factors, such as macro-economic conditions, politics, and regulatory constraints.  At the core of your strategy should be a path that creates a position of true competitive advantage.

While the CEO must ensure that there is a logically tight strategy, it is also important to make certain that the basic precepts of strategic thought permeate the whole organization from top to bottom.  Strategic thought is not just a top level concept, but it should be present at every level in the organization.


Without the team to implement them, a well developed vision and a logically sound strategy are merely concepts, and every experienced CEO understands that success depends on the strength of the team.  While high performance teams begin with strong talent, they must be shaped through the creation of an environment that values the contribution of individuals, sets expectations for performance, operates based on sound decision making processes, and motivates team members to give their all for the objectives of the company.


For the strategy to be effective it must guide all the decisions and actions of the company, and it is the translation of the strategy into a more detailed operating plan that ensures that result.  The operating plan consists of a set of specific actions with quantifiable results, including milestones and timelines, and identifies key risks and contingency plans for the higher risk items.  It is most important that the set of actions prescribed by the operating plan, when achieved, ensures the achievement of the strategy.  The operating plan is also the basis for resource allocation, and as such, budgets should follow the development of the operating plan.  The real value of the operating plan is to focus your team selectively on those activities which are the most valuable — and which together add up to a position of true competitive advantage for the company.


Companies employ what we call a strategic principle, a memorable and actionable phrase that distills a company’s corporate strategy into its unique essence and communicates it throughout the organization. The distillation of a company’s strategy into a pithy, memorable, and prescriptive phrase is important because a brilliant business strategy, like an insightful approach to warfare, is of little use unless people understand it well enough to apply it—both to anticipated decisions and unforeseen opportunities. In our work, we often see evidence of what we call the 80-100 rule: you’re better off with a strategy that is 80% right and 100% implemented than one that is 100% right but doesn’t drive consistent action throughout the company. A strategic principle can help a company balance that ratio.

The beauty of having a corporate strategic principle—a company should have only one—is that everyone in an organization, the executives in the front office as well as people in the operating units, can knowingly work toward the same strategic objective without being rigid about how they do so. Decisions don’t always have to make the slow trip to and from the executive suite. When a strategic principle is well crafted and effectively communicated, managers at all levels can be trusted to make decisions that advance rather than undermine company strategy.


Strategy evaluation involves examining how the strategy has been implemented as well as the outcomes of the strategy. This includes determining whether deadlines have been met, whether the implementation steps and processes are working correctly, and whether the expected results have been achieved. If it is determined that deadlines are not being met, processes are not working, or results are not in line with the actual goal, then the strategy can and should be modified or reformulated.
Both management and employees are involved in strategy evaluation, because each is able to view the implemented strategy from different perspectives. An employee may recognize a problem in a specific implementation step that management would not be able to identify.
The strategy evaluation should include challenging metrics and timetables that are achievable. If it is impossible to achieve the metrics and timetables, then the expectations are unrealistic and the strategy is certain to fail.

The strategic management process is a continuous process. As performance results or outcomes are realized - at any level of the organization - organizational members assess the implications and adjust the strategies as needed. In addition, as the company grows and changes, so will the various strategies. Existing strategies will change and new strategies will be developed. This is all part of the continuous process of improving the business in an effort to succeed

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

in the course of the day any business professional has several occasion when he needs a pen and paper in hand to analyze careful and attack simple or even complex problems


In the largest sense, the business professionals ares breaking into two classes: The first class are people who know how to think. These people realize that most problems are open to examination and creative solution. If a problem appears in the lives of these people, their intellectual training will quickly lead them to a solution or an alternative statement of the problem. These people are the source of the most important product in today's economy — ideas.

The second class, the vast majority of professionals, are people who cannot think for themselves. I call these people "idea consumers" — metaphorically speaking, they wander around in a gigantic open-air mall of facts and ideas. The content of their experience is provided by television, the Internet and other shallow data pools. These people believe collecting images and facts makes them educated and competent, and all their experiences reinforce this belief. The central, organizing principle of this class is that ideas come from somewhere else, from magical persons, geniuses, "them."

Yet in the course of the day any business professional has several occasion when he need a pen and paper in hand to analyze careful and attack simple or even complex problems. this article is an introduction to the subject of systematic thinking for problem solving



This is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the problem is. Instead, seek to understand more about why you think there's a problem.

Defining the problem: (with input from yourself and others)
Ask yourself and others, the following questions: 
a. What can you
 see that causes you to think there's a problem? . Where is it happening?. How is it happening?. When is it happening?. With whom is it happening? Why is it happening?

Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't ..." or "The following is happening and should be: ..." As much as possible, be specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom and why. (It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods. Also see
 .. If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps a-f until you have descriptions of several related problems.. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else.

Prioritize the problems: If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.  Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls.

a. It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical to get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it. 
b. It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions of the real causes of problems.
c. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others.
d. Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem.
e.Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why.

a. At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them.

When selecting the best approach, consider:
a. Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term?
b. Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach?
c. What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative?
(The nature of this step, in particular, in the problem solving process is why problem solving and decision making are highly integrated.)

a. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?"
b. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder".
c. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (these are your indicators of the success of your plan)
d. What resources will you need in terms of people, money and facilities?
e. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect to see certain indicators of success.
f. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan?
g. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan.
h. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor.
(An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback.)

Monitor the indicators of success: 
a. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators?
b. Will the plan be done according to schedule?
c. If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed?


One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. Still, you should consider:

a. What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures, training, etc.
b. Lastly, consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge, understanding and/or skills.
c. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort, and what you learned as a result. Share it with your supervisor, peers and subordinates.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Most people achieved their greatest success one step beyond what looked like their greatest failure.


If the last quarter has not been good is not the end of the road for the salesforce or the product or time to find a new job. The mark of a true sales leader is onus of responsibility and tenacity to face the odds.
Notice What Is Working & What is Not…
Study yourself, your product or service and your company to know what is working now. Reinforce the actions and tools, which are generating results. Learn from your successes as well as your failures.

Create a profile of the company’s Market
Create a profile of the ideal market for what you offer. Define who they are, where they can be reached, what they care about, what they fear, what they read, whom they admire and more. Know them well.

Check  & Redesign Your company’s Sales Reputation
Determine today how you want to be thought of tomorrow. Specify the reputation you want within each group of which you are a part, and then work a plan to earn it piece by piece.

Know Your company’s Competitive Advantage
Study your company and your company’s products and services in relation to what your company’s competitors offer. Know where and how you stand out, and where you don't. Be prepared to discuss these comparisons at any moment.

Use Pareto Principle to target Your company’s Best Prospects
Best customers have patterns. We call it the Pareto Principle Most will fit the same pattern, so prospect among those who fit the pattern. Calling on people with similar needs, circumstances, and interests makes you more likely to create another best customer.

Backyard Gold mining- Ask For Referrals from Satisfied Customers
Tell people what your company’s ideal customer or prospect looks like. Ask them who they know who fits this description. Then ask them to take a specific action to help you meet the prospect; a telephone introduction, a testimonial letter, arrange a luncheon or coffee shop meeting, etc. More business exists around you than you know. Look among your friends, neighbors, existing customers, past customers, colleagues, competitors and coworkers for the opportunities that others overlook.

Start a Backend Sales Campaign with Loyal Customers
Know how to cultivate dedicated customers. A movie ticket doesn't just buy you a seat in the theater; it buys you the experience of enjoying the movie. What experience does your company’s product or service bring to people? Give them a way to sample that experience through your company’s presentation.
Become competition-proof by delivering more than people expect. Overfill your company’s client's needs and be their business friend, even when they are not buying from you. Be the kind of person people rave about.

Grow Your company’s Brand Identity
Get yourself and your company known within your market area. Write articles, letters to editors, offer expert input for reporters and publishers, conduct surveys, provide free services to key people, donate your time to worthy causes, put your photo on your business card, share valuable ideas via email. Create a broad awareness of yourself as an authority on what you do.

Build A Long term fund Of Good Business Relationships
It is not only who you know that determines the value of your relationships; it is whether they know you as a valuable business resource. Define who you need to know today and five years from today. Start now to cultivate the relationships and the reputation, which will expand your possibilities.

Design a Direct Marketing Approach That Uses Your company’s Sales Strengths
Use the combination of online communication, in person calls, telephone contacts, trade show attendance, and public speaking, which allows you to shine. Build a mix of activities to diminish your company’s sales weaknesses and amplify your company’s strengths. municate with. Become a partner in problem solving, not a sales persuader. 

Train Continuously & Recharge your Sales Story & Techniques
Use a checklist to prepare your attitude, appearance, customer information, company and product information and the selling environment, so you can be at your best on every call.
The way you are perceived by your company’s customer determines how much resistance you will encounter as you sell. Learn to project a positive feeling among those you come in contact with. Write down specifically how your company’s product or service makes life better for those who buy it. Read this description every day briefly, to keep in mind the reason behind the purchase. It's not about buying; it's about benefiting from buying.
Create an awareness of the psychological needs of your company’s prospect as well as knowing what their technical needs are. Sometimes the way someone wants to feel has more influence on their decision to buy than what they actually need.

Sustain motivation in the Sales team
With lower sales incentive the sales rep (even the best) doesn't find much meaning in what they do, they don't bring much value to what they do.
Half your job is keeping yourself and others in the right frame of mind. Cultivate your ability to keep the focus on the things that matter most. Become a person who can put everything in perspective for others. As tension rises, trust falls. Be aware of the ebb and flow of tension as the sale unfolds. Learn to reduce it when it gets in the way and to momentarily increase it to add urgency to the decision process.

Best of luck
Dr Wilfred Monteiro

Monday, April 20, 2015

Exit interviews provide direct indications as to how to improve staff retention…hence it is a important tool in the talent management game. Exit interviews are seen by existing employees as a sign of positive culture.


Many employers ignore the opportunity that exit interviews offer, given the potentially subjective and 'fuzzy' nature of the results; the time involved; and the unspoken corporate urge to avoid exposure to criticism.
The primary aim of the exit interview is to learn reasons for the person's departure, on the basis that any honest feedback (sweet or sour) is a helpful driver for organizational improvement. Exit interviews are also an opportunity for the organization to enable transfer of knowledge and experience from the departing employee to a successor or replacement, or even to brief a team on current projects, issues and contacts. In leaving an organisation, departing employees are liberated, and as such provide a richer source of objective feedback than employed staff do when responding to normal staff attitude surveys. Exit interviews provide direct indications as to how to improve staff retention…hence it is a important tool in the talent management game.
Exit interviews are seen by existing employees as a sign of positive culture. They are regarded as caring and compassionate - a sign that the organisation is big enough to expose itself to criticism. From the departing employee interviewee perspective, an exit interview is a chance to to leave on a positive note… shake hands and leave friends, not enemies. In certain situations (where appropriate) the exit interview also provides a last chance to change a person's mind, although this should not be the main aim of the exit interview situation.
 Exit interviews are best conducted face-to-face because this enables better communication, understanding, interpretation etc., and it provides far better opportunity to probe and get to the root of sensitive or reluctant feelings. However, postal or electronic questionnaires are better than nothing, if face-to-face exit interviews are not possible for whatever reason In some cases perhaps a particularly shy employee may prefer to give their feedback in a questionnaire form, in which case this is fine, but where possible, face-to-face is best. Ideally the organization should have a documented policy stating how exit interviews happen, when, and by whom.

Obviously the style of exit interview is different for different cases…. for someone who is being asked to leave, retiring, being made redundant, dismissed, or leaving under a cloud… as compared to an employee leaving whom the organization would prefer to retain. However everyone who leaves should be given the opportunity of an exit interview, because  the organization can learn something from every situation.
·       IN TERMS OF MANAGING THE INTERVIEW, LISTEN RATHER THAN TALK. Give the interviewee time and space to answer. Coax and reassure where appropriate, rather than pressurize. Interpret, reflect and understand (you can understand someone without necessarily agreeing). Keep calm, resist the urge to defend or argue - your aim is to elicit views, feedback, answers, not to lecture or admonish.
·       ASK OPEN 'WHAT/HOW/WHY' QUESTIONS, NOT 'CLOSED' YES/NO QUESTIONS, unless you require specific confirmation about a point. 'When' and 'where' are also more specific qualifying questions, unless of course they are used in a general context rather than specific time or geographic sense. In face-to-face interviews particularly, use the word 'why' if you want to probe, especially if the first answer is vague or superficial. Questions beginning with 'what' and 'how' are better for getting people to think and convey to you properly and honestly about their views.
·       'WHO' AS A QUESTION- should be used with care to avoid witch-hunts or defamatory risks (moreover many exit interviewees will be uncomfortable if asked to name people or allocate personal blame - exit interviews are not about 'blame', the allocation of which is not constructive and should be avoided for anything other than very serious complaints or accusations, which must then be suitably referred as follow-up would be beyond the normal exit interview remit.
·       KEEP THE MOOD CAUSAL AND CONVERSATIONAL the interview questions should be in the order of a “court martial” interrogation. If the interviewee becomes emotional about his boss or team-mates or this work situation LISTEN without being defensive or debating…give him/her time to complete.
·       PREPARE YOUR EXIT INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND TOPICS that you'd like to explore (the 20 questions given below are illustrative and not exhaustive… compile you own list with the best possible wording…) especially when you believe that the interviewee has good experience, appreciation and understanding. Take notes and/or use a prepared questionnaire form.
·       Remember simple planning aspects such as arranging a suitable time and place, avoiding interruptions, taking notes, preparing questions, When the interview is complete say thanks and wish the interviewee well. If there is some specific checking or follow-up to do then ensure you do it and report back accordingly.
·       After the interview look at the answers and think properly - detached and objective - about what their meaning and implications.
·       Take action as necessary, depending on your processes for analysing and reporting exit interview feedback. If there's an urgent issue, or the person wants to stay and you want to keep them, then act immediately or the opportunity will be lost.


Pick the questions that are most relevant to the leaving circumstances, the interviewee and your organization situation.
  1. What was your chief reason for leaving?
  2. What could have been done early on to prevent the situation developing/provide a basis for you to stay with us? How would you have preferred the situation(s) to have been handled?
  3. What opportunities can you see might have existed for the situation/problems to have been averted/dealt with satisfactorily?
  4. What specific suggestions would you have for how the organization could manage this situation/these issues better in future?
  5. What were the 3 best or workst situations/incidents for you in tenure?
  6. What has been frustrating/difficult/upsetting to you in tenure?
  7. What could you have done better or more for us had we given you the opportunity?
  8. What extra responsibility would you have welcomed that you were not given?
  9. How could the organization have enabled you to make fuller use of your capabilities and potential?
  10. How would you describe the culture of the organization? And the behavior and cooperation of your team members?
  11.  What is the gap ( positive/negative) in your expectations from the time you joined to today?
  12. What can you say about the way goals/targets were set; & your performance was measured, and the feedback to you of your performance results?
  13. What can you say about the way you were managed and motivated ?... On a day to day basis?....... And on a month to month basis?Would you have done better if you worked for another boss?
  14. What things did the organization or management do/or overlooked doing;  to make your job more  pleasurable or productive?
  15. What can the organization do to retain its best people (and not lose any more like you) having a long tenure  and developing career with us?
  16. Have you anything to say about your treatment from a discrimination or harassment perspective?
  17. Would you consider working again for us if the situation were right?
  18. What, is your new venture ( please do not ask for the name of the new employer) offering in monetary/non monetary terms; that we are not matching?
  19. (If appropriate:) Could you be persuaded to renegotiate/stay/discuss the possibility of withdrawing your resignation?
For many organizations, exit interviews provide a major untapped source of 'high-yield' development ideas and opportunities. Actions resulting from exit interview feedback analysis, in any size or type of organization, fall into two categories:
·       REMEDIAL AND PREVENTIVE, for example improving employee communication; employment terms; health and safety issues, stress, harassment, discrimination., etc.
·       STRATEGIC IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES, for example improved induction, management or supervisory training, empowerment or team building initiatives, process improvement, wastage and efficiencies improvements, customer service initiatives, etc.
The head of HR or Personnel would normally be responsible for raising these issues with the board or CEO, and the CONVERSION OF EXIT INTERVIEW FEEDBACK INTO ACTION IS A CRITICAL FACTOR in justifying the time and trouble of this critical business process … I am trying to compile a directory of best practices in Exit Interviewing …if you have some good ideas please share with me.
Best of luck

Dr Wilfred Monteiro

Thursday, January 22, 2015

PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK The life-blood of a performance managment system

Giving employees effective feedback on their performance may seem like a tough job, but it does not have to be. By focusing on the delivery of the right information in the right setting, you can make the process more relaxed and effective for both you and your employees.

Come April …. And it’s the season of performance appraisal and the inevitable debate and controversy of a “just and transparent” Performance Management System. Then  in a few weeks there will be a still louder arguments on “increments” and even a spate of resignations for being shortchanged by the employer…! Seems familiar

The core of the problem is fairness … a myth because bias-free appraisals are bigger myth….One of the primary reasons for this controversy,  is that current thinking  about performance appraisals are increasing hovering around quantitative metrics  and perhaps the worst advice that appraisers are urged to swallow is to be OBJECTIVE, to keep their judgments and personal feelings out of the assessment process.

The flaw is the bogus notion that objective means quantifiable; that if something can't be counted then it isn't objective and therefore shouldn't be used. That's nonsense. The talent of a cricketer cannot always be measured by the number of runs he did score in the World Cup Final on 2nd April . The issue isn't whether or not behaviors can be quantified; it's whether or not they can be verified. Numbers just happen to be easy to verify. While numerical measures would be nice to have for every objective, the search for meaningful ones is often fruitless.

When I was designing the performance appraisal system  of our client companies ,we have confronted the issue of "objectivity" directly… for example …A book publishing company is one of the country's largest employers of linguists and translators. Now look at their situation…How do you evaluate the performance of a language translator? Do you measure the number of words translated? Of course not. What the book publisher really wants from its translators is the ability to capture nuance, and no quantifiable measure of that capability exists. But it certainly can be described and evaluated: A skilled native speaker can easily sort translations into those that read like machine-generated transliterations and those that capture the soul of an author's words. .

A more difficult issue come out of the sales force because everthing  centres on “target” & “quotas” and does not reveal the selling techniques of the sales professional or the difficulty of the key customer accounts ( specially handed over to him ….because they are tough nuts to crack) or the nature of the a new uncharted territory he has been combing the year long…. Many of these  sweat-stained work is never really noticed until  after a star salesman resigns as demanded for lack of fulfillment of the quota!

A glance in the dictionary reveals what objective really means: "uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices" and "based on observable phenomena; presented factually." Writing a person's performance appraisal requires the manager to be fair, objective, and unprejudiced. But the fair-and-objective requirement does not mean that the manager is restricted to quantitative resources in completing the assessment. THE MANAGER'S FEELINGS, OPINIONS, AND JUDGMENTS ARE PRECISELY WHAT THE APPRAISAL PROCESS DEMANDS. Managers are paid to make judgments even when-or particularly when-all of the facts are not available. In every other area of managerial activity, the ability to act appropriately on the basis of limited and occasionally conflicting data is celebrated and rewarded. Only in the case of performance appraisal are we uncomfortable about the fact that qualitative, experience-based information is used.

Actually, people don't want "objective" information. What they want is their boss's opinion, plain and true. Managers need training less in how to create and deliver an objective appraisal and more in how to summon the courage to tell it like it is-to talk straight from the heart. Performance appraisals are the “World Cup Finals” of HRM .This is not day-to-day stuff. Very few people ever get to do it; fewer still do it well.

Giving employees honest feedback on their performance can be one of the toughest jobs a manager can do. Leaders often shy away from delivering the honest feedback their employees need because it is uncomfortable and can seem overwhelming to deal with. Yet without good feedback, your operation cannot improve productivity, and your employees cannot grow and learn.

Before you walk into  this year 2011 performance review, here are seven tips to help take the "sting" out of giving feedback.

All performance feedback should be conducted in a private, one-on-one setting, behind a closed door, without interruptions. Never give feedback to an employee in a setting where other employees may overhear you, such as in the break room or the hallway. Feedback on the employee's performance should be private between you and the employee whom it concerns. This is a simple rule, but many leaders underestimate the value of privacy in dealing with their employees, and risk damaging the trust of the employee-manager relationship.
Interruptions can be as threatening as a lack of privacy to an employee in a one-on-one feedback session. If you do not give your employee your complete and undivided attention, you are sending a clear signal to him or her the conversation is not all that important to you. Turn off your cellphone, and put up a sign outside the door instructing people not to interrupt.

One of the most effective and oft-neglected - tools of feedback is self-feedback. This is when the employee is given a chance to comment on his or her own behavior and productivity. This technique is highly effective for a number of reasons: employees are likely to be tougher on themselves than you are on them, and they will also work harder to improve in areas they disclose personally.
The best way for the appraising manager to incorporate self-feedback is to create a two-way conversation centered on each of the performance topics. In this situation, a Manager will ask the employee for her opinion, then the Manager will give his own opinion. Managers should always give their opinions last, to avoid influencing the comments of the employee.
For example, if the topic of conversation is production units, and the required metric is 300 units/day, the Production Manager might ask the employee, "How well do you feel you are meeting your daily performance target?" The employee then has the opportunity to evaluate herself, as well as to identify any problem areas up front. The Manager may then agree with the employee's interpretation of her success, or point out times where the employee is not meeting the daily expectation of 300 units/day.

Performance issues, if left unaddressed, they tend to grow worse and multiply. Performance discussion would be better if they are given in small doses, very informally and context specific  Any serious issue should be addressed with the employee as soon as it is noticed, preferably the same day. Manager should take the employee aside, describe the observed problem behavior, and then ask the employee why it happened. The Manager will then want to re-state the performance expectations for the job.
For example, if a Manager observes an employee arriving late three days in a row, she should take the employee aside immediately and describe the observation, then give the employee a chance to explain why, by saying "I have noticed that you have arrived at 8:30 three days this week. What is going on?" She may then need to reiterate that all employees are expected to be at their places, working, by eight o'clock.

It is important Manager should only try to correct behavior they have personally observed, not behavior they have heard about word-of-mouth from other employees. This situation can create tension and suspicion among a work team. If a Manager has not observed a performance problem directly, it should not be addressed in performance feedback. It’s like bursting of a dam…. If the issues is kept under covers for 365 days and on D-day is downloaded like a tonne of bricks.

Many leaders feel comfortable saying "Be on time in the morning," or "Be sure to finish your work before you leave today," but rarely are these statements interpreted the same way by everyone. One employee may interpret this as "…is my contribution measured in minutes or is it measured in results….???" Performance expectations need to be delivered in a concise, clear manner, without questionable interpretations, especially when there is a problem. Numbers, dates, productivity units, metrics and standards are helpful to include when communicating performance expectations to an employee. A Manager should clearly specify "The expectations are that call reps will take 15 calls per day" is much more concise than saying, "You need to take more calls." The more specific you are, the less misinterpretation that is likely to occur.

Many Manager are so concerned about correcting their employees' mistakes they tend to overlook their positive achievements altogether. Be sure to point out what the employee is doing right. It is important to recognize employees for their accomplishments to keep them motivated.
Another common mistake is to overwhelm employees with a long laundry list of areas to improve. A better approach is to identify two or three of the most critical areas to improve, and allow the employee to focus on improving these. As the employee improves in these areas, you can work together on identifying and fixing the other, less-critical issues.

Most companies do official performance reviews at least once per year, but employees cannot go a whole year before they hear how they are perform. ing in their jobs, especially new employees. A new employee needs to hear feedback weekly, perhaps even daily, until she feels comfortable with her daily tasks and responsibilities. An employee who has been around for awhile still needs to hear performance feedback more frequently than once a year, whether there are problems or not. Good feedback motivates employees, and problems will get fixed sooner rather than later. Even if it is not a formal performance review, employees should receive casual but specific one-on-one feedback on their performance once a quarter at a minimum, monthly if possible. Performance-related discussions between bosses and subordinates do not require a formal, full-blown performance appraisal system. Indeed, it can be argued that the real coaching and counseling sessions that shape and improve employee performance occur informally, outside such systems. The same can be said of goal setting and feedback. It is also questionable if much of what passes for feedback in formal performance appraisal sessions is deserving of the term. Organizational expectations of the performance-management system have been upgraded. Where in the past the system may have been used merely to tell his team member,  how he was doing and justify his annual increase, organizations now see performance-management systems as having tremendous power to transform the culture of the corporation.

At a minimum, Manager should keep notes on any performance problems discussed, including the date, the problems discussed and the performance expectations communicated to the employee. This documentation should be kept in the employee's file or in the human resources documentation, depending on the policy of your company. This is both to refresh your memory in the future and to be used as documentation in the event of legal action taken on a disciplinary action. The human resources department should ideally prepare a guideline or format  company's policy on employee documentation.

Giving employees effective feedback on their performance may seem like a tough job, but it does not have to be. By focusing on the delivery of the right information in the right setting, you can make the process more relaxed and effective for both you and your employees.

NOW, GIVE ME YOUR FEEDBACK… ON THIS ISSUE we could have a compendium of best practices in HRM  of Indian companies… To know how they  invent & reinvent ways to delight their employees.

        Best wishes
                   Wilfred Monteiro