Transparency, performance management, HR and the Cluetrain.

At India’s HCL Technologies, workers get to grade the boss, and everybody can see the ratings. Read the full story over on business week.

Instead of asking why should you open up performance management for everyone to see, I’d suggest you ask, “why not?” What is the point of having an elaborate recording keeping system if it is kept looked away?  Imagine how much more seriously managers would take 360 degree feedback if it was open for the whole company to see? 

Do you know of other companies doing this? 

Nayar, the CEO had this to say.

“I believe this whole concept [of making management more accountable to workers] is going to get accepted as a way of life … Talent is only becoming scarcer and scarcer.”

Cluetrain meets HR. Cool. This fits in rather nicely with what James wrote a couple of weeks ago.

Most people, I suspect particularly the generation that went to college in the last ten years or so, will want to work for employers that trust them, not those that try and control them. They will also want to work at places that allow them to use the tools they know make them productive. Forget ROI studies- this generation doesn’t need, expect or want someone else to tell them whether web services might make them more productive. It would be like saying no you can’t use a pen- you have to use this chalk and slate. Forget the phone we have this cool pigeon service…

Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and so on are not matters for IT professionals to decide, really. They are questions for managing directors and human resources professionals. If you want to hire top talent you need to trust people and help them become even more effective. Shutting things down won’t cut it. Is training required alongside the trust? Absolutely. Does your corporation need clear policies about acceptable behaviour, online and off? Obviously.

HR departments today are faced with a simple choice. Are they for or against openness and trust? Every other policy decision is just details.

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One thought on “Transparency, performance management, HR and the Cluetrain.

  1. I’m always interested in these HR topics, it seems like the hidden and “secret” way we incentive employees is a backwards. Capitalism succeeds because there is a an obvious visible “winner.” We don’t have such a thing in corporations. We don’t know WHY someone is higher in the organization then we are, they just are.
    I think all reviews should be carried out as peer reviews, I also believe salaries should be public knowledge, I know how much the CEO makes why shouldn’t I know what my boss makes. To make me a better employee I should also know why my boss makes more then me. Sunlight is the best antiseptic.

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