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What Would You Do to Improve Performance Management?


by SIOP Administrative Office

2014 National Academy of Human Resources Ram Charan HR Essay Contest

The National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR) recently announced the 2014 NAHR Ram Charan HR Essay Contest. The deadline for submission of essays is August 1, 2014.

Cash prizes of $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 U.S. will be awarded for the three best essays. Please visit www.nationalacademyhr.org to read full contest details.

They are requesting essays from university undergraduate and graduate students globally majoring in Human Resources, Industrial/Labor Relations or related fields for the following topic:

Performance Management – A Very Real Issue for Employers and Employees

You’ve arrived at your office a little early, and have decided to take the opportunity to have a cup of coffee and scan the headlines. As you’re scanning one paper, you are drawn to the headline “Vast Majority of Employees See No Benefit in Performance Management.” The article goes on to say that a new survey shows that employees either get no benefit from the performance management process (are neutral) or are demotivated by the process (are negative). Those who are rated as “high performers” and are rewarded accordingly feel positive about the process, but those that are rated as anything considered “average” or below are demotivated.

You’re the head of HR at your company, so your first thought is “I know a lot of our employees feel the same way – based on our own survey results.” As you shake your head, you look up to see the CEO of your company, standing at your door, waving a copy of this very same article.

“I knew it! This is why I’m frustrated by our performance management system. It takes up WAY too much time of too many people, people always challenge their reviews so we spend an inordinate about of time defending the decisions, there’s too much process, not enough value add in terms of coaching, skill development and career growth, and I feel like all we’re doing is providing documentation for attorneys. People I was told were great performers by their last manager are suddenly UNDERPERFORMING under a new manager, and problem employees are suddenly STRONG PERFORMERS. How can that be? And the entire process seems to focus on the ratings. I want to know how we can turn a process that is overly administrative and negative into something that helps our employees contribute to the growth and success of our business. I want the focus to be on enabling our employees to help me build this company and improve our results!”

“So here’s what I want you to do: I want you to come up with a new way to measure and improve our employee’s performance that’s efficient, effective, and will be embraced by the employees because they view it as a fair system that’s helpful to them in their career. And whatever you come up with – I want to be able to measure just how effective it is. How will I know it’s contributing to the success of our company? How will I know we are rewarding the right people?”

Your challenge: Please write a 5 to 20 page essay describing what you would propose to your CEO, why you are making this proposal, and how you would measure the effectiveness of the approach.

The essays should be a minimum of 5 to a maximum 20 pages, double spaced, 12 point font.
The essays must be submitted by email (PDF format) to: info@nationalacademyhr.org
Attention: Richard Antoine, President, National Academy of Human Resources

The essays will be evaluated and judged by a panel of distinguished HR professionals who are Fellows of the National Academy of Human Resources. The NAHR is an honorific organization where individuals and institutions of distinction in human resources are recognized for exceptional professional achievement by election as “Fellows of the NAHR.” In addition, the NAHR furthers the HR profession through the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) Academy and other philanthropic and educational activities.

The criteria for evaluating the award will be:

  • Addresses the topic
  • Provides original thoughts
  • Adds value
  • Readable and persuasive
  • Academic or research references are a bonus

Essays for the NAHR Ram Charan HR Essay Contest can be submitted directly by students with or without a faculty sponsor/adviser. In the latter case, the faculty sponsor/adviser will provide a brief statement (i.e., less than 100 words) about why he/she is serving in this capacity, and will attest to a statement included as part of the Contest stating that “I have played no role in writing this essay and will not share in the financial award should this student’s essay win such an award.”

The winners of the essay contest will be announced at the NAHR annual installation of new Fellows on November 6, 2014 in New York City. The awardees will be paid expenses to attend the ceremony. The presentation will be made to the award winners by the Chair of the NAHR, Kathleen S. Barclay, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, The Kroger Co.; and Dick Hallock, Chair of the NAHR Foundation/Retired Executive Vice President, Occidental Petroleum.

Dr. Charan, for whom the award is named, is a world renowned author, speaker and business advisor. For more than 35 years Dr. Charan has consulted with some of the world’s most successful leaders and companies. Dr. Charan is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.

Please direct inquiries to: Richard L. Antoine, President, National Academy of Human Resources, 655 Longboat Club Road, Unit 16B, Longboat Key, FL 34228, Tel: (513) 780-0039, Email: info@nationalacademyhr.org