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Louise Chen

The case is all about Louise Chen, a senior manager in the development group of IT division of New Age Insurance, a mid sized insurance company based in Hong Kong. Who had to decide what performance assessment to give Donna Leung, one of her employees who had failed to meet one of her key objectives for the year. It was hard on her part to decide the performance rating for her unacceptable performance for the year, who has previously received excellent appraisals including the recent one by the vicepresident; and she was absent for 7 months for maternity leave out of those 12 months for which the performance had to be rated. The chief questions that can be addressed in this analysis are: 1. What was Chens dilemma? 2. The causes of unacceptable performance are not clear. Why? 3. Understanding the system of overall rating. What is the kind of rating system they have adopted? Major pitfalls of the rating scale. 4. Maternity leave of Donna Leung, did have any impact on the rating? 5. What would be the long term impact of this review on the PMS of the company? 6. Does this organization need balanced score card? 7. What steps need to be taken by Louise Chen for improving performance of employees like Donna Leung?

ANALYSIS 1. Louise Chen was unable to find satisfactory reasons for underperformance of Donna Leung, who had received excellent ratings for last 5 years. Performance Management System in New Age Insurance company was unable to help her to seek these reasons. Donna had assigned a difficult goal which was quite unstructured. It was also true that she failed to achieve that goal. On this, she needs to be assessed by Louise Chen, where Louise Chen was not finding very comfortable on rating her Satisfactory as per the raring system, she was leaning more toward a Needs Improvement rating for Donna Leung. Which was again two scale below Excellent rating. Louise Chen was also wondered, what part had the maternity leave played in Leungs performance, whether to take this into account? and how? All these questions faced by Louise were because of various reasons like role disclarity, lack of motivation, scarced resources, reinforcement etc. The PMS was lacking on Strategic, Administrative, Informational, Developmental organizational maintenance and Documentational front. Performance Management system is to help top management achieve strategic business objectives. 2. The causes of unacceptable performance were not clear. A good PMS inform employees about how they are doing and about the organizations and the supervisors expectations. In this case Chen was repeatedly telling Leung that her objective is to decide how PC support group and helping function IT to be integrated. Instead of knowing that Leung was falsely reporting that she worked on the long term approach regarding PC support. Here Louise Chen was not properly communicated by Donna Leung regarding how to integrate the help function. Till end of November, Leung was soliciting help from other team members to help her evaluate or develop a call logging system. This doubts about the capability of Leung performing the assigned task and also the earlier Excellent ratings to her.

It can also observe that feedback system to coach employees and improve their performance on ongoing basis was lacking in New Age Insurance company. PMS was also falling short on Organizational maintenance purpose. Workforce planning for the assigned job was inadequate. Performance of Leung observed by Louise Chen was not satisfactory and it was also contradicting the performances of her previous few years. If the PMS was implemented adequately, it could have helped Louise Chen in workforce planning. It seems from the case that, Leung was having lack of clarity what organization wants to achieve and what her contribution should be to help in achieving the organizations goal. Because of which she was consistently ding things which she was finding comfortable with and what she was doing for many years.. a technical job. 3. Performance assessment overall rating: The rating scale observed in the New Age Insurance company is not distinct from each other. The Outstanding and Unsatisfactory categories were used in about 10% cases. Most employees were rated as Excellent or Satisfactory. The system is not objective assessment. These ratings were quite flexible for the employees as they could negotiate goals with the managers with considerable variance in the extent to which they were stretch or easy to achieve. Ratings were having qualitative approach. There was no quantitative approach for the rating system. Frequency of the performance rating is once in a year, which needs to be on continuous basis and also it should be the two way approach. Not only manager or supervisor should rate the employee but the employee should also need to rate himself. This would help him to find out where he/she stands on to achieving his / her goals. 4. Maternity leave of Donna Leung, did have any impact on the rating? To some extent we can say that due to maternity leave, Leung got distracted from the work for almost 7 months of the year. But her approach towards achieving the goals assigned to her was inappropriate. She was lacking to understand the organizational goal and fail to achieve the goals set for her.

5. Long term impact of this review on the PMS of the company As the standardized system is not in place, there are chances of fabricating the information about the employees performance. As it happened in case of Leung who is receiving Excellent rating for 5 continuous years, even from her Vice-president, who hardly knows that how does she works. Louise was thinking to give her Needs Improvement rating on the observed period. This could create employee resentment. As a consequence, the relationship among Louise Chen, Leung and Vice-president could damage, might be permanently. This could also lead to Employee burnout / job dissatisfaction. Leung might feel that system is unfair towards her and she could be get more irritated. Poor PMS of the company may have varying and unfair standards of rating. Both standards and individual ratings may vary across and within units and also be unfair. After seeing the less rating for an Excellent performer for years may cause decreased motivation in other employees to perform. 6. New Age Insurance company needs to have interference of Human resource department to develop the balanced score card for the organization. Which could help the organization to strategically link the operational measures in line with the financial goals of the company. 7. Steps need to be taken by Louise Chen for improving performance of employees like Donna Leung Firstly the existing Performance Management system need to be fine tuned. Being the employee of the organization Louise Chen is well aware of the existing PMS. She knows the pitfalls of the system, where to improve on. The most effective way of developing people is ensuring that to give regular feedback to members of your team on their work. However, if you give and receive feedback regularly, everyone will come to benefit from improved performance.

Louise should work on the performance metrics. There should be improved performance rating scale implemented in the organization. There should be continuous monitoring on performance by the employees. Louise should understand the developmental needs of her team. Finally, we can see the damages of poorly implemented PMS from analyzing this case. And how difficult for a manger to achieve strategic business objective with poorly implemented PMS.