Good bye annual appraisals, IBM says hello to Checkpoint
Good bye annual appraisals, IBM says hello to CheckpointTech major's CEO Rometty stresses on the need to reinvent & transform at a time when the global tech industry is undergoing tectonic shiftsAnirban Sen&Neha Alawadhi | ET Bureau | 03 February 2016, 8:14 AM ISThttp://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/corporate/good-bye-annual-appraisals-ibm-says-hello-to-checkpoint/50829448 in
During a town hall at one of IBM's largest centers in Bengaluru on Tuesday, Chief Executive Virginia M "Ginni" Rometty asked the employees to answer some questions with a show of hands.
"How many of you here have worked at IBM between one and five years," asked Rometty, according to at least three employees present at the meeting.
A bunch of hands went up in the auditorium that was packed with 5,000-6,000 employees. "Five to 10 years?" A few more hands went up.
"Over 10 years," she asked next, and that was when largest number employees raised their hands.
To those experienced IBMers, Rometty stressed on the need to reinvent and transform themselves at a time when the global technology industry is undergoing tectonic shifts with the emergence of cloud computing, Internet of Things and cognitive computing.
"Just because you started your careers in a certain role, let's say hardware engineering, does not mean you'll end your careers in hardware," said Rometty, according to the people ET spoke to.
Amid the push for employees to re-skill and reinvent themselves, Rometty on Tuesday announced a string of new employee appraisal measures for the India operations, including a new appraisal system called "Checkpoint".
IBM India has also abolished the company's previous yearly appraisal assessment methodology, according to the sources.
As part of the new five-point scale Checkpoint appraisal system, employees will be subjected to four yearly reviews, replacing the previous system where they had to go through just one annual review.
"There will be checkpoints, or milestones. On the basis of that, your milestones will be discussed, and you'll be given more immediate feedback instead of a yearly thing," said an IBM employee based out of Gurgaon. "So, the idea is to get more frequent feedback from the managers, who will tell you what to improve upon and so on."
In an email response to ET, an IBM spokeswoman confirmed that Rometty held a townhall for employees and also the latest move to adopt the Checkpoint appraisal system.
"Virginia Rometty, CEO, Chairman & President, IBM today held the first ever Watson Ecosystem event in India laying out the company's vision for a new era of cognitive computing. As part of her visit she also held a townhall for local employees," the IBM spokeswoman said.
"Checkpoint is a performance management initiative for the new world of work. The program was co-created by employees giving them an opportunity to shift goals throughout the year and gain more frequent feedback. Checkpoint's goals, conversations and evaluations are focused on five dimensions of employee performance: business results, impact on client success, innovation, personal responsibility to others, and skills," she added.
On Tuesday, the Armonk, New York-based technology giant's performance management team in India sent out an internal mail to employees, titled "Goodbye PBC (personal business commitment), hello Checkpoint", which contained a link to a 55-second video detailing the new system.
"In personal business commitment (PBC), you get your yearly feedback from there. Ultimately, it is in the hand of the manager, so your rating largely depends on your manager. There is a half-yearly assessment of project, which adds up to the PBC rating," said the employee in Gurgaon.
The new appraisal system basically seeks to maximize output and productivity from each employee and ensure that employees keep meeting their targets through the course of the year, explained HR experts. The system will ensure that employees don't get rewarded based on just a single good quarter in which they meet all their annual targets.
"As part of the earlier system, you were given specific targets at the start of the year - and then your goals were reviewed at the end of the year. Now all that has changed completely," said an IBM employee in Bengaluru.
Dressed in a grey business suit with a skirt, 58-year-old Rometty received a warm reception from Bengaluru employees - several of whom clicked selfies with her.
During the interaction, she stressed on the need for employees to focus more on IBM's newer bets in areas such as cloud computing, analytics and cognitive computing, as the company looks to move away from traditional commoditized low-margin services businesses and bets big on Watson.
"We’re going to pull the plug and do something much simpler."