Saturday, September 5, 2015

How did Juniper Networks (possibly) Revamp its Performance Management System ?

Continuing the discussion started in the previous blog, i am bringing-up the case of Juniper Inc., that embraced a new and updated performance management system some years back. Read on to know more-

Sources and Acknowledgements:
Most of the below text is adapted (directly and indirectly) from the below URLs. So all credit to the authors of the below articles for the upcoming text.

Motivation behind the Juniper's change:
1. As a part of the changes brought in by then new VP of HR- Steven Rice, who is said to be a
veteran who like to stay in tune with times and embrace changes faster.
2. With Rice at the helm of Juniper's HR organization, several processes have been revamped, from corporate learning to employee surveys, and even the HR department's intranet site.
3. So how does he manage to keep ahead of the curve? He constantly questions each assumption about HR -- and challenges his peers to do the same. "Focus on what is the business outcome you're trying to drive, and don't let the language get in your way of throwing out [processes] or re-imagining them," he said.
4. Rice said the greater personalization of technology is one of the driving forces behind several of his organization's HR initiatives.

Shortcomings of the traditional system as observed by Juniper:
Beginning in 2009 Juniper started a process of defining, and articulating, its vision, its brand, values and aspirations to employees. With a blueprint of disruptive innovation, underpinned with central values of collaboration, authenticity and trust Juniper aspired to employ 100% ‘J Players’ – those who agree with the company’s mission and live the values on a daily basis.  The annual performance review was not viewed particularly well in engendering trust.  Employees wanted more regular feedback, no surprises and the review decoupled from the pay and bonus allocation process.

What kind of changes in Performance Management System were embraced by Juniper ?:
1. At the HR Strategy Forum meeting  in Santa Clara,  Greg Pryor, VP, Leadership Development, discussed the philosophy and implementation of the ‘Talent Matters’ process.  Juniper drew on work of David Rock – see ‘Managing with the Brain in Mind’6 in designing a scientifically sound performance management system.
2.  Recent studies in neuroscience, as summarized by David Rock in his various writings,  point to us having  a social brain with circuitry that mirrors the ‘primitive’ brain’s basic survival response – to approach reward, and, more particularly, to avoid threat. Rock identifies five social domains of Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness which have the capacity to activate the primary reward or primary threat response.  Traditional performance appraisal processes, particularly with rankings, have the propensity to fire off the alarms across multiple domains – rankings, even ratings, affect perceptions of status and fairness.
3. Juniper implemented a system that includes a ‘Conversation Day’ in which employees and their managers together look at the employee’s career aspirations, capabilities, connections and contributions. Traditional threat responses are minimized by the focus on career growth (and what’s possible) and framing the event as a dialogue, not a problem that needs attention.  No label or rating is assigned. This is neither documented nor graded. "There's no label associated with any individual, so from our perspective there is no formal or traditional performance management process in the company," says Steven Rice, Juniper's executive vice president for human resources.

4. During the first year, using the new system, Juniper achieved a record 93% participation and survey results indicated that 66% of those who did participate found Conversation Day “helpful” or “extremely helpful”.

Additional comments:
Juniper Systems is using Halogen Software’s award-winning talent management solution to reinforce a strong coaching culture and drive higher performance. Juniper Systems selected Halogen eAppraisalTM based on its integrated development planning and strategic goal alignment capabilities and the system’s flexibility in meeting the company’s unique business requirements.

Around what time-frame were the changes brought in:
Around the year 2010

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