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Mayur’s Turnaround: 360-Degree Feedback – Not One More Human Resource Process*

CASE STUDY, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases - GSMC, 10 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Siddhartha Saxena, Faculty, BKMIBA-AMSOM, Ahmedabad University, Divya Acharya. Assistant Manager, Federal Bank Ahmedabad, Sanjana Srivastva, Academic Associate, IIM Ahmedabad

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Mayur’s Turnaround: 360-Degree Feedback – Not One More Human Resource Process

 

Nautek International (Nautek) was one of the leading corporate giants in India. It started its Indian operations about 30 years ago. When it entered the Indian market, it was an organization which dealt only with international marketing. Later on, it expanded its Indian operations and moved into the manufacturing sector as well.

As part of its initial operations, it was highly dependent on expatriates for taking over strategic operations and expansion. However, after an internal audit during the 1990s, it was suggested that Nautek should develop a talent pool comprising of local talent as it would help Nautek have people with better understanding of the Indian business context along with saving up the cost of having expatriates who can have various issues with adjustment in the organization in India.

Currently, Nautek has 14 operations in India. During the past 20 years when it started recruiting for developing the local talent pool, it had candidates from the best of the institutes in India – both from Engineering and Management colleges. Its probation and training programs for young joiners made it one of the most sought after organizations for placements. Multiple institutes vouched for having Nautek at their campus for placement. Nautek also provided the best career growth opportunities as large number of talented employees who remained with the organization made it to the top level of the organization. Since its initial days, Nautek was known for experimenting with new HR policies, which were employee oriented and helped them in long term growth leading them to win multiple awards for best HR practices in the last few years..............

Mayur Ranjan’s Background

Mayur Ranjan (Mayur) belonged to Uttar Pradesh and was from a middle-class family. Both his parents were government servants and he was always made to focus on studies. His initial education was from a national level board. He was a competitive student since his school days and had won multiple Olympiads along with being a national ranker.

Educational Background

Mayur completed his engineering degree from one of the most prestigious institutes from Central India, where he got the best student award. After completing his graduation, he joined a Public Sector Unit in the coal industry, where he worked for 3 years. He left his job to pursue management education from one of the prominent business schools located in Western India...........

Mayur’ Association with Nautek

Mayur made it to Nautek’s scholarship program which allowed the scholarship recipients to intern with the firm and also made them eligible for the pre-placement offer from the company. Mayer worked on an expansion strategy for one of the consulting segments of Nautek’s clients which was well appreciated by the client. He later on took the pre-placement offer from the company.............

Mayur’s Working Style and Characteristics

Mayur was known to be a hard-task-master and was known to deliver the quality and on time. He had an excellent command over business operations and it’s daily functionings which made him one of the most feared persons to talk to when unprepared. He was also known to be a perfectionist and mistakes by others were not entertained by him............

Mayur’s Department

Mayur was heading Nautek’s business expansion segment. He headed a team of more than 50 members at the company’s Headquarters in Mumbai. Mayur’s department was regularly rated high on deliverables and achieving the KRAs (Key Response Areas) even during business downturns. The department was considered the breeding ground for talent, and it had given multiple talented employees a headway into various business operations of the organization...........

360-Degree Feedback: The Process (Exhibit I)

360-degree feedback is one of the most popular performance appraisal tools these days. It is a tool that is in operation in all Fortune 500 organizations, generally along with Forced Distribution method. 360-degree feedback is defined as the “The systematic collection and feedback of performance data on the individual or group derived from a number of stakeholders in their performance. The technique measures in detail the behaviors and competencies shown by the individual or group in achieving goals..............

360-Degree Feedback: Leadership Development Program at Nautek

Nautek’s HR department was one of the best in India, and it had several innovative practices targeting employee development. It was one of the first few firms to have human capital management calculated and it also started using competency mapping for recruitments rather than going for the standard KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude) levels of competency............

Anirudh and Mayur’s Interaction

Anirudh was given the responsibility of briefing Mayur regarding the 360-degree feedback process and asking for his participation for the same. Anirudh knew that it was not the right time to meet Mayur, as just the previous week the two had had an argument on the reason behind so many people leaving his department. Secondly, Mayur’s request to get an internal recruitment for a new team did not get a very favorable response and one of his peers had told him that many people did not want to join his team because of Mayur’s infamous short temper and his non-receptiveness to feedback..............

Going to the Program

Anirudh was aware that if Mayur was told that the CEO had questioned his decision of not attending the program, Mayur would relent a bit, at least to be in the good books of the boss. However, on a second thought, he asked the consultant, Professor Ramakaran (Ramakaran) to talk to Mayur directly so that he could ask questions as he wished. Ramakaran had taught Mayur in one of his courses so Mayur was likely to be more comfortable with him..............

Feedback

The feedback form had two sections, one section included closed-ended questions where the respondent had to answer certain questions which dealt with ability of person in
1) Leadership positions
2) Team members
3) Quality consciousness
4) ...........

Mayur’s Reactions

Mayur was not very happy on the first day as he thought it was more of a vertical session. He said to Ramakaran, “Sir, when do we look at the practical part.” The second day came as a shock for him as he got the first feedback. He took the report and said that it was not a fair process and that is why he never agreed to participate. His report (Exhibit II) had following main aspects:..................

Mayur’s Interaction with Ramakaran

Mayur then talked to Ramakaran regarding the feedback. He argued that when he is a good performer then why did he receive such a feedback? Ramakaran told Mayur that he had received this kind of reaction as quite often, many people are so focused on performance that they forget that there is a human side of the organization and it’s the people who perform and not machines. Ramakaran told him that he needs to be people-orientated, which will help him grow further in organization...............

6 Months after 360-degree Feedback

Mayur went back to his organization, and things did not change drastically on day one itself. Anirudh met Ramakaran after few months who enquired about Mayur. Anirudh told him that things were moving in positive direction – people had started saying that now he smiles sometimes. He called his entire department for a dinner meeting and also met them during lunch time as and when possible. Sometimes he moved out of his office and interacted with the team members in their cubicles...............

Assignment Questions

I. What is 360-degree feedback or multi-rater feedback?
II. Why is 360-degree feedback one of the most popular tools in today’s corporate culture for performance development?
III. What are the various myths associated with the feedback process?
IV. ....................

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Process of 360-degree Feedback

Exhibit II: Mayur's 360-Degree Feedback

Teaching Note Preview

Mayur’s Turnaround: 360-Degree Feedback – Not One More Human Resource Process

 

Synopsis

Nautek International firm started its operations 30 years back. It was considered one of the best companies to work for. Its human resources department focused on developing talent for the future. Mayur Ranjan was a young achiever in Nautek International. He was selected for Nautek’s scholarship program, where he recieved a pre-placement offer from the company. He got multiple promotions in a short duration and he climbed the organization ladder really fast. He went on to become the youngest MD of the company. He was known to have strong work ethics and the ability to deliver results on time. His department was considered to be an outperformer, even during the time of recession. However, in the last few years his department was faced with high attrition and multiple internal recruitments were not giving good results. Mayur was known to have a short temper and people were terrified of his temper. Quite often, his peers had informally given this feedback, but he believed in different work values. As part of the performance management exercise, he was suggested to undergo a 360-degree feedback process, which he resisted very sharply, considering the process to be useless and one more HR(Human Resource) term which other people required rather than him. Later on Mayur came to know that it was being conducted at his alma mater and the company’s CEO also suggested his name, that made him agree to attend the program. Professor Ramakaran (Ramakaran), one of the most famous practitioners in the field of 360-feedback in India, was the program in-charge. He was also Mayur’s faculty earlier. He also had a talk with Mayur to convince him to come to the program. Mayur turned up at the program and he was furious with the way feedback was given. He believed the process was biased and he did not require it. He pointed out the multiple mistakes with people who might have given the feedback. He had a conversation with Ramakaran regarding the feedback which later on helped him understand few points in better manner. Things did not change drastically but were moving in positive direction. People started saying that he smiles now sometimes. He invited all employees in his department for dinner, interacted with them and also kept meeting them during lunch hours as and when possible. Sometimes he used to move out of his cabin and go and interact with team members in their cubicles. He had also started a mentorship initiative for the team members, but it was to be seen that how long the change would remain.

Later on, after 14 months of first 360-degree feedback, there was internal Organizational Culture Assessment Initiative (OCAI) where Mayur’s department got a very good ranking for camaraderie. Mayur’s department was one of the most popular departments for internal recruitment. Two years later Mayur’s department got the award for best culture and the team credited it to Mayur’s people oriented leadership and mentorship.

Case Positioning and Setting

This case study can be used in MBA Program in Human Resource Management course.

Pedagogical Objectives

Following are the learning objectives of the case

  • • To identify 360-degree feedback as a performance management and development tool rather than a performance appraisal tool.
  • • To debate on the major biased views one can have towards Human Resource practices associated with feedback.
  • • To have an insight into 360-degree feedback process.
  • • To analyze the leader’s role in creating positive organization atmosphere.

 

Assignment Questions

  • I. What is 360-degree feedback or multi-rater feedback?
  • II. Why is 360-degree feedback one of the most popular tools in today’s corporate culture for performance development?
  • III. What are the various myths associated with the feedback process?
  • IV. What can be the alternative way of the making people agree to accept development directed feedback?
  • V. ............................

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Abstract

360-degree feedback process is a performance management tool for employees to identify the areas where one can improve upon in leadership and management. The process involves people whom you work with, giving you an anonymous feedback. 360-degree feedback if used properly can be a good insight and it helps in people development and leadership development, but there are major concerns regarding the process. For instance, people are not open to feedback and look at the negatives of the 360-degree process itself.

This case study narrates the story of Mayur Ranjan who was a young achiever in Nautek International. With multiple promotions in short duration, he had climbed the organization ladder really fast. As part of the performance management exercise, he was suggested to undergo a 360-degree feedback process, which he resisted very sharply, considering the process to be useless and one more HR (Human Resource) term which other people required rather than him. The case deals with a young achiever's resistance to feedback, employees' assumptions about a process like 360-degree feedback which makes them resist it, and how they finally undergo the process. Secondly, the case also gives insight about how a consultant who is using a performance development tool like 360-degree feedback needs to promote it so that people don't misinterpret it.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To identify 360-degree feedback as a performance management and development tool rather than a performance appraisal tool.
  • To debate on the major biased views one can have towards Human Resource practices associated with feedback.
  • To have an insight into 360-degree feedback process.
  • To analyze the leader’s role in creating positive organization atmosphere.

Case Positioning and Setting
This case study can be used in MBA Program in Human Resource Management course.


* GSMC 2016, IIM Raipur

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