Uber and Performance Management System

Do you use Uber Taxi? Well I did recently and I noticed something great that is worthy of mention and would impact your organization positively if you adopt it.

So when you use Uber, you are meant to rate the driver and the driver is meant to rate you. This is a simple measurement system and if you ever heard of Hawthorne Theory, you would know that “the moment you begin to measure a thing, the behavior of the thing changes”. For example if I  announce that I will start measuring the way you all use water in your office from a particular day, there is a high likelihood that the way you use water will change slightly. What this means is that the driver in an Uber Taxi has a ready-made reason to behave and drive well because they know the passenger would rate them after the trip; and the passenger in turn also have reasons to behave well because the driver would rate him or her after the trip.

Uber and Performance Management System

What we do not realize is that Uber is managing the performance of drivers and passengers in the most unnoticed way possible. As simple as the system is with no Human Resource Manager shoving the process down the parties, the Uber system is encompassed with all the variables of a proper performance management system which includes the following stages:

1: Setting Smart Goals and Objectives;

Without doubt, before any car gets registered with Uber, several rules are given on how they would perform during driving and the objectives are so smart that you even know the reasons why you can be deactivated from Uber. Their driver policy is very clear.

https://www.uber.com/legal/other/driver-deactivation- us-english/ . On the other hand, passengers have a natural human performance goals, we should all naturally behave well as humans.

More importantly, both the driver and the passenger know that at the end of the trip there would be a rating for both parties by both parties, more like a 360 degree feedback system. In your organization are performance objectives very clear, do people know what they must do, how they must do it, do people have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and most importantly do people know they would be measured (rated ) after performance. As a Human Resource Consulting company , we can tell you categorically that eight out of 10 companies either do not have smart objectives set, or started it in the past but do not use it again.

Uber and Performance Management System

2. Monitoring;

When objectives are set, the next most important stage in any performance management system is “monitoring performance”. This means after setting the performance goals, performance must be monitored. Uber’s system also has this covered. Simply because you know you would rate the driver you unconsciously watch out for his behavior, driving style and professionalism; in turn the driver watches out for your communication style and attitude in the course of the trip. In your organization, do leaders take time to monitor performance of their subordinates with the intention to rate them afterwards? do they set goals and simply wait for results, rather that carry out some kind of observation in the course of performance so as to rate objectively? are there periodic reports that should be sent so they would be aware of the process of performance.

3: Assessment;

This is a very popular stage of performance management system, people call it performance appraisal, some companies run performance appraisal once in a year, others twice in a year; it’s important for you to know that there is a difference between performance management and performance appraisal;; performance management is the entire system while performance appraisal is only one stage in the performance management system. I must quickly say here that when you appraise people once or twice in a year you appraisal system is already vulnerable to different forms of bias, leaders can forget what has happened in January when appraising in June or December, leaders might use the incident of last month to judge the performance of last six months and several other forms of bias exists. In fact we have heard Human Resource Managers say to us that they do not want to appraise staff because they don’t want to promote anybody since the company is not making money; this is another huge error, you don’t appraise people for the sake of promoting them or increasing their salary, you appraise people because you want to know how they are performing and what you must do to their performance if it does not meet expectation; increase in salary and promotion are options, and several other options are available; performance would grow worse in you don’t appraise at all.

Uber and Performance Management System

Uber also understand this principle; they ensure appraisal is deployed at the end of the trip, it is recorded and it can be used to make decisions. What is more important after performance measurement is what you do with the measurement, we can categorically tell you that the average Nigerian firm do nothing to those whose performance are not up to expectation, and the companies where management penalizes or reprimands low performance according to agreement made at the beginning of the period, the average staff feels bad, the environment is not exciting, and the management is seen as wicked; this is an anomaly to say the least; as a people we must change our mentality; if the performance measurement system says you would not be paid full salary or you would not get a loan if your performance is low; you don’t go around feeling bad or getting the environment toxic; this is a national challenge in Nigeria and we must all begin to work at fixing this mentality. However, goals must be agreed and resources to perform must be put in place.

Uber also have this covered, so an Uber driver would be deactivated if the driver’s performance falls below 4.6 out of 5, http://therideshareguy.com/10-things- that-can- get-you- deactivated-as- an-uber-driver/ What this does is that drivers now look for ways to satisfy their passengers so as to get  good ratings. Imagine your employees all looking for ways to perform excellently. Some of the Uber drivers offer water, mints, ensure the car is very clean, dress well, help passengers with their luggage, are professional etc. they do all this without any Human Resource Department watching them; it’s so incredible. What is also interesting is that passengers too can be deactivated if their rating drops to a certain level. More importantly Uber also introduced the VIP Status with several benefits, you attain VIP when you sustain excellent rating over a period of time; this is a way of celebrating excellent performance and you must celebrate the performance of your high achieving staff.

If a cab system can deploy a workable performance management system, why can’t you; the main goal of performance management is not to witch hunt people, it is to manage performance for continuous growth. If you want your people to perform better continuously then you do not have a choice.

If you want to improve performance in your organization through performance management system where people earn their pay through what they bring to the table, then send a mail to hr@simeonspivot.com and one of our consultants will get in touch with you.

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