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Expert interview: Lauren Borja, Head of Corporate Strategic Planning at BBV, Philippines Air Force, in Philippines

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The KPI Institute’s Performance Management in 2014: ASEAN Special Edition report is built on the belief that a balanced approach in such research endeavors can only be achieved by triangulating the opinions of practitioners, academics and consultants alike. In 2014, Lauren Borja, Head of Corporate Strategic Planning working with BBV, Philippines Air Force, was one of the practitioners who offered us rich insights into performance related research and trends.

“Performance management is a way for an organization to constantly look into causal relationships and address identified gaps.”

  1. What does the term Performance Management mean to you?

Performance Management is an approach oriented towards achieving maximum results from engaging in any planned activities. It encompasses the utilization of both human, and material resources of the entire organization, under a particular system. This means that there is a kind of causal relationship that exists among the elements of business operations and processes that greatly affect the desired output; hence performance management is a way for an organization to constantly look into causal relationships and address identified gaps.

  1. What drives interest in Performance Management?

Organizations are faced with challenges to sustain its operations, and this implies that they need to leverage their resources, such as human resources and other assets. Performance Management offers a balanced approach towards attaining this leverage.

  1. What are your thoughts on the relationship between Performance Management at organizational, departmental and individual level?

Again, there is a causal relationship that exists, over the course of operations, within the organization. It is important that the elements and factors affecting this relationship are properly aligned, and linked together. This alignment provides a realistic picture of how organizations can best manage their capabilities to achieve the desired results across all levels.

At the individual level, employees get to explore more of what they can do when they are able to relate their personal aspirations against those that are expected of them by the company. Performance Management at the organizational level, on the other hand, offers its people the pathways and architecture towards high performance.

  1. What are the 2014 key trends in Performance Management from your point of view?
  • The application of Performance Management at the macro level, as it is implemented in the government;
  • Performance Management as a tool to measure progress in Organizational Development;
  • Performance Management applied beyond the HR perspective;

  1. What aspects of Performance Management should be explored more through research?
  • Performance Measures and its qualitative implications;
  • Performance Management architecture for enterprises under transition.

  1. Which companies would you recommend to be looked at, due to their particular approach to Performance Management and subsequent results?
  • Cargill Philippines
  • MIESCOR (MERALCO Industrial Engineering Services Corporation)
  • Lopez Group of Companies

  1. Which are the main challenges in today’s Performance Management practice?
  • Integration of Performance Management with other management systems and approaches;
  • Data relevance and subsequent interpretations;

  1. What do you think should be improved in the use of Performance Management tools and processes?

There is a predominance of Performance Management tools for HR, without proper linkage to other business processes that delimit the whole concept of Performance Management.

  1. What would you consider best practices in Performance Management?

Best practices in Performance Management in the Philippines have been anchored in the country’s Development Plan (2011-2016), with its three major undertakings: Results-Based Performance Monitoring System (RBPMS), Organizational Performance Indicator Framework (OPIF), and Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS).These PM systems serve as models to various types of organizations to link employee performance and incentives against organizational targets.

  1. Which aspects of Performance Management should be emphasized during educational programs?

– Laying the PM architecture;

– Competency in data analytics and PM measures.

  1. Which are the limits in order to achieve higher levels of proficiency in Performance Management among practitioners?
  • There is a need to simplify the methodology of computing for results;
  • Shared meaning of PM across the organization, from a holistic viewpoint.

  1. If you are to name, in a few words, the main aspects governing Performance Management today, what would they be?
  • Integration of Strategic and Business Planning Systems and HRIS.

  1. What is your opinion on the emerging trend of measuring performance outside working hours?

I believe it makes sense to undertake measurement because, for every hour spent, whether for personal or for professional, at the end of the day, people engage in such activities, exerting efforts to reach an expected outcome.

  1. Are you using any kind of personal performance measurement tools? If yes, please describe how this has influenced your life.

Yes, I have started applying the principles of Balanced Scored in my personal plans with identified KPIs. So far, I can say that both are very useful and can be applied simultaneously to give us a sense of direction in terms of classifying and prioritizing the things that generate more value.

  1. Do you have any tips for successfully managing one’s work-life balance? What are your thoughts?

Firstly, I think that having a work-life balance is dependent on one’s goal, which means that an individual has the power to plan and decide on how he/she wants to put the balance. Secondly, there are factors and circumstances that may hinder having work-life balance, like time and money; and lastly, it is the reality that it affects both the individual, and the organization’s productivity. In such case, there has to be a way for a work-life balance to take place.

I would say that successful management of one’s work-life balance is simple economics that entails giving a careful thought of what can be done, given the limited resources, for optimum benefits.

  1. Which are the recent achievements in generating value as a result of Performance Management implementations in your organization?

Formalizing the practice of Performance Management amidst an ongoing organizational development proves to be a challenge; however, this generates consistency and coherence of acts among members of the organization towards realizing the corporate goals.

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