Bringing performance management to life

Steps creates a half day programme designed for HSBC managers in India, to help them develop their performance management skills and conduct more effective meetings with their reports.

Somshukla Ghosh, Senior Vice President of Performance & Rewards at HSBC in Mumbai commissioned Steps to create a half day programme designed for managers, to help them develop their people skills in order to conduct excellent performance management meetings with their reports.

The managers had previously received theoretical training around the HSBC Performance Management process, but it was felt that the managers needed to further develop their one-to-one people skills and effective management behaviours. HSBC were looking for a practical, interactive, engaging and memorable method of training. Tanuj Kapilashrami, HR Director of HSBC Mumbai had seen Steps in action at a diversity seminar hosted by the bank in March 2010 and recommended our work.

Steps delivered five half day programmes during one week in June 2010 at the HSBC Mumbai Training Centre. A total of ninety-two managers of various grades attended the programme. The three hour course was delivered by Robbie Swales, a director of Steps and Mohan Madgulkar, Steps’ Senior Associate from Pune.

The use of drama for learning and development is a relatively new concept in India. However, having over fifteen years of experience in this field, Steps combined knowledge and experience to tailor the intervention, ensuring it was reflective of the the banks culture and Indian context. Mohan interviewed a dozen stakeholders at HSBC to discover the culture of the bank and understand the HSBC Performance Management Process. He also spoke at length to Natasha Pinto, the Associate Vice President of Performance Management, to establish the key objectives of the training initiative. Steps then wrote the programme and delivered a pilot to the HR Heads of Business, whose feedback was incorporated into the final programme to be delivered to the managers.

The three hour programme incorporated two interactive scenarios. These both focussed on the appraisal process, with an actor-facilitator playing the manager asking the delegates for advice, and then weaving that advice back into the scenario. This engaging method enabled the delegates to focus on the types of behaviours that would help managers to run effective appraisals. The delegates were also split into small groups, and asked to share their thoughts on what constitutes good performance management. The delegates also made commitments to actions during the session, to sustain the learning and the momentum for positive change.


The training was very well received, with attendees reporting an increase in confidence of 19%. 93% of delegates rated the course as Good or Excellent – and one participant commented,“The most valuable aspect was the way the session was delivered. Highly interactive and participative. Excellent!!” This sentiment was echoed by Natasha Pinto, who remarked; "Steps’ session was fantastic for engaging our senior teams and improving working practices at HSBC. The intervention was high impact and has delivered measurable results.'

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Quote Mark Steps' programme was fantastic for engaging our senior teams and improving working practices at HSBC. The intervention was high impact and has delivered measurable results. Quote Mark Natasha Pinto, Associate Vice President of Performance Management, HSBC