How to Get Performance Management Right with Projjal “JJ” Ghatak

In this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit Podcast, Jenn DeWall talks to Projjal “JJ” Ghatak, founder and CEO, about performance management. It’s fair to say that most employees and managers dread performance reviews. Too many organizations rely heavily on the traditional annual review. 

We’ve all been through it, right? Employees and supervisors fill out a generic form, have a stiff conversation about the form, and then don’t think about it again for another year. 

Learning how to manage performance effectively is essential to achieving strategic goals and engaging employees. Don’t miss this episode exploring how to create a more effective performance management strategy that managers and employees can understand and benefit from!

Meet Projjal “JJ” Ghatak, Founder and CEO of OnLoop

Projjal Ghatak, the visionary founder and CEO of OnLoop, is at the forefront of revolutionizing team assessment and development. With an impressive background that includes leadership roles at Uber and Accenture, Projjal has established himself as a seasoned executive in strategy and operations. Armed with an MBA from Stanford, he has chosen Singapore as the base for his entrepreneurial endeavors.

As the CEO of OnLoop, Projjal leads a diverse and global team, spearheading the transformation of the future of work through the company’s innovative approach. Projjal is reshaping the industry with cutting-edge technologies and empowering teams to reach their fullest potential. Under his guidance, OnLoop continues to disrupt traditional paradigms and deliver game-changing solutions in team assessment and development.

Simplifying Performance Management

Ghatak is not a fan of old-style performance management, which often involves boring, yearly reviews. He suggests a new approach called “collaborative team development,” which helps teams work better every day. “Performance management feels like a chore. And when something feels like a chore, nobody does it, and nobody enjoys it,” Ghatak explains.

How Culture Drives Performance Management

Different cultures manage performance differently. Ghatak points out that whether a culture is individualistic or group-oriented or whether it values hierarchy can affect how well performance management works. In the episode, Jenn and Projjal discuss how different cultures around the world view feedback and goals differently.

Using Technology to Help Improve Performance Management

Ghatak believes that technology, especially generative AI, can make performance management easier and more effective. He talks about using AI to automatically create useful feedback, which can change how managers and teams interact. 

He explains, “I realized over time how much more valuable Gen AI could be to even help us think about day-to-day feedback. And what I say is that as human beings, we are good at making observations and we’re good at having conversations. Those two things are natural states of being. 

So if I have a team member and I came out of a meeting, I probably have an observation around, eh, you know, Michael could have prepped a little bit more for that meeting. Maybe he didn’t really answer questions very well. His slides were beautiful. And next time I’d like you to do a little bit more research about the people who are attending the meeting. 

That’s easy for someone to do, but that’s not an observation. It’s not feedback. And what we can do with technology now is split up that observation into specific pieces of either “celebrate” or “improve” feedback.”

How AI Helps Leaders Get Performance Management Right

Later, Ghatak explains how AI can help managers learn to deliver better feedback, saying, “Essentially, what we able to do in the (OnLoop) app is record a voice observation, right? And then we can analyze that voice observation to identify the pieces of feedback that exist in it. 

So, usually, when someone has an observation, there might even be two, three, or four pieces of different feedback hidden in it. Then, you can extract that out and rewrite it in the right form. You might be familiar with Kim Scott’s work in Radical Candor. As she says, all good feedback is direct and kind. 

AI can help you convert any observation to a written form that is direct and kind. You can extract behaviors, skills, or organizational values that are demonstrated or not demonstrated in that feedback.

Before generative AI, we had to teach people how to give and receive feedback. Now we can use generative AI to do that for people. And that’s a far more effective way to do it than trying to train people. And so with every new wave of technology, we can solve HR problems in new ways, and feedback is very ripe for disruption with generative AI.” 

A Clear Framework for Success

In the episode, Ghatak shares that he uses a clear plan to help teams improve. 

This plan includes:

  • Engagement: Making sure team members care about their work.
  • Productivity: Having clear goals so everyone knows what to do.
  • Growth: Offering regular feedback to help people get better at their jobs.

Where to Find More from Projjal

Be sure to listen to the full episode to hear more of Projjal Ghatak’s insights about the need to change how we think about performance management. By using new tools and thinking about personal and cultural differences, companies can help employees do their best work and be more engaged. 

To connect with Projjal “JJ’ Ghatak: 

Do you want to learn more about Crestcom L.E.A.D.R., our interactive leadership development program and how it can help managers become better leaders? Visit our website to learn more about booking a free leadership skills workshop for your team!