Are you evaluating the right performance?

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No matter what type of music you like you already have the song All About That Bass from Meghan Trainor burned into your brain. So, don’t blame me if that song becomes your soundtrack today.

In my mind I change the word bass to value. It’s all about the value.

Everyone, EVERYONE, must create value. I believe with every fiber that this attitude is the foundation of any great organization. So many problems evaporate when value creation is the purpose for every single person who works in the organization. We’ve talked about this here before and we will again.

So, how do we evaluate performance?

Pretty straightforward right? We should ask about and evaluate what that person’s value contribution is. We should devise ways together to enhance the value creation engine for that person.

Why then do we count how many transactions get processed, how many burgers served, the number of calls made, etc.?

In another blog post, Standardized Education Doesn’t Work at Work, I allude to standardized testing in schools. We inherently see the gap in the thinking behind standardized testing and the problems the focus causes in schools. Evaluating human beings in our organization merely on transaction counts is akin to standardized testing. I think we should avoid that.

Eric Elliott, writes about his experience as a programmer who took a week away from coding to rework his company’s payment process resulting in a $1 million increase in revenue, virtually overnight. His boss discussed his “lack” of productivity by saying, “We don’t think about how much money we contribute to the company’s bottom line.”

Would any of your managers ever say that to an employee?

If you’re not sure, please stop everything and focus on this as the top priority.

In this forum I usually try to give you some things to think about, make some suggestions, and leave it up to you. But picture me in your conference room pounding on the table on this one.

We should look at the numbers but only as a trend that tells us something about the value creation process not as an end in itself. What is the story that underlies the numbers?

A young company here in Columbus, CoverMyMeds, tells the story of a customer service call in which after the issue was handled the very satisfied customer was asked if there was anything more that could be done. The customer joked that if the agent could tell them how to keep the cactus on their desk alive they would be a miracle worker.

The customer service rep researched the topic and sent the customer a tip sheet on cactus life support. You see, they evaluate value creation over transaction throughput. A success practice.

To Do This Week: Enhance your performance evaluation process and evaluate how it influences your leadership approach.

Let me know how it’s going. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

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On August 9, 2017
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