How to measure people’s performance

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I don’t believe in measuring people’s performance. There’s just too much anecdotal and research evidence that suggests it does more harm that good.

I find it useful not to think “how should I measure these people?” but rather to think first about “what results are important for these people to help achieve for the organisation?”

Then help teams to set up performance measures that they use as tools to work on the business, rather than the measures being tools to judge the people. Have you heard that saying that comes from the quality movement that 95% of the performance problems are in the work processes, and only 5% are with the people?

If you are adament about finding KPIs to measure people, you won’t find any advice on this site. But if you’re interested to learn how KPIs or measures can be great tools to drive collaboration and continuous improvement for the betterment of the whole organisation or business, read on:

Are you killing the buy-in?

Buy-in is that state when people are committed to something, when they are convinced of its worth for them and no longer have objections or fears that get in their way of adopting it. It’s when they feel a sense of ownership about it. Most of us want our people to feel this way about performance measurement, but we don’t realise that we might actually be getting in the way of buy-in naturally occuring! Read this article for tips on how to engage staff in performance measurement.

Should you measure individual people’s performance?

Performance Appraisal, Individual Performance Review, Personal Performance Development Plan. There are numerous names for this artifact of the post-1990’s organisation, but they are names for basically the same concept: the measurement, review, evaluation and management of the performance of an employee. And it is one of the most contentious management processes of them all! Read some thoughts about two schools of thought about measuring people.

Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire And What to do Instead

Performance appraisals usually work poorly and that’s one of the main reasons why people don’t buy-in to performance measurement. The late Tom Coens, and Mary Jenkins, describe a series of assumptions that most performance appraisal systems are based on, and they offer up some more useful (and more reality-based) assumptions that provide the foundations for a more effective alternative (not an improvement – a completely different concept altogether). Read my review and consider buying this book.

Every blog post I’ve written on the subject of measuring people

Get a current list of all the articles I’ve written on the dangers of measuring people here.

Want more?

If you’d like more information about building buy-in to performance measurement in your organisation, contact me.

And make sure you take advantage of the many tips and case studies and resources I share in my free email newsletter, Measure Up. You can sign up now in the box to the right —>

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