Measuring performance may be a challenge for organizations this year. Some employers could find themselves using a performance measurement system that may not accurately measure what top performance looks like during a challenging economic year, particularly if performance and value of contributions has historically been determined by financial impact or the meeting of organizational, team and individual financial and budgetary goals. It’s possible that this may be the year that organizations will need to look beyond this scope and re-identify how employees’ value is defined.
Measuring top performance by revenue generation, while certainly important, may not be the only way that your organization can measure the performance of your employees, regardless of how your organization financially performed this year. In fact, the true value of what your employees have accomplished this year may be manifested in other ways, according to the Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement (2009), such as:
- Referrals of new customers
- Identification of cost savings
- Initiating and/or suggesting new efficiencies
- Interpersonal relationships inside and outside the organization (with coworkers and customers)
- Making the organization look attractive to potential customers
- Organizational citizenship behaviors
In these ways, you can probably identify employees that may not have generated a record amount of revenue this year, but have indeed contributed a great deal of value. Performance measurement, in its best form, should accurately measure this value and differentiate between levels of performance – however your organization determines it, whether it be demonstrating organizational values, displaying value-adding behaviors, or delivering valuable results. Only your organization can uniquely define what those may be and an important starting place is to determine the characteristics of those employees that carry the most value or the least value (Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement, 2009). Here are a few questions to guide you:
- What are your organization’s core values? Are all employees expected to exemplify these?
- What are the top 10 most value-adding behaviors at your organization?
- How does your organization define valuable results?
- Does your performance measurement tool capture all of the above?
Employers of choice typically establish this value proposition – determining what they perceive to be value-adding and measuring performance based on this. This way your organization ensures that it is measuring the behaviors, attitudes, and results that matter most to your organization.
Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement (2009). Employee Lifetime Value: “The People Impact” on Financial Success. www.performanceforum.org.