The value of an employee is inextricably linked to their performance as well as company ethos. But how does a manager compare these factors when assessing their team members if the concepts are at odds?
Performance is a matter of work product — the ability of an employee to consistently get their assigned tasks done, and do them well. Value, on the other hand, takes into account not only the raw work product, but also an employee’s ability to interface with peers and management, contribute to organizational culture, and serve as a valuable member of the team. If an employee is both a top performer and embodies the company’s culture, there is no issue. But how does a manager assess someone who is one or the other?
Analyze and Calibrate
Measuring an employee’s effectiveness can be difficult when assessing their work ethic versus productivity. It is hard to know sometimes what is most important and how much of each factor should be considered.
Here’s how you can bring these incongruencies into better alignment:
- For top performers who are dedicated to their work, share your values, and contribute to a positive work environment — Consider these your “A-level” employees and reward them accordingly. They are invaluable to the success of your company.
- For low performers who share your values and make positive contributions to organizational culture but do not rank high in productivity — Find out why they are a weak performer. Oftentimes, they may just need training or coaching to move them into the “A-level.”
- For high performers who have a negative social impact within the company, don’t share your values but excel in their work output — Find out where the weakness is coming from. If no progress is made after trying corrective approaches, default to organizational integrity and consider removing these team members.
Data-based Evaluation Decisions
To strengthen these decisions, managers should utilize neutral data-points to measure their employees’ performance. Use objective metrics such as evaluating the number of email-opens or running sales reports to derive data-driven performance; resort to more subjective assessments such as 360-reviews for detecting employee involvement.
It’s also important to evaluate quality and efficiency — assess the number of errors made or unnecessary input given to complete a project, and implement a net promoter score (NPS) for customer-facing employees. Take into account how long it takes them to complete a task, how it affects the company over-time, and if they take initiative to improve customer satisfaction or assist coworkers.
The basic functions of a manager are to assess teams and keep projects moving. It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy. Managers can be conflicted on how to fairly measure their employees’ performance, and how well they identify with organizational values. By aiming for a holistic, multi-factored approach, managers can make clear decisions on promotions, performance plans, and terminations.