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The link between measurement and performance

Are you in touch with your employees’ needs in relation to growth and development? Learn the importance of alignment with organisational goals.

Managers who do not measure performance will be out of touch with their employees’ needs in relation to growth and development. It’s very important to know what your team is doing well so that you can reward good performance. Equally, it’s important to recognise when things are not going well and have conversations to address that head-on. Measuring performance allows us to do this by partially removing the bias or human element in these decisions and focusing on the key metrics.

Without clear ways to manage performance, it may be difficult for teams and individuals to align their goals with the goals and mission of the organisation they’re working with. Effective alignment with organisational goals results in individuals having buy-in to the larger goals, which also increases accountability. A better understanding of how a team is performing allows managers to make strategic decisions about where to focus efforts and resources.

Finally, creating a culture where good performance is recognised and rewarded and poor performance is dealt with is a way for leaders to create transparency and therefore build trust within their individual teams.[2]

To refer back to Simon Sinek’s quote in the previous step, what metrics are we using to measure ‘success’? His central contention is to ask what goals are being set, how are they measured, and when are they achieved. For example, it’s quite easy to set a goal, but what monitoring is happening between setting the goal and achieving the goal?

A graph of team performance (Y-axis) against time (X axis). There is a very squiggly up and down line that ends high up with a label ‘Goal achieved and bonus given’. There is another straight line, inclining upwards the whole time, that does not meet the ‘Goal achieved’ point – the label on this line says ‘How do we reward this person?’

Tracking two team members’ performance over time

Source: Sinek, S. (2019) “How do you measure success?”, Q+A Simon Sinek, accessed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyqLJSclNb4&ab_channel=SimonSinek

From the image above, we can see that there are two individual employees. One employee performs more sporadically but ultimately achieves an outcome by the end of the year. The other employee on the more gradual line of improvement also displays an improvement and is more consistent. This employee is working harder to ensure they are always developing and achieving, but at what point does the leader’s measurement of performance recognise this?

Quite often, we focus on the design of the motivator: the bonus or reward. Sinek’s view is that we need to focus on ‘momentum’: how do we incentivise positive behaviour across the life of the goal achievement?

This is the key to performance measurement: understanding the right measures, how they are being monitored, and their relationship with the motivational or incentive structures. Let’s take a closer look at how these operate in different contexts.

Reference

2. Ryba K. How to align individual, team, and organizational goals for Success [Internet]. Employee Success Software. Quantum workplace; 2022 [cited 2022Dec7]. Available from: https://www.quantumworkplace.com/future-of-work/how-to-align-organizational-goals

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Manage Team Performance

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