Skip to main content

If there were no KPAs or other measurements...

Every discussion on this topic seems to come back to “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”.    Employee engagement is seen as the Utopian solution to driving out measurements and introducing total commitment and great results.
Companies have done it.
Is it possible as a norm?   And once you have achieved these high levels of engagement, is it possible to maintain them?
I think there is a tipping point in terms of size, in both directions.   Too small, family type of bickering kicks in.   Too large, maintaining consistency is challenging.
Every line manager needs to be a committed cheerleader, driven by passionate executive leadership.   Psychology qualifications would be essential as each member of a team might have different motivators.
Strong identification with the team, division, branch, company has to be the way to go.
Look at Sharks and Man United supporters.   They live the brand.   Even when they are losing…
In order to identify, people need to feel included at every level.  They need to know they matter.   When watching after match interviews or award functions, the winners, and some gracious losers, always thank the fans.   They know that the fans motivate their successes.
In business, we often forget that.   Managers start to believe in their own success story, and fail to remember that they need to have every employee to be on board.
Every person should understand the purpose of the business.   The story of the janitor who was sending a man to the moon resonated around the world (See notes) and is repeated regularly at strat sessions.  
When the purpose is understood, the journey is more direct.
People do need to buy into the purpose, though.  If it is just about the bottom line, there tends to be a more self interested approach.  Today, many employees are looking for a “home from home” job, where they feel that their personal goals and objectives are aligned with that of the company.
So, KPAs and KPIs?
My feeling is that a broad definition of the position is important, guidelines create a level of comfort and a kick start.  
But let your staff share their KPIs for the company, too.   And listen to them.
Then it’s a mutual agreement where the objectives of the employee and the company align more closely.   It’s not about appraising or measuring, more about finding the way to being more effective.
We want people to “think outside the box” while not “colouring outside the lines”.   How does the average person understand that?
We limit people by implementing strict measurement criteria, and then are surprised when they stick to the rules and structure.
Utopia in the workplace?
I think when you accept it is an ongoing scenario, a circular journey, it becomes easier to move along the right path.   You can have a group of perfectly aligned, engaged employees, introduce a new person or new concept, and find you have lost critical momentum.
We have been using our Maslow Employee Engagement Hierarchy for some years as a kick off for discussions around levels of engagement.  Some manager’s use it once a year, some use it more regularly.   It creates clarity and direction.
However, there is no substitute for regular, open conversations, trust, a clear direction, and passionate, involved, visible leadership.

Links, References and Notes
http://www.accsys.co.za/accsys-peopleplace-talent-management
email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn
JFK and the Janitor
During a visit to the NASA space center in 1962, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, "Hi, I'm Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?"
"Well, Mr. President," the janitor responded, "I'm helping put a man on the moon."
To most people, this janitor was just cleaning the building. But in the more mythic, larger story unfolding around him, he was helping to make history.
Note:   Thank you for reading my blog.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.

Popular posts from this blog

Salespeople - Just Answer the Question.

How we love to elaborate…     Both in our personal and business lives.   It is rare to find somebody who simply answers the question.
In sales, it is becoming more and more critical to just say yes or no.   If you want to embroider afterwards, by all means, but tell the client you can or you can’t do it, first.

That’s what they remember, the yes or the no. Being married to an engineer, I have learnt that if I don’t answer the question, he simply repeats it, until he gets a definitive answer..
As the above is extremely bad for marital relationships, I try to say yes or no first and then give the details.

I thought it was just me, but I have been observing my friends and the people I work with, and it is fascinating how few one word answers are immediately available. When you are selling and a client asks you:
If the widget turns blue in the dark, say yes if it does, then ask if that is a key part of the decision making processIf they ask when you can deliver, give them a…

Hi, 22 year old me..

If I were 22 May is my birthday month, so a time for celebrations and introspection. In interviews, I often ask our applicants to pretend they are 60, and look back on their careers.   Their dreams range from leaving a legacy to being able to retire by the age of 45. At 22, I had taken my first steps on the career ladder.   I had been promoted from being a PA and Installation Secretary (setting up PoS installations for NCR’s large retailers) to becoming a full time programmer. I had made some extremely poor academic decisions, and realised I had to make some very good career choices.   Software development was a relatively new field when I was in my early 20s, and it became an exciting and fulfilling career. Based on my history what advice would I give myself or a new graduate? It doesn’t matter what you have studied, or what your first job is. Keep looking for your passion, find what makes you happy. If it’s money, and you don’t mind being a little unchallenged, as long as there is eno…

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …