Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Knowing the Score Helps Employees Put Forth the Effort to Win

A significant aspect of performance measurement is providing feedback to employees so they can tell whether or not they are winning. When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.

The Measurement Must be Objective

Managers can learn a lot about performance feedback by looking closely at the sports world. In the sports world scorekeeping is objective. A goal is always a goal. The ball must go through the hoop to count. Close isn't good enough (except in horseshoes). A person either is competent or they're not. There's no such thing as almost being a national champion or almost making the winning touchdown. You must score more points than your opponent to win, and only winners can be champions.

Things are different in the work world. Some managers have been known to rate less competent employees as proficient and reward people for goals not achieved in the false hope of motivating them to produce more. Not surprising, employees become discouraged and perform less well when they see less committed workers receiving the same praise and rewards as those who are dedicated and diligent.

People want to be evaluated fairly for what they do. They want others to be rated by the same standards. They become demotivated when they, or anyone else, receives undeserved rewards. Unfortunately, few performance appraisals possess the objective integrity shown in the way athletes are evaluated.

In the first episode of the reality television show The Apprentice, one of the contestants, Sam, tried to convince Donald Trump to reward him for his effort rather than results. Trump rightfully chastised Sam saying, “But you didn’t sell any lemonade.”

The Measurement Must be Dynamic

Scorekeeping in sports is also more dynamic. In sports you can always tell when someone scores because lights flash, horns blow, cannons roar and fans cheer. Gigantic scoreboards display the results for everyone to see. Everyone knows who is winning and who is not.

Dynamic scorekeeping creates an exciting and productive mood for everyone involved. Both those playing the game and those watching are emotionally committed when the score is prominently displayed.

Organizations can create the same dynamic, energized work environment by providing daily performance information to their employees. With this information the employees can review their score and know immediately whether they need to alter their performance to accomplish the goal.

The Measurement Must be Self-Measured

Managers would be even wiser to let their employees keep track of their own performance. Golfers keep their own scorecard, joggers set their own stopwatch, and successful sports teams keep individual statistics so each player can evaluate and upgrade their own performance. Most athletes monitor their individual statistics so they have immediate information on where they can improve their game. Although the scoreboard displays the team totals, most athletes are more interested in knowing where they stand personally so they can do what is necessary to better themselves. Joggers know how many seconds they need to trim off their time. Golfers know the score they must shoot to beat their best game. And every baseball player can tell you what it will take to achieve a .300 batting average.

Additionally, in sports, players can easily compare their current performance to
their performance in the past. They can evaluate their effort based on a set standard and know exactly how much further they must go to break the conference record or move into first place.

Managers can turn their employees into “world champions” by providing their staff with the tools and methods to measure their accomplishments and adjust their performance based upon the feedback they receive. Constant assessment and constant feedback are the core elements of success in both the sports and work worlds. Employees must know exactly where they are performance-wise and be able to improve their individual score by their individual effort.

Innovative Management Group provides companies with the training, tools, and resources to pinpoint and measure individual and team performance to ensure the success of the company and every employee within the company. For more information, please contact us at 702-258-8334 or by email at mac@imglv.com

No comments:

Post a Comment