The results that you measure drive action & behavior June 10, 2008Posted by Darth Sidious in Managing Employees.
Excuse me, what does that mean?!
Glad you asked! Along the lines of unintended consequences, when you measure or monitor certain metrics or performance indicators, you’re affecting employee behavior. You may want staff to achieve Y, but are getting X, and it may not be their fault- it may be yours.
If the staff are hardworking people, but the results that you’re getting isn’t congruent with what you were expecting; take a step back and evaluate how and what you evaluate. For example if your compensation system is based on rewarding people for speed, but product or service quality is severely lacking for some reason – even though you’ve mandated quality, it doesn’t make a difference what you mandate if what you’re measuring doesn’t support that goal (or even worse, is opposite to it).
That may seem like an obvious example, but it’s more common than you think. For the Clone Wars we ordered 100M Clones, and we wanted them ready in time to trick Obi Wan, so the Clone factory sacrificed on quality and what we ended up getting was 35% of the Clones being totally useless.
Now here’s the real issue; you become aware of this nature of life, so you adjust your measurement to factor in quality aiming to improve that metric. What results is something unintended, where instead of improving how things work, you’ve distorted it.
Well as Management you need measurement, otherwise you have no idea what’s going on. So one solution is to use measurement to quantify results, but reward on the outcome. Track quantity and quality, but make the raises and bonuses based on what came as a result (customer satisfaction, reduced costs, etc…), not the measurement itself.
The cool thing, is you can use this to your advantage. You can alter people’s actions and their behaviors by simply changing what you’re measuring. Personally I like to electrocute people using The Force, but not everyone has this skill.