Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Employee Evaluation: It is not just Performance

The distaste in professional life, is that performance alone doesn't matter in retainer-ship of employment.

The blog Why Haven't You Fired Him Yet? , is a very good read. Good performers should also be good at creating deterrents around them from being tossed out as fantasized in my earlier post.

The blog is truthful about the practical fact that to a certain level, we tend to expect a mandate and homogeneity from fellow colleagues with our own internalized systems, while becoming uncomfortable with little threats to the thought process. In our management circles, we discuss an employee viability in cost terms, and performance is always a second priority (not without reason). The costs are:
  1. "Management Overhead Cost": Inclusive of performance is the analysis of the fact whether the resource needs to be managed not only for work, but for the self-team-organization balance. It many times, unfortunately, means and is used for "falling in line", when it actually should be used to analyze, the management attention created to address a probable negative impact. For example, a resource is self managed, goes about the job in a routine fashion, and completes the job allocation in their own style. They should ideally be more, right?
But if there is a mandate that knowledge sharing is a need and must, and the cultural aspect is neglected for personal gains, then the management over head in ensuring the cultural balance is prominent than performance required.

Similarly, there is something in the mannerisms that the next level performers find choking in the superlative performer, the management over head to elevate the next level performers to the superlative league is a crucial factor in the evaluation.
  1. "Peer Value Cost": This cost is measured in comparable terms. Again, it is often than not, misused, as a favoritism, while it is to be measured to value the attention(brags/self mentions)-attraction (perks/salary) -assertion(Choosing work, being finicky of others work ) ratio vis a vis performance.
This is typically manifested in teams where employees come from different profiles: Some working their way up through experience, while others have a degree to boot at the same level, or in some instances, the variable attention just for the prestige associated with the school.

In a team of equivalent talented great employees, the overhead of giving disproportionate attention, attraction and assertion to a particular employee would mean other equated employees would leave/live with heart burn that would affect the morale, brand of the organization.

Hence while it is important to lay down the performance parameters, it is equally important to be conscious of the associated costs and keep them to minimum for a self-standing success.

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