Check Your Assumptions
If you followed along last week, you've made your "nice" list or rather the list of metrics that you will use in order to evaluate the performance of an employee. This week we're going to discuss checking that list twice. Here's the thing about metrics; they have to be set-up correctly or the results will absolutely fail.
This week we encourage you to check the assumptions you are making in creating the metrics. We have four tests for you to take each metric through in order to make sure that the assumptions make sense.
Math Test: If the metric can be measured then you must ask: How did we arrive at this number? What research or quantification have we done to ensure that this number is accurate? How does that math add up to others in our industry? Outside of our industry? Can we easily explain how we came up with that measurement to someone else?
The Vague Test: If a new employee read this metric, would it make sense? If it needs explaining, where does that explanation come from? Can we make it clearer without an additional explanation? Can we measure it, even if it's not tangible using a legend or some other method of quantification?
Realistic Test: Can an employee in this position realistically achieve this metric? Are they doing it now? Do they have the training and tools to reach this metric? Can their managers hit this metric? As a company have we proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can be done? Has it been done in other companies?
Tracking Test: How easy is it to track this metric? How much time will it take? What systems do we need in place to track it? Who will track the metric? What would get in the way of tracking this metric?
If a metric is important you must find a way to make sure it passes each of the four tests. If it fails, we can guarantee you the impact of having the metric will diminish greatly. Metrics are only as good as the planning that goes into them. They will fail...
- If faulty thinking creates the metric.
- If employees don't believe they can be reached.
- If no one is watching/tracking them.