Managing employee performance is all about managing inputs and outputs. That sounds easier that it is in practice.

It all seems to go wrong from the start – with agreement on outputs.

Jobs are created so that certain outputs will be delivered. If you deliver the output required by your job, you deserve to be rewarded. So your first step should be to find out exactly what you must do. Then you can do it. You’d expect every employee to want to start out every year with the clearest possible view of what he or she must achieve, so they would know how they can be successful.

But maybe not. Perhaps the first problem is that when outputs are clear people can be held to account for their performance. That, however, is not what everyone wants. The clearer the requirements of the job, the more the wriggle room disappears when it comes to performance appraisal time. There’s less room for excuses: ‘I wasn’t sure’; ‘You didn’t make it clear’; or even ‘I did do what you asked!’

Top performers love clarity. Once they know what has to be done, all they ask is the freedom to get on and do it. For the rest, blurry job definitions leave more room to hide.

So here’s the first problem. Although it sounds perverse, people don’t really want to know what they should do with all the clarity that definition of outputs as goals, KPAs and objectives can provide. Lack of accountability is more attractive for many.

That’s the view from the employee’s side. Next time – how do managers see it?

Related posts

Leave a Reply