Measuring people performance kills their business. Companies must change focus.
Modern management thinking coming out of top business schools and management consulting firms preached for the past half century, if not longer, the importance of measuring people performance, teaching executives that measuring, managing, and maximizing people performance is management’s key goal.
This management dogma is totally wrong. And it’s not just wrong, it ruins your business.
Measuring people performance produces numerous negative outcomes that warrant a big rethink. These include employee apprehension, employee disengagement, biased evaluations, non-productive culture, and messed up incentives that are geared towards maximizing performative work where what counts is not the actual work you do but how ostentatiously you do it.
But there’s a bigger and deeper problem that makes this management dogma flatly wrong and damaging to business.
When people start a job, they learn how to do that job. After a short period of time (a few weeks or months in the case of a low-skilled job, and 6-18 months in the case of a middle- or higher-skilled jobs) they start feeling “settled” in their job.
Around that time, they gradually shift from “learning mode” to “cruise control”. And that’s where the problem is.
While everything around them changes, their knowledge and skill base “calcify”. While new knowledge, insights, and tools rapidly evolve, people stick to “what works for them” and “perform their job”.
Consider the past quarter, and answer for yourself:
How many new skills have you learnt?
How much new knowledge / insights have you acquired?
How many new tools and methods have you introduced into your work?
That’s exactly why you generally see people’s performance rise in the earlier phase of their job, flatten when they “settle” in their job, and decrease thereafter.
Sum up this dynamic across your sprawling human capital base, and you’ll start seeing (clearly) why your company is failing to reach ambitious business goals.
Getting your company out of this rut requires three bold measures:
Rotate people between roles (to re-ignite “learning modes”)
Stop measuring performance (to counter the negatives listed above)
Focus measurement on learning (skills, knowledge, insights, tools, methods)
In other words, performance should be the outcome of learning, and learning should the object of measurement.
Implementing this Business Transformation Strategy requires knowing, for every employee, their unique strengths, gaps and blind spots, and best-fit roles.
Start with learning how KnackApp will help you implement this strategy.
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