Is your employer effective at measuring performance?

“It’s possible to rank employees in entirely new ways in the age of big data. People in sales are used to seeing their numbers compared. But now everything from how well truck drivers drive, to individual author web traffic and how quickly engineers write code can be quantified in great detail,” writes Max Nisen for Quartz.

Companies need to be careful about how they use that information. Ranking people publicly, even if it’s done with the intention of creating friendly competition or transparency, can backfire depending on a company’s culture.

In a new study of a trucking company in the midst of adopting Toyota’s famous lean principles (which emphasize respect, humility, and collective outcomes over individual ones) researchers from NYU and Columbia found that putting up a leaderboard comparing individual performance had vastly different effects, depending on whether or not an individual site had undergone the new cultural training.

Today’s Question: Is your employer effective at measuring performance?

  • Gary F

    Yes, most of the people in my office work on straight commission or base plus commission basis.

    • MiMg

      commission jobs are the worst

  • PaulJ

    There are too many variables in a performance to objectively quantify it, that’s why management is an art. It could work if all other things remained equal, but they don’t.

  • Pearly

    Yes

  • Mark in Ohio

    Why am I reminded of the quote by Albert Einstein, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

    Reviews at my firm are a more nebulous thing, as our work is not easily broken down into small, manageable numbers. Since there aren’t raises or bonuses, it really doesn’t matter what your review is.

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Do they at least give you a Dundie?

    • Yanotha Twangai

      Here’s a variant of that saying: “Anything that can be measured will be measured, and will be considered important.”

    • MiMg

      wow no bonuses or raises, whats the point of work there

  • Junebug

    In addition to doing our own performance evaluations we have to review the director we report to and she and her boss sees that review. It’s an awkward dance and hard to be honest. I try to be as generic as possible. …something like…’she effectively creates dynamic crossplatform synergies to activate
    target consumers in key demographic and psychographic schemas.’ That usually confuses ’em enough to leave me alone to do my job.

    • Ulysses Tennyson

      Good bug. I will recommend you for promotion.

  • Martha

    We the People are the “employers” of our elected officials and do we measure “their” performance and hold them accountable? If that was the case, we would have insisted the DEA director appointed by Obama was fired years a go. Same for Hillary Clinton since no one can point to one significant accomplishment she had in her years as “our” Secretary of State unless we count her aiding the collapse of the Middle East to ISIS and Iran’s growing terrorism funding to Al Queda, Hamas and Hezbolah.What about Eric Holder, Attny General held in contempt of Congress? or Lois Lerner of the IRS given a free ride and collects her pension after her work to harass conservative applicants? What about the other appointees as in the GAO, wasting millions on parties? How about Obama’s performance in the past 6 years where the number of welfare food recipients has doubled? What about his work on poorly designed trade deals where we outsource to China and Mexico vs making those manufacturing jobs here in the USA? What a bout the work performance of John Kerry, letting Iran get closer to nukes because he and Obama have no experience in negotiating and being strong? What about the director of the Veterans Dept….not well serving our military wounded that did the hard work that most of us were too timid or unable to do?

    • theoacme

      Or, for that matter, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdoch, and their fellow Republicans, Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops, evangelical Protestant mega-church poobahs, and corporations, who all say that the only right women have in America is to be raped into pregnancy, and pay for all the costs of those pregnancies themselves, AND be blamed for being raped?

    • Yanotha Twangai

      Any excuse for a political rant….

    • MiMg

      sexist racist bigot

  • Ulysses Tennyson

    Jim Newberger’s employers in Becker should publicly condemn his performance on the House floor the other night. At least if they don’t want their whole town to be characterized by the “cleverness” of a single racist bumpkin. It does matter, Mr. Newberger. It does matter.

  • whitedoggie44

    you can’t manage what you don’t measure and we measure everything related to performance. Some employees excel other do not and are terminated. I just love the merit system vs. the worker committee’s I deal with in France, where failure is seldom punished.

    • MiMg

      I work in HR, we NEED Unions!

      • whitedoggie44

        Only if you want the company to go BK. Let’s list the disasters, airlines, steel , auto, tires, Detroit, and coming soon the state of Illinois. How about Hostess Brands, the unions refused a 10% wage cut and ended up with a 100% wage cut after the company was liquidated. There is a reason only 6% of private employees belong to unions is that young intelligent people realize that merit is far more important than a worthless union.

        • MiMg

          WRONG! LACK of Unions is the NUMBER ONE cause of the DECLINE of the Middle Class

          • whitedoggie44

            Since I am clearly dealing with an uninformed individual, please google the words “job bank” and New York city “rubber room” and educate yourself on why unions would rather bleed a company, city or state into bankruptcy rather than give up any of their benefits that can no longer be supported by higher taxes or corporate profits. Enjoy.

          • MiMg

            YOU are the UNIFORMED one, I have a POLISCI degree and WORK in politics you idiot

          • whitedoggie44

            Are you still living in your parents basement with such a worthless degree? Beware, we likely will ship your job to a third world country soon.

  • MiMg

    Employers are TERRIBLE at determining how good their employees are