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Performance Measures, “keep it real”

January 30th, 2013

Having worked within a large public sector organisation of over 12,000 individuals and had the pleasure of moving departments several times, I have seen a plethora of performance measures.

Some of these have been good and some of these have been bad, but all of them have been the ‘priority’.  I have been tasked to deliver against at least 6 ‘priorities’ at one time.   Now, call me a cynic but last time I checked the Collins Online Dictionary priority meant :

If something is a priority, it is the most important thing you have to achieve or deal with before everything else. (  accessed 30/01/2013)

So having to deal with 6 priorities I was finding it a little frustrating and confusing.  Where was I supposed to start?  What was the most important of the 6 priorities? How was I to prioritise if the senior managers didn’t or couldn’t want to be bothered?

Thankfully I have experience, knowledge and a keen grasp of the english language.  The reality was that there was no actual priority, but rather a set of desireable outcomes calling themselves priorities.  What I decided to do was look at what these outcomes were all building towards and create my own priority.  Then using various tools examine which of these outcomes would contribute most to the priority.  The outcome was that I could communicate the priority to the team, and the outcomes that we needed to achieve to realise this priority.  No longer was I stressing over meeting all six priorities at one time and my teams were able to get on with their work without worrying about everything being the one thing they had to do.

Performance Management Hint

A priority is a singular item, the one overarching goal of the organisation,  in a private company it is more often than not to make money.  How do they make money?  Setting desired outcomes (customer service, quality of product etc etc).  To those in a customer service role, their priority may be to provide excellent service as judged by feedback, this is achieved through setting outcomes (answering calls within X seconds, resolving customer queries at source etc etc).

As you can see, you can have a set of outcomes that your people need to achieve, but please, they are not all priorities!  You would not believe the stress that is caused by setting people multiple priorities.  Remember, keep it real.

Performance works can assist you with performance management and frameworks.




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