An absolutely regular expected part of any job is unexpected surprises. A colleague that leaves the company and you have to cover for the loss. A manager who leans on you to take some of their responsibility as a development opportunity. An email from a customer where you’re asked for help and you agree to foster goodwill for the future. Virtually every employee in every job is asked to take on other tasks than they previously planned for during the normal course of business. If you were to look at your email inbox right now, it’s likely that not every item can be tied back to a goal on your approved goal plan.
In most of these cases it’s unrealistic - or even wise - to add all of these items to your goal plan. But it would be hard to imagine the guidance being “refuse the work since it’s not on your goal plan” since the work contributes to the organization’s overall success.
Since you’re doing the work, it’s only accurate to measure that work! Today what usually ends up happening is the work is forgotten about and the employee’s effort floats into the abyss of lost accomplishment. If we can agree that measuring an employee’s performance as accurately as reasonably possible is a major goal of performance management, then it stands to reason that this way just is not accurate enough to be relied upon.
This not an indictment of goals themselves, but instead trying to use a goal rating as an accurate basis of an overall performance score. Goal setting is an important task for all employees as it provides us with targets and keeps us moving it in the right direction. Think of it similar to how when you are driving from Chicago to New Orleans you will periodically see signs on the interstate letting you know how long it’ll be until you reach your destination. These signs give you a reminder of your progress and goal, but they really don’t account for unplanned stops along the way, even though those really are part of the trip.
The nature of performance management should match the nature of work. There is no “start” or “end” to a company’s business. Business is always ongoing, and so to should performance management. Employees and managers should feel free to evaluate performance without it being a hinderance to them doing their job, which is why we’re all here in the first place.
Quix PM was created to solve this problem. Quix PM is a mobile application that allows employees and managers to quickly rate themselves and their direct reports up to twice per day. This allows companies to build a more nuanced, complete picture of employee performance over time, identifying high-performers, problem employees, potential management issues and even biases that would otherwise go unnoticed and unaddressed. Contact Quix PM to learn more.