What does “high performance” mean? It is a term that we hear and say over and over to our clients, our staff, and even ourselves.
- What should be measured?
- How is it measured?
- Who measures it?
- Why is it important to measure?
- And what should be the result of the measurement?
When an organization looks at enhancing their performance; whether this is at an enterprise or departmental level, the first required step is the baseline. Know where it is you are starting from and make sure to be objective. How are you or your organization currently measured? Are they the right measurements and how can you tell?
Performance measurements are based upon the results achieved from activities performed which directly and indirectly align with the enterprise goals. For example, if you are a Project Manager, the metrics associated with your performance should include things such as: accurate project scope (financial and resource management), scheduling, quality control/conflict resolution, facilitation, leadership, etc. Those are some key metrics, but what makes someone “high performing”? Is it just “exceeds expectations” on a performance appraisal form, or is it bigger than that?
High performance comes down to the proactive initiative in approach and accountability a person or organization takes to ensure that obstacles have been foreshadowed and a plan to address the unforeseeable has been established. Time is respected and valuable productivity accounted for. There is planning, communication, documentation and execution in a purposeful and objective way.
Metrics are established collaboratively with those that are responsible for performing against them. They are communicated and reinforced in a meaningful, consistent way and measured by each individual on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Then there are no surprises during a performance appraisal, or an organizational assessment. You or your organization knows where you stand at any point in time which then makes you more nimble and able to change, transform or stop those activities which are in conflict with high performance.
If you and your organization are committed to continuous measurement of the results of your performance, it breeds accountability for success by everyone throughout the enterprise, thus creating a culture of high performance. Once that culture is established, the organization attracts others to it that have that same drive, passion and value for excellence, and the reinforcement for high performance is now expected and encouraged.
Article by: Diane Meiller, Diane Meiller & Associates