Measuring Employee Performance (a Short Cut)

An age old problem

Your staff aren’t really working the way you want them to, results are at best average, engagement is low.

The age old solution to the age old problem is measures:

“give them real measures that mean something to them, it will motivate them to perform better”

Will it?

What does a good measure look like?

If you read a text-book it will tell you that a good staff measure should be:

Not so simple to define such a metric is it?

So what is the short cut?

Talk to your team members, especially the engaged, high performing ones.  Nine times out of ten they will have a tracker on their desk top, or some scribbles taped to their monitor.  That is the measure that they use to define their own performance.  It is the way they know whether or not they are having a good day, or a bad one.

They know what the best measure is, they have thought about it.

How about you use that measure?  If nothing else it would be a good place to start.

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Image by Jason Cartwright


  1. Hi James,

    It’s funny how many leaders/managers look to themselves when their teams or the people around them are just as, if not more, likely to have the best answer.

    Makes me think of Jim Collins’ definition of a Level 5 leader in Good to Great when he talked about how: When things do not go well Level 5 Leaders take responsibility for the failures and never blame other people, external factors, or bad luck. But, when they do go well they attribute success of their companies to external factors, their team or luck.


  2. Hello James

    There is a whole branch of psychology, therapy and change based around the principle that you advocate: look for what is working and who is making it work. Under the pscyhology umbrella it is called Solution Focused Change and under change management it goes by the name of Appreciative Enquiry.

    Here is an interesting blog on Solution Focused Change:


  3. James Lawther says:

    Thank you for your comments gentlemen, and thanks very much for the link Maz, I have had a good luck, fascinating stuff


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