Saturday, September 04, 2010

How Managers Differentiate Employee Performance

During my career, I had the responsibility of rating and ranking employee performance for 30 to 50 person organizations. In my role, I felt it was important to clearly explain how managers recognized various levels of performance even when the outcome appeared to be similar. Over time, I developed the following analogy to help employees visualize the differences.

First, I put the employee in the position of a homeowner hiring someone to care for their lawn. Then, I then provided three example employees and asked them which they would like to hire. Here were the examples:

  • Employee #1. This employee works hard on maintaining the lawn. However, he requires a high level of supervision by the homeowner. The homeowner gives specific direction every time the employee works on the lawn. Occasionally, this employee works on other landscaping projects without the authorization of the homeowner. At the end of the season, the lawn is in very good condition.

  • Employee #2. This employee also works hard on maintaining the lawn. Periodically, the employee needs direction from the homeowner, but most of the time he works independently. He focuses primarily on the lawn. He gets the homeowner's permission before working on other landscape elements. At the end of the season, the lawn is in very good condition.

  • Employee #3. This employee reviews with the homeowner what needs to be done to lawn. The plan includes good ideas that hadn't been considered by the homeowner. The homeowner approves of the plan with a some changes. The employees modifies his plan and the works hard on the agreed plan. He requires little supervision from the homeowner. After starting work on the lawn, the employee proposes a plan for improving the rest of the landscaping, which the homeowner approves. At the end of the season, the lawn is in very good condition and the other landscaped areas are improving.
  • In all three examples, the lawn care was done well. However, the level of supervisor involvement needed and the approval process for additional work were also factors in determining performance level. While these examples were not perfect, everyone with whom I had the discussion understood that the performance levels of these three employees were different even though each delivered the same good result.

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    This is not financial or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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    1 comment:

    Business Directory said...

    Yes a very critical job, managers judge performance of each employ from it's daily task sheet which employ manage and send to their managers before leaving each day. So if this pattern follows in companies then it's not tough for managers to differentiate employee performances.