E is for Effort
September 23, 2014
[starbox] The second step in my performance evaluation procedure looks at the effort a team member puts into his or her job. From our first day of sports training we are taught that effort is as important as talent in achieving good results. No one wants a teammate who just goes through the motions. We are all experts at detecting a sports star who is “dogging it.” But in the workplace, it is not quite so easy, so I try to rely on things that can be measured. One of my favorite Dilbert cartoons concerns employee evaluation. Dilbert is lobbying hard for “attendance” to receive fair consideration — which I happen to believe is a key measure of how much the employee wants to be on your team. If they have five or more unexcused absences in a year, they may be telling you they’d rather be doing something else; zero points in our scoring system. An employee who never misses a day of work gets a full five points. A more subtle metric is whether the employee makes work enough of a priority in their life to be on time each day and to stay for a full shift. The chronically late or always-leaving-early get zero points in my system. People who are always there get five points. These metrics are already in place at most organizations and those statistics can — and should be — a part of the evaluation. High-maintenance employees who require constant coaching and supervision are also indicating that their heart may not be with your team. They get zero points from me — as opposed to the person who hears instructions the first time and gets on with the project. These interactions are not recorded by the human resources department, but will be remembered by the people involved — especially if they are made aware that it matters. I marvel at those companies kind (?) enough to allow their smokers to gather and light-up at the perimiters of plant property at any time of the day. How are they getting their work done so far from their machine or computer? Sticking to assigned tasks is an important portion of “The Effort” section of my performance review system, so frequent absences from your duty station won’t get you any points. Sports writers and fans love players that “hustle;” so do supervisors. Every company needs employees who are willing to stay that extra hour to meet a deadline or to drop that important part at a subcontractor on the way home — as opposed to the teammate who is primed and waiting at the time clock like an Olympic sprinter. Guess who gets maximum points in my system?