The final quarter of my performance review system measures the creativity a person brings to their job. Some might argue that many jobs don’t require creativity; they just involve repetitious activity which is to be done as efficiently as possible. I firmly believe that creativity is what makes us human; to freely engage in work or play we need ways to make it “our own.” We’ve all run into that waiter or other service provider who brings such energy to their task that you remember the encounter in great detail. Contrast that to sullen people who just go through the motions.
The difference, in my mind, is a desire to learn new skills and apply those skills in different ways. Other people don’t like to learn anything. I prefer to be surrounded by those who are hungry to learn; they get five points in my system. Learning as an adult hinges on problem analysis skills; you have to recognize a need to learn something and figure out where and how to acquire that knowledge. I want my co-workers to say “We’re having trouble with “x;” where do I learn more about “x” rather than have them just shrug their shoulders and expect a solution to be given them.
Knowledgeable and motivated employees enjoy developing solutions to problems. They take pride in solving problems on their own rather than just bringing everything to the boss. Often this requires that they remember similar problems from the past and how those situations were resolved.
The last piece of the “creativity” quadrant measures co-worker’s inventiveness. My high scorers demonstrate unique abilities to apply lessons learned and historical results to new problems. Low scorers are just waiting around for someone to tell them what to do; or for time to run out on the day.
The next blog posting sums all of this up.