What Gets Measured, Gets Done

Employee engagement is an important investment a leader can make to ensure that they’re attracting and recruiting the right employees.

Another important characteristic of winning workplaces is a culture that measures performance.

At SEI, we believe that measuring employee performance gives us the information we need to drive success.

We refer to our performance measurement system as the “SR5.” It sounds a little complicated, but it’s really quite simple. It stands for Scorecards, ROIs and 5/15s – the three tools that comprise our performance measurement system. This system helps us to see trends and avoid emotional reactions to movements in company performance. As a result, we view our performance objectively rather than emotionally.

To further explain each element of the SR5 and how they work together, I’ll start with a high-level view, and then we’ll break down each area into more detail in the coming weeks:

Performance Measurement Series: This is the first in a four-part series on Performance Measurement. For more see the following posts: Part I: What Gets Measured, Gets Done, Part II: Scorecards, Part III: ROIs, Part IV: 5/15s

ScorecardsScorecards are used to track goal achievement on a company, department and regional level. We like to think of this as the story of our performance in graphic form. Each graph on the scorecard shows how we’re progressing against that goal over a number of months.

ROIsROI stands for responsibilities, objectives and indicators. All employees – including me ­– have ROIs and a job description that is measurable. These items track goal achievement on an individual level. By reviewing ROIs with their managers monthly, employees always know where they stand. Because we believe in talking to our employees regularly about what they’re doing well and where they can improve, their annual review is exactly that: a review of everything we’ve talked about throughout the year. That means no surprises. And we like that.

5/15s – The 5/15 is a personal development plan created by each employee. (If you’re wondering, it originally got its name from the fact that it takes five minutes to read and 15 to prepare.) This plan outlines priorities on a quarterly basis and is a great way for managers to actively engage in employee success and development. Employee growth and accomplishment creates momentum. When employees achieve their Vision goals, Service Express continues to grow and create opportunities for others.

Having conversations on a regular basis about employee performance allows us to be proactive. We can recognize employees for a job well done and provide support and training when needed to boost employee effectiveness – before unacceptable performance becomes an issue.

And the right people don’t want to be evaluated subjectively, they want to work with the confidence that objective performance measurement provides.
It might sound like we’re incredibly focused on numbers . . . and that’s because we are! But we’ve found that we actually use the numbers to understand our story – and then figure out how to make it even better. We also use them to build a culture that is both challenging and rewarding for our employees.  We invest a lot into attracting the right people. And the right people don’t want to be evaluated subjectively, they want to work with the confidence that objective performance measurement provides. We’ve found that when you give them a benchmark, they work hard to surpass it.

Setting up and maintaining this performance measurement system takes time, but it’s well worth it. When we understand the trends, we can react strategically, instead of emotionally, to changes in our business. And, by always tying our measurements back to our Four Core Objectives, we can ensure that every activity contributes positively to achieving our most important priorities. This is the way we bring to light the reasons for our success – and it’s also the key to ensuring it in the future.