While it is inevitable that the dreaded performance appraisal will cease to exist in its current format, some form of performance measurement will continue to exist. One reason is that roles where value creation falls into a category called “individual value” will need a performance management system to measure how foundational activities impact the organization.
As recently discussed, the quantity of work produced and the quality of your work are keys to creating your good reputation. Let’s face it, if you produce a low quantity of work and the work you do produce is low quality, your days are numbered. Even the best attitude and behavior will not offset low quantity and poor quality.
Your time is precious. Your days are already packed with meetings, conference calls, overdue deliverables, and unanticipated interruptions. Working to raise your visibility in your organization and industry requires that you focus your precious time on specific activities and behaviors that help you produce results. Anyone can engage in a bevy of activities that keep them busy, yet you cannot afford that luxury. The investment of time and energy you make in your efforts to raise your visibility must be productive. What is the difference between keeping busy and being productive?
While it is inevitable that the dreaded performance appraisal as the sole measurement of your contributions to your organization will cease to exist in its current format (insert golf clap), some form of performance measurement will continue to exist. One reason is that roles within organizations where value creation falls into a category called “individual value” will need a performance management system to measure how foundational activities impact the organization.
In today’s “get-it-done-yesterday” business environments, the frequency and pace of change is accelerating, tenure is shorter, and relationships are shallower. Herminia Ibarra, the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD, reflected on this topic in a recent Wall Street Journal article. “With competition fierce and the business climate changing rapidly, companies are telling their leaders that it’s no longer enough to deliver results in their individual departments, or over the short term.” Doing your job well, which often results in an “exceeds expectations” rating on your annual performance appraisal, is no longer enough. You must do more than just do your job well.
Ed recently spoke with Michelle Ngome of the Networking With Michelle Show. Listen in here and find out:
- What Ed says is the million dollar question
- How we can add empathy as a leader
- How production influences our reputation
- Why Ed says networking and performance reviews are old news
Doing what you do with a high degree of quantity and quality is an important part of a good reputation. Quantity and quality are similar to what you say and do in that quantity and quality need to be in balance. When quantity and quality are not in balance, the impact to your reputation is not positive, as described below:
- Low Quantity + Low Quality. Face it! If you produce a low quantity of work and the work you do produce is low quality, your days are numbered. Even the best attitude and behavior will not offset low quantity and poor quality. Your hopes of being chosen as Employee of the Quarter are slim.
- Low Quantity + High Quality. Good news! The work you are producing is of high quality. The bad news is that there is too little of it. It helps that you have a good attitude and that you demonstrate good behavior, yet this will only take you so far. If you could just grow your volume of work without diminishing quality, your dream of being chosen as Employee of the Quarter could become a reality.
- High Quantity + Low Quality. Congratulations! You have a great reputation as a work horse. You produce more work than all of your colleagues combined. Unfortunately, the quality of your work is so low it seems more like you are horsing around. Your hopes of being chosen as Employer of the Quarter will be met – just at another company.
- High Quantity + High Quality. Eureka! You are meeting or exceeding the expectations of those for whom you are producing work. Your quantity is where it should be and your work is of high quality. Your reputation in respect to the work that you produce is also high. The Employee of the Quarter plaque has already been engraved!
One thing about quality – it is in the eye of the beholder. In order to influence the “beholder,” there are some key behaviors that help ensure you distinguish yourself among your colleagues. Most of your colleagues would consider that quality exists when work is done with the highest degree of excellence. Consider the following behaviors to help you achieve a high degree of excellence:
- Set expectations. Be clear about the work that will be completed, how the work will be completed, and when the work will be completed.
- Be timely. Complete your work consistent with the expectations that have been set as to when the work would be complete.
- Communicate changes proactively. Update stakeholders as quickly as possible, when you identify a change in the expectations you have previously communicated.
- Reset expectations. If changes arise that impact your ability to meet the expectations you have previously communicated, reset the expectations.
Having a good attitude, demonstrating good behaviors, and acting with integrity are only part of the reputation equation. In today’s fast-paced organizations, it is almost assumed that the work you produce is good. Even colleagues who demonstrate a good attitude and good behaviors may find themselves in job jeopardy if they are not producing good work.
Production is comprised of the following categories:
- Quantity. The volume of the work that you do meets or exceeds the expectations of those for whom the work is being produced.
- Quality. The nature of work that you do meets or exceeds the expectations of those for whom the work is being produced.
It should not be surprising to you that doing what you do with a high degree of quantity and quality is an important part of a good reputation. Quantity and quality are similar to what you say and do in that quantity and quality need to be in balance. When quantity and quality are not in balance, the impact to your reputation is not positive. More on that in the coming weeks.
Your reputation is built on a never ending series of choices that you make, every minute of every day. And in today’s transparent and frenetic organizations, your choices are seen by more of your colleagues, and faster, than ever before.
Today’s ever-changing organizations demand that you be in charge of your reputation. Every Facebook post you choose to generate, sound bite you choose to create, and decision you choose to make will potentially be seen or heard by thousands of colleagues in your organization and industry. Your choices are your reputation. In my work with my clients and during my career, I have observed that reputations are influenced by four areas – articulation, attitude, behavior, and production.
More about each influence coming soon.