Measure the Right Things

What do you use to measure employee performance? For many years I worked in places where time was what I was paid for and so work time was what was measured.

This became a problem when I’d see other people spending the day on Facebook and still getting paid. They produced nothing, but production wasn’t measured, time in seat was. So by that standard, those employees were doing what was required.

I have a friend who had a Monday morning meeting where employees were measured by lines of code written. I guess that’s okay since code writing is related to production. But on one project, my friend went on a big refactoring quest and cut 2,000 lines of code. That action reduced his line of code measurement, which was bad for him based on the company standard, but he made things more stable, which was good for the project.

Was he productive for the company? Of course, and the manager knew that, but they then had to report and justify to the next line of managers why someone wrote negative lines of code.

What I like to see measured is tasks accomplished for clients. Did the project get done on time.

Really, who cares how many hours or lines of code it took to get the job done? What matters in the end is that it’s done.

photo credit: 131169388@N07 cc

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