This is an interesting debate – should corporations create guidelines and values instead of absolute rules and measures? “Doing what’s right for the customer” is a value that can drive appropriate action, but is it a value that is instilled with Balanced Scorecard?
|Are Scorecards and Metrics Killing Employee Engagement? – Adrian C. Ott – Harvard Business Review
Adrian C. Ott is a corporate advisor and speaker on customer strategy and innovation and the author of The 24-Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy. Follow her on Twitter at @ExponentialEdge. 9:23 AM Tuesday July 12, 2011 by Adrian C. Ott | Comments () Staff Sgts.
“Clearly rules are important but just as important is the ability to use judgment and common sense. Unfortunately, judgment and common sense are less easy to authorize.” — John Todor
“Good performance metrics motivate employees to help the organization (or their department or their workgroup) achieve strategic objectives that align with the organization’s overall objectives. There are certainly poorly formed metrics out there and perhaps Delta is guilty of such an infraction. But in this example, it doesn’t seem that performance metrics are to blame.” — Wayne Eckerson
This was a compelling commentary by Diane from NewBrainForBusiness.com. Here comments…
There are several things we know about how human brains work that impact this – it’s not just bad judgment on the part of executive management. When our “fear mechanism” is triggered (e.g., someone makes a noticable mistake and we want to be sure it never happens again)our “old brain” takes charge and …
- We want to solve problems NOW. We want the solution to be SIMPLE. Rules appear to simplify things and provide a permanent solution. We feel like we’ve really done something about the problem. Metrics work in the same way, focusing us, simplifying our understanding of what actually happened. Simple is good for the part of our old brain in search of safety.
- We blame others – then, we don’t have to do anything differently. Employee “engagement” is an artificial concept that drives us to imagine we can control employee behavior. When it doesn’t work out, we’ve done the right thing and it’s someone else’s fault. In order to engage an employee to be and do his/her best, it takes regularly and frequently interaction.
- We make up stories about what is happening and believe them. Our tendency toward certainty can lead to bad decisions at all levels. Overused top-down metrics, policies and procedures represent a great example of this.