Measuring People Data

Every year, managers are required to provide a review of their team members. Keeping track of what projects team members were on is a good start. Having clients and other staff provide feedback may also be helpful, but is the data realistic? How do you measure performance of people you do not see very often or totally remote personnel? How do you track what they are doing today? This week? This month?

Are you a statistics junkie? What sort of information are you gathering on your team members, and does it truly provide a reasonable review of work done? Do you assume what you are measuring is enough information? Might there be areas that are not covered? What do others in your company or industry measure?

Are your measures based on something tangible? Something these people have some ability to affect? If not, how do you justify measuring their performance if they are not directly associated with the metric being used?

Customer service is one of the most commonly measured values. How many people were happy with the service provided? What value is provided by no response? Can a non-response (e.g., failure to complete the requested survey data) be given a  perfect score or an average score, or is it ignored entirely?

Statistics are the bane of many support and service people. Setting the bar evenly among disparate groups results in skewed data. If one department has an easy response system but few bother to respond, there is no rational reason to compare that department’s response data with another department where the response system is mandatory and can be skewed through careful manipulation by the employee.

Add a reality check to your measurements on a regular basis…and remember that some data must be taken with a “grain of salt” as the proverbial saying goes.

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