Objectivity: A Performance Management Ally
Updated: Feb 15
Are we limited to one narrow definition of “performance” when talking about performance management? And on that subject, what role does objectivity play in equitably reviewing a given performance? In a broader sense of the performance management concept, we’re generally talking about an individual’s effectiveness, their capacity for completing assigned tasks proficiently and on schedule without too many setbacks along the way.
But aren’t we also talking about a few intangibles? Shouldn’t managing a performance extend beyond reviewing a person’s assignments/projects history? Aren’t employees more than the items they’ve checked off?
By our measure, yes, they are.
But one of the challenges associated with the intangible aspects of an individual’s total employment profile is that they’re often difficult to objectively assess.
You might have anecdotally heard or occasionally observed that a given employee works well on the team or is particularly well trusted by their colleagues, but such characteristics are not always so simple to quantify. Plus, why risk walking down the subjectivity path? It’s safer and more convenient to strictly assess the surface-level items, isn’t it?
Drawing Knowledge From Every Facet
Synchronizing your social, collaborative, and group efficiency factors to produce a useful employee composite means first revealing your “dark matter” information, the data too often discarded simply for going unrecognized.
Consider the team member who, on top of exceeding the baseline standards, such as a sales quota, a customer satisfaction metric, or a project load, is also known for motivating fellow team members to do the same. Aside from a polite mention within the text of a review, wouldn’t you like to see that sort of information reflected in the official performance evaluation? And objectively, at that?
Applying that sort of information is a matter of synchronizing and tapping into your array of HRIS resources to better understand a full performance rather than a handful of disjointed metrics.
Turn objective factors into performance allies to produce findings you can quickly act upon by:
Understanding who you’re assessing, rather than simply what benchmarks were or were not met
Linking every piece of guidance and every performance plan element back to hard data
Importing the intangibles into your conversations and assessments - team cohesion, morale, effort-to-success ratio, etc.
Neutralizing the subjective factors entirely
Evaluating wins and setbacks as part of a total performance, rather than in isolation
Don’t overlook the value of simplicity. You’re already in a good place to rely on the tools you’ve invested in. Hard choices become easy courses of action when the data are on your side. With the choices presented via objective reporting and 360° views, you’ll find sharing evaluations more constructive for the employee and more useful for yourself.
Objectivity: Additional Benefits
Achieving equitable promotion outcomes and diversity goals are but a couple of the good reasons to make sure objective performance assessment guidelines and capabilities are in place at every level.
Many objectively good efforts do not fall within templated assessment systems, leaving great employees feeling as though the effort they’re putting forth is of negligible concern. Don’t let “dark matter” encroach on their performance realities.
We’ve set up the shop to start illuminating paths like the one you and your employees are on. What do you say – need a light?