You have a one on one meeting with the President of the company. She walks in and asks you several direct questions, and expects direct answers. She asks, “How would the customer define great performance for your job? Which of your job responsibilities affects [the company’s] profit in the best and worst ways? How would the customer define great performance for each of your employees? Have you asked the customer about this, and does each of your employees know how he or she affects the bottom line?”
Think quickly. Answer honestly. If you don’t have the right answers to the questions, it is probably time for some reflection. You need to know exactly how your job contributes to the company’s profit margin and exactly how it impacts the customer’s experience. A simple way to do this would be to list your main functions and describe the best and worst performance for each function in terms of customer appreciation and ultimately, the company’s profit. Then strive for the best performance criteria. If you need help, ask any customer.
Every time you interact with an employee your goal should be to develop that employee. All of us want to know by which standards we are being measured, and all of us want to know how we are doing. Discuss the same questions and answers with your employees, let them figure out how they fit into the big picture, and set standards for great performance with them. Then you can focus on specific criteria for feedback. In other words, you can agree on what is best, measure it, and manage it.
Picture that meeting with the President. If it was your employee instead of you meeting with her, would you feel confident or would you be worried? Set yourself and your employees up for success. Make sure you know the answers.
Scott Mastley, SPHR, MBA, is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Resource Alliance.
Scott is a consultant, not an attorney, so he shares his opinions, not legal advice, about increasing performance and limiting liability.