Evaluating People By Metrics


Harvard Business Review has an excellent post discussing people evaluation through metrics. This is not a new topic for customer support managers. Operating in a heavily instrumented and measured discipline, it is easy for support management to focus on the measurable performance portions to evaluate their employees and ignore those that are more qualitative.

Over the years I have seen many different metrics for measuring and evaluating employees, from rating on a customer satisfaction scale to number of cases resolved, through a plethora of other metrics. The biggest, and most frequent, challenge was the attempt to evaluate individuals’ performance along the same scale, regardless of their formal role or how they operate. For example, most of us are familiar with the individuals who can process a large number of cases very efficiently, and with others who excel at methodically analyzing the most complex cases, one at a time. Both these individuals may carry similar titles, but evaluating them along the same performance guidelines is futile and frustrating to the employees and their managers.

A far better way to evaluate employees is to evaluate each along their role they play in the team, their strengths and the improvements their managers would like to see. Yes, this requires a greater involvement on the managers’ part as opposed to cookie cutter evaluation criteria, and it definitely makes stack ranking much harder, but I do believe that this system is a much more positive way for managing people and will create a much better functioning organization.

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