BLUF: My question is how can I state performance objectives in a way that satisfies my boss while still helping my team to focus on the right behaviors? I'm really stuck here, so thanks in advance for any advice.
Background: I am in the midst of helping my team develop/update annual performance objectives. They are pretty much finalized, but I am struggling with the "right" (or even "good") metric for one of the roles that reports to me.
The role has both programming and some market research design/recommendation responsibilities. My organization has set a number of billable hours for three levels of performance (like Hi/Med/Low) and my boss would like to see some additional productivity metrics and has suggested hours per project.
I struggle with this because we have no control over the number of projects that come in, we just program every survey the company throws at us. We also have no control over the length of the survey, how much is "recycled" from a previous survey, how many changes occur after the "final" survey is handed off to us (and we never say "Sorry, you already gave me the FINAL, no changes!") I have tried thinking of and scouring the net for reasonable proxies, but everything I found incentivize the wrong behavior, e.g., number of lines of code, which is easy to quantify but doesn't lead to good or efficient code. In addition, they also have a responsibility to add value to surveys they program, such as make recommendations to improve data collection and or survey respondent experience, and I am concerned that that will be the first thing they cut out if they have to reduce the time spent on surveys.
All that said, I am not concerned with their level of productivity. Two people are currently in this role, and they are able to handle all the work that comes to them, and can easily bear the expected increase in workload as our company adds 10% or more surveys this year. I have tried to focus the objectives around on-time delivery of programmed surveys, but my boss isn't 100% sold.