How do you identify, quantify, or clarify poor performance?

Are there any metrics you use?

Mark's picture

Is this a trick question?

Poor performance is either performance that fails to meet the goals we've agreed to or performance that is beneath the capabilities of the person.

Metrics are SO case-specific I don't think I can be of value without some parameters.


AManagerTool's picture

Most companies have a job description for each position. Start there.

US101's picture

Thanks. I think the real question is how do describe poor performance in behavioral terms. Mark has already explained this many times. But it is difficult to do.

Mark's picture


Funny you say that. Mike is always telling me that I'm particularly good at describing behavior rather than emotions or intents, etc. I guess I have been doing it so long that I don't notice. Every time he says it, I think, "huh?"

What kind of behavior are you talking about?


US101's picture

The ineffetive behavior is an employee who is making the wrong assumptions resulting in errors when he is doing supply chain analysis, e.g., how many parts will we need next month for "x."

Mark's picture

Okay, at the risk of being snarky... that much information reminds me of the guy who asks the doctor, "Hey, my head hurts, do I need brain surgery?"

Can you give me some perspective? His background, the role he's in, what his metrics are, etc...



US101's picture

He is a master scheduler with a year's experience. We really don't have clear metrics. Here's the closest thing -

Maintain accurate availability to promise dates and quantities in SAP within target availability ranges. Balance supply plan to meet revenue, inventory, and on-time delivery targets „« Ensure that supply elements are in place such that customer requested delivery dates are satisfied. Monitor metrics to track delivery accuracy & associated status reporting

dbeene's picture

I'll take a stab at it...

It may not be immediately helpful, but I suppose the metric parameters are on-time delivery, inventory, and revenue. So SMART goals should be a specific on-time delivery percentage and inventory turns (which might be a useful composite measurement of revenue and inventory?).

"When you miss your delivery schedule..." jumps out at me as the obvious point of feedback. But it seems almost too general to be useful . . . in the sense that missing the delivery schedule is not a behavior . . . it's a result of behavior. (Other thoughts???)

"When you make inaccurate assumptions about the supply inventory needs...", followed by several consequences tailored toward his/her communication style.....

I'd probably start with that and see what behavior changes they suggest. It might actually require a more comprehensive and systematic coaching plan, instead of just an instance of feedback.

If they missed the metrics once and had minor consequences, I'd probably use feedback. If there's a long pattern of missing metrics or if the consequences have been especially painful (especially if a customer noticed), I'd probably be more aggressive about coaching.

(I'm speaking from experience an industry where there are few things worse than missing an on-time delivery to a customer. Maybe your industry is more forgiving or flexible.)

US101's picture

Thanks dbeene.

mikepolarbear's picture

Anything can be measured - it may not be perfect, but you can measure it.

One of my first tasks in a new company was to develop a productivity measurement for art. In the past, staff had been pushed to compete a set number of animations, but the animations were of varying lengths and different number of characters in it. Final quality was a subjective. The end product was "unmeasurable".

I started measuring. We tried all sorts of different measurements, giving different weighting to the various tasks that were considered to increase the difficulty of the work. Over time we developed a formula and my boss named the end result 'Mike Units'.

The results still aren't perfect. My staff find some projects stingy with Mike Units, and others are generous, but over time I could start seeing trends. Now my staff know that they must achieve an average of 550 Mike Units/day over a 12 week period. If someone is new to the staff, or is falling behind I can see it and offer them coaching and I can give them feedback.

Don't be afraid to start measuring, even if the results aren't accurate at first. Start, grow and learn; it will be better than not starting at all.