I was recently talking to a senior executive of a not-for-profit organization who was expressing frustration over the lack of good performance measures for members of his staff who engage in helping clients fulfill their grant obligations. Some staff members have as few as 15 clients while others have as many as 60 clients. And the type of assistance their clients need differs substantially from client to client. In contrast, managers of staff teams can be measured based on balancing workload among team members, effectiveness at recruiting, retaining and engaging staff, as well as responsiveness to client complaints. But there seemed to be no good way to get insight into staff performance.
I suggested that he have each staff member set goals and objectives based on anticipated client needs. The goals need to be very specific covering things such as cycle time, clients’ success at meeting their customer objectives (spelled out in detail), etc. He asked how he would be able to tell if these goals were met. I told him that semi-annual discussions between clients and his managers would be the best approach. He immediately got it. And then made an interesting observation: “This will not only measure performance, it will raise our game because it will focus clients on how we are doing, and they will demand more.” Bingo!