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Re: Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part III): People

by steve (Deacon)
on Nov 08, 2010 at 17:42 UTC ( #870161=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Nobody Expects the Agile Imposition (Part III): People

Another excellent post. Thank you for the thought you put into this, and for sharing it.

I have had few worthwhile performance evaluations in my career, though some have been better than others.

One thing I find for certain is that having a set requirement of identifying a certain number of things an employee does well and conversely not so well is terribly counterproductive. If there is a weakness that is visible to a manger it makes more sense to identify and deal with the issue immediately, rather than wait until an annual (or other time interval) review. Waiting to share such weaknesses seems to send a message that the weakness is not all that important and/or give a reason for pay-related incentive decisions. Strengths that need to be used by an employer should likewise not go unnoticed until the regularly scheduled performance evaluation.

In fact I would agree with your Deming quote that something needs to be done to "Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship." Rather than having a management critical of employees, management should be actively identifying and removing barriers to the accomplishment of goals, projects, and/or tasks for every employee managed. Management that champions the cause of those who are managed in removing any barriers to success and allows those managed to take pride in their accomplishments will foster an environment of success, and even cooperation.

I would add to the "What to do instead" list the idea of recognizing and identifying the strengths of employees vocally. This removes the self-assessment obstacle. An employee whose manager identifies a particular strength can rejoice in the possession of said strength and will be more confident in the expression of such.

Slogan distaste has grown into a market in and of itself with Demotivators ® and others. A good employee gives their best, and asking them to focus on core values or slogans that the employer/management officially endorses infers that such is not the case. Implying that employees are not doing so is never a good practice.

Getting the best out of people is also covered somewhat differently in Good to Great in principles such as "First who, then what" in that getting the right people to start out with is the basis for success. Respecting and rewarding the right people is a great motivator. The right people also respond to being given responsibility. Getting the most out of people is recognizing strengths and giving responsibilities with the chance to excel.

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