Looking At The Whole Picture

26 Oct

Have you ever had the experience of speaking with someone over the phone so many times that you build up an image of what that person looks like in your mind? If so – and most of us have – you probably recall the feeling of surprise when you actually first met that same person. Taller or shorter than you anticipated; younger or older; eyeglasses, hair color . . . the list goes on.

The lesson to be learned from this is that “limited information often leads to wrong conclusions” – and that lesson is nowhere more important than within your HR organization.

Your HR organization is the ultimate responsible party for assessing the value and performance of your employees. Of course there are “reviews” to help in this assessment, but employee reviews typically don’t paint a complete picture. And that’s because employee reviews evaluate a staffer’s actions only within the confines of the department they are assigned to – and not the departments that are affected by that employee’s actions.

Especially in the current economy, where organizations are being tasked to “do more with less”, many employees have gained responsibilities that span across multiple departments. And if you thought that it was challenging to get one manager to complete a review for an employee, just imagine how difficult it’s going to be to get two or three managers to work together to create a cohesive review for an employee who impacts each of their departments.

Difficult? Yes. Consider the following:

You have a salesperson who works for your organization. Their primary responsibility is to sell, so a look at their “numbers” is a good place to start when assembling a picture of their performance. These numbers are typically found in a sales or CRM software application.

But does this salesperson target a disproportionately high number of financially risky clients? It might be only be by looking at receivables data in a financial application that an organization is able to determine if this is the case.

And how about the “after sale” cost of this salesrep’s clients? Is this rep selling a sophisticated product to unsophisticated clients, resulting in a huge burden on an organization’s customer support staff? Is the after-sale support cost wiping out all of the profits from the initial sale? A peek into an organization’s customer support system would let us know.

All too often an employee’s performance is based on insufficient data because an organization just doesn’t have the time or resources to collect, compile, and reconcile all of this information.

Therefore — this process must be automated.

Now – before you get concerned that we’re advocating automating the entire employee review process – we’re not. What we are advocating, however, is automating the collection, compilation, and reconciliation of the employee data you and your managers need to perform the best reviews possible.

And although almost all sales, finance, and customer service applications contain some kind of querying, reporting, and/or business intelligence modules for retrieving data, those modules are inadequate for this task for one reason: they are unable to look at cross-departmental indicators.

Judging a salesrep by sales numbers alone is insufficient. So too, for example, would be judging their performance based on their attendance or absenteeism from the office. But – if a salesrep has experienced a decline in sales numbers (as shown in a CRM application) at the same time their absenteeism has increased (in an HRMS application) – now we have a definitive sign of decreasing performance.

This kind of cross-departmental collection, compilation, and reconciliation is available from a singular type of software application categorized as “Business Activity Monitoring” or BAM.

BAM enables an HR organization to fairly judge an employee’s performance because it compiles enterprise-wide knowledge regarding that employee’s activities within – and between – the various departments of an organization. Evaluating employee performance on anything less than that is a dis-service to both your employees and to your organization as a whole.

Comments are closed.