Identifying Employee Results For Any Role

There is now no length of service requirement to make a flexible working request - so this potentially means an increase in remote working and for some leaders this means a lack of visibility. Which means they say it makes it harder to manage performance "But if I'm getting the job done why does it matter" is the oft quoted response from people. But what does getting the job done mean - how is this measured??

Many roles don't have obviously identifiable results that can be easily targeted or measured. In contrast, if you're in the office and finish an activity then I may think you have some spare capacity and give you something else to do! It's this VISIBILITY word that comes up time and time again when we talk about how to manage performance, particularly when it comes to remote working.

Let's test this a bit - if RESULTS are so easy to identify and manage then which of these meet the definition of a good result?:

  • Run ten workshops
  • Produce documentation
  • Put together and present an action plan
  • Implement a new system
  • Update content on the website

The answer - none of them, even though you may have thought one or two do. Results we expect are the 'can't be guaranteed' things we do or make happen that get us a "well-done". What if I did these five tasks above horrendously and badly! You wouldn't call that a good result would you? So I need to go further then just managing what are currently worded as ACTIVITIES.

How about: Put together and present an action plan.... that is signed off/agreed by others with no more than a couple of amendments by Aug 31st? or Roll out X process..... with 90% of people using it by X date. That sounds more like a well-done result, doesn't it?

Many people are fans of the OKR business/priority planning mechanism favoured by Google and the like. The R stands for Result, but a website I recently reviewed which is selling the OKR process had three out of the five items above listed as desired key results! So apparently OKR isn't that easily understood or used either.

So, yes we need to talk in terms of results and outcomes if full or part homeworking is to be successful. And we need to be clear on what good actually looks like in an observable, indisputable and factual way. That way everyone is on the same page.

How are you getting on with identifying and managing results/outcomes/outputs?

As you're here why not check out our Painless People Management Programme that uses our very own 'Overnight Results 1/3/5 formula'.