Pub. 2 2020 | Issue 8


Seeing Is Believing… Or Is It?

Let’s start today with a short quiz. If you could take out a freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil, we can begin.

Q1: Employee A leaves Chicago at 8:00 a.m., heading west. Employee B is wearing blue socks and leaves New York City at — Oops. I’m sorry, I took a short diversion down the standardized testing lane. Let’s try that again.

Q1 (take two): Employee A comes in at the crack of dawn each day and doesn’t leave until everyone else is gone. This employee never leaves early and hasn’t taken a sick day in five years.

Employee B works a modified schedule. This employee drops the kids off at day care in the morning and picks them up at the end of the day. They are usually the last to arrive in the morning and the first to leave. Some days, this employee leaves early to attend a school function or a sports game. From time to time, this employee works from home because one of the kids is sick.

Pencils down. Which is the better employee? Employee A or Employee B? Employee A is there all the time, so Employee A must be a better employee, right?

I’m guessing my little quiz here hasn’t really fooled you. The answer to which employee is “better,” honestly, is “we can’t tell from the information provided here.”

While “presence” at work is easy to see (and, if we’re not careful, easy to believe), you don’t hire employees just to “be there.” You hire them to serve your customers; to work efficiently and accurately; to contribute and deliver results.

So, to truly measure how your employees are performing and maximize results, you need to have clearly defined position-appropriate performance indicators and performance factors against which to gauge, you guessed it, their performance. You need to have a process to communicate expectations and provide regular feedback regarding performance in comparison to those defined goals and expectations.

Common performance measures include quality and quantity of work, job knowledge, communication skills, interpersonal skills, relationship building, sales, teamwork, productivity, compliance, decision-making and problem-solving skills.

But what about position-specific goals and objectives? What should those look like? You can figure that out by answering a couple of key questions: Why does this role exist? And what results and outcomes are expected?

While presence at work quote

While position-specific goals will differ depending on the area of focus, some typical objectives include:

  • Cross-sell ratio
  • Number of referrals
  • Loan or deposit growth
  • Customer satisfaction score

Define the appropriate performance indicators for each position and quantify the expected results. Communicate goals to your employees (usually at the beginning of a new performance period), measure results and communicate progress toward goals on a regular basis.

What’s regular? If you’ve set monthly goals, “regular” should be defined as monthly. If goals are quarterly, then communicate, at least, on a quarterly basis. If an employee appears to be “off track,” don’t wait to talk with them. Do it right away. The sooner you communicate, the less likely the “off track” behaviors will become ingrained and the sooner they will be back on track.

So why are we talking about this topic now? Considering everything that’s going on — COVID-19, remote work, civil unrest, whatever else 2020 throws at us (alien invasions?) and the challenges of managing our banks to grow and thrive in the midst of all these challenges, aren’t there more critical topics to discuss?

From my perspective, the answer is “no.” By focusing on strong performance management, you can manage your employees whether they are in the office, working remotely, or a little bit of each. You don’t have to see your employees to be able to measure their contribution and performance and maximize results. You also ensure that you view employee performance in a manner that is equitable and free from bias. Set and communicate expectations, measure employee performance against those expectations and provide regular feedback. What could be simpler?

Not sure if it’ll help in the case of an alien invasion, but it certainly can’t hurt.

Karen DiGioia, Senior Associate, Mosteller & Associates
2433 Morgantown Road; Suite 100, Reading, PA 19607
cell: (610) 299-2781, phone: (610) 779-3870
fax: 484-335-6074,

This story appears in 2020 Issue 8 of the Hometown Banker Magazine.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest