Workforce Series – Tip #3: Advocate a Performance Measurement-Oriented Culture

I’ve worked with hundreds of different types of companies. One thing they all share is their common belief that their “people are [their] most important asset.” As such, every company I know of is struggling to make sense of the shifting workplace dynamics and meet the needs and expectations of today’s demanding workforce.

With that in mind, once again this week, I’m delighted to share tips and advice from career and human resources expert Jesse Meschuk, Senior Advisor with Exequity, a full-service executive compensation consultancy.

So far in this five-part series, Jesse has recommended that leaders 1) reorganize vs. restructure; and 2) plan for the organizations they will need, not the ones they have now. This week, Jesse encourages us to institute or further ingrain a performance measurement-oriented culture.

When the talent market was incredibly tight and companies were just trying to keep up with potential growth and demand, many performance management practices became lax and less disciplined. That being said, now is a good time for companies to revisit their performance management approaches and ensure they are identifying and keeping their top performers.

Top performers, according to Marc Effron of the Talent Strategy Group, can be anywhere from 50 to 900 percent(!) more effective than the typical employee. The best way to identify and quantify your high performers is through a rigorous and challenging goal-setting process.

If you don’t have a formal goal-setting process already set up for your employees, build one. If you do, make sure the goals are challenging enough, and that they are focused on the right areas. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the goals aligned to your go-forward strategy?
  • Are employee goals meaningfully contributing toward the associated company and associated department goals for the year?
  • How are overall goals being cascaded and reviewed throughout the company? 

These are all good questions to ask to help refine your approach. In some cases, this will also need to involve training your managers to help them identify high performance. Some can confuse potential for performance, and a clear goal-setting process can help better distinguish the two.

To further reinforce your performance-oriented culture, ensure your rewards and recognition processes are properly supporting performance assessment by asking yourself:

  • Does our bonus program appropriately differentiate high performers and low performers?
  • With limited merit or salary increases, how are we identifying who is most important to keep and allocating accordingly?

Make an effort to put in place talent reviews to ensure you have a clear line of sight to who are the top 10 to 20 percent of employees, and ensure they get the right time and attention from you, the leadership team, and the organization overall.

Next week, in part four of our Workforce Series, Jesse will share his insights for being resilient and navigating uncertainty. Until then, happy staffing. Happy Networking!

Appreciation for today’s post goes to Jesse Meschuk, a career and human resources expert, and a Senior Advisor with Exequity.  Jesse has more than 20 years of consulting and human resources experience and has worked across a wide variety of industries including technology, entertainment, gaming, retail, hospitality, and sports. Jesse’s work has spanned across the Americas, Europe and Asia.  Read more about Jesse at

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