Measurement in and of itself is necessary but not sufficient. When someone performs well or poorly, your job is to involve the employee (coaching habit #3) in finding out why so he/she can either double down on the causes of good performance or change the causes of poor performance.
Most leaders tend to focus their critique, feedback and training on symptoms rather than the root cause of poor performance. It ends up wasting time and resources. If you directly address the root cause, you will see immediate results. The fastest way to identify the cause is to closely observe performance, the work system and ask questions (coaching habit #2).
To get a more complete picture of performance, measure your team members' results and behavior (coaching habit #4). Achieving the performance standard on one of them is necessary but not sufficient to be a reliable performer. Getting results is great, but they will not be sustainable without the right behaviors.
Wrong behaviors include being a poor teammate by not sharing information and resources, acting inconsistently with team and organizational values or disregarding agreed-to job processes (e.g., conducting quality checks, making "X" number of calls, using prescribed materials). Any of these behaviors put at risk the reliability of your team's results. On the other hand, acceptable behaviors do not necessarily guarantee results, so measuring both is key to continually improving your team's reliability.
You get the behaviors you are willing to tolerate. If you rank your team by performance level, your lowest performer is a public statement of the performance level you are willing to tolerate. That is what your team sees as your performance standard. Ignoring issues puts your team and your leadership credibility at risk. A small molehill-sized issue today that takes five minutes to proactively address can quickly expand into a mountain-sized matter that requires five days or more to resolve. Unaddressed performance matters do not just go away; instead, they eventually rear their heads in uglier ways.
Picture a 2 x 2 matrix with Results (low to high) on the vertical axis and Behaviors (negative to positive) in the horizontal axis). Each of the four combinations of measuring results and behaviors affect your coaching approach.
Quadrant 1 is the employee whose results are up to standard, but whose behavior is not. These are the trickiest coaching situations because the employee is delivering results but his/her behavior is creating risk for the team. Focus on their behavioral motivations and be clear that you have an "and/both" not an "either/or" expectation; results and behaviors must meet standard. This is where some leaders put their integrity at risk - by tolerating the bull in the china shop because he delivers results, even though it might put the team and future reliability at risk.
Quadrant 2 employees are your stars, delivering results and doing it the right way. Encourage and look for opportunities to expand this employee's responsibilities and influence.
Quadrant 3 employees are not well suited for the role; so after appropriate coaching and support with no improvement on either performance dimension, don't waste time moving them out. Make your personnel decisions with rationality, but implement them with humanity.
Coach Quadrant 4 employees on the skills and tools needed to deliver results. They are likely willing to learn since they are already meeting your behavior standards. That said, be clear and specific with your language and improvement expectations. Keep it simple with the 3W format that we discussed in the Explain chapter - What needs to improve, who is responsible and by when?
There's a phrase - The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. When employees understand what the main thing is and have a clear concept of what is required of them, measurements can become their friends. Measurements are encouraging and validating to high-performing employees and provide an objective case to improve for lower-performing employees.