Oh, the dreaded question from "that guy" every organization has. Some of you secretly roll your eyes when it happens, however, it's a legitimate question (maybe not so legitimate of how it can be asked), so don't just say that "management is now requiring it" and leave it at that. It requires an answer that is insightful and truthful, not an answer that leaves an employee feeling burdened or micromanaged. One quote I heard has always stayed in my head: "I'm not trying to be Big Brother hovering over your head. I'm trying to be the kind of brother that has your back."
So why track topics and performance? Performance is not just about what's wrong, it's about what is right. It's about consistent improvement and doing things better as time goes on. I'm often quoted as saying "You don't know what you don't know, so get in the know." The better that performance is tracked, the easier it is to:
- Get help, guidance, direction, training, or a mentor for those employees that can benefit
- Identify needs or justify requests for resources, funding or additional help
- Evaluate yourself against expectations from your leadership and the mission of your department and your educational institution
- Focus on topics that can be improved in service or productivity
- Recognize and show where successes exist
- Link high performance to the team, maybe even to rewards
- Anticipate any issues or problems before they erupt or become worse
- Adjust plans as needed
- Set newer, higher goals
- Gain more responsibilities and leadership options in the organization
Communication is always the key element. Having regular, accurate, consistent statistics and reports help drive the conversations. The more your organization is known for being detail-oriented, the more people will share with you to either avoid conflict or to answer your questions fully and honestly as they respect your reputation.