This post concludes our topic of the month on Empowering Employee Productivity (quickly becoming a favorite topic of mine); therefore I felt it appropriate this week to address a concern we often get from members on this subject.

A renewed emphasis on productivity can bring accompanying concerns on work quality, particularly as Operations work becomes more complex and exceptions-based. Case in point: Though productivity per employee has risen in the last few years (partly due to technology gains and layoffs post-financial crisis), more than 90% of executives report their concerns over work quality have increased too.

Demanding expectations for both superior productivity and quality creates a paradox for employees on how to manage their performance. Should they aim to complete 100% error-free work or to rank in the top 10 percentile of productivity? Is it realistic to expect both? The unbalanced and disjointed standards can leave employees struggling to make sense.

In response to this, one institution that we call Hamilton Financial has developed a Balanced Performance Framework to set clear and realistic guidelines for productivity and quality performance. Hamilton measures worker productivity and performs segmented quality checks. Managers then evaluate both metrics in juxtaposition to assess where an employee’s strengths and development needs lie.

What’s really unique about Hamilton is that they go one step further and align employees’ work assignments to their performance strengths. In doing so, they utilize natural strengths of each individual.