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Struggling with Key Performance Indicators?

Blogs Human Capital Management

It’s no surprise that Key Performance Indicators are difficult to set up and manage.

The underlying issue is not the KPI’s themselves. Once Key Performance Indicators are set, most employees know what they need to do in order to achieve their critical success factors.

The problems with KPI’s are:

Problem 1:

KPI’s are written in a language which allows people to “game” the system and avoid the intent of the KPI. The impact is that employees get paid their bonuses but the organisation doesn’t perform any better and can even perform worse.

Solution 1:

This can be significantly improved by engaging Ascender’s consulting team to review existing KPI’s and recommend changes. Ascender has patented a method which will align the KPI’s with the strategy of the organisation while protecting the intent in driving employee performance.


Problem 2:

The reasons for needing particular Key Performance Indicators are never adequately understood by the workforce. The impact is that employees work hard to achieve goals for which they don’t have any context or meaning. In the absence of context, employees don’t know “Why?” they need to achieve their KPI’s and their work effort is often misdirected or misaligned. At the performance review, employees think they have done excellent work but their manager gives them a low rating at their annual appraisal.

Solution 2:

Helping managers and employees to understand the meaning of their KPI’s is conducted through workshops run by Ascender. The workshops are consistently rated highly by all participants and helps them to understand Why? the KPI’s should matter to them.

“When employees struggle to achieve the KPI’s, managers and executives are challenged to understand the reason for difficulties in achieving those KPI’s” — Dr. Sugumar Mariappanadar


Problem 3:

The reasoning behind the KPI’s themselves is not analysed properly by the executive and management teams. This does not sit well but is prevalent in 90% of the organisation’s. Often, Key Performance Indicators are set without understanding their true impact on the organisation. The impacts of actually achieving the KPI’s are not connected to the organisation strategy and the original intent of the KPI is not achieved.

Solution 3:

Ascender has partnered with Dr Sugumar Mariappanadar, our Executive KPI Analyst. Dr Mariappanadar has developed our KPI Analysis software, which helps managers to analyse KPI’s and determine whether the intended impact on the organisation is the same as the reason the KPI was created. This enhances the decision making capability of the manager by using evidence-based data the manager does not have ready access to. Ascender PeopleStreme’s KPI software is used to map intended impacts versus actual impacts for that KPI.

Problem 4:

If Key Performance Indicators have been established effectively, it should be possible to predict and quantify the impact on the organisation. For example, if the organisation needs to improve customer service, should the KPI be set for training existing service consultants or hiring new consultants with a different job profile or preventing the best consultants from leaving by better engaging them and setting up a career plan? All three initiatives have an impact but few organisations understand which of the three impacts will directly affect customer service.

Solution 4:

Through extensive research, Ascender understands the true impact of a poorly written KPI on the organisation. To do so, we’ve looked at behavioural analysis, which can only be conducted by a seasoned organisational psychologist.

By combining effective KPI’s with correlated outcomes, we’re able to predict how much of a particular intervention is required to achieve the required level of the KPI. Our software is set up once to suit your organisation and KPI’s and then allows you to use it to manage your KPI’s more effectively.

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