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Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Are Scorecards and Metrics Killing Employee Engagement? By Adrian Ott; summary+commentary by Pierre Khawand

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 @ 08:41 PM

Haven't heard about our summary+commentary (s+c*d) format? Learn more!


Adrian OttAdrian starts with a shocking story in which Delta personnel told U.S. Army soldiers who returning home from Afghanistan that they needed to pay $200 per person for each extra bag--not allowing them to proceed--a story that generated considerable buzz. So why didn't Delta employees apply better judgment and resolved this issue more elegantly?

Adrian uses this story to highlight an unfortunate trend in management: Rules and metrics becoming the driving factor in business, and limiting the ability of front-end customer-facing employees to use their judgment and make good decisions. Adrian highlights that while rules and metrics are important, rigid rules, which seem to be overly dominant, can backfire. The article concludes that instead of hiding behind rules, managers need to teach values and judgment, and give employees more leeway to make better decisions. Read Adrian's article in full!


I found Adrian's analysis fascinating and insightful. The article made me question that value of leadership training which seems to be missing the issues highlighted above. I believe that organizations need to extend leadership training to all employees or maybe develop "followship" training that emphasizes good judgment and strategic thinking!


What do you think? Are rules and metrics paralyzing employees and limiting their ability to make sound, customer-centered decisions? Do you agree that leadership training needs to be more inclusive? How would you address the issues highlighted by Adrian?

Topics: summary-plus-commentary, management, leadership