Here’s a little something Paul Williams and I used to talk about during our Starbucks days—measuring your comparable job performance.
As Starbucks marketers, we were always challenged to design marketing activities to increase year-over-year sales. (Easier said than done considering Starbucks was recording nearly double-digit comps during our time there.)
One day, back-in-the-day, Paul and I were discussing our upcoming annual performance reviews and we started riffing in terms of what we needed to do to comp against our work performance from the year prior. Figuratively, we began taking steps to measure our comparable job performance. We knew if we wanted to achieve double-digit comp growth in the next 12-months, we would have to stretch ourselves to assume more responsibility and find ways to improve our everyday on-the-job performance.
That riff turned into a Starbucks Tribal Truth which I included in my TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE book. And with 2006 having just bridged into 2007 … it’s a good time for us all to begin measuring our comparable job performance so we can set ourselves up to achieve more this year compared to last year.
Tribal Truth #44
Always Measure Your Comparable Job Performance
Many overachieving Starbucks partners measure their comparable job performance. They do it in the same way businesses and financial analysts look at year-over-year comparable sales growth (comp sales) to gauge the vitality of a business and evaluate its future growth prospects.
By comparing their current job performance in relation to their job performance of the previous year, these overachieving Starbucks partners are able to better evaluate their contribution in the workplace to determine if their overall performance is trending positively or negatively.
What if you were to figuratively measure your comparable job performance? Would you find yourself performing 2 percent better this year compared to last year? Or have you performed 20 percent better? Perhaps your comparable job performance is trending negatively.
Before your next job appraisal, take some time to figuratively measure your comparable job performance. Note that some measures are objective and quantifiable while others are purely subjective and rely on your own judgment. That’s okay. Measuring your comparable job performance is simply another self-evaluation tool—one that focuses on your annual progress, as opposed to against a static standard. Honest and candid self-reflection are critical here, not whether or not you think you improved by 10 or 20 percent.
To start measuring your comparable job performance, ask yourself these questions:
• How much more did you contribute to the success of your company this year compared to last?
• Have you gained more responsibility in the past year?
• Are you more confident in your abilities to positively impact your company’s future?
• Did you lead or participate in more project teams this year than last?
• Were you involved in more worthwhile projects this year?
• Did you deliver more of your projects on time, on budget, and on strategy this year?
• Do you have more direct reports this year than last?
• What steps did you take in the past year to learn new skills?
• Do your peers have greater respect for your contribution as an employee and as a person this year compared to last year?
• Have you made more of a difference in the lives of your direct reports or peers this year than last?
• Do you feel more satisfied personally and professionally this year?
After reviewing your comparable job performance from the previous year, you then need to develop action steps in order to set the stage for positively comparing against yourself in next year.
If you expect to perform 20 percent better this upcoming year than last year, you will need to figure out how you are going to achieve your comparable performance growth goal. You may determine you should attend a seminar to learn new skills. Perhaps reading a business book will give you insight so that you can perform better on the job. Alternatively, you may need to gain an assignment on a different project to increase your responsibility and visibility. Or it may be a case of simply working smarter and not harder.
The value in measuring your comparable job performance cannot be understated—it will allow you to better determine on-the-job activities so you can learn more, grow faster, and prosper truer in both your professional-life and your personal-life.