June 6, 2011 / 8:28 PM / 9 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Avoid performance management traps

Uighur tight-rope walker Aisikaier performs on a 30-meter-high wire in Xuanwuhu Park in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu province, May 22, 2005. REUTERS/China Newsphoto

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - There are some simple ways to avoid the biggest blunders often associated with performance management tasks, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Few performance assessment systems measure what really matters: current and future performance. Here are three of the biggest sins when it comes to measuring your organization, and how to avoid them:

1. Focusing only on you. Don’t compare your company to itself; you need to know how you are doing relative to competitors. If this data is not easy to come by, bring in an outside expert or ask customers for their perspectives.

2. Focusing only on the past. Beating last year’s numbers is not the point. The numbers need to tell you whether the decisions you make today will pay off in the future.

3. Focusing only on the numbers. Numbers never tell you the full story. Enhance quantitative data with sophisticated, qualitative assessments that give you the human side of the story.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “Guide to Finance Basics for Managers.”

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