Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dear Malaysian Leaders (business, government, social, education and politics), - Monday in The STAR

“What gets measured gets improved”
-       Peter Drucker

Re: Let’s agree on what is and what is not performance.

Let us be candid. 2016 will be a really challenging year. We have to step up our act. There are many things to do. First, we need to identify the one action that when done right, will give a major impact.

I suggest we focus on PERFORMANCE.

1.     Many Malaysians have a twisted idea about performance. The majority who perform at a mediocre level perceive themselves as excellent performers. They rate themselves as Excellent Performers (A/5) when they clock in at 9 and go back at 5. This is performing as expected. In reality however, most would at best be performing at a C minus level.

2.     We are a nation who lies to each other. Superiors evade managing tensions and stay away from unpleasant conversations. They avoid taking tough actions to manage performance and subordinates’ weaknesses are not communicated and corrected. Many sugar coat poor performances simply because they want to be seen as nice bosses.

3.      We give bonuses to almost everyone each year, making everybody believe that they walked the extra mile for performance. To be nice, we distort reality. We created a workforce that simply does not know how to self-analyze. A workforce where the idea of self and reality is as far apart as Kangar is to Kota Kinabalu. This distortion is even more serious within the younger workforce, namely the Generation Y.

As leaders, our duty is to fix this. We must establish yardsticks and communicate them to our people. Clarity of goals and its measurements are crucial factors that determine the performance of the organization and every worker in it.

We at Zubedy have drawn a simple and easy to understand description of what is and what is not performance. We would like to share it with you as we have done to many of our clients.

What is considered as Excellent Performance (Rating A/5)
  • You perform work extraordinarily well and you stand above the rest of your peers.
  • The next person is too far away from you. 
  • You are like the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, P Ramlee, Nicol David, Lionel Messi, Michael Schumacher or Michael Jackson of your work.
  • You finish the job well before the deadline.
  • A good example is like in a marathon, you are the first few who broke away and leave behind the thousands to finish first.
What is considered as Above Average Performance (Rating B/4)
  • You perform more than 100%, but not that extraordinary yet.
  • You can teach or coach people, you know how to do it.
  • Your quality and performance is higher than the rest of your peers.
  • Your superior relies on you and does not see a need to monitor you.
  • You finish the job given before the deadline.
What is considered as Performing as Expected (Rating C/3)?
  • You perform at 100%.
  • You fulfil the need of the job on your own without the need for supervision.
  • Your superior does not need to chase after you or monitor you.
  • You finish the job on time at the quality required.
  • The moment he has to chase you or show you how to do it, you are no longer a C performer.  You are at best a C minus.
What is considered as Performing Below Average (Rating D/2)
  • You perform at or below 99%.
  • You need to be supervised and trained for the job that is expected of you.
  • You need to upgrade your knowledge, skills and abilities.
  • You often fall short of the desired result.
  • Your superior has to chase you and monitor you.
  • You do not finish the job on time.
What is considered as Poor Performance (Rating E/1)?
  • You have not performed 50% of your job.
  • You do not have the basic knowledge, skills and abilities to do your job.
  • You are perhaps new to the job, learning and unable to deliver what is required.
  • You do not finish the job.
  • You require training, re-training and specific supervision.
  • You are likely to have an attitude issue if your performance is consistently at this level.
We have been selling the idea of correcting performance to our customers via our Making A Difference (MAD)*, Managing Across Generation (MAG)* and Managing For Performance (MFP)* programs. But, this is a national concern. To move Malaysia forward, we need to re-calibrate performance in all spheres, all organizations, be it in the business, government, social, education and political.

Let’s make Malaysia great. Let’s start the conversation about performance, making it a daily topic. Until we re-calibrate on what is and what is not performance, we will not be able to do things right.

Call us. Let’s talk. Let’s set our performance standard right.

Thank you.

let us add value

Anas Zubedy
Managing Director
Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd

*MAD is about getting people to want to change.
*MAG is about getting people to understand how each generation perform.
*MFP is about how to lead and manage performance.

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