Taking a Values-Based Approach to Assessing Performance

As there is no direct correlation between executive coaching and performance, it is necessary to evaluate them separately. High-performance organizations require employees and managers to adhere to company values and show behaviors aligned with those values. These two areas of leadership must be navigated successfully by successful leaders.

To improve the performance of their managers, employees, and organization, leaders must take these steps:

  • Establish observable organizational values that are clear and measurable.
  • Measure employee performance against your core values as part of your talent management system.
  • Your custom performance/values assessment should be followed up with rewards, coaching, or termination.

The combination to organizational success consists of elements such as alignment, commitment, and capability, as outlined in intelligent leadership books and resources from world-renowned executive coaches.

To measure performance, we must use organizational values. Executive performance cannot be achieved without such values. We cannot influence it because we cannot measure it.

Measuring and identifying a company’s core values.

Organizational values provide meaning to performance, so we need to define and measure them. The definition of an organization’s values is often not translated into practical application even with all the information on executive coaching available.

To avoid this mistake, your organization’s values should meet a few essential criteria.

  • Your definition should include clear behavioral guidelines. Employees should receive accurate information about how they should behave in order to align with your organizational values.
  • You can translate your organizational values into observable behaviors by following these guidelines.
  • Make these behaviors measurable by establishing a rating system. Ratings should include “below expectations,” “meets expectations,” and “above expectations.”

Measuring performance according to company values.

The relationship between organizational and individual performance is not as straightforward as advocates of values-based management have asserted. According to the model, employees, managers, and executives can improve their performance automatically if their behaviors reflect organizational values.

In recent research, value-aligned behaviors are not directly correlated with performance.

Taking this problem beyond the values-based management model, I conclude that modern executive coaching should consider three variables. I explain in my books that executive coaching involves three variables:

  • Capability
  • Alignment
  • Commitment

Performance and core values should be evaluated separately in executive coaching because they are separate aspects of leadership.

The Performance/Values Matrix allows us to compare the impact of both variables independently. Therefore, executive coaching can help identify potential areas for improvement. This evaluation model also tells us how an executive aligns with the values of the organization, in addition to providing insight into how that executive performs.

The quality of the leader’s decisions is compared with how they align with the values of the organization. As a result, we are able to gain an accurate and relevant picture of an executive’s capabilities, commitments, and alignments.

A Performance/Values Matrix evaluation should result in high performance and high alignment. At the opposite end of the spectrum are low performance and low alignment.

A performance/talent management system that rewards those who deserve it and identifies those who fall short is key to fostering a culture of high performance and alignment at your organization.