At the time of appraisal and performance evaluation, the corporate bosses must understand and remember the principle of conservation of mass. The above law should be applied to measure/evaluate the effort versus result produced by different employees.
The law of conservation of mass states that the total mass of any reactant will be always equal to the total mass of the product in a chemical reaction. Atoms are the tiniest measure of mass and hence the number of atoms present in the mass of reactant used for a chemical reaction has to be and will be as same as the total mass of the final product and vice versa.
Similarly, the effort of every employee has to be as same as the result they generate/produce. Some might argue that the external factors do sometime limit the result and hence the people may fail to achieve the expected result despite effort. The result can be measured either in ‘mass term’ or in ‘weight term’. It means the measure of what is achieved versus what is expected or committed at the end of the day. Such measure can be called as ‘weight measurement’ or quantity measurement of the result versus commitment.
The result also can be measured with respect of the total learning of the employee during the process of achieving the committed result, insight on their future preparedness, what went right and went wrong, how to forecast the events while committing the task, how robust should be the plan B etc. Such approach can be called as ‘mass measurement’ or quality measurement of the result versus effort.
The bosses if don’t like some of their subordinates, often they arm twists and say that the employee has not achieved the result as per what was committed. These bosses will purely look at the result only in quantity term and not in mass term. Therefore they have to tell that such subordinates are non performers and hence cannot expect promotion or increment. Further, the bosses also derive tremendous pleasure in belittling the subordinates.
The point to be remembered by the corporate bosses is that the effort and result of their subordinates should be measured both in weight and mass terms by the corporate bosses, i.e., what was achieved, what went wrong and right in the process, what was the key learning, how to forecast the result, how future planning should be and how the understanding should be used etc.
Sometime the people may not achieve the result may be due to several external factors outside their domain or purview. Imagine a formulation chemist in a personal care industry has a task of achieving a formulation at given cost may fail when there is sudden raise in the cost of the raw materials.
If the boss look at the commitment versus what was achieved by his subordinate purely from business definition, the boss will be right in saying the employee has not achieved the task. Instead of putting down the subordinates by using the above phrase, the boss must help the subordinates to have an alternative option and plan B in place. Only then the failure also would provide wisdom for future. Otherwise only blaming and belittling become the byproduct of the performance appraisal process.
When an employee states their helplessness in achieving the result despite sufficient effort the bosses also must measure the key learning than the mere result.
Remember the truth that an effort when produces the result, achievement will be there but learning will be, the least. Learning is also important. The suggestion is not to have failure to learn, but learn from failures and better your planning and performance.
If the corporate leaders elaborate the law of conservation mass, certainly they contribute effectively to the growth of the organization.
Dr S Ranganathan
ClinRise Derma Pvt., Ltd., Chennai
Desire, Dream and Destination – Social Entrepreneur Forum