"Reserve KPIs"
Employees need indicators to evaluate their companies
There are many ways for a company to evaluate employees, dozens of metrics are available. The most popular is KPIs. Managers love KPIs for being "objective" and "measurable". Often employees' income and promotion opportunities depend, at least partly, on their individual performance indicators.

But how many options does an employee have to evaluate a company? Employment is a kind of social contract. Even if it isn't reflected in a formal signed agreement, both sides make promises. An employee promises to work hard and to follow the rules. A company makes a lot of "promises" as well, for instance:

  • To provide them with the resources necessary to do their job
  • To clarify assignments, to make them clear and doable
  • To provide a supportive atmosphere
  • To keep them motivated
  • And many, many others
If employees don't achieve their targets (i.e., KPIs), and thus breach the "contract", the company may punish them with an array of methods. But what could they do if the company violates its part of the bargain? As of today, they may complain in the hope of being heard, or they can walk out the door.

Today we face the Great Resignation – millions of people quit their jobs. It happens for a variety of reasons, but when people decide to change their jobs, it is always a statement. In most cases, IMO, it is their way to emphasize their dissatisfaction with the fulfillment the contract by employer. But is this the only way for them? It seems to be so. But in the future, I am positive, the new ways to declare employees' dissatisfaction will emerge. I don't know what they will look like, I called them "reverse KPIs", just to give them a name.

When I was a CEO many years ago my annual performance bonus depended on P&L. Of course, I couldn't hit my long-term targets treating my employees badly. But if CEOs think about profit, they rarely remember about their employees' satisfaction because other things influence the bottom line much stronger, such as revenue and gross margin. "Reverse KPIs", or the things that will appear instead of them, will help to executives not to forget of the most valuable assets for their businesses.

Svyatoslav Biryulin

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