"Sometimes, we can't measure what we need, so we invent a proxy, something that's much easier to measure and stands in as an approximation."We do this all the time in HR out of necessity - we measure employee satisfaction because there's a connection between satisfaction and productivity, for example; and it's difficult in many (but not all) roles to measure productivity directly. Godin goes on to explain how this can become a problem when we focus on the proxy (in this example, employee satisfaction) and forget the goal (in this example, employee productivity):
"...When we fall in love with a proxy, we spend our time improving the proxy instead of focusing on our original (more important) goal instead"I believe we often fall into this trap too - being obsessed with employee satisfaction metrics as if they are an end in themselves, forgetting that the point is to increase employee productivity - and that:
- There are many other paths to boosting employee productivity; and
- Not all of the ways to increase employee satisfaction will also increase employee productivity.
posted by Alex Hagan