Too much of a good thing? Will your performance review software find it?

Piers Bishop · November 5, 2013

Can you have too much of a good thing?  That’s the question being asked in the employee engagement group on LinkedIn just now.  It’s an intriguing question, because employee engagement is generally assumed to be a Good Thing.  What’s this got to do with performance review software? Give me 30 seconds…

Surely ‘too much’ of anything, whether it is employee engagement, peace, growth or chocolate, would have to be a bad thing, otherwise the phrase ‘too much’ doesn’t mean anything.  At first sight we might all want our employees to be 100% engaged, committed, productive, energetic, loyal, etc, etc, all the time, but think about it for five seconds and you’ll see that just can’t happen.

We human beings are built to be able to do extraordinary things when we have to.  I once saw a man lift the front of a car right off the ground after it had run over a pedestrian.  He had no idea he was so strong – and normally he isn’t, but with someone’s life at stake he was.  None of us can produce our maximum output all the time, though, and we shouldn’t have to – it’s not sustainable, and so will be damaging for the employee and employer alike, in different ways.

This creates a problem for the employer – how to find the right level of engagement, production, output, stress or whatever.  Should you just ramp up the pressure and wait to see where people start to collapse?  I’d say no, that would be short-sighted, because you will lose quality, innovation and anything else that depends on available intelligence, well before your sick numbers start to rise.  Performance review software won’t generally spot the oncoming problems before they become embedded, either.

To know how your people are inside you have to ask the right questions.  If you let WeThrive do that for you, and plug the results into your planning and review processes, you will know what’s right and wrong about the environment and culture of your workplace and your employees, often before they do themselves.

Try it now and see what you could be adding to your performance review processes.  A little applied psychology goes a long way…