Assessing information technology (IT) employee performance is a blend of the subjective and objective, notes Mike Atkins, vice chairman of the CUNA Technology Council and CEO of Open Technology Solutions.
“But,” he adds, “the more objective you can make that assessment by including some sort of metrics, the better off you are.”
One metric at Texans Credit Union in Richardson, Texas, measures how well the IT department responds to service requests from employees in other
The IT department handles approximately 12,000 such requests each year, notes Charlotte Morrison, chief information officer. “We set a goal of responding to each of those requests within a certain amount of time,” she says, and Texans tracks success rates.
Another metric stems from the internal surveys the credit union conducts to measure how well its departments serve each other. The IT department sets a target score for service satisfaction.
Furthermore, the credit union translates departmental goals into individual goals for IT staff, Morrison explains. Each employee’s ability to attain those goals determines 40% of their annual performance appraisal, which factors into salary.
Open Technology Solutions uses performance metrics in various ways, Atkins says. At the organizational level, metrics include the number of servers monitored per technician, the number of calls handled per day at the help desk, and service satisfaction levels found in surveys of his credit union service organization’s three partners.
To assess efficiency and excellence, organizations can compare these measures to industry benchmarks.
“We get a pretty good sense, objectively, of how well we’re operating,” Atkins says. “Then we try to set smart goals that are measurable and attainable.”
Those organizational goals filter down into departmental goals, which shape individual goals.
“It’s a pyramid,” Atkins says. The effects also ripple upward. “If the individuals achieve their goals,” he notes, “then the department and the entire organization achieve their goals as well.”
Individual performance metrics figure into compensation calculations for both base compensation and incentives.
“We try to differentiate how we compensate employees based on their performance,” says Atkins, who views that assessment as vital to retaining the best performers on his staff.
“Putting objective measures in place,” he says, “gives you the ability to rationally look at performance at an individual level and make sense of it.”