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Performance Results Transparency Isn't Just for Citizens

Posted September 16, 2013 4:33 PM by Mark Cutler

In working with U.S. Federal agencies as well as local government agencies, I hear a lot of talk about transparency with respect to strategy and performance measurement.  To some organizations, the holy grail of public performance management is being able to show your citizens and the general public your strategy and the results from implementing it on a regular basis.

While I do not disagree that this is a worthy goal, public leaders should consider the importance of providing similar transparency to their employees across their organizations.  This may sound obvious to some, but you’d be surprised how many organizations don’t share their strategy and results throughout their ranks to make sure employees get it before they take it to the public.

First, striving to share all of your performance data with all of your employees , organization-wide, is a great communication goal and will require the organization to develop several vehicles and opportunities to communicate the data.

Second, communication of performance data and results to employees leads to their better understanding of where the organization is going and how it will get there or, to put it another way, it helps them better understand the strategy.  By understanding, they see how they fit in to the organization’s plans and look for ways to contribute.

Third, better understanding of the strategy by employees leads to greater buy-in to that strategy.  It is hard for people to agree to implement a strategy they have never seen, nevermind understand.  However, if the strategy, data, and results are communicated effectively so that they understand it, there is a much better chance that they will buy-in to it.

Finally, once staff buy-in to the strategy and performance measures, it is much easier to get them to implement it and coordinate that implementation across the organization.  The thinking is that this coordination will lead to better execution, which leads to better results.