The Worst Way to Evaluate Employees Is By the Numbers.


I am sure that we have all received the same texts after a retail or customer service experience.

You go into your Wireless store to make a purchase or to complain or to work out a problem with your phone.

After you leave you get a number of texts asking you to rate the experience from 1 to 10.

The bottom line is that you are rating the employee and not the company.

I have known many employees at my Wireless stores. I like to connect with people. I’m a networker.

They text me after I visit the store and say make sure you give me a perfect 10.

If you don’t my Manager will be on me.

Tell them that your experience was perfection.

Now really how much do you love your Wireless provider? I’ve had many bad experiences. High roaming charges when I travel. The fact that they may be out of stock on the product I want. The fact that I used to get dropped calls.

My frustration has got nothing to do with the employee. Yet those people often pay the price.

Then there is my cable service provider. The industry doesn’t give you choices because they have a monopoly in your area.

Every time I get my bill I get frustrated. We’ve all been there. I only watch 4 channels. Why do I need to pay for 300?

They send over a service tech and they spend time at my house. They make some changes that probably changed what the previous tech did.

When they leave they inform me that I will be getting an email from the cable company. I say I know I have to give you a 10. They smile because I know the game.

A week later my TV doesn’t work.

I recently bought a new car. Most consumers hate the car buying experience.

Car salespeople have a script that says, Are you motivated today to buy a vehicle?

When I used to sit in their cubes they would write down a number on a piece of paper and ask me how that looked to me? I would say it is was crazy, they would tell that they have to talk to their sales manager and then they’d come back with another number.

I loved my recent car buying experience. Probably because the person was young and digitally smart.

I got a customer survey asking me to rate my experience from 1 to 10. They had a question about convenient location. Since the dealership was 20 miles away I gave it an 8.

I went back to the same dealership with a friend who needed to buy a car. Since I had a great experience on my purchase I referred her to them.

My sales person came down and looked a little sad.

I asked her why and she said you didn’t give me a perfect 10.

My boss expects a perfect 10 she said.

It reinforced my beliefs that in many industries, companies only care about one number. Wall Street and not their employees.

And that many middle class service employees are increasingly being sacrificed by technology.

I wish I could evaluate companies the same way they evaluate their employees.

They would find that 1 is the loneliness number.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Read: The Best Companies to Work For In the New Normal.

Climbing the Corporate Ladder in the New Normal.

Watch: Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Get a Job.


One thought on “The Worst Way to Evaluate Employees Is By the Numbers.

  1. Great write up Hank. We always argue that numbers aren’t everything, be it social media followers, employee performance reviews etc.

    Context , interpretation based evaluation on the what is “said” based on facts are what’s more important. Numbers unfortunately are the distractions away from the issues, for the most part.

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