"Achievement Beyond Expectation" Can Only Mean Better Than Satisfactory or even Better




"Achievement Beyond Expectation" indicates the end result. But what is the end result? It is important that organizations know.

This phrase, by itself does not convey a message that is meaningful enough for organizations to act on. It is actionable if it refers to clearly defined measures or standard of achievement in terms of output, whether products or services.

Every time you hear it being said, or when you read about it, that such and such a company had generated revenue or profits beyond expectation, you may have wondered what it really meant. You do not know what the targets were unless you take the time and effort to find out. If not, you can only make some calculated guesses judging from the figures shown.

Will you conclude that the organization is generally doing fairly well? But, again, how well? And how satisfactory is "satisfactory"?

It sounds good when corporate representatives announce that their companies had achieved their current year's targets beyond expectation.

The phrase "Beyond Expectation" suggests that performance measures are in place. If not, it does not convey a message that is meaningful to those who are required to act on it. It is not very helpful for investors to make investment decisions.

It is not a performance measure. It is just a statement of fact which presupposes that there are performance measures put in place and that they are correct.

Thus, it is useful provided:

  • That meaningful and actionable performance measures are used;
  • That performance measures are correct in the present circumstances;
  • That market forces beyond the control of organizations are properly understood and taken into consideration;
  • That relevant industry norms are taken into consideration;
  • That everyone in the organization has similar understanding of its intended meaning.

There remains the problem that it does not truly indicate that organizations are solvent or will perform well the following year or in subsequent years.

Dynamic Business Environment
The environment under which organizations operate is in constant change. Things are dynamic. Your understanding on what constitutes good achievement today may change the next day due to many factors.

New legislation, changes in existing laws, trade agreements, globalization, people's changing perception and values, changes in business objectives, market forces, among many others, affect what you mean when you say, "We have achieved our targets beyond expectation."

Measures can quickly get outdated. It is correct today but out-of-date tomorrow.

Application in HR Management
In instances where it is not easy to measure performance - such as in HR - how do you use ""Achievement Beyond Expectation?"

It is crucial that in order to make possible achievement beyond expectation, you need to ensure people undergo continuous development.

Other questions that arise include:

  • How do you verify that newly recruited employees, or for that matter, employees on the present payroll, had definitely contributed to the higher revenue or profits?
  • How do you determine whether your training programs had enabled the organization to generate higher monetary return?
  • Are you really sure that the new CEO or CFO had increased the shareholders' value?
  • How do you measure whether your compensation and benefits have improved employee motivation which in turn contributed to higher income and profits and by how much?

The questioning can go on and on. Meanwhile, your organization needs to decide on the right performance measures so that your people are sure what you mean by achievement beyond expectation in the various aspects of the organization's functions.

Instances of achievement beyond expectation

Performance standards help you to identify employees having great potentials by their drive, determination, and energy. It is said that they are capable of moving big projects forward. You may consider such behaviors as indicating that these employees will achieve defined targets.

You need to manage their workplace behavior otherwise they may drive themselves to destruction. Employees who are "overachievers" are often considered workaholics. This has health-risk implications. They may also take unnecessary risks in order to succeed. In doing so, they can make mistakes.

Both employees and employer may prefer to hear the words "Achievement beyond expectation" but this is not enough to indicate that the company is doing well from which stakeholders are benefiting. It is advisable to keep this in mind.



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