There are certain Dilbert strips that seem perfectly appropriate to the way people and companies can behave, even though they are never quite as blatant as the characters in the comic.
At this time of year, when we are more focused than usual in our personal lives on giving and making others happy, I think we can also take a moment to reflect on the focus of our professional lives. How often do we take something that is supposed to be about others - customers, employees, colleagues - and turn it into something that serves our happiness?
In the realm of voice of the customer programs, this usually means an over-emphasis on the "score" we get from customers and the method used to get it instead of focusing on the customer problems that are driving the score and how to fix them. This is very likely to occur when you tie compensation goals to customer survey scores (see my previous post on this topic).
So, as the new year begins, take some time to look at the metrics you use and the goals you pursue in your day-to-day job. Are they focused on the right objective? The only way to ensure long-term success in your job or your life is to ensure your actions towards those who matter the most to you will make them happier and more successful.
Troy Powell, Ph.D.