I read an interesting article yesterday about measuring performance, particularly in the computer world. Joel Spolsky, a software developer in New York City, does not think it is possible (read article). I tend to agree with him. How can productivity or performance be measured with any industry that creates ideas, intellectual property, and virtual things. In the olden days you could measure performance by how many acres of land you harvested in a day, and you could even measure how well that land was harvested. But in today's world, you can't put the work software developers and others do into a fancy equation and figure out how productive they are.

I think the best way to ensure productivity and high performance at any company, but particularly those involved in intellectual property rather than tangible goods, is to make your employees feel invested in the company. They need to enjoy what they do, and share in the goals and vision of the company. A good employee will be one that takes pride in his or her work and wants the company to succeed. That is the best way to get hard-working, productive employees. [to be continued]