This is the third article in the series related to benchmarks and their impacts on the behavior of those subjected to those benchmarks. In the first article we addressed how benchmarks could incentivize individuals to do things that might not be in the best overall interests of an organization. In the second article we discussed specific examples of where benchmarks had created aberrant outcomes and linked these to how the benchmarks were derived, implemented, and monitored. In this article I have changed tack and as opposed to pointing out the risks and concerns and discussing where things went off the rails, I have provided some tips on how to minimize the risk of problematic outcomes of benchmarks that are in place or are created and implemented by an organization.
I touched on how certain benchmarks can lead to problematic outcomes across a myriad of spheres such as safety, financial reporting, retaining employees, etc. In that article, I said that the follow-on article would provide some additional and more detailed examples of where things went wrong along with some analysis.