Performance Anxiety

By Karl Hofmann, President and CEO, PSI

We just wrapped up our Q1 Quarterly Performance Review at PSI. Let me tell you why I find these sessions valuable, insightful – and yes, stressful. 

Let Everyone In 

Thanks to the pandemic, meetings such as this one, which used to be held in our largest office space at headquarters, with our field leaders sometimes dialing in, can now be held in our virtual community room, with everyone and anyone dialing in. Microsoft Teams has democratized information flow and accountability internally at PSI, which is valuable at building a culture of trust. 

Broaden the Definition 

We used to solely report on quarterly financial performance. Some years ago we added in a parallel conversation about how we are doing against our health impact targets – how we’re performing against PSI’s mission. Most recently we’ve added in a quarterly dashboard report on organizational health, by which we mean how are we doing as an employer? Is our workforce engaged, motivated, how are we doing against retention and internal mobility targets? How are we doing on our DEI commitments? 

Our Q1 dashboard results below show positive trend lines but still plenty of work to do.

Sample employee engagement survey questions
Sample employee engagement survey questions
PSI’s Retention Goal
PSI’s Retention Goal
PSI’s Career Mobility Goal
PSI’s Career Mobility Goal
PSI’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals
PSI’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals

Measure the Mission 

We’ve always loved performance metrics across PSI, sometimes allowing our love of metrics to obscure the important question of whether we’re measuring the right things. Under our Consumer Powered Healthcare strategic results framework, the challenge of measuring all the work we do in partnership, all the achievements we score indirectly, all the development successes that come from our exit, rather than our own growth….these all make the mission metrics conversation super important. We are embracing an objective of 155 million directly attributable users reached during our 2021-23 strategic period, but our energy will be put into measuring catalytic change and the health consumers/users we cause to be reached through sustainable systems change. Less direct; more impactful over time, if we are successful at developing health markets that outlast us and our funding. And, we’ll be able to ensure these health markets remain consumer-powered by tracking client experience of care alongside our scale metrics. 

What are We Learning?

One way to manage performance anxiety is to turn it into an opportunity for learning. Beyond setting targets and tracking metrics, our success is measured through our contributions to the knowledge base regarding what works, and why, to achieve Universal Health Coverage. Each quarterly performance review meeting concludes with a segment on program and research insights, so that we can implement, learn and influence holistically.   

How’re We Doing?

A famous former mayor of New York City used to ask his constituents on the streets every day, “how m’I doing?” Our Quarterly Performance Review meetings allow us at PSI to answer that question, “how are we doing?” And the best performance comes from transparency and openness about successes and failures, so we welcome insights from all stakeholders, internal and external: how are we doing? Don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.

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