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The Grill: Paul Lucidi on the importance of employee appraisals

Mary K. Pratt | June 4, 2013
This healthcare CIO stresses the importance of employee appraisals.

How do you assess individual employees to ensure they're performing at their best? I look at it from two sides. There's the individual's contribution to the role and the organization's contribution to the individual. On the individual side, it's how well are they performing on the job, and on the other side, how well have we defined the role, do we give employees what they need to be successful? It's the environment in which we operate and how well do they do in it.

How do you work to improve the performances of employees who could be doing better? There are really five components to it. The first is communication and honesty. It's really being clear with the individual about what's expected of them in their position and having an honest conversation about their performance. And it's having that conversation as it's happening and not waiting for an annual review. Then the third piece involves listening. If someone is struggling, maybe it's because they don't have what they need to be successful in their role or they're just not right for the role. So after the communication and the honest feedback and the listening piece, then comes whatever the set of corrective actions are. Sometimes you have to decide to move on.

How do you assess your own performance as a CIO? It's hard to separate how you're doing and how your organization is doing. I can't be successful if my organization isn't successful. But there are four things I use [to assess my performance]: strategy, execution, personal leadership and my ability to influence other people. Some of those have clear measures, like on the execution side, but others are subjective, like the ability to influence, and it could be mixed. You might be able to influence some peers but not others.

Are these ways you judge yourself or how others judge you? They're really both. If I looked at my goals for the year and the way I structure them, they fall into those categories. These are key attributes you can apply to a number of executive roles.

You have a dual role: leading IT and leading Insulet's global program office.How do you balance the two jobs? I assumed responsibility for the program office in early in 2011, and what the program office does is run a lot of the business programs for new products and technologies. So I have a team of [program managers] there -- all engineers, all talented -- and they focus on new products and technologies. There are a lot of similarities with running this and IT. You manage scope and resource planning and project plans, but the nature of the work and the deliverables are different.

For me, it was a natural fit. But it's not so much a line between the two jobs, it's just for whichever projects you need to focus on due to priorities or they need attention in some ways, you switch your focus.


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