PERSONAL EXCELLENCE - The missing KPI that truly drives performance

Sep 19, 2022

What if the key to high performance, success, and happiness lied in personal excellence?

After all, how can we expect to have thriving work or personal relationships, financial success, and happiness in general if we don’t first work on our personal skills?

But what is personal excellence exactly and why is it so important to your business?

This is what I’ll answer in this blog post and why it’s important to incorporate it in your employee’s performance evaluation.


What is Personal Excellence?

I’ll start with what personal excellence isn’t. It isn’t being perfect or seeking perfection. Rather, it refers to your ability to surpass yourself and do better in every aspect of your life. It means striving to develop the physical, spiritual and mental skills you need to exceed your own standards and become the best version of yourself at work, at home, and with others while achieving personal harmony. 

Individuals who achieve personal excellence perform at their best, experience personal satisfaction, enjoy healthy relationships, and therefore live a happy, successful, and fulfilling life.

But reaching personal excellence isn’t easy.

It’s a lifelong process that involves working on many different dimensions such as self-awareness, mental fitness, discipline, resilience, authenticity and so much more.


How Does Personal Excellence Affect Employees’ Productivity and Performance?

As mentioned above, individuals who strive for personal excellence live a happier and more fulfilling life. And studies show that happier employees are more productive.

In fact, happy employees are 13% more productive than others. They are less stressed and less prone to burnout for a start. And they’re also more motivated and have higher levels of energy when on the job.

But that’s not all. Personal excellence also fuels performance because it involves the core personal skills and mental resources an employee needs to become a high performer.

For instance, discipline and consistency are key when it comes to tackling challenging projects and overcoming difficulties. Awareness is critical to communicate more effectively within a team and with other stakeholders. A growth mindset will ensure that the employee consistently strives to grow and develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities. Employees with a growth mindset are always looking to develop. They’re open to learning, are eager to take on new challenges, and see opportunities to grow the business and as such, are much more likely to succeed whenever they set their mind to a project.

Hence why personal excellence is so critical to an individual’s performance that it needs to be an integral part of employees’ performance evaluation. This way, individuals are encouraged to reach their untapped potential.

In fact, a study published by the Institute of Customer Excellence shows that "aspiring leaders have the potential to improve their own excellence between 35% and 40%".


Simple Ways To Incorporate Personal Excellence Into Your Employee’s Performance Evaluation

Participation in a 360-survey

A 360 survey involves gathering feedback on an employee’s performance from different sources including managers, peers, clients, direct reports and even self-assessment.

Receiving feedback from multiple stakeholders is a fantastic way for employees to gain personal excellence. That’s because this type of process allows them to better understand their strengths and weaknesses, assess how they respond to challenges, identify their core beliefs and just better understand themselves in general.

Armed with this powerful information, they can then implement a plan of action to improve and surpass their own standards.


Personal Growth Programs

Personal growth programs are all about goal setting, self-improvement and well, personal growth. Employees participating in these kinds of programs are able to work on each of the dimensions that compose personal excellence, and do better in each of them over time. They’ll develop to their full potential which ultimately will benefit the business.

So, offering personal growth programs to your employees could be an easy yet very effective way to place personal excellence at the core of your employees’ performance.


Number of vacation days taken

Yes, you've just read that right! You need to disengage to engage. As mentioned in my previous blog post, recovery and rest is the secret weapon to optimal performance. But believe it or not, 53% of Americans don’t take all of their vacation days. They might be too busy at work or as some studies suggest, be experiencing "work guilt". Unfortunately, overworked employees are tired employees and they’re at risk of burnout. And that can lead to a significant drop in productivity and a higher turnover.

So, as a manager, it’s important to monitor the number of vacation days taken during the annual performance evaluation. This will help ensure employees understand how important time away from work is for them to gain personal excellence. By recharging their batteries and having some time to do what they enjoy with their loved ones, they’ll improve their mental fitness in particular which is key to personal excellence


Participation in Wellbeing Challenges or Programs

A wellbeing challenge, similar to the ones we offer at MLA, allows employees to engage in self-care by helping them adopt healthy habits to boost their productivity, happiness and energy levels. These holistic programs focus on helping employees improve both their physical and mental health, giving them the tools they need to cope with whatever comes their way on a professional or personal front.

Now, mental and physical fitness are two key dimensions of personal excellence that can be neglected when we get caught in the daily grind. Offering wellbeing challenges is, therefore, an easy way to put personal excellence front and center.


While personal excellence is often viewed by companies as a personal issue, I’d argue it should be at the core of any company’s talent development strategy. The employees might be the one who need to take action, but as a company you can create that type of work-environment where employees are encouraged and supported to reach their untapped potential.

Using personal excellence as an employee key performance indicator will not only help your team surpass themselves and lead happier lives, but it’ll increase their productivity and therefore your bottom line. What’s more, it’ll resonate with potential talent eager to join a company that cares about their self-development journey.

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