Friday, February 28, 2014

Is your KPI an indicator from Hell?

Readers and friends of my blog will know that my workload is shitty, not in a physical way but one which is common in a corporate world. The nature of my role as an accountant isn't something that people would take on, less mention envy.

The ironic to that is promotion for the role comes in quicker than any other role. I got my promotion and a bump increase in my salary. I should rightfully be happy but sadly I'm not.

I received my KPI objective for 2014 today from my boss. With promotion comes greater responsibility, that's fine. But today, the KPI I received is incredibly quite insane. It appears to me that KPI is a devilish gift and an indicator from Hell. It never appears to make sense for me and to be honest it is seemingly futile to argue otherwise.

Let me put it this way. Imagine yourself as Lionel Messi in a striker role and your KPI were set as follows:

- Scores 50 goals a season (with or without injury)
- If your defense concedes more than 3 goals in just one single match throughout the season, you are screwed.
- The team is not allowed to win just by a single goal, at least two or more goal margins will be counted as winners.
- If your teammate does not convert shots into goals, you will be equally penalised.

Those are the types of KPI I get in my workplace. They are not only overly ambitious but also ridiculous and you get penalised for things that are not at your control. 

I'm just lamenting, it's the weekends after all I'm after :)

Does anyone share the same experience as me? Is your KPI better or worse? If that's the case, anyway out for you?


  1. Hi B,

    Congrats on the salary increment. I used to work in the public sector. With more years of experience, come higher expectations and more work . This is to justify the higher salary I was getting. Hence, people burn out after some years of working.

    Instead of saving and investing the hard earned money, many people spend more by buying big ticket items instead. If we are not born with a silver spoon in our mouth, the only way is to continue saving and investing to reach financial independence. That way, we can walk away from the job that we don't like, or work less if we want to.

    Renewed investor

    1. Hi Renewed investor

      I guess I had expected the higher responsibility that comes with the higher pay but sometimes they can be set quite ridiculously and all I can say its I try my best but know I wont be achieving them.

      Im actually contemplating to quit and take a break once I get my bonus in apr so we'll see till then.

  2. Hi there,

    To be honest, I don't believe in KPIs. Yeah KPIs set goals for the team to achieve but nevertheless, you can game it. Also its an endless thing, once you reached the targets, the bar will raise again. Its like a shifting goalpost.

    To be financially free from this crazy trap, build up your wealth so that you can quit and do the things you truly enjoy!

    Check out SG Wealth Builder (

    1. Hi Gerald

      Thanks for your comment.

      You are absolutely right. The goalpost just shifted higher n higher each and everytime and it is endlessly fighting for the cause that I feel does not add on to anything value.

      Maybe im burned out or maybe the upper management is expecting too much. After all what do they know what their staff is going through.

  3. Hi B

    Yeah i too don't like KPI ( i guess most people don't too ) ...but like what Gerald mentioned , KPI sets goals and objectives because in a team , you can have different people with different views and thinking but you need to have a team with common goals and objectives ( if not perhaps things might not move or progress)

    And as Spider Man also says " With Greater powers ( perhaps increased salary context ) , Comes Greater Responsibilities ( Comes Greater Quality Shit too )

    1. Hi Small Time investor

      Great to see you ;)

      Ahh the amazing spiderman. With more powers come greater responsibility. Exactly the right context. But I would imagine spiderman at times would wish for a quieter and clamer environment the world lives in. Its tiring for him to keep abolishing the bad guys each and every day ;)

  4. Hehe, I set my own KPI :) But to be honest, sometimes I do wonder what will happen if I am in your shoes, with my targets set by others. Well, just suck it up I guess...good luck there!

    1. Hi LP

      I guess this coincides with your post efforts or results and I guess it is the results that is the ultimate winner of all. In other words I can screw up whatever not in my kpi but cant screw up anything in my kpi and it doesnt matter how much effort I put in. It sounds stupid as a whole but I guess im contemplating taking a break from all this soonest.

  5. For me my bonus or increment doesn't really depend on the KPIs since my department share mostly the same few KPIs and most of the time it will be met. Its more on the impression bosses have on us. Is our attitude good? Are we proficient enough? Do we cooperate well? And I feel the most important is our relationship with the boss. It plays a big part than many of us would realised. Offend your boss and that's it.

    1. Hi SGYI

      My relationship with the boss is considered good but the more pressure he gives me it give me the impression that nothing else matters but results. Can u imagine that he says to me regardless of what happens whether you are sick stays to midnight you need to make sure you monitor the india people to close the book. I dont like to be bounded by such constraints.

      Good to know that you hv kpi set as a team. Sometimes I dont even want those bonuses. But I think I will be out from this corporate world sooner than later.

  6. Corporate KPIs are set by my boss. Honestly, how to love these KPIs?

    I love my own investing goals.

    Don't need have one-to-one meeting to discuss and agree on achievement.

    But, I still need to show to myself to remind me of these KPIs.

    You know how I do it. Right?


    1. Hi Uncle Cw

      I too love the kpi that is set by myself. I think company should encourage that sometimes to let employees set their own target but realistically.

      I wonder whether you hv to go through the same thing when you are still working back then?

  7. Hi B,

    I think when our salary reaches a certain level, to move to the next level, "life" will need to be sacrificed for "work". It all depends on whether a person is willing to make the sacrifice to move to the next level.

    To me, $$ is only one of the factor that determines quality of life. Other factors include family time, exercise time, etc..

    I would rather save and invest to boost my alternate source of income rather than sacrifices more and more personal time for work. This is why I frequent your blog :D

    1. Hi betta man

      It's interesting to know based on everyone response that majority choose their own path and destiny rather than being bounded by the company;s rules and regulations.

      It goes two ways. One our active income supplement our investing income greatly. On the other hand, we can't wait to have it enough such that we can get out of the rat race, nowadays it can go beyond just a simple rat race, at times it is considered an olympic type of race :(

  8. Now, bosses want close to real-time responses to their emails. Most of us carry smart phone or Blackberry. Right?

    Really Olympic type of race!