Rigid Editorial Performance Standards Usually Don’t Work
For years many B2B publishers have sought editorial benchmarks that would allow more accurate measurement of editorial staff performance. And despite good intentions, many such efforts have misfired. So one wonders—do benchmarks have a place in our field? Is a yardstick such as “pages written per editor per month” a valid measuring tool?
Here’s the point you must keep in mind: There is no “one size fits all” editorial performance benchmark. Yes, standard benchmarks may have a place in the publishing field. But they still must be tailored to unique job responsibilities.
For example, suppose an assistant editor produces three times more pages per month than a senior associate. Does this mean the senior associate is faltering on the job? Hardly. Instead, you’re seeing a reflection of the progressively complex workloads for those on higher management rungs.
If benchmarks are on your agenda, begin by carefully analyzing each staff member’s job description. Determine how long it reasonably takes to perform every job function. Only then are you on your way to achieving accurate performance yardsticks. Remember, depending on the field covered, there may be a dramatic expectation gap.