PPI versus KPI (Featured On The Straits Times – 12 October 2018)


Do we put more emphasis on result or people? In our fast-paced world today, we tend to get caught up with Key Performance Indicator (KPI), when the fact is that humans are the ones delivering the KPI, which we called the People Performance Indicator (PPI).

When you get the people right; you will get the result right. It’s a straightforward equation.

We want the people to deliver the KPI because it’s what determines our bonus and pay cheques, but often, we force the deliverables without investing in the source – the people.

There is a funny saying regarding the topic of investing in the people, and it goes like this: The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) says to the Chief Executive Office (CEO), “what if we invest in the people and they leave?” The CEO went on to say. “what if we do nothing and they stay?”

It is not about whether people stay or leave because one thing is for sure – they will go. The question is whether your talent will return?



One of the top reasons people stay in an organisation is because they are experiencing growth in their self and career. This means that employees today are more willing to stretch themselves to learn new things, take on a challenging task and raise their game.

As leaders, are you investing in your staff’s growth? If the answer is no, there is a high chance you are not growing either.

And the outcome of not investing in the PPI is that your talent will leave you sooner than expected. Employees today are highly agile. Therefore, you should neither under-estimate their potential, nor take their presence for granted.



A great PPI enables people to do things they have never done before. We live in a world today where past, proven and tested methods might not work any longer.

We face new challenges every day, so people need to be highly flexible and adaptable to changing landscape. By focusing on the PPI, people tend to take on almost any challenge.



Most leaders would ask: “How does my team’s sphere of influence relate to me?” Leaders need to build the network for our team so that they can get things done. More groups are now created by an organisation based on business needs and not by function.

By investing into PPI, leaders can build bridges and network within their organisations so that staff can get things done faster.

Gone are the days where KPI can get you to your destination. Without investing in people, you put a cap on what you are capable of doing, because as cliché as it might sound, if you want to go far, go together.