"When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported the rate of improvement accelerates"
Thomas S Monson
Having worked with numerous businesses I have often been fascinated by the impact putting a spotlight on certain metrics can have on performance. The challenge in this data accessible age is where to put the spotlight. A long list of key performance indicators is difficult to manage. For employees it can become a never-ending journey where ultimate success and satisfaction always seem just out of reach.
Do you know ‘what’ or ‘who’ is driving your profit growth?
Take some time to analyse your business performance, breaking down your sales into appropriate segments, understanding your profit margins and establishing who are your most profitable customers? Internally who is performing, who is stalling and who is hitching a ride? Do you have effective measures to manage the performance of your team?
A balanced scorecard approach to measurement
Having clear financial goals is not enough. Work out the most important metrics for measuring the performance of your employees, your customer satisfaction, your operational delivery as well as having clear financial targets. Creating a long term sustainable business requires a clear focus on your people and customers. A balanced scorecard approach gives you a 360 degree view of the business and will increase the likelihood of reaching your ultimate vision.
Are your measurements supporting your purpose, values and vision?
The ‘why’ is what makes your business unique. Your vision and values provide the roadmap. Make sure that when you are setting your metrics they support rather than detract from your company goals.
Make them relevant to your business priorities
A recent McKinsey article ‘Harnessing the power of performance management’ talks about how successful companies link employees performance goals to business priorities. People need to understand the relevance of their performance metrics to the overall success of the business.
Are you playing golf whilst your team are playing hockey?
Having identified your key performance indicators you have just started the journey to ensuring what gets measured gets done. Having bold objectives and headline KPIs is great but the achievement of such will depend on what your employees are doing day in, day out and whether they are playing the same game. Create a consistent and uniform approach to reporting at all levels of the organisation.
Can’t see the wood for the trees – make it visual
It is important to take the time to analyse what is driving your business results. Getting the metrics right is critical and you might not have the system to measure some, straightaway. Create a timeline for having a reportable set of measures and find a way to make it visual. We are all time poor so make it easy to digest and remember not everyone is data hungry. Products such as Microsoft’s Power BI or Futrli can translate your data into engaging and real time dashboards.
Performance management framework
Having clear measures will not in itself drive performance. We now know the score but how do we manage the teams to put the ball in the back of the net! The rest is down to how your organisation inspires performance and the quality of management and leadership. Great companies get the right people on the bus and then have a culture of engagement where employees are involved, accountable, psychologically safe and celebrated.
Get started today
Start the measurement challenge today. The ultimate success is not just about having aspirational goals it is the ability to measure your progress towards achieving them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. What are your measurements?