... but which metrics?

We’re all familiar with the phrase “what gets measured gets done” and you know that metrics are important to customer satisfaction, employee retention, and business growth. But whether you are measuring too many things or none at all, the question is the same… which metrics?

The right metrics are ones that are clear, consistent, and confined.

Clear metrics (or indicators) are ones that your team can understand. Not only are they uncomplicated, but employees can see how their work impacts the outcome. Inward-facing indicators measure performance, usually that of a person, process or product. Days between signed contract and project completion. Outward-facing indicators gauge satisfaction, and is most often the feedback of customers, vendors or partners. How likely are you to refer our product to a friend?

Consistent metrics are measured at regular intervals over a period of time. This may be daily for incoming support calls, or monthly for on-time deliveries. The mistake many organizations make is to identify a set of metrics, get really excited about them, and quit measuring them after a few months. It’s better for your employees and your customers not to start at all! Longitudinal data (that measured over a period of time) will be the best guide to identifying gaps and areas of improvement. Your organization doesn’t just want to know event attendance for a single program, but how attendance trends over each quarter, year or (ideally) many years.

Confined metrics are limited. If you don’t have any metrics in place, start with a few. If you have many, pare the list back to the handful that are most important to measuring performance and satisfaction. Planning to measure too many things will negatively impact clarity and consistency – your team may be conflicted as to which measures are most important and chances are high that you won’t be able to measure them all consistently over time.

Think about the data you’re tracking. What are the two most important inward-facing metrics? What are the two most important outward-facing metrics? If you don’t know, or aren’t measuring anything yet, grab 30 minutes on my calendar and we’ll get to planning!