In all my years as a business coach, I’ve met many very accomplished people who are entirely unaware of the power of metrics. If you manage or lead a team, one of the best paths to improving your business performance is to develop a list of critical metrics and track the results.
Many years ago, this concept was hammered into me by the incredibly focused senior management team of a company that I worked for. This group of leaders fostered this philosophy and held every department accountable for showing improvement. And guess what? It worked.
Suggestions to Improve Company Performance
So how can a business improve performance through metrics? It comes down to your approach. If you track metrics but never take action on the information you discover, they won’t magically boost your business. When you’re ready to get serious about metrics, here are seven strategies to improve business performance:
- Work up a list of internal metrics that will help you run your business better. As I’ve written in a previous blog post, these should be directly related to your business goals.
- Keep the list shorter than you want. In a perfect world, we could track, analyze, report on, and take into consideration every metric in business. However, no one has the time or resources for this. Improving your business performance means choosing the most useful metrics and tracking those over time. You should aim to follow no more than 10.
- Enlist your team in gathering the information. The last thing you want is for one person to become the keeper of the metrics, as you’ll be out of luck if they leave your company. Every team within your organization should be responsible for tracking and reporting on their metrics. A skill that will serve your employees throughout their careers.
- Report the results weekly and look for trends. Consistent, consolidated reporting over time is vital for determining patterns in your efficiency performance. An end-of-month report, while it might be an extra step, will help you make sense of these numbers within their context.
- Openly discuss and display the numbers. These metrics should be transparent, and your team should feel free to talk about them, good and bad. Share your successes, but don’t be discouraged by your setbacks.
- When there is an aberration, find out why. Sure, some trends are seasonal, and many industries report fluctuating business at certain times of the year, but don’t use that as an excuse without first doing some deep diving.
- Turn the “why” into a tactical adjustment to get things back on track. It’s not enough to study your metrics: you need to act on them. Concoct a strategy for improving your business performance and use your metrics as a guide.
These tips for improving your business performance might sound simple, but they work. If you sincerely want to change your team’s performance, start here. Through charting your metrics, powerful change can become a reality.
Improving your business performance is more natural with someone in your corner. That someone is me. Sign up for my newsletter to have my latest blog posts delivered right to your inbox.