Connecting Employees to Improve Metric Results
During our most recent Educational Webinar (Feb. 10, 2011), we discussed how to identify high-impact organization metrics, align them with your departments, and bring them to life through employee engagement. We shared some tactics for helping team members learn the fundamentals behind each metric. We also touched on how to use metrics in dialogs for maximum performance. If you missed this in-depth webinar, here’s the summary…
To start, we pointed out four Key Elements to improve your metric results:
- Identifying and Aligning metrics to organize departments and people
- Multi-Level Dialogs bring people together
- Employee Engagement produces results
- Leadership at all levels keeps teams successfully on task to achieve goals
Looking at the first key element, Identifying and Aligning your metrics, there are five components that align a solid metric strategy:
1. Strategy – What is the concept of the business? What are we trying to do? Alignment starts here.
2. Corporate Scorecard – Measuring the journey of the strategy.
3. Department Scorecard – Most of the work comes from the department level. What things can they measure that roll up to the bigger numbers on the corporate scorecard?
4. Department Leader’s Basic Role – Ties metrics into department leaders’ roles regarding the items they touch.
5. Individual Metrics – Things they can control, rolling up from individual to department to corporate scorecards.
As an example, we provided a strategy that was developed for one of our credit union clients. First, they established the credit union’s core purpose: helping members achieve lifetime financial success. Within this context they created a five-year goal (BHAG) that served as a unifying focal point – an end zone. They then identified a strategic focus to define the major changes they needed to address to fill the gap from their current state to their desired future.
Using their strategy, we built a corporate scorecard with Member, Financial, and People categories that had five to six metrics beneath each of the categories. While establishing metrics, remember to keep your numbers attainable, with a little bit of “stretch”. Don’t make it too easy. Also look at benchmark data to ensure you are performing at or above your peer group.
When the corporate scorecard is developed it is important to identify who owns each of the metrics – it takes more than one department. Look at who had the biggest impact on driving the number. Who are the departments that most affect each element of the scorecard? With loan growth, for example, you would think lending would own that metric. For the most part, it does. But it can’t bring in loan growth by itself. There are other areas that impact lending such as marketing, branches, and other contacts to help deliver the word. Lending is at the center however. Then it’s time to get these departments to work together to achieve success.
Another important item is to provide related links on the information that relates to the metric you are working on. This provides perspective and knowledge. To provide a way for everyone on the team to understand each metric on a scorecard, credit unions should add these four questions to help define it.
- What does it measure?
- Why is it important?
- How can it improve?
- How is it calculated?
If everybody involved knows the answers to these four questions to every metric, you will have a pretty robust conversation that will make your team much more engaged. If you want wisdom from the group, people need to understand these basics so they can productively contribute to the discussion.
Speaking of discussions, we have another key element: Metric Dialogs. The idea of dialogs is to set people up to win. Dialogs create perspective. They provide insight, they identify problems, they allow the story to be shared up and down the corporate ladder, and ultimately they allow success and recognition of those team members who deserve it.
The power of Metric Dialogs entail:
- Opportunity for learning
- Gaining insight
- Building impact
Dialogs produce Employee Engagement; they are the ideal venue for providing clarity. understanding, learning and growth. They establish a line of sight so people gain insight on what’s happening. They get the metric owners involved – which produces cross-functional problem-solving and positive performance. Recognition is also important. People are engaged if they see what they’re doing is making a difference.
The last key element of effective metric management is Leadership. Leaders must conduct positive framing, to help people understand: Why are we doing this? How is this number going to help us? Leaders need to set a performance standard or a bar to encourage their people to aim higher on a consistent basis. They also need to engage people through daily attention and interactions. They use the “management by walking around” method to get out and talk to people. Effective leaders manage the team’s energy, and they keep their attention on the achievement of the company’s goals. And, lastly, leaders need to recognize successes and achievements of their teams.
We hope this webinar was helpful in connecting your employees to improve your metric results for the continued success of your organization. Click here to download an archived recording of the presentation. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us: Jim Cardwell or Karla Norwood at Cardwell – 1-800-395-1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.