Tag Archives: measurement

  • 0
measure productivity

How To Measure Productivity Through Metrics

Tags : 

Overwhelmed, too busy, and unsure of exactly how to save yourself? Join the crowd. People everywhere are concerned about improving personal efficiency. How you measure productivity is a good place to start.

Metrics

Most measurement begins with metrics. In our digital world personal productivity often includes metrics centered around email processing. Ask someone how busy they are and chances are good that their inbox will enter the conversation.

Doing whatever pops up and identifying that you are busy may be a fact. However, you shouldn’t confuse the fact that you are busy with productivity.

I had to process over one hundred new email messages.

My boss sent me six new to-do’s in the last half-hour.

I didn’t have time to answer your message, I had to process three days of backlogged email.

When helping businesses form strategy I often suggest that many individuals and businesses can get caught up in “firefighting.” This is a tactical approach to solving problems which can slowly erode strategy.

Metrics, such as the number of email messages processed may be valid, but don’t make the mistake of confusing metrics and measurements with productivity.

Keeping Busy

Proving that we have a lot of motion and that we are busy should never become a metric.

The digital relationship builder can amass new social media friends, connections, views, clicks, likes, and shares but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’ve built a single new relationship. The numbers are there. Is the relationship?

We can make metrics improve which will cause busy work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve created progress or value.

Measure Productivity

Often the most confusing part about strategy is understanding the difference between tactics and goals. Seldom is there a need to make executing a tactic a goal. That is more about motivation rather than strategy.

There is a related concept to measuring productivity. Many people believe being busy is a measurement of accomplishment, thus being better at being busy means improved productivity. It could, but often it is just busier.

Do you really want to measure productivity? You can start by measuring the value of the outputs from all of the work that you do.

Keep in mind that metric improvement may be a fact, but did you create any real value?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
metric assumption

Metric Assumption and Measuring Intangibles

Tags : 

Successful leaders and organizations often cite the creation and monitoring of metrics as the tool to track progress. Does the metric always provide the correct measurement? Are you operating using the metric assumption?

In the strategy meeting someone will ask, “What is the metric here? How will we measure our progress and result?”

It is a fair question.

Of course, the other option is that no one asks at all. No one spends any energy to think about the metric, they just want to roll up their sleeves and take a deep dive.

Either scenario may achieve some results. Either scenario may involve some risk, some guess work, and need to be fluid with outcomes.

Metric Assumption

It seems we may make a metric assumption. The assumption is that when we have metrics and measurements, we can more easily assess the results. While this is likely true, does it cover everything about the project?

People are sometimes suggested to remove the emotion, focus only on the result, and everything that matters is in the KPI (key performance indicator).

Do you have metrics or measurement for the aspects of the organization that make it an organization? Have you considered the organizational culture component?

Measure Intangibles

How will you measure commitment, trust, and perceptions? Is there a metric for purpose, community, or respect? What about the building blocks of confidence, things like self-efficacy and self-esteem?

Do they have a metric?

The most successful projects, work groups, and organizations are those who have deep roots in a culture that is emotionally connected to the work at hand. Purpose is a driver and the goal may be just as important as the paycheck.

Metrics are both valuable and important, they can also be a good motivator. If you assume metrics alone are what drives the project, I hope you are including all of the intangibles.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
job descriptions

Job Descriptions For The Small Business

Tags : 

According to the Small Business Administration small businesses make up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms. Chances are good that you, or someone you know is employed by a small business. Are job descriptions really necessary for the small business?

C-Suite View

Many small business CEO’s are not so motivated to have job descriptions in place. Unfortunately, some just don’t connect with the reasons why it matters. They may consider it to be a nuisance, and just another reason to avoid human resource subjects.

Too much red tape, a waste of time, and not connected with making money (in their mind) so the ROI just doesn’t seem to justify the effort.

Interesting, because this same demographic is represented in much of my client base. I am often working with them to help improve morale, reduce employee turnover, and grow their business. Is the lack of job descriptions part of this problem?

Job Descriptions

Job descriptions can serve many different functions. Of course, they are largely designed to help the employee understand the expectations of their job. In many other ways they provide vital links for organizational success.

Here are a few of my favorite ways formal job descriptions contribute to organizational health, they:

  • provide clarity to the employee of what is expected;
  • ensure that every job has a purpose and that the purpose is connected to the mission;
  • appropriately motivate employees and create pride in their work;
  • set standards for roles that link to strategies for growth;
  • help establish qualitative (perhaps quantitative) measurements.

Many job descriptions are a collection of statements with creative verb usage. For a manager, we may see many statements that include words such as: manage, direct, or supervise.

Regardless of job level, the best organizations are getting even more creative to include cultural factors that are important for the organization. So we now see softer words such as: add energy to, encourage, and engage.

Job descriptions matter. Yes, they matter for small businesses too.

Organizations that want people to take pride in their work must first take pride in their people.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
Take responsibility

Leadership Habit 49: Give or Take Responsibility

Tags : 

A common leadership and supervisory practice is to assign responsibility. One of the problem areas for many people in a supervisory or management role is holding others accountable. In your role, whether supervisory or not, do you give, or take responsibility?

In the earliest years of my career, I can remember telling my boss at the time that I craved responsibility. Looking back, what I probably really meant is that I wanted to be in control. It is funny how we mature and grow. I smile thinking about that time in my life.

Oversight and Metrics

Assigning responsibility and holding yourself and team members accountable are an important part of leadership. Some organizations and cultural philosophies are loose and don’t have many metrics or measurements. Others live, breathe, or die, by extensive oversight through measurements.

Metrics and measurements are important, but we may pause and ask, “For whom?” The best answer may be, “For everyone.” The reality of how this shakes out in organizational psychology may position things a little differently.

You can certainly give or assign responsibility. Many in the workforce wait patiently to be provided with the next task. When they aren’t provided, they aren’t productive. Often they will just wait.

These people only follow. This isn’t necessarily bad, it may be about style, respect, or in some cases a lack of motivation.

Successful organizations today probably need more leaders. That isn’t the same as more chiefs, but more people with high initiative and who jump in and get things started and finished.

Take Responsibility

There is a different story about responsibility though. Responsibility often isn’t about giving. Responsibility may be more about taking.

When someone is nervous or afraid of the big task in front of them, we may say, “You’ve got this!” Of course, the desirable affect is to inspire confidence and commitment to the task in front of them. This often works, but it is much different from them saying, “I’ve got this!”

In the workplace, or in life, people can give responsibility. However, success is much more likely when people take it.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -

Leadership Development: How Do You Know If It Worked?

Tags : 

People always have questions, but they often aren’t asked. When it comes to leadership development, how do we know if it worked?

Leadership development appreciative strategies

Leadership Development

Leadership development might be a catch all phrase for supervisory, managerial, or leadership training. There are many competences that may be involved in leadership development and it always depends on the target audience or participants.

Some slight variances might exist from industry to industry, and variances definitely exist with level of responsibility or organization size. While the basic leadership skills for front line supervisors might have similarities to the concepts of leadership in the C-Suite the total package of competencies likely has at least a few differences.

Organizations often invest in leadership development training. Many believe it is a very wise investment, but how do we measure the success? What is the ROI (return on investment)?

Metrics and Measurements

Here are seven possible metrics or measurement criteria:

  1. Employee Turnover. Turnover ratio for any business or organization might change for many reasons. Leadership has a direct impact on the culture of the organization and turnover could be a valuable metric.
  2. Satisfaction Survey. Satisfaction surveys can help point to the success of leadership. This can be an employee satisfaction survey or it could even be a customer satisfaction survey.
  3. 360 Assessments. The 360 assessment is a valuable tool for understanding leadership competencies from the perspective of others within (or sometimes outside) of an organization. It can also be administered to entire teams for group results.
  4. Sales Revenue or Profit. Depending on the areas of focus for the leader an increase in sales revenue or gross profit might provide evidence of success in training. It also can be an easy number to measure ROI.
  5. Relationship Portfolio. How big or what is the depth of relationships? How many contracts, entities, or service agreements are active under management?
  6. Business Growth. Is the business or organization growing or if it was in decline has it stabilized, right-sized, or otherwise improved? This might be measured in numerous ways.
  7. Unique Metrics. Last on this list but certainly not the least there are many other ways to determine ROI. You might consider something as simple as a pre-test followed by a post-test. You might have metrics for quality, productivity, waste, and many others.

Knowing It Worked

Perhaps one of the most important things to consider is that you should always determine the method of evaluation in advance and understand your baseline or starting point. Evaluation can, and likely should be, measured through both metrics connected to monetary values and those that are intangible.

Also important but sometimes forgotten is that training success is contingent upon changed habits or behaviors across time. It is easy for any individual or team to show short time signs of improvement only to default back to old ways when under duress or as measured across longer periods of time.

Can the success of leadership development programs be measured and improvements maintained?

I say yes, what are your thoughts?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -

Measuring Job Performance by the Numbers?

Tags : 

In business we’re often taught to measure accomplishments or success with a number. The principle idea behind measurement is to trend towards a goal. Do you measure job performance or business success by the numbers?

job performance

Goals and the pressure associated with accomplishing them can stretch the boundaries of people’s ethics and integrity. Extreme pressure to achieve the numbers can also affect how people perceive and measure risk.

Performance Measurement

Years ago I worked in a mail order business. The company had reasonable success. They had a strong sales force and strict guidelines for performance.

If you were in sales, you occupied an expensive seat, a cubicle equipped with a telephone, a computer terminal (workstation or terminal as they were called in those days) and a calculator. There were only so many cubicles and they were required to be occupied with the highest performing sales representatives.

As a sales representative you were responsible to achieve monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. If you didn’t measure up you risked termination and the odds of long term success weren’t all that great.

I recall that one of the hiring strategies was to bring on fifteen new sales representatives with the hope that three to five might actually make it for at least three to six months.

Some did quite well, but the pressure to perform and acquire high volume repeat corporate customers was intense. As a commission sales representative your success was predominately measured by your dollars in sales, but did it really work?

Beating the System

Unfortunately several ethically challenged sales representatives found a way to make their numbers.

They discovered that they could send out product to random customers without their consent by using a shipping method known as C.O.D. (collect on delivery). Their sales were recorded (for measurement) in the computer system and their paycheck was calculated. If they achieved a high enough number a bonus was also applied.

The problem of course was that the customer never placed the order. The shipping company would attempt to deliver, the customer would refuse the shipment, and within about a week the product would end up back at the warehouse.

Not only was this entirely unethical but it cost the company time and money, the shipping company time and money, not to mention the terrible effect on the customer experience.

I think you get the idea. This was bad, really bad, but what caused this problem?

Challenges of Measurement

Certainly the persons who participated in this type of behavior had some ethical challenges, but then again did the company they worked for push things too far? Was the pressure to achieve the numbers and the witnessing of sales representatives getting hired and fired seemingly without care or concern for them as people a contributing factor?

Could it be that the culture adopted a feeling of, “I don’t care about the company because the company doesn’t care about me?”

Measuring success by the numbers is important but at what point does it cross the line? Do some exert too much pressure causing the employees to inappropriately assess risk and make very bad decisions for themselves and the company?

There are plenty of examples in business history. Companies such as Adelphia, Enron, and more recently Wells Fargo have all experienced ethical issues in part created by measuring by the numbers.

What to Measure

Using numbers as a measurement often brings with it the idea that more or higher numbers are better.

What if your automobile mechanic measured by the number and frequency of your visits, your dentist measured by cavities filled, or your doctor by knees replaced? Do they? They might.

Does the highest volume in ticket sales for the latest movie measure the best movie? Is a bestselling book the best book?

Are the highest sales numbers the most important or is the quality of the product, service, or customer experience a better measurement?

Measuring by the numbers probably works but the KPI’s (key performance indicators) need to be measuring the proper metric. What we measure and how, can have a significant impact on organizational health.

Companies who measure the right thing might be those with the best reputation. Those with the best reputation probably hire the best employees, they have the best training programs and they are most likely to have a low employee turnover ratio.

There is also a pretty good chance that they have the highest customer satisfaction ratings and will outlast their competition.

Are you measuring job performance by the numbers? Which ones?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. Managers Toolbox Event – Williamsport

    October 2 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  2. Developing Middle Managers : Part 1

    October 16 @ 8:00 am - October 18 @ 5:00 pm
  3. Bridging the Gap Event

    October 24 @ 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more