Does your workplace measure things that really matter?
For anyone who is at least partly responsible for improving workplace performance, it is a crazy world out there. Every day there is an expert suggesting THE things that lead to better workplace performance. Measure this. Improve that. Do this. Do that. It's confusing.
Some of the advice is excellent, but often it is based on personal experience, some generic research, or that is what I was taught. Whilst this isn't necessarily bad, the question to ask yourself is 'what is the best way to improve our performance with the available resources'? I am assuming that many of us don't have the budgets of Google, Facebook or GE.
A Workplace Is Like A Fingerprint
Your fingerprint is unique, which is really upsetting for those who choose a life of crime. In many ways, a fingerprint helps us to remember that each person is unique (no matter how much we often try to put ourselves in boxes and categories).
Workplaces are also unique and no two are exactly the same. Even a Company that closed on one day and re-opened the following day as a new Company with the same staff would be identical, but not the same. It would have a different history, a different story. These differences, however slight, are still differences nonetheless.
Companies and their Leaders get to choose the why, what, how, when, where and who. This combination is inevitably unique for every Company, which influences the people it draws into its gravity (Customers, Employees, Investors, and Suppliers).
It is a unique combination of factors that makes a Company successful. Sure there are various factors that are common among successful companies (I will cover these in a future article), but it is the unique combination of factors that makes the difference. No two companies are the same.
Measure the unique things that really matter
There are a very large number of methods and models that you can choose from in order to measure and then improve workplace performance. Some of these are incredibly costly and time-consuming (especially if they fall under the category of change management).
For workplace leaders looking for a more cost effective alternative to improving workplace performance, here is something to consider.
- Decide what matters to the Company. Ask yourself what matters in relation to who, what, when, where, how and why.
- Craft a few simple statements about these things (e.g. Around here, people are treated with respect).
- Create a measurement drumbeat by asking employees about whether they think these things are happening. You can use Employee Life for this - its actually the reason it was invented in the first place.
- Make sure these things are the focus of discussion during important meetings. If something matters, it needs attention and observation. You need to know that the things that really matter are actually happening and improving.
Simple? Yes. Too simple? Something doesn't need to be complicated to be effective. By measuring your unique fingerprint, you are in a great position to strengthen the business from inside-to-out. That's not to say that other measures aren't important or valid, but this is a wonderful place to start. The good news is won't break the budget.
About the author:
Jason Buchanan is the general manager for insights and innovation of Optimum Consulting Group, a trusted and leading HR consultancy firm in Australia. He is the brain behind Optimum Direct, a web portal of the best HR tools and software for small business. He is interested in finding solutions on how companies can continue to grow without destroying the things that are important to them (employees, customers, suppliers, reputation etc).