#15: Did You Have a Good Day?
A few weeks ago, I read something that gave me pause. I was reading Verne Harnish's Scaling Up and in it, he frames KPIs in the context of letting your employees know how to tell if they've had a good day.
I've always been a believer in KPIs—what gets measured gets done—and in communicating those KPIs with the team regularly. But this framing, the idea that metrics help your people know whether they've had a good day or not, was revolutionary to me. The idea that communicating metrics could give people a clear sense of satisfaction and focus, could help them understand the value of their day, was pretty cool.
I immediately went back to one of my clients that had been struggling with two teams that seemed sort of lost and demotivated, and framed the need for metrics this way. We established (per Harnish's suggestion) Bronze, Silver and Gold level daily metrics for the teams—a single number for each of the teams to focus on—and you could see immediately that it clicked. Now, instead of looking around after a busy day and wondering if they'd done what they were supposed to do, or accomplished enough, they know. And because we based those metrics on numbers that show up and are refreshed every 15 minutes on the internal dashboard, there's no question where they land on the medal podium.
Now, this didn't immediately fix all the issues at my client's company, but it went a long way toward giving clarity to two critical teams, without costing a penny or taking much time at all. I'm now committed to asking myself that question about all my internal teams, and all those at a client's—what number tells your employees if they've had a good day?
Also, in case you were wondering: Why are my blogs numbered?