One of the most common questions we hear from business owners is “How do I get my employees to care about my business as much as I do?” The employees don’t have the same financial and emotional capital invested, so they’ll probably never care as much, but you understand the essence of the question.
Our answer: Post the Score
Think about those early years of Little League where there’s no scoreboard. The spectators have a pretty good feel for who “won” the game. But those little players? No idea. So, you hear them asking their coach or their parents afterwards, “Did we win?” They don’t understand the rules of the game, yet. So, after all that running around out there, without a posted score, they don’t understand the outcome.
All too often, our employees feel the same way. Many employees aren’t even sure what the “rules of the game” are, not to mention how they are being scored. People perform best when they understand the “rules of play” and the scoring method is clear. Employees aren’t engaged and empowered to grow the business along with you until they understand how the work they do contributes to the future outcomes for the business.
4 Steps to Engage and Empower Your Team
Explain the Rules of Play
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can provide the metrics needed to measure processes and activities happening now – all that work your employees are running around doing. When KPIs are carefully and strategically selected based on key business goals, that measurement then drives performance, which can be monitored and shared with your team to promote and encourage improvement.
Once you identify the KPIs for each area of your business, educate your team about the link between their performance and your business’s financial realities. This is the first step toward establishing new, measurable standards of performance to which everyone can adhere.
Post the Score
Your team needs regular and consistent feedback about their performance. This can be presented to your team in a flash report or visually through a dashboard. In it’s most simple form, this could be updating a number on a whiteboard every day. Help your team understand the “why” of the measures. Then, only hold them accountable to measures they have control over. People need a positive incentive to support gathering, monitoring, and improving the measures.
To “Post the Score”, You’ll Need to:
1. Create Your Scorecard based on your measures
2. Develop a process for continuously gathering the data and sharing it with your team
3. Determine how you will communicate the standards of performance with your team
It takes some time for changes to appear on the bottom line, and not every effort will have an immediate, discernable result, but it is important to recognize the effort along the way. Often, the act of measuring and monitoring activities encourages positive change.
KPIs allow you to link your company goals with performance and compensation. Rather than giving arbitrary raises and bonuses, you can now reward your team based on real performance measures. In doing so, you’ll find your team ready, willing, and able to support your overall business goals.
A true KPI has a direct correlation to your company goals and serves as an indicator of the outcome of the activities and processes in real-time. When your measurements are strategically selected, continuously shared, and reevaluated when necessary, you have the feedback needed to see positive business and financial outcomes.
Not sure where to start? Reach out to Forge Financial and Management Consulting today for more information on one-on-one consulting engagements or our “DIY” video course to help your team measure, monitor, and improve performance.