In many businesses, performance measurement is not an organization-wide practice. Other than the financial results, little is monitored. When a decision is made to expand results monitoring, there is much trepidation about measurement.
This is due to the entrenched practice on using performance measurement to identify and penalize poor performance. The perception and fear are understandably valid.
In order to send the right message and garner the support needed to embrace performance measurement, businesses need to plant the seed for a positive mindset by doing the following.
- Explain why there is a need
This might seem trivial but it is the most important step to establish a platform for measurement. Be explicitly clear on why measurement is needed. Use specifics to illustrate how measurement will help the employees, the business, and its customers. This message could position performance measurement as an organizations-wide strategic initiative.
- Start with a well-defined scope
When introducing performance measurement, it is better to start small. Pick a problematic process that needs fixing. Identify what needs to be monitored in order to capture the issues and gauge their impacts. Volume, throughput, and time spent on tasks are typical measurements that provide useful insights on the status quo. Starting with a process takes the focus away from individuals’ performance.
- Communicate the approach
Once the scope is defined and the approach is solidified, communicate with those affected. Be clear on the objectives, the approach, and plans on how the results would be used to initiate improvement. Setting the expectations upfront helps to cultivate a positive mindset and minimize the fear around scrutiny at a personal level.
- Share outcomes
Frequent communications on progress and improvement maintain the momentum and reinforce the importance. It keeps those involved engaged as they see the fruit of their efforts. The focus of the communication is on issues uncovered, insights distilled from measurement, and improvements realized. This indirectly facilitates the honing of the overall performance measurement practice for the business.
- Expand the measurement scope
With the success achieved, expand the measurement effort to other areas. By this time, the organization would have become more familiar with performance measurement. The improved receptiveness would channel excitement and participation.
Performance measurement is a necessary and critical business management practice. By exercising discipline and giving the support with strong leadership, the business builds a sound framework for identifying operational hiccups and gauging the success of its execution efforts.