Results measurement is a subject that not every employee is comfortable with. Some are anxious feeling that the manager watches over their shoulders to monitor their work. Others feel offended that there is a lack of trust. In many businesses, the approach to results measurement creates conflicts between business units, leading to harsh feelings and disagreements.
The culprit arises from how businesses use results and the messages they convey when the outcomes are less than satisfactory. The carrot and stick mindset tends to generate a negative perception about results measurement. As important as it is, results measurement needs to be positioned as a strategic tool. To create a culture that embraces results measurement, there are eight steps.
- Establish support
It needs to start from the top. Changing the culture requires the management team align on the need to leverage the measurement efforts for business improvement. There is likely no issue with results reporting. It is the rigor around the approach and discipline that requires clarification and buy-in. Full alignment and hence, support is needed in order to drive the focus and stay on track. Changing the culture requires the management team align on the need to leverage the measurement efforts for business improvement. Click To Tweet
- Agree on approach
There are several aspects to the approach. They include identifying the results to monitor, developing the measures, determining what data to use and their sources, and interpreting the results. All too often, much time is wasted on debating the validity of the results presented because there isn’t prior agreement on the approach.
- Develop implementation plan
As there is existing reporting in place, rolling out changes will meet some resistance. A sound plan is needed to create the momentum for building trust and modifying current practices. Identify a business unit or a team that would be open to adopt the necessary modifications. Some might prefer to start at the corporate level, others might choose a functional group.
- Communicate need
To highlight the importance of results measurement, senior managers and executives ought to communicate in a consistent manner. Include relevant examples in the communication to emphasize the need as well as how everyone would leverage the information presented by results monitoring. There would be skepticism. Hence, frequent reinforcement with success stories is important.
To change the perception about measurement, educate employees about the approach. It is critical that employees understand how results are used, not to penalize them, but to better serve the customers and make their work easier. Customize the training content to make it relevant to the group.
- Engage employees
It is difficult to convince people that the chosen measures are the appropriate ones without involving them in the selection process. Engaging employees in the process of determining the results relevant to them and designing the corresponding measures, they understand the logic and support the final choices. At the same time, they take ownership.
- Measure and follow up
This is execution of the actual measurement, analysis, and follow-up actions. Team leaders and managers play an important role in providing the guidance, following through on results review and making pertinent decisions for improvements. Without the follow-up actions for improvement, it would be impossible to demonstrate the value of measurement.
- Demonstrate value
By applying discipline with the measurement approach, it is straightforward to capture the proven value. When employees see the complete cycle on measures development, results tracking and improvement implementation, they trust the ‘system.’ Their involvement in the process turns them into strong advocates. They feel empowered because they have input on what to measure. This becomes motivating for them to be active participants.
Building a culture where everyone embraces results measurement needs to put people at ease first. This will take time but the outcomes are beneficial to everyone.