Many organizations and operations departments keep detailed metrics on the performance of different teams and individuals. These could include turnaround time on a custom order, average throughput for a common manufactured product, time spent resolving a customer complaint or concern, and many others. These metrics are useful to company management in identifying areas that need improvement, as well as for benchmarking against other organizations.
Leveraging Existing Data
But companies often fail to leverage the data they’ve already collected on key metrics with individuals further down in the organizational hierarchy. This can be a significant missed opportunity to help improve performance.
When possible, it’s advisable to share metrics with relevant employees at all levels, as this feedback can be powerful in supporting ongoing training and development.
Sharing Feedback and Data
For example, an employee may be assigned to a customer service department’s answering service for which the company maintains detailed metrics on customer surveys regarding their satisfaction with the help they receive when they call.
Perhaps the employee doesn’t necessarily receive the worst average feedback scores from customers but is in the third or fourth quartile. Or, perhaps the employee is near the top, but his or her average score is still a mediocre 6 out of 10. If the employee doesn’t see these metrics, he or she may be unaware that there is room for improvement, either in an absolute sense (improving from an average customer survey rating of 6 out of 10) or in a relative sense (improving his or her score relative to coworkers).
Greater Insights into Company Objectives
In addition to letting employees see how they are performing, as well as where they fit among their peers, sharing metrics with staff also gives them insight into management’s objectives.
For example, a metric measuring the number of units produced per hour signals that speed of production is important; a metric measuring the number of defects per 100 units signals that quality is important.
Although managers might tell employees from time to time that speed or quality is important, the fact that time and effort are spent defining metrics and collecting data around those goals demonstrates that it’s important.
While metrics are certainly useful at the macro level for use by company leadership, there are also benefits to sharing those data with the employees being measured. Because the data are already being collected and analyzed, they could also be leveraged to provide support for training and development efforts.