Performance and Simple Improvements

Here are some of my basic thoughts on performance and how to improve it. There are no revolutionary ideas here, just tried and true concepts. This has come from a conversation with a charity recently who need to improve internal performance but without adding complexity.


Every company has moments where things just don’t go according to plan. Maybe your team didn’t hit their goal one month, or you had to cancel an event because of some unavoidable circumstances. Even the best teams have off days now and then. But how can you make sure those bad days are fewer and farther between? Perhaps the most important thing a company can do to improve performance is establish measures from the start and remain self-aware as time goes on. It isn’t easy, but it helps tremendously in keeping your company moving in the right direction and away from pitfalls. If your organization doesn’t have any tools in place yet, read on for some tips that will help you get there sooner rather than later.

Create a culture of measurement

First and foremost, you need to make sure your employees understand the importance of measurement. When you first get started, you may want to focus on metrics that are easy to track and show progress on short-term goals. It’s important for all levels of employees to understand how their work impacts the broader goals of the organization, from the administrator up to the CEO. By measuring what works and what doesn’t, you give yourself the opportunity to make necessary adjustments to your strategy before bad habits become ingrained. You also allow for your team members to self-correct when they deviate too far off course. This earns their trust, boosts morale, and encourages them to keep doing what works and fix what doesn’t.


Track and analyse your data

This seems obvious but I have come across so many organisations that just don't track their data. Your team members are collecting data, both consciously and subconsciously, on a daily basis. Goals, metrics, and system data like sales, visitors, and web traffic are all data points that can help you understand how your business is doing. By tracking your data and analysing it, you can identify trends and areas where improvement is needed. For example, if you track your sales data and notice that a certain product isn’t selling as well as expected, you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. If you don’t track your data at all, or you only track some of it, you’re only getting part of the picture. You may think things are going great when in fact they aren’t, and you aren’t aware of it until it’s too late.


Train and retain the best employees

Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization. Without them, your business is nothing. It’s crucial to identify the metrics you want to track that relate to your employees and their performance. Some metrics to track include the time it takes for new employees to become fully productive, their retention rate, and the number of times employees are awarded for good work. Tracking these metrics will help you understand how your employees are doing in relation to the goals you set for them. If you notice an area of concern, you can use that information to retrain your employees and help them improve. You may also want to consider a metrics-based employee evaluation system. It can help you identify areas where employees may need improvement while still providing them with the guidance they need to get there.


Don’t micromanage

When you start tracking data, it can be tempting to jump in and start making changes immediately. However, it’s important to resist the urge to micromanage and create change where there was none. Let your employees know that you’re tracking metrics and that you’ll be reviewing them. If you notice an area of concern, sit down with your employees and help them come up with solutions that will improve their performance.


Summary

As you can see, improving business performance doesn’t have to be complicated. All it takes is the willingness to do the work and the desire to see your company succeed. If your team doesn’t have any metrics in place yet, these tips can help you get started. Create a culture of measurement, track and analyse your data, train and retain the best employees, and don’t micromanage to help your team become more efficient and productive.



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