Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It is Time to Measure what Drives the Business

With the recent layoffs, inflation, and economic indicators it is easy to see that we are operating in a very different business environment. Because this "slowdown" has lasted for longer than we have expected, businesses have more and more revenue pressures as the months go by.

With pressure on the top line, the bottom line is scrutinized even more. So, it is important to know what IMPACTS the top and bottom line and how. So for example, if you know that customer loyalty is driving your profits, and that retaining people drives customer loyalty, you then can focus on retention instead of training.

Another example might be in the HR area. Talent is on everyone's mind these days even in these uncertain times. We all know when the economy turns around, so will the supply and demand of talented people. What are the workforce planning models that HR can create now, that will assist managers when they have staffing issues in 18-24 months?

With resources being stretched like a rubber band, and economic measures swinging up and down, it is time to determine what drives your revenue and what measures you should be focusing on.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

36 Bloggers discuss HR and Having a Seat!

I am happy to announce that I have made it onto the prestigous Carninval of HR, joining friend and partner Mike Haberman and 34 other bloggers chatting about the "Mystical Seat at the Executive Table."

See what they are saying....HR Carnival Blog

Monday, July 21, 2008

Do you Have Your Employees' Heart?

So you thought having engaged employees was enough….well not exactly. Now, we know through research there are two types of engagement:

Rational: this speaks to the intellectual commitment people have to their organizations and the understanding they have of how they can help their companies succeed

Emotional: this speaks to that deep down connection people feel towards their organization. It also incorporates the fulfillment people derive from their jobs.

It is interesting to point out that in a recent study, emotional engagement is four times more valuable than rational engagement in driving performance and those that are committed perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave the organization.

What a financial impact! If you have employees that are emotionally engaged (committed) to your organization what would that mean to your bottom line?

So, it is about the heart over the mind……

How can you tell if your employees are emotionally connected to your organization and are performing at a high level?

Analyze your enagement and performance data will be amazed!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Predictive Metrics are in our Future

How would you like to be able to:

1) Determine the financial impact of customer or employee loyalty?
2) Determine the number of types of employees you will need in 2009?
3) Determine the productivity increase of a proposed training intervention?

Do you think you need a crystal ball?
The answer is no. Today, we are seeing more and more companies taking their metrics and data to the next level. The are becoming very PREDICTIVE using historical data to build models in order to assist managers in making better decisions.

This exercise is not for the faint at heart as it does require historical data and some higher level statistical testing, but the effort is well worth the business intelligence it creates. Using methods like linkage analysis, regressions, correlations, factor analysis, etc. statisticians can uncover root causes and outcome drivers so management can focus on what matters most.

The Burke Institute offers many workshops on these subjects. So throw out the crystal ball and start mining for data!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Drowning in Data?

Are you like so many companies that measure just about everything possible from number of pencils bought to number of customers served?

The questions I get from so many companies are, "What do I need to measure?" "Which metrics go on our scorecard?"

We see many clients tracking hundreds of measures, with each department tracking 20-30 measures each.

The question then becomes, "What are the metrics that matter?"

We believe the metrics that matter to your organization depends on YOUR desired outcome. Is your desired outcome, revenue, growth, profit, safety or quality?

You then must also look at what your strategic goals are to make that outcome happen. So, if revenue is your outcome, what are you doing to drive revenue?

You have to work backwards from your outcome. Most of the time we see clients picking metrics FIRST, based on the latest trends, books and benchmarks.

This approach will not give you the metrics that matter to your organization because you did not start with your own outcome and your strategies.

Customization is key when choosing size does not fit all.

How have you decided what to measure in your organizations? Please comment below!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

7 Tips to Actionable Surveys

Many times we are asked in our consulting firm, what do we do with all our data. Our answer is, "Take Action!"

Sometimes that is easier said than done. For example, many times employee engagement data is so overwhelming we do not know what to do. You should be able to understand those things that drive engagement with your employees and make changes based on those drivers. But, so many times we get data points, benchmarks, and huge reports, that don't yield any real KNOWLEDGE.

Action needs to be the goal of any data gathering project. If it isn't, then why collect the data in the first place? Whether the data is employee, financial, operational or customer related, being able to tell the data STORY is key!

Here are 7 tips that will help you take action on your next data collection project:

•Step 1: Think with the end in Mind
•Step 2: Determine the Criteria You Want to Measure
•Step 3: Design Survey Questions
•Step 4: Determine the Best Analysis for the Data
•Step 5: Communicate Results
•Step 6: Action Plan
•Step 7: Monitor and Re-measure

Do you have a question regarding data and how to report it? Please let us hear from you.