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How To Create A Culture Of KPI Monitoring & Improvement
If you want to change how your organization thinks about KPI monitoring and reporting, you need to change the way you think about meetings, data, and ownership.
In order to create a company culture around anything, you first have to change the current group mindset. And if you want your culture to change, you have to change how your business operates. So if you want to embrace quantitative data and performance tracking, for example, employees need to know that they won’t face negative repercussions or chastisement if they don’t meet their KPI targets.
There is a huge difference between selecting the right key performance indicators (KPIs) and creating a culture of monitoring, reporting, and improvement. Thus, we’ve selected a handful of tools you can use to motivate your teams and create the outcome you’re looking for.
Have the right people in the meetings.
You always need the right people in the room to make a meeting a success. You’ll need to be sure they have ownership to the KPI in question and have the authority needed to change the KPI.
Send out report pre-reads.
Sending out data before the meeting allows employees to let the data sink in, come to the meeting with questions, and be engaged during discussion.
Limit the discussion for each KPI.
You need meetings to get your most important points across—so use your time wisely. You also want to ensure that all of the metrics you’re reporting on are spoken to so you don’t leave the meeting with a handful of important KPIs that haven’t been covered. This doesn’t mean that each KPI gets the same amount of time dedicated to it, but that you have planned the meeting so you can cover what you set out to.
Capture next steps at the end of the meeting.
There are always to-dos that come out of every meeting, no matter how big or small. Whether it’s ensuring a data point is correct or sending out the report afterward, use this time wisely and be sure ownership is assigned to all tasks.
Maintain consistency in reporting.
This is incredibly important, as it accustoms your team to where the data is coming from and how it’s being calculated. Additionally, having consistent reporting allows you to conduct trend analysis so you can be sure that the data you’re gathering is consistent with the methodologies used when the KPI was created.
Perform regular quality checks.
Ensuring that your formulas are correct—and that your data is coming from the right place—allows you to rest assured that you have good takeaways from that data and that it has the integrity you need.
Keep the data centralized and in one place.
In addition to this being convenient for those who are pulling together reports and analysis to send to the strategy team, you can use the same data points in overlapping KPIs. For example, if you were to take expenses from all departments and pull it up to that organizational level, you would know that all of those numbers are accurate departmentally and organizationally.
You need to be able to know that your data is being updated regularly and is still accurate. This is particularly important if you’re repurposing Excel or PowerPoint for your reporting needs instead of using reporting software.
Simplify the metrics.
You should make your KPIs so straightforward that any individual in your organization can understand how you came to that metric and why it’s relevant. Sometimes this means making the KPI simpler, and sometimes it means making the chart that displays the data easier to read.
Set a number of metrics.
You don’t necessarily need to set an exact number, but you should have a general range and stick within it when you’re creating your metrics. If you have hundreds of KPIs, the importance of them is diluted—and it would be impossible to cover them all in a KPI meeting.
KPI Owner Management
Have clear accountability.
It’s imperative that you have clear accountability for how your data is acquired, how it’s being reported on, and who can speak to what occurred during that reporting period. This way, your data truly tells a story, and you can understand why the numbers are the way they are.
Set clear due dates.
Setting due dates helps your teams get in the good habit of regularly entering their data (and sticking to a schedule) as they become more comfortable with KPI monitoring and reporting.
Put everyone on a team.
If every department member is on a team, the level of engagement will go up. Each team member should have the responsibility of knowing where the data is coming from, how it’s configured, and why it’s relevant.
Engage on every level.
Having decision-makers from the C-suite to the departmental level on board with your KPI monitoring tools and reporting systems is vital. Everyone will be more motivated and interested in this type of quantitative tracking of performance if there is engagement and hype across the organization.
Provide qualitative analysis with the data.
It is extremely helpful if the measure owner can provide some kind of context behind the quantitative data. For example, if the measure owner didn’t hit their target for that period, they could explain that it “was due to seasonality” or “is because the shipment came in late and affected our productivity.” This tells the detailed story of the data instead of allowing other employees to guess and draw their own conclusions from the data.
You can’t change your culture until you get rid of your monsters.
Nearly every organization has employees or partners that make reporting exponentially more difficult because of their bad habits. We lovingly refer to these individuals as “monsters.”
If this sounds familiar, the guide below was created just for you. We’ve identified 43 tips that both identify your organization’s monsters and lead them away from their destructive habits before they cause any more damage. You can get your reporting process on the right track today—and we’re here to help.