There’s an old saying…”What gets measured gets done.” And there’s a lot of truth to that. If you want to get your people focused on the tasks and processes that you deem most critical to the success of your company, start measuring them. Just be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.
I worked with a trucking company that was measuring performance by the percentage of on time shipments they were making. Their dispatchers got the message and the numbers quickly shot up. The trouble was that they were so focused on that target they were sending half empty trucks to meet their schedules. We fixed the problem by adding a second metric that measures the percentage of unused space in outgoing trucks and revising the first metric so it emphasized meeting customer expectations for fast, reliable shipments rather than just on-time deliveries.
The trouble with targets is that when we incentivize one thing we don’t incentivize another, so we need to be careful in asking for what we really want.
Clint Best is a business coach and the founder of Kaizen Business Coaching in Kelowna, BC. Clint has been guiding forward thinking business owners through change and growth since 2002.