Metrics As Motivators: Is It Possible?

Carrot StickMany organizations track metrics in order to improve efficiency or processes.  The question is, are the metrics true motivators, or are they merely numbers, charts, or graphs posted on a wall?

As we walk the halls of the companies with which we work, we often see the “metrics wall”.  This wall is usually in a high-traffic area.  Many employees walk by the “metrics wall” on a regular basis, but how many employees actually stop to look at it?  Our observation has been that not many bother to take the time.

Why is that?  For many employees, the “metrics wall” is just another wall.  More often than not, those employees who walk by without stopping have no idea what it is that the metrics are tracking.  They don’t know how to read the charts and graphs; they don’t understand what the numbers indicate.  Those few who do understand what the charts, graphs, and numbers mean often don’t feel like the information has any real correlation to the impact that they have on the organization.

Making Them More Effective

How can we make the “metrics wall” more effective and motivating?  A good place to start is making sure each employee understands what it is that they contribute to the organization.  Each employee must recognize what they are paid to accomplish.  Once employees understand how they contribute to the organization’s bottom line, understanding how metrics reflect their accomplishment becomes much easier.

Another idea is to create individual scorecards or metrics that reflect each employee’s unique jobs and responsibilities.  Making the scorecards personal and specific increases accountability and responsibility for results.  Once Employees create their scorecards, they can place the scorecards on their cubicle walls or office doors, giving leaders a way to quickly see how the employee is doing and an opportunity to give the employee feedback on his/her work.

Is Is About Employee Engagement

Metrics, when done the right way, can be very motivating to employees.  The key is to ensure that employees understand what the numbers indicate and why the specific action is being tracked.  Using metrics or scorecards in combination with effective and frequent coaching, feedback, and goal-setting can result in rapid improvements to overall productivity and profitability, meaning that your business will become and remain more competitive over the long term.

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About the Author

Brian Miyasaki