How a scoreboard changed our company culture
Everyone wants to win. But how do you know if you are winning if you don’t know the score? Measuring key performance indicators is a game changer for company culture and employee motivation. It’s about everyone on your team knowing the score of the business in real-time and using that information to boost employee motivation and direction.
First, let’s define company culture. Company culture is about fostering a transparent company vision and building motivation in each employee to work towards that vision. It’s teamwork at its best; a company-wide awareness of the key indicators. Employees that care about the company vision make adjustments in their daily strategies based on the metrics.
People are driven by goals and numbers. A dashboard that clearly displays all your key performance indicators, everyone knows how the company is doing. At my last company, focusing on the key performance indicators as a team led to a complete transformation of our company culture. It was a night and day difference. I saw four specific areas of change:
Before we tracked our progress with metrics, we were just ‘heads down’ working as hard as we could. It felt like we didn’t know where we were going. We took a step back and asked ourselves what was going to drive the company forward. We wrote it out, defined it and put it on our dashboard, then saw the major changes.
When your sales revenue and new customers per day are posted on a dashboard in the middle of the office, everyone knows if their work is producing results. If a particular score is stagnant, that immediately signals to employees what needs to be prioritized. Focusing on key metrics provides clear direction and defines roles.
After we established what we were going to track, we held each other accountable. Employees felt ownership—they knew they would be reporting on their metrics to the team in our weekly meetings. As we reviewed the progress of KPIs in our weekly team meetings, we had a lot more success. This is when we started to see tremendous growth. Everyone performed at a higher level because they felt personal responsibility over their specific metric.
Transparency and Teamwork
Reviewing the metrics in our weekly meetings removed any kind of employee or manager bias. It fostered healthy competition and forced employees to buckle down to improve their metrics before the next team meeting. Feedback became collaborative and discussion-based. The entire team would see the progress from week to week and contribute ideas on how we could improve certain key indicators. The people that executed really well rose to the top. Our employees got the recognition they deserved and they loved it.
I think the dashboard needs to be out in the public. Out where everyone can see the score and see what is happening. Automatically that improves performance—when the score is measured and posted, that changes behavior and attitude. If you have these common goals, it’s no longer about the job or the business. It’s about the progression, the improvement, and the growth—and making that happen as a team.
Like any ADD entrepreneur, I tend to go after any shiny new idea. Having a dashboard of key performance indicators provides a lot of focus for me. If it’s not on my dashboard, I don’t focus on it. The dashboard is my filter—I use it as a guide on how to spend my time and energy. Good leaders are not afraid to pass on ownership. I can be a better leader when everyone on my team is focused on key metrics.
People want to feel like they are contributing to something great and making a difference. If you don’t keep track of the score, you and your team won’t know if you are progressing. Focusing on metrics will guide you and your team toward your company goals, enhance your ability to solve problems as a team and allow you to have more fun in the process.
Rob Nelson is the founder and CEO at Grow, a cloud-based software service that gives entrepreneurs beautiful business dashboards that track their key metrics, inspire their teams and make better decisions.