MEASURE UP
66
wa nte d
You cannot be successful in your work or
your career without a measure of success
If you want to make progress or improve then
measurement (qualitative or quantitative) should be
a key element of your approach.
It is fashionable in modern management
to have performance measures for
everything. Often this results in having
measures for the sake of measures with
the consequence that there are too
many, they are often meaningless and
they bear little relationship to the out-
comes desired by customers and
shareholders alike.
However this is not to negate the importance of measures. How
can a marathon runner improve her performance unless she has
a measure of her time together with a target for improvement?
To make improvements it is essential that you have some meas-
ure of that improvement. If you are a sales person with a past
performance showing you converted one in ten customer calls
into sales worth
x then it makes sense to aim for two conver-
sions per ten calls into sales worth
2x.
A quantitative measure of success then becomes a valuable piece
of data when being considered for a much-wanted job. Equally
important are qualitative measures involving a degree of subjec-
tive judgement. You cannot measure the performance of a
receptionist by how often she smiles or by the number of visitor
commendations. Inevitably there will be a degree of subjective
‘measuring up’ determined by perceived attitudes, behaviours
and overall approach to the work.
You must measure
what is important
for you, your team,
your boss, your
customers and,
ultimately, your
shareholders
The key criteria for any measurement process for individuals are:
1 The measures must be simple (easy to understand and easy to
measure).
2 The measures must be important and meaningful (by being
linked to the desiredoutcome for the job).
3 The measures must be few in number (ideally between three
and six).
When your measures meet these criteria they become memo-
rable and can influence your daily behaviour in making
improvements. An example of such behavioural improvements
might relate to how you approach customers. Instead of just
‘pushing product’ at them you might improve by building rela-
tionships and understanding their needs’. You can measure your
success through the resultant sales.
Ultimately you must not wait for or rely upon your organisation
for the imposition of measures. If they are thrust upon you then
accept them and work to them. However it is far better to initi-
ate your own personal measures of success and work towards
attaining these. In this way you can ensure the measures are
important, meaningful and sufficiently substantial to impress
those you wish to impress in the future.
PRA C T I CA L TI P
G
Focus on one measure at a time and concentrate on this for
the day or the week. Thus you might focus on an improved
speed of response to customers. This is measurable,
beneficial and substantial.
67
Measure Up

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