This is one of the most common responses I’ve heard from middle and back-office leaders, when discussing time standardization practices within their teams.
Since 2008, my professional world has revolved around helping medium to large organizations optimize their workforce management processes and techniques. Not only has this taken me to all parts of this wonderful planet, but it has also lead me to co-founding a company that specializes in doing just that— Bramble (brmbl.io).
Aside from learning how to shamelessly plug my own company, I have also learned with great certainty that it’s far easier to manage what it is measured. Nobody ever has a problem with employing every metric available to say a contact center or sales team and setting them quantifiable performance targets to achieve. Yet for some reason there are those that believe the work that occurring in their operations is impossible to measure, and therefore continue to spout to anyone that will listen -
“that might work for team or department ‘X’, but we’re different”
For those of you reading that have indeed said these very words in response to the suggestion of measuring the tasks your team works on day in and day out, guess what?
And just so there isn’t any ambiguity, here are the responses to other objections commonly thrown around:
- “you can’t measure what we do” - yes you can
- “we can open a work item and it could be anything” - not really - it’s not like there’s an infinite number of processes that work item can turn into
- “it’s impossible to plan our workload” - well how did you land on your current staffing levels then?
A lot of managers think that they are ‘protecting’ their employees if they don’t put productivity metrics in place, but what they may find interesting is ‘good performers want to be measured’ - they want their peers and senior personnel in the organization to know how good they are and the value they bring to the company. In addition, low performers need feedback and targeted coaching so that they can improve their performance, and the only way to identify the individuals in this category, is by having accurate performance metrics in place. Improving individual performance not only helps employees contribute to the company’s success, but it also helps with employee morale. When people think that low performers are being tolerated without consequences, it can cause frustration — especially over long periods of time. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard something similar to the following when implementing performance metrics:
“I can’t wait for this to show that CERTAIN people in the team are being ‘carried’ by a few of us”
Without performance measurement, cultures are often built around the average performers since they make up the majority of your employees. Having metrics is not about big brother — it’s about objectively understanding what is happening in your people’s day, so you as a LEADER can proactively manage your team with better control. This is applicable to all teams, in all companies, in all industries.
Sorry to be the one to tell you… but you’re not a unique flower.