In Traction, Gino Wickman talks about the important of metrics. He says every single employee needs a single, meaningful, and manageable number to guide them in their work.
- Numbers move communication between team members and their supervisors from subjective to objective.
- Numbers create accountability. Without numbers, it’s tough to know what the expectation is. “Do better” isn’t measurable so it’s hard to know if someone has done it.
- Accountable people appreciate numbers. This is a huge one. People who resist numbers are likely the wrong people for your team.
- Numbers create clarity. When someone is clear on the number and agrees he or she can hit it, you’ve got a commitment.
- Numbers create competition. This one isn’t always applicable in the non-profit world, but it’s good to be motivated by other people.
- Numbers produce results. What gets watched usually improves.
- Numbers create teamwork. “How can we meet the goal?” is a great team conversation
- You solve problems faster. Because numbers cut through the fluff, it’s easier to see and fix problems.
When I work with organizations, one of the things I help them do is identify the best numbers to track, make sure each number has an owner, and design a system where talking about numbers is normal.
Numbers help us get clear about what’s important and what matters. Focus on them, and make sure everybody knows the numbers.