Monitoring performance generally falls into two broad categories:
1. Measurable operating results; and
2. Qualitative observations.
Measurable operating results
Key factors include:
1. Establishing which activities you wish to measure (e.g. hours worked, litres delivered etc.) that you feel are the key to determining if operating performance is on plan. These items should include at least the priority performance metrics. The targets should have already been established as part of your business plan and budget.
2. Determining the frequency that you wish to receive this information (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly etc.).
3. The measures and frequency of the reports should enable you to:
a. Review what has happened in the past versus budget to determine variances; and
b. Allow you to forecast for at least the rest of the month and the next month.
4. Determining the source(s) of the information and ensuring that you will be receiving it as needed.
5. Ensuring that a sacrosanct part of each day that you receive the report(s) is devoted to:
a. Identifying variances (past and/or future) to budget; and
b. Determining actions to take to eliminate/minimize negative variances going forward.
6. Ensuring that any members of your team who should receive all or any part of these reports are receiving them as needed.
7. Sharing the information as needed with the appropriate members of your team and seeking their input/commitment regarding the actions necessary to eliminate/minimize negative variances. Also correcting poor behaviour.
8. Celebrating positive variances with your team, determining reasons and how to ensure that those reasons are repeated. Also, reinforcing good behaviour.
The key considerations are:
1. Identifying specific actions that you should take and the frequency that will allow you to observe the performance of your team independent of the quantitative reports (e.g. time in the field, feedback from clients or other employees, etc.).
2. Performing those actions and providing feedback to your subordinates on a timely basis as appropriate:
a. Reinforcing good behaviour; and
b. Correcting poor behaviour.
By Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF mentor, email@example.com