KPI’s are the key. When people ask me how to manage staff I always tell them Role Structure is critical, but many businesses don’t get it right. From a performance-based perspective, a properly structured role must have at least 3 key elements:
- Clearly defined specific tasks to be carried out (which we covered in the last post)
- Clearly defined outcomes from those tasks
- Clear (ideally objective) measures of whether the outcomes have been achieved
Our next step is to identify the critical outcomes from these specific tasks. These outcomes are often referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and typically there are between 5 and 15 of them, depending on the role itself, your business type and the level of precision you want in your performance monitoring and management system. Some business owners are happy to settle for the top 3 main KPI’s of a role, whereas others with higher expectations or control requirements will need to establish more detailed KPI lists.
It’s also important to note that developing KPI’s is a real skill and something that is always best done by an expert, but having said that, if there’s no budget for external advice you’re still better off to have a try yourself than to have roles without KPI’s.
If you’re developing your own, one essential key to developing good quality KPI’s is to make sure they can be measured. A good KPI is something you can look at and say either ‘yes’ that was achieved or ‘no’ it wasn’t. If you can’t measure it, it’s not a KPI.
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