Integrating Measurement into the Business Culture
Integrating cross functional communication systems that are modeled to support the key elements of the corporate strategic plan, using system measurements to bring the strategic plan to life and enhance the customer experience is at the heart of this program. Most organizations are averse to measurements, but accountability is not possible without a strong measurement culture. If corporate functions are not willing to be accountable to each other, it is unlikely that the outcome from this organization, the customer experience, will be of high value.
The establishment of a win/win/win culture; a win for the customer, a win for the employee and a win for management, is not possible without modeling the needs of each of these three elements.
Senior management can unknowingly sabotage the win for the customer because they do not embrace measurement as the cornerstone for their company’s business culture. The “if you can’t measure it, you can’t measure it” statement rings true.
Think about what customers really want … on-time-delivery, quality, getting answers in a timely manner, living up to promises made, accurate data with respect to information transmitted from the company to the customer, short lead times, and other elements that make up the total; picture that represents the “Customer Experience”.
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, this country’s highest honor for corporate performance excellence is based on measurement. In the manufacturing
world, if a high quality product is to be produced, the key aspects of that product are measured statistically by the Quality Control department. I have spent over 30 years I the world of manufacturing, and every QC Lab was well stocked with the analytical
equipment required to validate that the product shipped met all the customers requirements.
Following this logic, a company cannot “produce” a high quality customer experience without measurement. The value proposition must be backed by a measurement culture if it ever has a change to exceed customer expectations.
This program investigates each of the three segments of the win/win/win culture, and how they can be measured. Establishing the algorithms that define each of the three wins is the foundation for defining where the company is now. Once the company win/win/win platform benchmark is established, the bar can be raised by incrementally until the overall performance yields a corporate outcome that is truly a differentiator that has real sales value. The process follows these initial steps:
1. Win for the Customer
- Develop a list of needs for the customer
- Determine algorithms that measure the corporate performance on each need.
- Measure the corporate performance over a period of time without changing any procedures.
- Determine a corporate goal for each need, with a reasonable time period to achieve that goal. While a company can benchmark these specific activities against world class performances, it is suggested that initial goals be reasonable and achievable in a short period of time (2-3 months). Small successes reinforce behavior change.
- Measure the company’s performance against these new goals, and future goals.
When timing is right, communicate with the company’s customer base on progress and solicit ideas for additional changes and improvements
2. Win for the Employee
- Financial … certainly employees all want to make more money in the form of salary, bonuses and the like. That being said, money is not, and has never been, a primary motivator for employees. While a surprising statement to some this is a fact. If an employees is not satisfied with the working environment within the company, a 10% raise will not make them happy. Money is just one piece of the employee satisfaction equation. That being said, measurements like sales/employee, profit/employee can be used to explain what measurement drive the salary/bonus money pool. These type of measurements correlate directly with corporate efficiency, and corporate efficiency correlates directly with the value of the “Customer Experience”.
- The Non-Financial Win… there are other needs, based in part by the work of Maslow and Herzberg that look at employee needs from a different perspective. These are basic needs such as:
- Physical – the need for food, air, shelter, and warmth. These are the most basic, “survival” needs.
- Safety – the need for safety and absence of immediate danger.
- Social – the need to interact with others. … Fun at work
- Esteem – the need to be appreciated and valued … recognition.
- Self-Actualization – the need to achieve one’s full potential
Programs can be established that address each of these segments, but without measurement threaded through each of these programs, their implementation will be faced with uncertainty, inconsistency and distrust. For most employees, the world outside of work is often in some stage of turmoil. If a safe work environment can be established this becomes an anchor for the employee.
3. Win for Management
Success with #1 and #2 sets the stage for a management win. The satisfaction of customer needs efficiently will have a direct impact on the bottom line. Also, as efficiency improves driven by the employees, a direct improvement in the “Customer Experience” will follow. This will provide sales with the added fire power that it can use to help drive the forecast.