Leveraging metrics: Keeping performance interesting (KPIs)

9 minute read

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a quantifiable measure of performance over time for a specific objective. KPIs gauge a company’s output against a set of targets, objectives, or industry peers.

  • KPIs provide a target for teams to shoot for or accomplish.

  • KPIs can be milestones to gauge progress.

  • KPIs give insights that help people across an organization make better decisions.

  • KPIs track progress toward a specific goal or objective.

Also referred to as key success indicators, KPIs vary between companies and industries, depending on performance criteria. At the heart of KPIs lies data collection, storage, cleaning, and synthesizing. The information may be financial or nonfinancial and may relate to any department across the company. The goal of KPIs is to communicate results succinctly to allow management to make more informed strategic decisions.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • How do we keep performance interesting?

  • How do we keep people informed?

  • How do we keep people involved?

  • How do we keep people inspired?

  • How do we keep people interested?

Often, seeking the answer to these questions leaves employees and those new to the KPI process more confused than interested. So, start by answering the basic questions about what and why this is important.

In the article “Key performance indicators: What to Measure & Why,” Michael Salonish and Swati Allen explain that because of the role that KPIs play in the trajectory of an organization, it is important to choose the right ones. Choosing the right KPIs to measure performance improvement requires a good understanding of what is vital to the organization.[1]

If your staff doesn’t know the strategic plan for the organization, many will not buy into KPIs. If they don’t see how KPIs affect them, they may become uninterested in the process.

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