KPIs, a dirty word or the key to a better performing flexible workforce?
Key performances indicators, deliverables, targets, outcomes. However, they are packaged it is very easy for KPIs to be seen as a negative. So much so that “no targets” is often used as a selling point when advertising roles.
KPIs can often lead to bad outcomes. They can inadvertently incentivise behaviours that you don’t want to see, and if not finely tuned then they can put unnecessary pressure on employees and make them feel unsupported.
However, well managed KPIs could just be the key to giving your employees a raft of benefits that will not only improve their loyalty and happiness within their roles, but may also greatly improve their output. Just think, if you had meaningful KPIs on which you could assess an employee’s performance, then would it really matter where they were or whether they focused on working early in the morning or late in the evening, whether they did 8 hours every day or varied their hours to fit around their life?
It seems clear that the outcome could be pretty amazing. Not only that, but you could save a bit of money on real estate, recruitment fees, and even salaries, in which case it seems like a sensible thing to invest some time in.
One of the most important things to ensure that KPIs work is to instill a core set of values in your employees that will override and trump their KPIs. These are not fluffy, hippy ideas, but meaningful values that your employees will not just understand, but really embrace and truly buy into. Even better? Ask them to help you define your values in the first place.
So why would better values help you use KPIs? The truth is that KPIs are an outcome focused measure and therein lies their weakness.
By looking at outcomes only you may find that the route taken to achieve those outcomes is, in the long term, harmful to the business. You may push a client to cross sell services and find yourself with a bigger win in the short term, but it has been at the expense of building a long term relationship. This is where values come in. Values can help you define the approach and attitude of your employees and your business and can help employees to focus on more than the KPIs alone.
Values as simple as “always do the right thing” and “add value for our customers” can be very powerful.
This isn’t an easy exercise and implementing values and KPIs across a business is a never ending process of tuning and tweaking but hopefully it is clear that the outcome makes it worthwhile.
For more advice on getting the best out of your team give us a call on 0207 117 2542, email us at email@example.com, or message us on LinkedIn.
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