Measure and Improve for Program Success
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Is it winning?
For some, they consider winning as a process and where the challenges lie.
As you may know, a goals program is not effective if you don’t measure, analyze, and improve on performance. Furthermore, you need everyone discussing results – both good and bad. That is how you can find the gaps and red flags in your employees and your culture. You are trying to change behavior and this requires accessible data that provide insights and emerging patterns (for action taking).
Why should you use data (easier to just ask feedback)? The benefit is that data is unbiased and transparent. This helps avoid negative biases (perceived or otherwise).
You want to champion a program that is fair and equitable to all. Objective and quantifiable data helps you measure and track performance, adoption, and ultimately success and failures. In addition, it gives you and your managers the information they need to really know on what’s happening with employees and the organization.
There are two key metrics that helps you track progress of your company’s goal cycles:
1st Metric: Goals Adoption Rate
❓ What it is: The percentage of employees who set goals each cycle.
📏 How to measure: # of employees setting goals / Total employees
🔢 Recommended range: 100%. But it might be much lower at program launch, you might get 30-50% at the start.
💡 What this tells you: This metric measures the goals program adoption (and a proxy of alignment support and commitment). All employees should be setting goals. However, it might take several cycles to get there.
✏️ How to track it: You need data analytics. If you’re launching your program manually, you’ll need to develop and maintain a careful system of check-ins and follow-ups with managers across the company on a weekly or biweekly basis. With a performance management software, this process will be breeze.
For example, CARROTS dashboards allow HR to see at a glance how many employees have set goals, and to easily engage employees and managers who aren’t participating in the goal-setting or updating process.
How to Troubleshoot It
Having trouble getting participation? Here are some simple tips:
Want more: Learn about goal completion and 17 other HR metrics affecting your organizational health.
❓ What it is: The percentage of goals completed out of total goals set.
📏 How to measure: Total # of completed goals / total # of goals set
🔢 Recommended range: 70-90%. This might be a wide range depending on where you are in your program and the rate of growth in your company. You may also want to see a similar percentage of employees setting and updating/completing goals within your company. (If there’s a big discrepancy between those rates, see the troubleshooting section below.)
💡 What this tells you: Expect a wide range but don’t aim for 100%. Employees have different performance outcomes. Furthermore, a 100% goals completion rate really means is that people aren’t setting challenging goals.
For your company to grow, you want your employees to be ambitious. They have to stretch themselves to achieve long term success.
If your goals completion rate is below 70%, then your goals might be set too high. You don’t want employees to be discouraged or burnt out. A low completion rate might be due to other organizational issues in your company.
✏️ How to track: If manually, then your managers should track goals on the ground level (with teams or getting additional manpower). But to get true visibility (and real-time), especially at midsize or large companies, technology will be your life-saver.
Here’s how we track goals at CARROT PH:
Goals overview dashboard in the CARROTS platform
Getting real-time insights into issues or red flags with individuals, teams, or whole business units will help you effectively understand how your goals cycle is doing while having time to take action to improve and adjust for the better. That way, you (and your managers) can help drive a better goals completion rate.
Here’s what to do if the rate is too low or too high:
Iterating Toward Success
So far so good. You have crossed the bridge and completed the first goal cycle. Now what? You Plan-Do-Check-Act towards long-term success. And bring along your employees too 😊
This is an exciting journey that has a meaningful impact for your company and your employees lives. You need to iterate making your plans, doing them diligently, checking on results regularly, and acting on feedback so that you can improve and learn. This iteration will enable you to have an effective and successful program.
Stick with the plan
Trust yourself and your stakeholder, implement your plan and don’t lose hope. You have invested a lot and leverage best practices. You will be successful. But keep in mind that the plan needs to be updated as you go along.
Do the tasks diligently
Execute the tasks and activities of the plan diligently. Set standards for yourself, your team, and your stakeholders. This is a strategic company-wide initiative for long-term success.
Check and seek feedback
Get feedback from all stakeholders and participants on what worked and what could work better. Be humble and honest when seeking feedback. To get a sense of overall sentiment, leverage a company survey.
Collect and organize all the data you’ve collected throughout the cycle. Consider other areas not just goals-setting and goals-completion rates, including:
Act to improve
Armed with the feedback of stakeholders and insightful data, you can now act on the changes to improve the program. Minimize major changes on the first few cycles unless there is a major company-wide issue.
Consider small and digestible improvements. Introduce small changes. This best practice will help you achieve success sooner and increase adoption. Furthermore, assess the impact and results of these changes at the end of each cycle.
There you have it. You are now well equipped to become a champion (or maybe a Hero). Just repeat the process and review results to iterate.
Want to dive deeper? Read: Evaluating the Performance on your Organization
If you want to learn more about CARROTS analytics capabilities, or to see how we can help you create a program that sings “We are the champions…”, let's talk.
See you soon for our final session!
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