Tying Employee Performance to the Strategic Plan (Part 5)

March 26, 2014 Selling Comments Off on Tying Employee Performance to the Strategic Plan (Part 5)

By Bill Phillips, Strategen, Inc.

Continuing the discussion; the third step of our three step process for Tying Employee Performance to the Strategic Plan is: “visual management to show continuous progress and status”.  To review, the three important areas for metrics in Strategic Planning are:

1)    Performance metrics
2)    Follow up to determine progress and status
3)    Visual management tools to show continuous progress and status.

Newsletters from the past several months have dealt with the first two steps in detail.  Visual Management is my favorite of the three steps and can be the simplest to implement and use.  It surprises me how much information business people collect, do not look at and do not show the people doing the work.

Typically companies collect performance data on departments as well as on the company as a whole.  There is a clear need to be proactive about utilizing this information to increase efficiency, drive change and hold people/departments accountable.  It is common in larger companies to have specific people or possibly a department that is responsible for this process.  Many times this work will be part of the Quality Department with defined processes and specific people assigned to be responsible for collecting, analyzing and reporting.

It seems logical to me that if performance data is collected and analyzed it should be communicated to the performing team in a manner that they and others can see.  Technology advances are presenting less expensive and easier means to communicate.  There are very simple and very complicated visual management tools and each has its place.

Simple tools such as white boards and cork boards that allow information to be written and spreadsheets to be displayed are easy to use.  Marquees that show or stream data are inexpensive and useful.  Flat screen monitors are great tools that allow anything that can be seen on a computer screen to be seen anywhere in the facility with live updates to show the information needed at the time.  The key is that you define what you want people to see and then work to keep that information in front of them and up to date.

Regardless of the type of visual management tools used, the key is that the performance metrics defined in step one are communicated visually.

The Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are used to drive the business and need to be communicated to the performing teams and tied into the performance of the people and departments.  At a minimum, weekly meetings and usually daily meetings and at times hourly meetings with the key people to proactively drive the processes and changes based on the information and reports need to be held at the visual management tools.

The other amazing part of visual management tools is that people pay attention to metric data that other people/functions, not in their performing area, can see.  In my opinion if you want something to change put it out in front of all of the performing teams and speak to it daily.  Change can happen quickly when people see what is happening.

Coaching these skills is a critical part of what we do.  We are here to help you develop and implement your Strategic Plan and coach and develop the skills to implement the plan successfully.

We are having great success coaching and implementing these methods and skills and our clients love it!

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