Measuring Success

“Finding a way to measure success that works for you” was part of the concluding paragraph in my July post  Crucial Things I’ve Learnt Through Let’s Talk Talent.

What tends to be overlooked however is actually measuring success, for me it is important to look back as well as forward. An old HRD of mine always said be careful to not constantly look into the rear view mirror otherwise you will crash. Wise words which have stuck with me but I also want to ensure that I honestly take time to reflect otherwise how will I know if I am achieving anything?

So for me the first step  is to find out what your team, clients and industry think about you! If you want to ask, why not put an annual, or quarterly review into your strategy which has internal and external perspectives?

For instance, an external perspective could be do conduct an annual customer survey. This is the National Business Research Institute’s top tool for learning about a company’s client. Knowing whether your product or service makes customers happy will ultimately determine your success.

The Office for National Statistics’ Customer Satisfaction Survey 2014/15, showed 92% of their customers are satisfied with the overall performance of ONS. Clearly ONS provide something of value to its customers and it shows they are heading in the right direction with their business.

You could also conduct a competitor analysis. This is another type of review as it allows you to look at your competitor’s success route. Understanding their investments, obstacles, events etc. can inform your own route to success. You’ll understand what worked for your competitors and this can be discussed with your team to establish your own success path.

Internally, reviews are a very effective method of analysing whether you’re on the right track or not. A ‘check in’ review is an effective way of reviewing what you have done. It highlights what you have done well, show any concerns and what needs to be improved to make it more successful. Staff Squared’s blog on The Importance of Regular and Effective Employee Reviews states this is the best type of review you can do.

Having team meetings will tell you what your team thinks of you, and what they think works. Providing the purpose of the meeting is established and communicated to the team, meetings can be very effective.

Having team meetings will tell you what your team thinks of you, and what they think works. Providing the purpose of the meeting is established and communicated to the team, meetings can be very effective as team members will then know why they are in the meeting. Team meetings are the key to moving a team forward, which is crucial for understanding ways to be successful as the Harvard Business School’s research blog on Team Meetings argues. One HRD I met recently who recently started in the job saw this as a critical way of her getting a temperature check on what her team where thinking, feeling and therefore doing, she used this to have honest conversations and make some pretty radical changes.

Finding out what works is important for defining your success, but don’t forget to measure your success. Use your reviews, what have you achieved? Remember, everyone sees success differently. Some will see it as a measurable goal (such as biking to work under 20 minutes), while others may see success in a different light (actually biking to work).

It’s important to understand this as the way a team sees success might not always be the same as you. But what most teams have in common is a balance between enjoyment and improvement. Remember to celebrate success, enjoy the journey and what you’ve already achieved. It’s good to always be looking to improve, but don’t ignore how far you’ve come  and what has gone well.

Team/group success is just as important as individual success. Share the success amongst the group. What have others done well that no one else did? How did everyone pitch in to reach your goal? As the common phrase states, ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ Individuals coming together can be better than what individuals do on their own.

Look at Innocent Smoothie’s for example. They listen to their employees and review what works well within their organisation. They hold company-wide meetings to allow every employee to understand what is required of them and what is going on within the organisation. They do this, because it is successful in their organisation. Innocent make it a part of their culture to listen to their teams, employees and customers to see what processes and products work for them. That is their way to measure success. It’s successful because that technique works for them.

As I stated in my blog, “finding the right measures of success has taken time.” This is why it’s always important to keep reviewing, look back, make small incremental changes where necessary and see what works for you.

Team meetings are the key to moving a team forward providing the purpose of a meeting is established and communicated.

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