It could be the new decade that has brought with it feverish discussion of Key Performance Indicators, or maybe it’s the fact that professionals have started to take the wheel and drive their own development. Whatever the motivation, measurable Key Performance Indicators can allow you to level up and gain deserved recognition for your hard work. So rather than letting a year go by without reaching any milestones, let’s discover how you can engineer success through Key Performance Indicators.
Make your Key Performance Indicators SMART
It’s an acronym I am sure you are familiar with, and it has stood the test of time for a reason. When you sit down to design your roadmap for success, ensure that every intention is Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related. ‘Generating more sales’ might sound like a target to strive for, but ‘increasing sales by 25% by July’ might give you greater clarity on what success looks like with a measurable, time-related outcome. If this discussion of Key Performance Indicators is one that has to happen with your manager, ensure that you both agree on the specific details to avoid ambiguity and disappointment on either end when a Key Performance Indicator is only partially met.
Set up Goal Posts Throughout the Year
Your Key Performance Indicators serve no one by being hidden in the bottom drawer. These goals should be a live document that you revisit many times throughout the year, not only keeping you accountable but inspired too. You may wish to design these Key Performance Indicators as quarterly or half-yearly items, or you may prefer annual targets with the plan to hit mini goalposts throughout the year. Whatever length these short and long term goals span, you should be checking in with them as often as possible. It might prevent you from pursuing a workstream that doesn’t drive long-term value to you and the business, and it will keep your objectives and outcomes clear as day.
Use Your Key Performance Indicators as a Tool for Collaboration
What direction do your weekly WIPs usually take? If you are like many other professionals, they might be lacking motivation and effective outcomes. If your Key Performance Indicators are the centre of your development and progress one-on-one’s, then you and your director will be able to discern the next steps for you to take and agree upon which goals have been met. Essentially, use them to your advantage here. Demonstrating to management that you are taking these Key Performance Indicators seriously will go along way, and it will only serve you to have those key decision-makers engaged in your progress going forward. No more WIP agendas, as the only instrument on the table to measure success and progress will be your well-defined Key Performance Indicators.
Benchmark Yourself Against the Market
Key Performance Indicators shouldn’t be seen as a noose or barrier, it should be a tool that will benchmark you favourably against the market. Or at least it should be. Knowing what the average Key Performance Indicators are for your role and industry will put you in a position of power and let your manager know that you are performing at a higher level than your peers. Your event attendance might only be 80%, but what if your market is only seeing a 65% attendance? Exceeding these industry standards will also give you a demonstratable case as to why you should be considered for future roles and opportunities.
Now that you have an appreciation of the power of your Key Performance Indicators, you can start to design achievable goals that will inch you closer to success. Getting clear on what success actually looks like will make this process easier and more manageable.
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