How to Keep Your People on Their Toes

The old saying "people respect what you inspect" really means that you need to understand how to measure results, and then apply them to your business. The problem comes in determining what you should measure and how you determine success. For some jobs, the appropriate metric to use might be the results of a task, such as the dollar amount of orders taken or the number of orders shipped. For other jobs, the profitability of the company should be used as the metric. This works very well for tasks or segments of your operation that are linked to profitability but have no independent metric, such as technology, customer support, Web site design and management, and other areas. However, in these cases a secondary measure is needed so that you can inspect each area. For example, your IT department being "down" more days than the national metrics may signal the need for changes in your IT personnel. One size never fits all, so critically look at the operational elements of your company and determine the key for each that helps you create and maintain the highest profitability possible. Marilyn Holt, CMC, CEO Holt Capital Seattle

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