I’ve talked many times about how the importance of great execution is for companies that want to scale up. But, guess what? Companies don’t execute. People do. How do you keep track of that? How do you go about measuring whether or not your people are doing a good job executing their tasks? Let’s take a quick look at evaluating employee execution for scaling companies.
It’s amazing how many times I’ve sat in business meetings in which important ideas and tasks were discussed—and nobody walked out of the meeting with a specific responsibility. A month later, everyone gets back together—and nothing has happened. That’s when you start hearing, “I thought you (sales, marketing, manufacturing, finance) were going to do that!” I can almost guarantee that if no one has the specific responsibility for a specific task, nothing will get done. The task needs to be assigned to a specific individual or team, and it needs to be recorded.
When tasks or responsibilities are assigned it needs to be crystal clear exactly what is expected. You can’t measure execution unless you know exactly what needs to be done. It’s also important to determine the exact criteria that will be used. For instance, it’s not helpful to say, “Improve sales.” Instead, you’ll want to be more specific: “Improve sales by 10 percent in the next quarter.” One tool that a lot of companies use to successfully evaluate performance is what’s called a Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Here’s a post that goes into a bit more depth about KPI’s.
When Is As Important As What
One area in which many companies fall short is setting deadlines. It is critical that every task of KPI be tied to a specific deadline. When you assign a responsibility or task to an individual or department, there needs to be a “complete by” date that goes with the task. If you’re going to measure performance or execution, there needs to be a timeline that indicates when the task should be done.
It’s Not About Blame—It’s About Improvement
The whole purpose of evaluating your execution isn’t about assigning blame. It’s about having a realistic view with regard to specific tasks. You may find out that it wasn’t realistic to re-tool your assembly line in two weeks. That’s not necessarily a failure. It helps you the next time you plan something like that. The idea is to clearly identify responsibilities and also to fix whatever isn’t working.
Are your employees clear with regard to exactly what’s expected of them and when the task needs to be done? At the end of each day/week/quarter, will your employees have a good sense of whether they are on target or not? I invite you to click on the “Assess Your Execution” button below to take a two-minute assessment that will help you see if you need to reevaluate how you measure your ability to execute your company’s strategy.