As many of you know, the scorecard is one of my favourite things in business. However, every time I introduce the idea of a scorecard I am faced with groans, dropped shoulders, crossed arms and an immediate change of subject! Why is this?
What do people have against scorecards?
- The fear of being measured unfairly or on things in which they have no control
- They take time to produce and lack accuracy
- People are unclear on how the numbers are measured
- The numbers don’t matter to them
- They feel they are being micro-managed
So how do we set up a scorecard so that it’s useful?
A big part of finding value is using a scorecard correctly. Here are few keys to success:
- The scorecard should contain measures that matter to the people using it, and they should pick them
- Review the scorecard together at a regular meeting - many scorecards fail as they are emailed or loaded on the server and reviewing it is optional
- Use the scorecard as the agenda to drive a conversation about performance
- Get into a routine for reviewing it and stick to it
- The conversation should focus on improving the business, not punishing or calling out employees
- Practice becoming a learning organization where feedback is welcomed, not feared
When scorecards are used correctly, they trigger a series of behaviours that drive performance.
- A scorecard defines what good looks like and sets expectations
- They hold us accountable to our commitments
- They help us get into a routine of reviewing all aspects of our business
- They help us align and focus on the priorities
- They ensure we are results focused instead of activity focused
- They allow us to decide on how to move forward instead of explaining the past
- They allow teams to work together to improve business performance
- They provide a forum for coaching, feedback and employee development
- They provide leaders with the opportunity to reinforce the right behaviours and recognize performance
As a leader, you likely have your first draft of your department's scorecard due at the end of the month. Unlike other things on your to-do list, engaging your team to build a meaningful scorecard has the ability to trigger a series of behaviours that drive performance. You have the opportunity to the stage to become a learning organization that drives for continuous improvement.
Don't treat your 2018 scorecard as a check the box activity; follow the tips above to unlock the potential of this performance improvement opportunity.
Dave McLaren - Partner, Lead 2 Perform