Fotolia_3829096_XSWe’ve said it a million times: If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Having great dashboards for your kitchen and bath business allows you to keep the pulse on your operation.

With that tidbit comes the warning that the wrong metrics can drive bad behavior. That’s right, measuring the wrong thing, or the right thing incorrectly, can make good employees do all bad things.

Money as a Motivator

” If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it”

Money can motivate great actions; kinda like the adrenalin rush a mother gets when she lifts a car off her baby. (Who are these mothers and how do their babies keep getting stuck under their cars anyway?)  Most of us have experienced the positive effects of a monetary reward. So what could possibly be wrong with using financial carrots to encourage your employees to work to their full capacity?

We once knew of a cabinet manufacturer that had a metric of on-time complete. Harmless enough, right? Well, somewhere along the line, cabinets started showing up with the wrong door style on a few boxes here or there.

Seems innocuous enough, but when you dig deeper, the plant was marking the order complete because it went out with doors. After all, no one said they had to be the right doors! I get my bogie because I did what you asked…

So How Do You Measure the Right Things

If we measure the wrong metrics it will focus our energies in the wrong direction. Follow these steps to get your dealership on track:

  • First – Decide where to measure. The first spot to look is in those areas where you desire an improvement.
  • Second – Design a metric. What do we need to measure in order to ensure the proper behavior?
  • Third – Look for the holes in the floor of your metric. Can it be interpreted incorrectly (the wrong door style is still complete?)
  • Fourth – Get buy-in from your team. If your metrics are constantly top-down driven, buy-in will be a challenge. Wouldn’t you rather follow a directive that you helped design and implement?
  • Fifth – Measure what you said you would measure. It’s easy to give lip service to the flavor of the day. It’s much more difficult to avoid the directive when everyone is held accountable.
  • Sixth – Tweek as necessary. What worked today may not work tomorrow. After all, the only constant in business and life is change.
  • Seventh – Review and reward. Whether it’s dollars or donuts, do what you said you were going to do if the goals are met.

With a little pre-work you can elevate your team, and your business, to the next level.