Years ago, I completed my initial training sessions to become a Professional EOS Implementer®. We learned about the Six Key Components™ to running a successful business: Vision, People, Process, Data, Issues, and Traction. Mike Paton (co-author of Get a Grip and Process!) covered how organizations can get 100 percent strong in the Data Component™. During that training, he said that measurables get zero out of zero love.
Everyone Has a Number
“With a Scorecard in place for every team, we implement a tool we call measurables,” Paton said. “Everyone has a number on their team’s Scorecard. And that number defines success for them and the roles of their seat.”
He paused for effect and added, “You can be sure that zero out of zero people want to be measured.”
After hundreds of client sessions under my belt, I now can safely say that ambiguity destroys accountability. Most people will naturally avoid personal accountability. That just makes them normal and reinforces why the “zero out of zero” adage rings true.
High performers get frustrated when they discover that teammates avoid accountability because of ambiguous standards or lack of clearly defined roles. Accountable people thrive when they have absolute clarity for both. That underscores the importance of measurables. There’s nothing ambiguous about a number.
Making Measurables Make Sense
Implementing measurables often separates good companies from great ones. How do the great ones overcome that “zero out of zero” love? Much of that depends on how measurables get presented (context), written (creation), and used (application).
Measurables offer valuable information to employees as much as to their managers. Having clear, regular data allows people to know where they stand. They can compete with themselves to improve and gauge their progress as part of the team. Presented this way, measurables serve as something leaders do FOR their teammates rather than TO them.
Measurables act as leading indicators for how both employees and their managers define success. When employees work closely with managers to define their own measurables, they have skin in the game. They can’t call a measurable unfair when they had a hand in creating it. First, leaders should have each employee affirm they understand and embrace the roles of their seat on The Accountability Chart™. Once they’ve confirmed their major roles, together they should boil down one to three roles into a weekly number. That number represents the goal for success in the employee’s role.
Effective measurables correlate well with the employee’s job and have high visibility for everyone to see them achieved. Each individual contributor has measurables that roll up to the success of departmental measurables. And those roll up to organizational Scorecards and ultimately impact the success of the company. Most importantly, an employee’s effective measurables get reviewed weekly in department Level 10 Meetings™ and in Quarterly Conversations™ with managers. This ensures they stay on track.
In the end, everyone on a high-performance team should know if they’ve had a “winning week.” Measurables help give a team weekly validation that what they do matters. Measurables give employees a deliverable, a metric, and a definition of their own success.
Also during our training, EOS Worldwide founder Gino Wickman said: “Hitting a number is the essence of accountability.”
Ambiguity can destroy accountability, just like a leader settling for their team’s “zero out of zero” love of measurables. By finding the right numbers for their team, leaders give their people satisfaction in understanding and embracing how they’re measured.
Learn even more helpful tips for leading a team by downloading the free eBook 5 Tips to Help Leaders Become Their Best.