Don’t look EVERY gift horse in the mouth.

3 11 2014

“They say, ‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’ but when it’s a Trojan Horse, you do.” ~Eric Johansson

There are times when you have to inspect the performance of a group, and there are times when you should have faith in them to do the right thing.  When it’s an important (i.e. mission critical) measurement, you surely need to verify.  There are other times when the performance indicators that you must measure are mandated by partners, regulatory agencies, or other stakeholders.  Many leaders fall into the trap of measuring every little thing, such that they’re constantly pulling together data to measure their team against, with no time to walk the floors and find out how their team is doing.

Our company is currently undergoing a review of client satisfaction surveys.  For clients who have an initial interaction with our front-line counselors, coaches and CSR’s, we’re moving from around a dozen different surveys, with around 10-12 questions per survey to ONE survey with 5 questions (questions paraphrased):

  1. What was your stress level before your counseling session
  2. What was your stress level AFTER your counseling session (this gives us initial outcome information – did we reduce your stress?)
  3. Did we teach you something? (our mission is financial education)
  4. Did you leave with an action plan (did we give you goals?)
  5. Would you refer us to a friend or relative?

How much more do you need to learn about whether or not we did our job, than the answers to the above questions?  Keep that in mind when you’re designing performance measurement tools for your team.  Which horses are you going to look in the mouth, and which are you going to treat as the gifts that they are?

Speaking of a gift horse…

gifthorse

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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