In any company, be it profit or non-profit, the ultimate goal is to continue providing the services that keep the company is business. What these services are and how a company goes about providing them often changes over the years. A change that is becoming more popular in the service industry is the implementation of metrics as a way to determine employee productivity and success.
Metrics are defined goals that, in this case, create a conceptual guideline to being an efficient worker in a specific setting. Metrics can change for every department, specialty, or even person, depending on how a company decides to utilize them. They have become popular in recent years in sales settings, as metrics help track the productivity goals that often lead to sales and bonuses, so employees who follow the metrics are rewarded. Because they serve as a marker by which administrations can determine productivity by the standards that they set, metrics are becoming more commonplace, now even working their way into hospitals and care centers.
While this strategy to create an efficient workplace does have its ups and downs, it is not the end of the world. Take a look at how we breakdown metrics in workplaces and determine if that is a good fit for you.
As we said, metrics are, in their most essential form, markers of productivity. In concept, metrics are supposed to be defined limits that, when followed, keep customers happy and employees working fluidly. While the concept of metrics is certainly enticing on paper, its practical application can leave a lot to be desired in most workplaces.
If metrics are implemented at all levels of a company, it can produce a sense of community and comradery amongst those who depend on each other to complete their metrics. This is especially difficult to achieve in high volume workplaces as people do not often have time to double check or assist in the work of others. In setting like that, metrics can create discourse if people’s goals depend on others being effective in their roles as well. No one wants to feel as though they are being punished because someone else did not do their work.
On the other hand, metrics can be overwhelmingly positive when placed in entry-level or compensation jobs. In entry level, they serve as a way to let those who are new to the industry adjust to the expectations of their future roles. For jobs that offer compensation, such as sales opportunities, metrics help by showing the standards top sellers hit to convert a phone call into a sale. If employees are told that the average is 100 sales calls a week where 50 people will answer, 10 will be interested, and 2 will buy, then they know that if their goal is to sell 10 items a week to make commission, they can make a plan to hit those numbers.
Non-metric settings have their ups and downs too. While it is easy to criticize a structure that you can see, it can be harder to recognize where issues are brewing when there is no measurement in place. In non-metric settings, teams are often addressed for the shortcomings of individuals, as there might not be a way to tell who needs what kind of assistance. While that can still address a problem, it often eats up excessive time and can make productive employees feel as though their hard work is being overlooked.
From a positive perspective, non-metric settings allow for creative and dedicated workplace settings. Without a measured marker of what administrative bodies consider to be success, employees will often share tips and tricks for the trade that they have honed over the years. Additionally, it allows for people in service settings to spend more time caring for the customers or patients that they are with instead of watching a timer or trying to get them to fill out a survey.
An implementation of metrics is certainly not the end of the world, no matter where you work. Metrics in a service industry like healthcare could prove to be a different beast entirely, depending on what they are and who they are assigned to. Using metrics at the entry areas, such as check-in counters or insurance verification spots, is a good place to start. Healthcare centers can benefit from having metrics in place for the time it takes to have patients checked-in, necessary forms filled, and informed of their next steps, or monitor the backend of the process, looking at check-out processes or room-turnover. That being said, having metrics placed on you as a provider can cause an astronomical increase in day-to-day stress as it can limit a provider’s ability to properly care for their patients, so it is important to discuss metrics with employees to understand where they would be most effective.
When interviewing for new opportunities, if you are curious about whether or not you will be in a metrics-based position, be sure to ask. Unlike asking about pay or benefits, this is a question that companies will often gladly answer off the back. If the company has seen success with their metrics program, then they will likely be excited that you brought it up. If they have not has success or if they do not plan to use metrics, companies usually do not mind letting you know, as experimentation is simply part of growing as a company.
If you are looking for a new opportunity, metrics based or otherwise, check out our job page here! If you are looking for something a little different than what we have available, send us an updated resume here and we will connect with you as soon as possible.