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Everyone Has a Number

Written by Rene Boer on September 6, 2018

Leadership Employees Accountability

Employees perform most of the activities that, if measured, are usually leading indicators of future outcomes. You can’t know how well your business is doing without understanding how well the people in your business are doing. When you spend more time focused on leading indicators you’ll spend less time (after the fact) pouring over income statements and analyzing trailing indicators.

What Every Great Boss Knows About Accountability EOS-blog-3uniques-1

Every great boss knows that accountability begins by keeping expectations crystal clear. And, there’s nothing like a number to ensure absolute clarity about expectations. Expectations work both ways – your people must be clear about your expectations of them and you must be clear about their expectations of you. So, if you expect your people to deliver the numbers, you must meet their expectations by providing them with the resources, training, and coaching to help them do it. Without this 2-way clarity, your current expectations of them will become their future resentment of you.

Does EVERYONE in your organization know what’s expected of them daily, weekly or monthly? Are your expectations measurable - can they be quantified? Have you explained WHY the number(s) are important to your organization and its customers? Think about the results that your organization could achieve if everyone delivered their number(s) on a consistent basis – especially if their numbers align with your organization’s goals and objectives. How much easier would it be for you to coach them?

The Three Numbers Your Employees Should Know

Paul Ruby, GM at the Herrington Inn in Geneva, IL has three “numbers” for each of his employees. Consistently delivering on these three numbers, has helped them win the AAA Four Diamond Award for 25 consecutive years. These three numbers help each employee understand that being attentive to each guest is as important as being friendly with each guest:

  • 15 – when a guest is within 15 feet, stop what you’re doing and prepare to focus on the guest;
  • 10 – when a guest is within 10 feet, smile and make eye contact;
  • 5 – when a guest is within 5 feet, greet the guest with “Hi, how can I help you”.

Here are some more real-life examples of “numbers”:

  • “2” – answer each incoming call BEFORE the third ring;
  • “0” - waiting time for an appointment;
  • “24” – return all phone calls within 24 hours;
  • “3” – check & respond to email only 3 times each day – a huge time saver!

Are You Keeping Score?

It doesn’t matter who keeps score. What matters is that someone (preferably the employee) keeps score. And, some of their numbers could roll up to the departmental or company-wide scorecard. If it’s important, it should be measured. If it’s off track, it must be addressed. By the way, this is a good opportunity to give your employees genuine praise and helpful criticism.

One final thought – “Everyone” means everyone. Ask each person how they know if they’ve done a great job. Get their input on the activities that should be measured. Ask yourself who’s more productive, an employee with a number or one without?

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