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Three Tips to Build an Employee-Focused Reporting System

Businesses often put a strong emphasis on reporting metrics, and rightly so. Whether these metrics are collected via website analytics, sales figures or production output, executives usually recognize the importance of insight into daily operations and initiatives. However, there is a fundamental flaw with most reporting systems. Despite the fact that numerous tools make it simple to retrieve and report data, the employees who directly influence those figures rarely get to see the data. Both managers and employees can greatly benefit from seeing the impact of their contributions, or more importantly, where those contributions are coming up short. Following are three ways to help create an employee-focused reporting system in your own company. 

1. Break Down Metrics By Department 

It certainly doesn’t hurt to show employees company-wide metrics focused on overall profitability or the like, but they will benefit most from seeing metrics on which they have an impact. As an example, the services team should be able to review percentage of hours billable. Technical support should be exposed to customer satisfaction information. Obviously, the sales team has a plethora of figures that can aid them such as close rates and deal sizes. You can glean many of these metrics from your time and project management system. Project teams need to see their adherence to estimate and percentage of project complete regularly. Only choose a few important metrics rather than tossing in everything and the kitchen sink. Too many figures will become convoluted and ultimately ignored. 

2. Determine Drill-Down 

Metrics shown to employees should be as in-depth as feasibly possible. However, practically speaking, there are a number of considerations that must be made when determining how much information to show. First and foremost, is there sensitive information that could be harmful to operations if exposed? Drilling down into individual operations at a per-person level is a great idea for managers, but showing that information to team members could cause low morale for under-performing employees. Similarly, any metrics that reveal salaries or benefits compensation for individuals should not be shown to teams on the whole. Focus on performance-driven metrics that do not compromise privacy. 

3. Deliver Metrics Conveniently and Regularly

Employees need to have quick and easy access to relevant metrics which should be delivered at regular intervals. Some businesses find it beneficial to hold department-wide meetings for a few minutes at the start of each day to report progress and bring up any deficiencies. However, it is also a good idea to deliver metrics via email or some other direct messaging system. Employees will appreciate the ability to look at statistics at their leisure, or to draw upon them in a pinch without having to take notes from a verbal report. 

Finally, decide which metrics require priority and which do not need to be shown as regularly. For instance, you might show project completion rates daily, but elect to show profitability or sales figures monthly or at the end of a project cycle. The point is, employees should expect key figures regularly, and you should deliver them. 

These steps will allow you to put together a program that harnesses the power of today’s innovative reporting engines to improve performance and profitability. Let your employees see their contributions, and you will likely see those contributions increase.

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Tips & Tricks from Software CEO Curt Finch