When we were kids, we had clearly defined measurements—from literally marking our physical growth each year by standing with our back to the wall, to earning grades, scoring goals, and more. While we couldn’t will ourselves to grow taller (no matter how hard some of us may have tried), we learned that we could work on the other metrics, and we learned the sense of satisfaction that comes with achieving measurable goals. That’s because we had leaders in life who taught us these things: principals, coaches, parents…
So what happened when we ventured out into the workplace? Unfortunately, many of us ended up working in companies where measurement was not built in to the management system. Perhaps it’s because, as adults, we no longer feel that sort of “supervision” is necessary. The fact is, however, that without defining what is most important to an organization—and then continually measuring the effectiveness of the ways we work together to achieve that objective—we simply cannot engage the minds and hearts of every individual on the team.
This is particularly true—and particularly crucial—in the world of healthcare, where the customers are people who are turning to physicians and medical staff for care that ranges from preventive through life saving. Leadership is critical to making sure that each patient gets the best your team has to offer, and every measurement should focus on that—including the measurement of vendors. The right vendors have put metrics in place to measure how well they help you achieve your goals.
That’s my leadership philosophy at work and in life. After all, it seems like if things don’t get measured, they don’t get done the right way, and you certainly can’t fix something if you don’t know that it’s broken. We’re all so busy that it’s easy to get distracted by “squirrels”—things that dart into our paths, taking our attention off of what’s most important. But taking the time to evaluate what your company can do for maximum customer satisfaction, putting metrics in place to ensure that everyone on the team knows how they can help achieve those goals, and regularly reviewing results to see how you’re doing—that’s probably the biggest value a leader can impart to an organization.
Perhaps it’s time to put some new metrics in place in your business to ensure that you’re providing the best service possible—and you can draw from industry analysis, staff, clients and vendors—to determine what those metrics should be. Because it’s human nature: we all want to know how we’re measuring up!