Minimum Metrics and Productivity

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By: Miriam Lieber, Lieber Consulting, LLC

This article was first featured in the 1st Quarter 2020 issue of Essential Advantage. 

Minimum metrics and productivity - When I was asked to explore one of these two topics for this Essential Advantage article, I quickly realized that the two topics go hand in hand. You need metrics to measure productivity. As discussed during my recent sessions at EW’s Focus Conference in Tampa, employee productivity is dependent upon expectations and goals.

Expectations are derived from establishing accountability measures. It is proven that most employees want to know what is expected of them – they want and need structure for optimal performance. At a recent conference I attended on leadership with the CEO of Kellogg Co, Steve Cahillane, he stated that: “Good people want to be held accountable.” I couldn’t agree more. In my experience traveling to DME companies around the country, I have found that people like boundaries and need to have a direction to set the stage. They want to achieve and often don’t know how.

Here’s how: Meet with each employee, find out what they do on a daily basis, figure out how long it takes to perform each task, and assign a skill level to each task performed. For example, if they are working old outstanding balances owed by third party payers, divide the A/R by payer and age. Work an old account (greater than 120 days old), a newer account (less than 90 days outstanding) and work easier and harder products and payers similarly. From there, project how long it will take to work the outstanding A/R by each of the largest payers by age. Always work in descending balance order and be sure to address timely filing issues first. Set preliminary goals and expect to tweak them as you proceed. As achievements are made, celebrate the wins. Staff will feel energized and motivated to continue performing with acknowledgement and reward. Sometimes acknowledgment and pizza lunch are reward enough to continue plowing through to the next goal. Other times, incentives such as time off, bonuses or a gift card to their favorite restaurant are in order. Regardless of the reward, make sure to encourage the achievements through praise. People crave and need it!

One of the other key elements in setting and reaching goals is to engage staff in the process. In other words, make the people part of the goal setting process. After all, they are the ones on the frontline, the ones doing the work, day in and day out. They should know what it takes to get the job done. If you involve staff, they feel a sense of ownership and are more likely to want to perform for their “own” business goal. From there, establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help improve productivity and parameters. In essence, it is a quantifiable way to measure progress towards the goal the staff and management have established together.

Invariably, for staff and management alike, once they achieve success, they will want to set a new, higher goal. By preaching positivity and strengthening their strengths  along with establishing key metrics and measuring against them, your staff and you will achieve continued success.  After all, it is success that breeds success!

Miriam Lieber, President, Lieber Consulting LLC is a business management consultant who offers remote coaching and entering for all levels of leadership. Her team also offers on-site engagements to help improve operational efficiencies in the order to cash process. She can be reached at [email protected] or 818-692-1626.


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