Kate Vitasek's article on "practicing what you preach" was terrific, as usual (MeasuringUp, July 2005, page 45). However, in the quest for [better] measures, speed and visibility, companies sometimes overlook potentially the greatest impact on performance engaging hourly associates.
Associates are the linchpin to success in labor-intensive environments. Yet while an individual may have visibility to his own performance, does he have any way of knowing whether his team or the entire facility is meeting its daily goals? Would Bob be spurred to higher levels if he saw his performance compared to Jerry's in real time? Do people perform better if they can see the impact of their actions on their goals? Are metrics more pertinent in real time than at the end of the day, week or month?
In the rush to extend visibility outside their four walls, companies should consider these questions and not overlook the ability to empower their associates with real-time performance visibility. Not only does this approach make sense and energize metrics programs, but it doesn't require sharing critical data.
Stuart M. Smith, Symon Communications