Our Business Wants to Talk to Us
Does your business talk to you? Does it tell you how to achieve monumental success? No?! Well why not?
Certainly, a business can’t speak English or French. But, it very much wants to communicate with us. It wants to tell us in detail what’s happening, how we’re doing, where we’re going, what’s slowing us down and how to fix it. But we can’t hear our business if we don’t give it a voice!
So how do we do that? With numbers. Numbers can be applied to just about anything. And I’m not referring to tough stuff like statistics because God knows I barely passed that class. I mean everyday simple numbers, simple math.
Hiring by the Numbers
For example, numbers can improve our hiring. When we consider applicants for a position we can list the qualifying criteria and score each candidate on each one. It shows us which candidate got the highest score. We can also rank the criteria numerically in order of importance and see how the leading scorer did in the top five. Maybe they scored poorly on those but a lesser candidate scored high which might make them the better pick.
What is “Great”?
Numbers hold people accountable without badgering them. When I ask a manager how their department is doing, and they say “Great”, I follow up with “How do you know? What can you point to? Are you referring to productivity, volume, speed, quality, morale or all of the above?” Are you kind of good at those or really good? Are you a seven or eight or a nine and are you improving? How can we know without numbers?
Give it a Voice
Business is a game of inches, of small improvements at the granular level. It’s 1% more profit (year after year) through 2% more productivity, 1% fewer errors, 3% more qualified workers. Thankfully our business wants to tell us how to gain those inches everywhere, but first, we have to give it a voice.