ProTips: 5 simple steps to create a data-friendly culture in your office  

This is a guest blog post by Plecto.

In the traditional business style, which many organizations adhere to even today, data is reserved for top managers and board members. As if it was a secret to keep from the rest of the organization's employees.

Therefore, average coworkers would never know the company's actual monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or even the number of calls their colleagues from sales are making on a daily basis.

The lack of information that employees experience stops them from feeling part of the company. Why would they try to perform better if they don’t even know what “better” translates to in numbers?

But what if employees had the opportunity to know the impact of their work? It would likely motivate them to produce better results as they would know how much they are contributing to the company's growth.

Here are 5 tips on how to introduce your employees to the company’s data and the benefits of having data-driven conversations in your office.

ProTip 1: Make objectives your friends

Data makes the most sense when there’s a reason to measure it, and in most cases, that purpose is an objective. A goal has to be achieved in a stipulated period to guarantee the survival of the business.

Taking this into consideration, the next step is to map each employee’s role in this objective. Luckily, this map is usually already done by dividing co-workers into teams or departments.

Therefore, the big next point is to define how these roles relate to the objective. Some departments are easier, such as sales or customer service, because their roles are simple to measure, in terms of the number of calls, number of closed deals, churn rate, and other common metrics.

Other departments can be trickier because their roles or actions are not as number-based as the former ones. For instance, marketing and development usually have linked tasks that can’t be measured as easily as single ones. However, there are many objectives to track in these departments as well. For example, the number of blog views, new followers on social media, or bugs corrected.

ProTip 2: Align your employees with these objectives

Once you have decided on the KPIs you want each department to focus on, you now have to introduce them to the team. This is easy since they are already working with these numbers, even though they might not know their relevance for the business.

Make it easy for your employees to familiarize themselves with their objectives. Call objectives by their name, and start incorporating them into your performance meetings and gatherings.

If they start hearing you talk about these numbers, soon enough they’ll get mentioned in other workplace conversations. After all, nobody wants to miss out on results!

ProTip 3: Introduce KPIs that are SMART

Now that the entire office is on the same page on the objectives that matter for the business, it's time to bring the numbers in!

Measuring KPIs is most effective when there’s a specific target to reach. It’s probably a good time to introduce the SMART conditions for setting a goal. This means that these targets have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Taking this into account, give your employees SMART goals for each KPI in their department.

Now they know the number they need to achieve!

ProTip 4: Make numbers interesting

Unfortunately, not all of your employees are keen on seeing numbers. This being said, they will probably check them if they don't look as boring as a typical Excel sheet does.

Moreover, they don’t need to constantly see the calculations behind each target. It’s much easier—and let’s face it, more inspiring as well—to see the actual number. Even better if they can see the current number next to the target, to easily see their progress towards it.

There are different ways to make numbers attractive to everyone in the office. And one of them is a Plecto dashboard. You can import data from different sources, including Zoho CRM, into the same dashboard. This allows you to display the targets for your different departments in the same place. Plus, you get widgets that show your data in a more inspiring way.

ProTip 5: Celebrate achieving your goals

Many companies usually forget this step, but don’t forget that working, as well as achieving goals, should be fun!

You’ve already given your employees the tools to measure their performance and acknowledge their impact on the company’s goals. But then what?

Celebrate success. It doesn’t have to be a big event or involve money at all. Your employees just want recognition for their hard work. It can be as simple as a small announcement on the intranet, with the name and picture of the employee. Personalize your recognitions and celebrate your employees. At the end of the day, they are the most valuable asset you have.

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