from the Blog

Know Your Numbers – Team Members TOO


We Manage What We Measure

Most business owners have a handle on the critical numbers for measuring how their business is performing. You probably have 4 or 5 key numbers on your weekly management dashboard. What about team members? Do they know their numbers? What’s on their weekly dashboard?

RulerWe manage what we measure – your team respects what you inspect. Measuring key numbers will help you quantify both success and failures. Sharing your goals and openly tracking your / their progress tells your team what you think is important.

Sharing numbers can be one of those iffy things. As an owner or manager, educating your team on the numbers can lead to increased productivity and profitability, but it does require some work. The first problem is many team members just don’t see how it affects them – it’s not in their job description. Secondly, and partly because of this apathy, they don’t fully understand the numbers. For example:

  • Why do you bill my time at $65/hr yet I only see $22.50/hr.
  • Those sales goals – they just come out of thin air – it will be alright if we are close.

But, this post is really about your Team, so Team Members – What numbers do you need to know? Every industry is different, but consider some of these examples:

  • Utilization: How many hours per week (or month) are you billing to projects. This number will vary depending on your role and is usually reported as a percentage of your total hours worked. Make no mistake about it, this is important. The company you work for hired you for your ability to contribute to the bottom line. And while this may vary depending on your role, you are being evaluated based on your productivity. Do you know what your target utilization is? Do you know what your month to date and year to date utilization percentage is? Do you know your numbers?
  • Project Budgets: How many hours of your time are budgeted for the project or task at hand? What are the ramifications if you don’t meet the budget? How does this effect the rest of the team or the profitability of the project? Do you know your numbers?
  • Project Schedule: When is the project or task due? This may be an internal or external deadline. Do you know this number?
  • Sales / Revenues: There are so many possible measurable numbers to track in the sales process. This is such a critical part of keeping your project pipeline full. How many contacts are you or your team making per week/month? How many proposals are you preparing? What is your closing ratio? Is it too high – or too low? What are your net sales each month? Do you know your numbers?
  • Your Top Ten: Who are your top ten clients? Does your company have preferred clients? Is your top ten based on revenue, referral power, or something else? How much revenue do they add to the bottom line? Have you ever thought about this number?

Team Members — if you do not know what these numbers are – ASK – ASK your supervisor TODAY. You are being measured by these numbers either consciously or subconsciously.

To maximize the value of these numbers you should measure them against targets (or goals) set for each month, quarter to date, and year to date.

Note: The examples above are keyed more toward service and project based businesses. Fast food, manufacturing, and other industries may have different key indicators – on time delivery, minimum defects, etc. The important thing is to identify those 4-5 key indicators that directly impact your job performance – set goals – and track your results.

This Next Week

Identify at least two (2) key numbers that you think are important for your position. Sit down with your supervisor to set a written goal and measure over the next quarter.

Don’t be surprised if your supervisor is taken off guard.Your interest in tracking your numbers to become more productive will likely set you apart from the rest of the team.

I am certain that by focusing on these numbers that your company will be more successful, your team will be more successful, and you personally will be more successful.


. . . . go have an Awesome Week!

Tom Trabue