THE PEOPLE CORNER – Predictive Performance

In this season businesses look to the New Year, wanting to perform better during the next calendar year. Strategies and tactics will be based on current market and demographic analysis, product/service mix, funding, budgeting, and many other factors. However, traditional “spreadsheet” analysis covers only part of the performance forecasting equation.

Human “soft side” factors are not accounted for on company financial statements. However, they will be found within the “hearts and minds” of the employees. Humans are a confounding mix of rational and emotional elements, and predicting the future business impact from employee thinking, decision making, and acting is not a clear formula. To link cause and effect relationships within any individual company would require an expensive and time consuming controlled behavioral experiment.

Yet, much is known about organizational performance and results. The correlations of what you do … and what you get are strong. You can understand what you must do differently to get the results you want.
Company leaders must establish a “company culture” where employees respond positively to clear organizational vision, and to directions that make sense to them. Inconsistent leadership and poor supervising negatively affect employee attitudes and behavior. Having a “bad boss” is one of the main contributors to employee disengagement and turnover – and turnover is expensive.

Employees value job-specific training to help them to do well on the job. Product/service quality contributes to pride of company, and a well-trained workforce is crucial for customer development and retention.

Building professional sales skills, and increasing knowledge of company products and services will improve selling mindsets. Selling processes tailored specifically to the company will help salespeople create new customers. It is also the foundation for the company to keep those customers.

Customers perceptions of product and service quality drive purchases, and because of their emotions during the sale. They are more likely to buy again from companies that consistently deliver positive experiences for them.

Company leaders should focus on “hard side” spreadsheet measurements; it would be fiscally irresponsible not to. But leaders that fail to account for their current “soft side” company assets will be severely hampered in future company performance. Organizational culture, employee engagement, job training, and positive customer experiences are all predictive indicators for company performance and success.

It’s the PEOPLE.