Metrics Work Best When Motivational, Relevant and Widely Shared

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Many years ago, I worked for a steel company that established quality circles of union employees. We did a lot of things right, so the quality circles initiative was generally effective; any number of ideas that improved productivity, safety, quality, and employee engagement were proposed by the teams and implemented by the company. One thing that we did not do was measure the impact of any of the implemented ideas. It was assumed that measurement served to inhibit ideas and participation on the team members. Several years later, I was employed by a hotel company seeking to engage its employees in problem-solving. The company did a wonderful job of collecting and organizing customer satisfaction data derived from guest comment cards. Detailed monthly reports full of useful information about guest satisfaction were forwarded to individual hotels by the corporate office. Management of the particular hotel where I worked was reluctant to release the monthly report to the various departments. It was felt that, if the data showed a drop in guest satisfaction from one month to the next, employee morale would suffer.

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