13. Stay on Track with Your Goals Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
You can find more resources and articles from Rachel at www.copperhiveconsulting.com.
Rachel and her team at Copper Hive Consulting offer consulting packages and coaching to churches and nonprofits with a focus on operational strategy and structure, including marketing. She also has an expansive network of freelancers who specifically prefer serving nonprofits and with whom she shares contract position opportunities. Schedule a free discovery call with Rachel to find the right coach or to share your job opportunities with the freelance network.
The Culture Code by Dan Coyle
Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau
This wraps up season 1! Be sure to leave a review on iTunes or whatever platform you’re listening on. It’s been great to share these episodes and hear from you as you strengthen your organization. Season 1 had the intention of laying a foundation for some of the most common principles I use with my clients. I’ll be back February 24th with a new season. I’m bringing in guests from Stadia Church Planting, The Rock - one of the largest churches in San Diego, the CEO of Support the Enlisted Project, consultants with great advice for you, and more strategic development advice. It’s going to be a great season and I can’t wait to be back.
Before I head out to work on these topics and interviews it’s still early in the year and I wanted to talk about an important element in your organization that indicates how well you are on track to achieve your goals. If you set goals and leave them on the shelf or only refer back to them 2-3 times each year it will be so challenging to hit your target. This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in to play.
If you have used SMART goals there is a similarity. Setting quality KPIs require objective and measurable results.
Saying that you want to improve employee productivity is NOT a KPI. This is a wish, a dream, and a vague dream at that. In order to convert your ambiguous dream of increased employee productivity you need to add quantifiable measures.
Depending on the size of your organization, your KPIs for employee productivity may be better defined by department. If you are a nonprofit with a large donor base, one way to refine this goal for productivity might be to set your KPI with this wording: “Each employee makes personalized contact with 50 donors each week via phone, email, or text.”
This KPI is measurable with a quantity and a timeline attached. If the KPI is not met, you also have a baseline to understand where you might need to improve your training or communication.
What if you are a church working to increase community engagement during these socially distanced months? Your KPI might be something along the lines of hosting a specific number of online small groups and recruiting a specific number of people to be in each group. KPIs like these give your team a clear picture of the goal and they understand when they are winning. How can you ever celebrate if you don’t know what deserves a celebration? You may be a workaholic, but as a leader you must remember that your team members are working from a different vantage point. It is healthy for them (and you) to pause and enjoy the wins whenever possible. KPIs give you more reasons to do this.
Have a performance report. This doesn’t have to be a formal process like an employee review. Your KPIs should not be extensive. Choose a few KPIs for each quarter or year and keep it simple.
Your performance report can be as simple as a Google doc that you fill out together in a meeting once a month. Doing it in a group setting also allows you to brainstorm what is going well and what could use improvement in a non-threatening way. Normalizing KPI discussion in a team environment will encourage peer accountability as everyone understands the ongoing goals and has the opportunity to participate in tweaking the process along the way.
Although it’s important to discuss the progress of KPIs together, I don’t recommend brainstorming sessions to create them. You can end up with fairly vague and yeah, even lame KPIs. Keep a list of consistent areas from year to year which can be compared such as leadership development, staff satisfaction with their job, staff survey (which is more about culture), performance management and community engagement or donor development.
Once your leadership team has defined some of the parameters you want to measure NOW it’s time to bring in other stakeholders for buy-in. As long as they develop quantifiable factors, you can let them brainstorm the actual wording and talk about frequency of evaluation and who should be on the monitoring or reporting team.
Ensure that your KPIs align with your mission and values. These run cyclically, meaning that you will evaluate them periodically and adjust if necessary. Remember the end of the first quarter in 2020? We were two solid weeks into the throes of COVID and EVERY KPI we set for the year was thrown out the window.
The primary nonprofit I was working with at the time had their leadership team devote the majority of their efforts to securing a PPP loan and keeping up to date on safety measures to implement among staff and throughout the community that was accustomed to a lot of direct interaction from the organization. KPIs were on hold, then as soon as funding was secured a totally new set of KPIs were implemented that revolved around pivoting to a much more digital platform, internally and externally.
Absolutely over-communicate. I can literally NEVER tell you too often that you should be communicating your goals (your KPIs), your vision, and your values ten times more than you think you should. Objective accountability and caring for your people must have equal priority. Holding staff accountable to KPIs is what they NEED from you as a leader who wants to develop leaders. Care is something they crave from you because they pour out so much of their life into the organization.
It’s okay that we are already into 2021. The best time to set your goals is yesterday; the next best time is today. I recently met with two successful business owners who also had a joint venture they are building. They had goals in mind, but they hadn’t been able to move closer to achieving those goals in the last 12 months. During our coaching session we discovered that KPIs were not clear and the way each of them were pursuing success was not synthesized. By the time we finished we had identified current internal roadblocks and worked through a few solutions to revise KPIs and take a different approach.
I love bringing an outside perspective to your organization and being able to ask questions that peel back layers you may not have seen yet.
Individual coaching sessions are discounted through the end of January, so you have a few days left to book for less than my normal rates. Head to copperhiveconsulting.com to book an individual session or to engage in a deep dive consultation and evaluate details of your organization’s operations in order to streamline, automate and get more out of your year.
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That is our show for today and the end of the first season of The Freelance Factor. Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you soon!
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