Unhappy employees cost the US economy $550 billion each year.
Between high turnover, loss of productivity, reduced creativity, and general disengagement, unhappy employees can wreak havoc on an organization’s ability to innovate, grow, and serve its customers.
The negative effects of dissatisfied employees show up in metrics throughout the organization — in revenue, profitability, and customer satisfaction, among others. On project teams, the effects show up in “time to complete” or in “percentage of resource time required.”
Business navigates by these numbers — but it’s not enough to measure the effects of “fuzzy feelings” on the hard-number metrics.
To truly understand how our teams are operating — and how to improve them — we must directly measure perception and feeling, as that is peoples’ reality at the end of the day.
A Different Perspective on Metrics
We think of metrics as an objective standard of measurement — usually a quantitative one. But what if we adopted a different perspective on this standard of measurement?
- Could we measure how the project team are feeling about the work they are performing, how the project is going, and their ability to get the work completed on time and to their liking?
- Could we measure whether our current tasks are adding the value that our organization needs and expects?
- Could we measure our stakeholder’s anticipation of the change that our project will bring to their daily lives?
These “fuzzy” metrics are less concrete, less objective, and more qualitative — but they can also serve as a leading indicator of project success.
Engaged, empowered teams who feel good about their work do better work. They’re more creative, more flexible, and more dedicated. And they’re better equipped to keep projects on track and deliver solutions that meet the needs of the stakeholders and the organization.
Likewise, teams perform better when they have clarity around what is expected of them — including the often unstated expectations around the value and benefits of the work they perform.
So it’s worth considering — what “fuzzy” metrics should you start to track for your initiatives? How might this change your approach to your initiatives?