You have the best team in the world. They work well together, they get along, and they come up with new and exciting ways to do things that save both time and money. Performance is high in both quantity and quality. You have an awesome team. When bonus time comes around, you want to give them what they justly deserve. The problem is, you are asked to justify those bonuses. How do you measure awesome? 

The current team I have fits this description. Everyone is a high performer, and metrics for customer satisfaction are significantly higher than the industry standard. Often they are looking for ways to help lighten the load from the entire extended team, all while doing what they can to make sure their customers are successful in their endeavors. I’m humbled by their dedication. They, to me, define what it means to be an awesome team. And every bonus cycle, I need to justify to upper management, HR, and ultimately the C-suite, that they are deserving of nothing but the best. That means I have to define and measure awesome. 

For our team, we have four key metrics that define success: 

1. Utilization

2. Customer Satisfaction

3. Operational Excellence

4. Innovation/Self-Starter


The team has utilization goals based on role, which represents the amount of time they are expected to be in front of the customer. After an extensive process of identifying holiday hours, personal and professional development hours, expected vacation days, etc. our team developed a set matrix per global location to identify that baseline of 100% utilization. From there, we broke down their utilization based on expected tasks based on their role. Because this is based on hours delivered, it’s an easy metric to track. 

Customer Satisfaction

We send out a customer satisfaction survey for every customer interaction, which is (or should be) the standard for any service organization. We expect to get roughly 60% participation on average. Targets are industry standard for a 10-point scale: 8.0 CSAT with an NPS of 51. Again, because this is numbers-driven, it makes it easy to measure as a metric. 

Operational Excellence

We expect our team to get their paperwork items done as quickly as possible. This means all expenses need to be within policy, turned in on time, and properly allocated. It also means that tracking job requirements (as we are a training organization, this means marking attendance) is properly done and promptly. Operational items are generally the least exciting part of the job, but often it’s to these items customer billing and financials are tied. Success is measured by your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) which define the duration of time to complete each task. If you have an automated workflow system (like ServiceNow), much if not all of these tasks can be enforced through automation. Failure to meet SLAs can also have real consequences, such as finance fees for which the employee is responsible. 


Of the four measures of success, this is perhaps the most difficult. How do you measure innovation? Forbes has an outstanding article on this very topic. You focus on five components: 

1. Participation and engagement: how much are your folks engaged in their job, and participate in meetings and conversations? 

2. Feedback: How much feedback are you getting from your employees, and how valuable is that feedback? I measure valuable feedback as finding or acknowledging the need for a solution, not just stating a problem. 

3. Value and Outcomes: How does the idea bring value to the organization, and what positive outcomes contribute to the bottom line? Are customers better prepared and more confident? Are you reaching more customers, or making their experience better?

4. Brand and Thought Leadership: How does the conversation focus on and increase brand value? In our case, how does the idea, change, etc. help customers be more successful?

5. Cost of Inaction: What is the impact of not implementing the idea?  How much is this going to cost your business? Another way of thinking is, how much more successful will your business be when the idea is implemented?

My team’s success has been something of which I’m always proud. They are outstanding in their delivery, customer satisfaction, and operational excellence, and show a desire and level of innovation that is outstanding. And by having clear measurements for each team member, I can clearly and precisely identify their value to the company, and thereby justify bonuses. 

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