You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so in order to succeed, you’ll need to identify key actions and measurables that align with your goals. Tracked over time, these measures will allow you to easily see whether you are on track to achieve your goals. They will also help you identify what’s working and what’s not, giving you the invaluable chance to course-correct along the way. Tracking key metrics will even hold you accountable. Numbers don’t lie; if you don’t do your part, it will be reflected in the measurables.
Studies have shown that the number one thing that motivates people is not money or prestige. It is purpose. If we don’t have a way to track our progress and see that we’re achieving results, it can feel like we have no purpose; for this reason and so many more, it’s worth putting some real time into figuring out how you want to “keep score” as you track your progress.
There are two types of measures you can track: Lag and Lead. Lag measures show results after the fact, while Lead measures predict results in the future. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand both before settling on which ones you’ll track.
Lag measures show results after the fact, which means they can’t be used to course-correct in real time. However, because they are based on results that have already been achieved, they tend to be more accurate than Lead measures. Lag measures are also often easier to track because the data is already available.
Lead measures, on the other hand, predict results in the future. This means they can be used to course-correct in real-time, but because they are based on predictions, they tend to be less accurate than Lag measures. Lead measures are often more difficult to track because the data is not always available.
The Bottom Line
Both Lag and Lead measures have their own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the best way to track your progress is to use both types of measures. This way, you’ll be able to course-correct in real time while also having a more accurate picture of your overall progress.
Let me show you an example of how Lag and Lead measures are used.
Say you’re trying to lose weight. A Lag measure would be your weight on the scale while a Lead measure would be your daily calorie intake.
The weight on the scale is a Lag measure because it shows you the results of your efforts after the fact. It can take weeks or even months to see results on the scale, so it’s not very useful for course-correcting in real time.
Your daily calorie intake is a Lead measure because it predicts your weight in the future. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. By tracking your daily calorie intake, you can course-correct in real-time and make sure you are on track to lose weight.
Both Lag and Lead measures are important but when setting goals for employees, managers should focus on Lead measures. This is because lead measures are more predictive and can be used to course-correct in real time.
While Lag measures are important for understanding your overall progress, they aren’t as useful for setting goals or measuring individual performance. This is because Lag measures show results after the fact, which means they can’t be used to course-correct in real time.
Lead measures, on the other hand, predict results in the future. This means they can be used to set goals and measure individual performance. By tracking Lead measures, you can ensure that your employees are on track to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
Some examples of lead measures include:
• Sales calls made
• Prospects contacted
• Appointments scheduled
• Products shipped
• Services rendered
• Projects completed
These are just a few examples. The important thing is to choose Lead measures that are relevant to your business and that will help you achieve your goals.
When setting goals, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
• Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
• Make sure your goals are aligned with your company’s mission and values.
• Communicate your goals to your employees.
• Hold your employees accountable to their goals.
• Celebrate progress along the way.
By following these guidelines, you can be sure that your goals are SMART and that your employees are on track to achieve them. Lead measures are the key to setting and achieving SMART goals. So if you want to improve your business, start tracking Lead measures today.