Think of it this way: change management metrics are tools. They allow us to monitor and measure the success of a business transformation by providing specific data points that track our business’ process and progress, as well as answer the obvious question: Why is change management important? In addition to giving us access to all of the details about the performance of an implemented process, they also give us a birds’ eye view by providing a map of the overall changes during the transformation. Ultimately, they’re the best way to gain insight into changes in compliance, engagement, satisfaction, and employee acceptance.
When we put in the effort to monitor and track change management metrics consistently our companies and leadership gain an in-depth understanding of the why, how, and what of the change. Leaders end up in a better position because they are better equipped to comprehend connections within the business’ performance goals. Metrics also give insight into the influence specific changes have had in behavior or internal processes within teams. Crucially, these data points make it much simpler to effectively communicate how change has influenced the business to key stakeholders. Everyone will have access to the how and why different changes have been implemented and their resulting benefits. Measuring success with data makes it possible for businesses to make informed, evidence-based decisions about their change management strategies.
Investing resources into properly tracking change management metrics is key to finding success. It’s crucial for demonstrating current values within the organization, but it also provides valuable insights into what specific changes must be made moving forward. No company wants to make impactful decisions based on guesswork and risk wasting their time. Taking advantage of data points from change management metrics is the key to making the correct decisions for your business.
Change metrics and common challenges
Lack in information negatively affects goal setting
Setting goals appropriate for your company is achieved by clearly measuring and evaluating necessary change metrics. When we lack a comprehensive amount of data collected over a significant amount of time it is tricky to set SMART goals specific to your organization.
To combat a lack of data points, there must be clarity among leaders and practitioners on the current and desired states of the organization. It is crucial that everyone is on the same page when determining suitable metrics and that leaders and practitioners are armed with adequate knowledge, information, and resources to ensure that proper targets are established.
Metrics that lack meaningful significance
As businesspeople, we should think of metrics as if they were alive; constantly changing with our business or organization. When goals, indicators, and thresholds are well-defined, regularly reviewed, and kept up to date with the relevant data, metrics reach full potential. They are a powerful tool that ensures a business is making highly informed decisions. Without proper understanding of what metrics mean and why we’re tracking them, attempting to measure certain elements of a business becomes an additional burden instead of an empowering resource.
Anyone can feel overwhelmed by an onslaught of raw data points; leaders and employees alike are thrown off when faced with many measurements or data points that don’t accurately represent the status of operations. Prioritizing access to meaningful metrics that clearly demonstrate how their work contributes to overall success empowers leaders and employees, so it might be a good idea to hire professional change management personnel to turn data into manageable information.
Losing track of accountability
If you decide to use change metrics, it’s important to keep track of data! Organizations that aren’t used to using metrics often suffer because of a lack of emphasis on measuring and reporting metrics. This is often due to the fact that new metrics practices are not properly integrated into corporate culture, making it impossible for businesses to take full advantage of the benefits of the metric’s findings. Successfully adopting metrics requires a large shift in a business’ organization. Metric-based organization heavily emphasizes data-driven decision-making.
Leaders should prioritize providing training and education around measurement tools to create clarity. Clarity makes it easier for employees to keep track of relevant knowledge and accurately measure performance indicators. Accuracy ensures insight.
Metrics make our goals achievable
Change management metrics provide a model as well as a comprehensive report of the success or failure of your changes. Metrics mean organizations are able to create a business success plan, measure actions, behaviors, and subsequent outcomes to determine a change’s success.
This invaluable data and the insight provided is used to create strategic objectives; aka the key to business success. They explain how a certain change was successful or what caused it to fail; helping us make better decisions when we inevitably face similar situations in the future. Data makes the invisible visible; we can identify potential problems before they become costly mistakes by predicting the outcome of a certain action with concrete data points. Knowledge, as always, is power.
These goals answer the question: What do we want to achieve?
Below we’ve listed some examples possible business performance goals:
- Grow revenue by 10%
- Grow business by 5% next year
- Increase the number of income sources
- Increase profits by 20%
- Reduce waste by 10% next year
- Reduce time for product development
Operations outcomes goals are the how; they outline the necessary steps to reach our goals. They are specific actions, programs, or described changes that work together to meet end performance goals.
We’ve listed a few possible process outcomes below:
- Introduce a new product
- Expand into new regions
- Reduce the costs of production
- Complete a strategic acquisition
- Update accounting software
(Finally) Change management metrics
These metrics describe the habits or day-to-day habits needed to meet expected outcomes. They answer the question: Behaviorally, what do we need to change?
Some examples of possible change management metrics include:
- Rate of adoption of new technology
- Employee satisfaction
- Competency rates of our employees
- Completing projects according to the timeline
- Quantity of customer support tickets
Connecting and translating metrics
We explained how effective metrics provide the deepest possible insight into a company’s current performance objectives and how they can meet fresh goals. A key cog in the inner workings of any company, its leaders play a crucial part in connecting those data points with tangible outcomes. It must be noted that, as leaders, we provide evidence and confirmation of progress while implementing change. Employees’ understanding of their individual contributions runs parallel to applying change management for a business successfully. This detailed level communication easier said than done; so we’ve compiled a few ways for leaders to successfully connect and translate change management metrics to their teams:
Keep goals, outcomes, and metrics current
To max out on progress, change initiatives begin with clear goals and concrete metrics. These foundations keep everyone on track throughout the transition and give everyone a reference point, as it’s easy to get lost in the change management process. As more data is gathered over time, your findings may make you realize that you need to make adjustments to the original plan, or may even recognize that a different goal entirely would be more beneficial.
Notify everyone of progress and changing goals while keeping updates frequent. Employees should be aware of the impact of their decisions, so effectively communicating progress from the beginning all the way through completion is crucial for success.
Translate and teach to connect
As leaders, we know how important employee satisfaction is to ensure team members reach their full potential. This means we must go beyond measuring metrics. Connecting metrics to teams forges universal understanding of how these elements aid us in reaching business goals and creating tangible change. By teaching your team about data collection process and making sure they understand their impact, you’re teaching them how to engage with beneficial change. In the end, this enables everyone involved to feel confident that they understand how to reach and recognize success.
Stay vigilant: Track, report, and adjust
As you know, every business is in a state of constant flux. In this transitional environment, keep an eye out for new insights that can provide opportunities to critically assess progress and make new, unforeseen predictions. Tracking metrics is an ongoing process in which we identify, communicate, and monitor changes. To keep up with it all leaders and employees must be actively invested in understanding the process, staying accountable, and working together in order to reach full potential.
Change management metrics offer an opportunity to create cohesive strategy and set our businesses up for success. Yes, the process can be a lot of work. Our change management consultants are here for you. If you’re interested in applying metrics to help manage your organization’s change or getting your change management certification, contact us today. Even if you’re just wondering “What’s change management?”
We’ll help utilize management metrics to their full potential and you’ll be that much closer to telling your business success story.