I am a girl who likes a goal. I like deadlines, objectives, and a good metric. I operate well with such frameworks and as far as productivity goes, it turns out most people function well when they have clarity around what they’re trying to accomplish. Having said that, I think a lot of organizations and individuals often fail to measure other critical data. We overlook the softer data, the kind that inform productivity, retention and yes, even revenue. We don’t measure how motivated, inspired or excited people are about their work. And yet, these are really the metrics that determine how long someone will keep at a difficult task or problem, how late someone might stay or how much further someone will reach because they feel like their work matters. This is as true of entrepreneurs as it is of those working for a company. I am a bottom line consultant. I am working on getting people more clients, more opportunity, and more business. I am all about the producing results and generating revenue. But simply chasing a revenue goal is a fool’s game.
At the core of who we are is the desire for a sense of purpose. Doing something that matters inspires excellence and devotion and loyalty. I “work” harder than I need to at times. No one demands this of me. Not even my clients. I do this because the work is exciting and interesting and diverse and the work I do has the capacity to create change. When people are operating from fear, inadequacy, or hopelessness their work product degrades. There is a great deal of value in helping people find joy in their work and creating an organization that is focused on deep purpose.
Don’t misunderstand me, a business, any business demands attention to financial metrics in order to be viable. But make no mistake that a motivated, inspired staff will serve your company economically. Do you know how much work a dissatisfied employee misses or how often a bored employee is texting rather than working? These are not inconsequential soft issues that have no relationship with the bottom line.
I learned long ago that having a mad love affair with my work was far more profitable than merely putting in more time. I enjoy every speaking engagement, training and coaching session, even when it’s hard and layered and challenging, I really do love every minute. When you love your work others want to work with you and for you. I have no interest in helping someone keep a job they hate or hold on to a business that’s more likely to give them a heart attack than a retirement. There’s no joy in that and truly there is no purpose in that.
If you lead an organization remember that people with a purpose who feel valued will work harder for you and stay with you longer. If you’re an entrepreneur and your business is running your life into the ground, ask yourself if you’re in love with this work. When you start tracking the right metrics, you make better business decisions, and have a greater impact inside and out of your career.