Last week we looked at the history of performance measurement and how it has improved over the years. This week we will look at how business owners and managers can measure non-financial performance indicators (NFPI) and give practical examples.

When you call the call-centre of most companies these days, they ask you to rate the service at the end of the call. When you enter a bank, they have a machine on which you can rate the quality of the service. A good example most of us are familiar with is when you call SARS; and after you are done with the call centre agent, you are asked to rate the service from 1-5. You are requested to rate it on the friendliness of the agent, their knowledge of tax issues, their attention to detail, the time it took to be serviced and the number of times you had to call until the issue in question was resolved. This is very much a non-financial performance measurement strategy.

A restaurant can measure the % of meals delivered in say 30 minutes. Quality of meals rated by an independent reviewer, average customer rating of their experience there. This customer rating is now available on Google maps for any company or Hello Peter and other review websites; where your clients can rate you or air their complaints. It would help visiting these sights and see what the customer thinks of your business and how you can improve. Through search engines, you can now rate the number of searches your business has had and the number of website visits. You can then ask the question: through which platform have you gotten potential client enquiries? You can rate the number of complaints the business has received and what the company has done to address these. All these NFPIs can then be compared to industry averages to see how the company fairs in comparison to the competition. These can be compared year to year to measure trends and see where the business has improved and where it has faltered; and how this can be remedied.

Another important NFPI is employee satisfaction and turnover. Staff surveys on happiness on the job, one on one personal development and welfare meetings, and staff turnover and exit interviews can help create a culture of valuing people. Business owners should always remember that a happy employee will always equal a satisfied customer and return sales. Yes, the customer is king, but the staff are in the business of king-making. Companies can also have competence surveys to review training needs. You can also measure absentee rates/sick days to review how satisfied the staff is. The higher the rate, the less satisfied the employees are.

We will continue discussing practical issues regarding performance measurement next week.