Kendall L. Stewart, M.D.
Once you decide what to measure, you will naturally want to compare your performance with your colleagues and competitors. And you will want to find out how the very best companies in the world are performing on those indicators. Finding and displaying apples-to-apples comparisons can be a challenge. Leaders, fearful that they really don’t measure up, will complain that they can’t find good comparative data, and particularly benchmark performance data. That’s just an excuse. You can always find out how the best organizations are performing. The organizations that are producing exceptional results are usually eager to share them.
1. Make your expectations clear. Don’t let your colleagues off the hook. Find out how the best leaders are performing, even if you have to look outside your own industry. Don’t accept any excuses. Demand benchmark comparative data for every major performance indicator.
2. Participate in a national database. Since every leader who aspires to be successful is interested in measuring performance, an endless number of national performance databases have emerged. These will report your percentile ranking on customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and physician satisfaction. This makes it easy to know exactly where you stand. It does not make it easy to achieve and sustain exceptional performance, but you can know where you stand.
3. Include benchmark performance on every performance chart. Once the number is there, people will not be able to ignore it. And their competitive juices will kick in. The slackers will lobby hard not to publish world-class performance results because they know that you will then expect them to stop slacking and producing exceptional results instead.
How do you identify benchmark performance in your organization?