(Updated in 2020)
10-POINT PLAN: Assessing and Setting a Benchmark
Finding Out Before You Start
Ever asked someone to change something she’s been doing for years? It’s not the easiest endeavor. Even when we hate what we’re doing it’s become comfortable to us. For some people in some circumstances, it might even be part of our identity. Change is heady stuff.
No matter the value of the reward. It comes with the thought, “maybe the situation I’m leaving is somehow better. I wonder …”
One way to overcome the psychology of change is to measure.
Measurement proves to the people involved that the change is providing the progress that was promised, even when the progress only feels like work.
But before we can measure progress, we have know where we are when we start.
How to Benchmark Who’s Bored, Who’s Broken and Who’s Inspired to Take on the World
It’s an art and a science to gather the people who help our businesses thrive into a true community.
A community isn’t built or befriended. It’s connected by offering and accepting.
Community is affinity, identity, and kinship that make room for ideas, thoughts, and solutions.
Wherever a community gathers, we aspire and inspire each other intentionally . . . And our words shine with authenticity.
How do we know whether any of this is truly happening? How do might we benchmark our community connections before we start moving forward?
Evaluating Individual Relationships
A few years ago, Gallup came up with the q12, a 12 question survey to measure employee engagement. Though they were intended for employees, they work well for any person, any barn raiser involved in creating a working community — employee, manager, vendor, partner, customer, friend of the business. Here they are:
- Do you know what is expected of you at work?
- Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right?
- At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
- In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
- Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
- At work, do your opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
- Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
- Do you have a best friend at work?
- In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
- In the last year, have you had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
In the Q12 test it becomes easier to see which points of performance are being frustrated by resources and which are being frustrated by personnel issues.
Evaluating Social Relationships and Networks
When the q12 is paired with a simple informal social test called a sociogram, we can lay out an important picture. A sociogram points out channels of influence, communication, and interaction. Simple questions such as
- Which person would you ask to teach you something new?
- Which person would you ask to attend or a gathering of your friends?
- Which person would you want to offer you a recommendation on the quality of your work?
Those choice that receive many choices are stars. Those who receive none are isolates. Groups who mutually choose each other have formed cliques.
Whether we’re working with few freelancers, a team, or a corporation having firm idea of where we stand before we move forward is ideal. If we find someone from outside the system — someone who looks something like me, easy to talk with and sure to keep thing confidential, we can learn by using these two two sets of questions how people feel about the community that is forming. We’ll draw an idea of how bored, broken or inspired the community might be.We’ll be well on our way to pick out the champions who can pick up the tools and begin building new things with us.
They will raise a barn, not work away as they build our coliseum.
What are you doing to find out whether your community is bored, broken, or inspired to take on the world?
To follow the entire series: Liz Strauss’ Inside-Out Thinking to Building a Solid Business, see the Successful Series Page.
–ME “Liz” Strauss