How do you know everything is being accomplished? Is it being done correctly? The simple answer is reporting. Thomas Monson said, "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates."
If we gather information with a defined purpose or goal, we can be constructive with that information. Investing time and even money into a quality control program is really all for naught if we do not plan where we want it to take us.
Imagine I go to the gym to get in a really hard, productive work out. I come home, spent and exhausted, and then plop down on the couch with a tub of ice cream. I have negated work, and I have negated effort. Time has been wasted at the gym that could have been spent doing something else.
There is the term: work smarter, not harder. This means to focus energies and work in a different way to get vastly better results. This is conceptually why we have to do reporting. Here are 7 tips to accelerate performance through reporting.
Examine Reports with a Defined Purpose
Reports are great, as long as we know what we are looking at and why we are looking at it. Otherwise, you probably have better things to do with your time than to twiddle your thumbs looking at numbers and data that doesn't lead you to actionable conclusions. So be sure to clearly define your end-game before you sit down and enter this information.
Choose S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Goals should be S.M.A.R.T: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. These each represent a key part of the improvement process. We will find ourselves getting stuck in a rut if we are not being specific enough or if we can't actually measure our results. If it is not relevant or even attainable, then we are really wasting our time pursuing that goal. People respond to deadlines; Time-based goals allow us to get accurate information and more motivation to move forward.
Calibrate Your Team
Particularly with new accounts, give your personnel time to adjust. Ensure employees understand your expectations and requirements, and incorporate feedback from your customer as well. Then give them some time to adjust to that system. Maintaining a happy, well-trained, and successful team is really one of the best ways to be fair to employees and improve your business.
Incorporate balance between short-term (reactive) tracking and long-term (proactive) tracking. One of the greatest capacities and tools CleanTelligent provides is the ability to track information.
Short-term tracking occurs when a work order is created in response to a trash can being missed, or some other problem found during an inspection. The deficiency was reported, but the response has a reactive focus, meaning the company is taking corrective action after the deficiency has already occurred.
Long-term tracking is a proactive approach. It's not a knee jerk reaction of emptying a trash can and replacing the liner. It allows us to see why the trash can is being missed. Long-term tracking shows the underlying causes and allows us to resolve issues before they are perpetuated, saving time and ensuring performance is improved as time goes on.
The idea of incorporating balance is to combine long-term and short-term approaches in a way that benefits your operation. Immediate corrective action will always be part of our industry, but long-term proactive approaches have more and more a place in our business.
Focus on Improvement
When creating a goal it needs to be defined to actually achieve results. It's important to look at progress clearly and consistently. Be aware that progress is not always constant. There are some ups and downs, but as long as the trend is up, we're doing what we really want to do, achieving our goals.
Share Information with Customers
This is one of the most important factors. Share information with your customers and incorporate them in this process. As long as bad news is not a surprise to customers, chances are they will not react harshly or negatively. Customers will not act rashly if they are well informed and they are aware of your progress and plans to improve. All of the information gathered and reported can greatly benefit both you and your customer, which strengthens that relationship, an invaluable advantage when it comes time to renew the contract.
Make sure to not leave plans to improve at this article. It would be similar to gathering information and taking no follow up action. We have several shining examples among our customer base of companies who are using our inspection system and are really taking full advantage of its capabilities. Aetna Building Services was awarded a $1.5 million contract from an existing small account because they were able to show how they could enhance their relationship with the use of CleanTelligent.
The reports in CleanTelligent represent extreme value to Building Service Contractors. Reports become more and more effective and valuable over time. The idea here is that you can use them not only to analyze data and perform reactive corrections, but to use a proactive approach to improve your organization, performance and ultimately your relationship with your customers over time.