With a brand new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start and new beginnings. With that in mind, we’ve got some exciting news to share. BrightGauge has been acquired by Continuum®, the platform that empowers MSPs to simplify IT management and deliver exceptional service to their end clients. We’re happy about this move and are looking forward to the growth and success opportunities this provides! You may have lots of questions, which we’ll do our best to answer below, but please feel free to reach out to us at any time if you’d like to know more. Are you still called BrightGauge? Yes! We will continue to operate as a standalone business under the Continuum umbrella. Why did Continuum acquire BrightGauge? Continuum strives to help MSPs and IT providers improve their operational efficiency and make smarter business decisions. This acquisition allows Continuum to enhance their solution offerings while further expanding and developing BrightGauge’s capabilities. Basically, as part of the Continuum family, BrightGauge will be able to bring more resources and solutions to even more customers in the industry. I’m a current BrightGauge customer. What’s going to change? Nothing! We want you to have the same exact experience you’re used to, whether you’re a current user of one or both platforms. Support, billing, product, etc. will all continue as usual. Should anything change in the future, we’ll let you know right away. I use Continuum and BrightGauge. How are the offerings being integrated? Continuum and BrightGauge are working together to strengthen the integration and improve the reporting and analytical capabilities. The goal is to add more default dashboards, gauges, and reports, to help you get more out of the integration. Do I have to use Continuum if I’m a BrightGauge user? No. The solutions you use are completely up to you. I’m interested in signing up for BrightGauge. Will prices or packages be changing? Not at this time. New users of either platform should not experience any changes in pricing, packaging, or purchasing process. Will the datasources you offer change? Absolutely not. We currently offer 40+ integrations and plan to continue adding to that list. We have a range of PSA, RMM, CSAT, backup, security, financial, and other solutions you can connect with and it’s totally up to you to choose the one that makes most sense to your business. What happens to the BrightGauge team? For the most part, we’re all still here (and growing) and will continue to work hard to be there for you and make your experience with BrightGauge a great one. A lot of you may know Brian Dosal, our founder and CEO. He has left BrightGauge to pursue a new opportunity but will continue to help us with the transition. Brian leaves our office in the great hands of Larry Garcia, who is ready to lead the charge. We’re also excited to work closely with Steve Cardillo, Continuum’s VP of Corporate Development, who is passionate about taking what BrightGauge has developed and making it even bigger and better. Is the BrightGauge office moving? Nope. We’re staying in the beautiful city of Coral Gables, where we’ll keep providing the support you’re used to. And we’ll continue to host Data Driven Workshops here throughout the year. Where can I learn more about this acquisition? You can read the official press release here. Please feel free to reach out to us with more questions. We know change can be scary, but we promise this is a positive one that we’re very happy about. We’ve always committed to being transparent with you, and we remain strongly committed to that. We’re still us. You probably won’t notice a thing as you continue to use BrightGauge, but we wanted to let you know what was happening behind the scenes. We’re really proud of what we’ve built over the last 8 years and now, with the support of Continuum, we can’t wait to see where the future takes us!
What better time than the New Year to revisit your organization’s goal-setting strategy? Goal-setting is an important way to make sure employees are aligned and moving in the right direction. Individual and team goals should support the organization’s long-term strategy and should incorporate your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs). If you’re using BrightGauge to set and track goals, you can actually power your goals from gauges you’re already using. We know it can be a bit of a challenge to determine which gauges you should use to power your goals, but we’re here to help. What are gauge-powered goals? When you link a goal directly to a gauge, that goal automatically gets populated with the data being tracked in that gauge. For example, let’s say you’ve got a goal to keep Kill Rate above 100% week over week. You already have an existing gauge that tracks your Kill Rate percentage in real time. Every week, your average Kill Rate percentage will be populated into your goal list automatically, making it easy to see progress at a glance while keeping your team members honest and accountable. Tracking goals this way takes any ambiguity out of the equation. Though the values will be automatically populated, individuals will still have to go into their gauge-powered goal and mark whether they were on- or off-track and add context around their progress. Why use gauge-powered goals? Well, presumably, you’re using BrightGauge because you’re data-driven. So, you’ll likely appreciate goals that are data-driven as well. Making goals specific and measurable keeps conversations about those goals objective rather than subjective, so it’s easy to stay focused on the target. Plus, when you use gauge-powered goals, you’ll be using all BrightGauge features cohesively and seamlessly - another win when it comes to staying aligned. Finally, gauge-powered goals eliminate any guesswork. You don’t have to worry that you miscalculated an average, or wrote down an incorrect number, or accidentally skipped a week of tracking goals. Your values will be waiting for you anytime you’re ready to visit your goal list. Great. So how do I set up gauge-powered goals? Good question. It may feel a bit intimidating to figure this out, which is why we’ve built out a few template gauges to help you get started. As an example, for those of you that integrate with ConnectWise Manage or Autotask, you’ll notice some default gauges that have a [Goal] prefix attached to them. You can use these gauges to power your goals. To find them, click on GAUGES from your BrightGauge overview and look for that [Goal] prefix. Pre-built [Goal] gauges are already filtered for the Current Week (Sun-Sat) date range, but you can also filter them by technician once you set them as a goal. When you’re in the Goals section of your BrightGauge, use the ‘Select Gauge to Power a Goal’ dropdown, type [Goal] into the search field, and you’ll be able to see all your existing gauges that are set up to power a goal. Pro tip: you don’t have to just rely on these pre-built gauges. If you’ve got your own gauge that you’d like to use to power a goal, we suggest making a copy of it and adding that [Goal] prefix to it. That way, you can easily find it and it’s less likely that anyone will make unintentional changes to it. We’re all really busy so it’s easy to see the value in tips or tricks that help make our day run more efficiently. If you’re not already setting and tracking goals, using gauge-powered goals can be a nice way to get started. Always feel free to reach out to our support team if you’ve got any questions! To learn more about goal-setting, watch our free webinar, ‘Guiding Growth Through EOS & Goals’, featuring Traction Strong founder Ryan Giles.
When it comes to annual performance reviews, many managers’ first instinct is to focus on employee’s goal performance. While goal performance should be taken into consideration, it shouldn’t be directly tied to review outcomes. It’s important to realize the purpose and place of goals within your business. Well thought out goals support the larger strategic plan and push companies in the right direction. However - and this is the crucial takeaway here - goals should represent ideal outcomes, NOT basic expectations for the people they include. Basing performance reviews on the completion success of goals can set you, your teams, and your entire business up for failure. In fact, tying performance reviews directly to the completion of goals could have serious negative long-term effects and reduce the impactfulness of future goals. Before we dive deeper into the role goals should play in performance reviews, it helps to have a better understanding of goals in general. What’s the purpose of business goals? Where do you want to be within a specific timeframe? What are the steps that your company, teams, and individual employees need to take to get to that point? Individual goals ultimately add up to a bigger picture. Goals should do 3 things. 1. Measure success Hopefully, any goals you set are following the SMART goals system (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely). The ‘measurable’ aspect is critical. A lot of the time, goals are tied to relevant KPIs because KPIs are the most important metric for measuring success. 2. Improve direction When goals are transparent and cohesive, team members are clear on the direction they need to go in. There become a strong rationale and purpose behind the work they are doing. 3. Focus one’s attention In any organization, it’s likely that employees are juggling several important roles. Business goals pull attention back to where it belongs and remind us all of what is most important when things get a little chaotic. Some reasons to avoid tying reviews to goals If goals are meant to measure success and reviews are meant to evaluate an employee’s success, then where’s the disconnect? Well, goal performance is not so black and white. It’s possible to reach a goal and still fall short in other areas of your job. Or, it’s possible to fail to reach a goal but still be a rockstar team member. Goals are meant to set a high bar. If we’re completing 100% of our goals, 100% of the time, is growth even happening? Goals are supposed to be challenging. We’re supposed to always strive for more. But missing a goal doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Punishing someone for not achieving a lofty goal dismisses their productivity and diminishes their motivation to aim high with future goals. If someone were to meet 80% of their goal, wouldn’t that provide more context than just knowing whether the goal had been “completed” or “missed”? Goal difficulty is subjective. You hired each person on your team for a different reason. Each brings something unique to the table. And each works in a completely different way. Performance reviews should level the playing field between employees by evaluating the areas in which they excel and the areas in which they can improve. But this will carry a different meaning with each team member. The person’s experience, role, background, effort, time with the company, working style, overall job responsibilities, and projects should be taken into account more than whether or not the goal was completed. Goals may have group components. A lot of companies set 3 types of goals: organizational, team, and individual. So, the ability to complete a goal almost always relies on other moving parts within the company. An outbound sales rep may have a goal of closing 10 new sales in a given period, but their role may not require them to engage in lead generation. In this instance, that rep is relying on someone else to bring in a stream of new leads. Their ability to complete their goal doesn’t rest entirely in their own hands. A performance review should carefully look at the role each team member plays instead of just focusing on the end result. The role goals play in performance reviews At the end of the day, there’s a reason why a goal was chosen, so there’s nothing wrong with discussing it during a review. There can be constructive conversations around why a goal was or wasn’t reached and what can be changed in the future to improve upon goal-setting. Ultimately, the result of the goal is not as important as the job performance towards reaching that goal. Performance reviews should highlight improvement in goals. Let’s talk about our outbound sales rep who had the goal of closing 10 new sales. Instead, she closed 8. In the previous period, she had only closed 5. If goal success were the defining factor here, it would be considered a failure and result in a negative review. That’s an unfair assessment. In reality, this rep met 80% of her goal versus just 50% in the previous period. That’s a significant improvement that should be addressed positively. Of course, there’s room to discuss why 100% of the goal was not met and what can be done to improve even further in the next period. Focus on the bigger picture and reward productivity that leads individuals and companies in the right direction. And remember, if goals were easy to achieve, they wouldn’t actually be goals. Performance reviews should focus on positives and negatives. Imagine being an employee who has spent a year busting it in every aspect of their job. They walk into their performance review feeling good, then hear, “You failed to meet your goals; you did this wrong, you fell short here…” Totally demoralizing. What about that hard work that was put in day in and day out? That’s being completely overlooked based on whether or not a goal was completed? Performance reviews should highlight areas where the team member improved, showed increased effort, or had positive results. The missed goal should be addressed to understand contributing factors or see what can be done - as a team or an organization - to be more effective the next time around. Team members should walk out of a review with clear expectations, areas for improvement, and ideas for growth. Performance reviews should be a two-way conversation. Let’s face it - reviews are scary. Even the most experienced professional will get nervous before a review because annual assessments play a huge role in their future with the company. So, why not create a positive, encouraging atmosphere? The reviewer should be constructive: provide praise, concerns, and specific examples of performance (metrics are key here). On the flip side, employees should be given a safe space to provide their own insights. Did they run into obstacles because of organizational structure? Was there a shift in strategy that affected the ability to meet a goal? Did serious personal issues come into play? Was team support less available than it should have been? When reviews focus on the positive, it can be quite empowering. Goals should represent ideal outcomes, not expectations What is the ideal situation you picture for your company one year from now? Goals should motivate teams to try really hard to reach that. But by using that outcome as the defining factor in reviews, you misconstrue what makes goal-setting effective for all organizations. They cease to become goals and instead become expectations. As a result, your teams will set increasingly less aspirational goals to help ensure they get positive reviews. Use goals as a way to highlight improvement and gain insight into strategy. Your teams should come out of their review with fresh ideas for exciting new goals, not with anxiety about previous goal performance. For more on goal-setting and how BrightGauge can help you track goals, download our free whitepaper ‘The Right Way to Set Business Goals’.