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How to Measure Motivation of Your Employees to Increase Performance

While it’s true that great managers are a constant source of encouragement and talented employees possess the ability to self-motivate, using other motivational techniques is never a bad idea. But, ...
While it’s true that great managers are a constant source of encouragement and talented employees possess the ability to self-motivate, using other motivational techniques is never a bad idea. But, let’s be honest. Two-dimensional efforts to motivate employees, like posters of kittens dangling from tree limbs broadcasting “Hang in there!” just doesn’t cut it in most cases. While some employees may feed off motivational phrases and signs, others might be motivated by team cheerleading sessions and others only by financial rewards, public recognition, or “winning,” whatever that may look like on your team or in your organization. Regardless of these motivational methods, one method stands out above all and that’s feedback...consistent, regular feedback. It’s even better if it’s delivered quickly rather than waiting for a quarterly or even yearly review.  The ability to provide that kind of feedback, easily and efficiently, is what makes goal setting and dashboards so valuable in the race to motivate. Quick Links Why is employee motivation important in the workplace? What motivates employees? 10 employee motivation stats you need to know  How to use dashboards and goals to help motivate employees and increase their performance Why is employee motivation important in the workplace? Ask anyone who’s set a goal what helped them achieve it and they’ll likely tell you they really wanted it. It’s that “want” that drives us. It’s motivation. So when we look at employee motivation in the workplace, we must understand that it is also the drive that helps us achieve the goals we’ve set for our teams or our business. It’s also the commitment, time, energy, and effort employees are willing to put into achieving those goals. It’s easy then to see how motivation can make all the difference in the success of our businesses. In fact, highly motivated employees are far more likely to be highly productive and highly engaged in their work. The benefits of that are pretty contagious as well, not just with other staff, but with customers and clients as well. What motivates employees? As noted above, though a bit jokingly, what motivates employees really depends on the employee. While it would be amazing to always have teams of self-motivated employees, that’s just not realistic. So, the best thing team leaders can do is, first, lead. Effective leaders have a significant impact on motivation. However, leaders have several other tools at their disposal to determine what motivates their employees. The first tool seems obvious…ask. Most people can tell you what motivates them, but we rarely ask. We often ask, in interviews and yearly reviews, what an employee’s goals are, but we rarely ask what we can do to help with the motivation to get there. Assuming their goals are aligned with business goals or team goals, we should be asking. The other tool at your disposal is observation. Simply by observing your employees you can gain a strong sense of what energizes them. What tasks are they excited to tackle? Are they team players or solitary stars? Gauging how they respond to different tasks, different objectives, and different rewards will help reveal what motivates them and enable you to use that tool more often. That said, there are a few known methods to motivating employees: Competition Incentive programs Group or individual rewards (like time off, meals, parties, events) Consistent and regular positive feedback Encouraging creativity, fun, and individuality And many more ideas out there! 10 employee motivation stats you need to know So before we jump into a few great stats that illustrate the importance of motivation and its impact on your organization, let’s review  a few points so that when we look at the stats, we understand how they’re connected: Motivated employees are engaged employees.  Engaged employees are happy employees. Motivated and engaged employees are productive employees.   Just 13% of employees report feeling engaged at work. Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450-550 billion annually. Teams with highly engaged employees have a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 17% increase in productivity.  Connected (engaged) employees are 87% less likely to leave a company.  85% of organizations have a rewards program in place with 70% offering up to 6 options.  Organizations with engaged employees have 233% greater customer loyalty and see a 26% increase in revenue than organizations whose employees are not engaged. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce Study, 43% of highly engaged workers receive feedback weekly. Managers are crucial to employee engagement and satisfaction. 39% of employees mention their direct supervisor as a reason for leaving while Gallup’s study found that managers are responsible for up to 70% of an employee’s job satisfaction.  39% of employees feel under-appreciated while another 77% report, if they felt recognized, they would work harder. Employee engagement increases by 60% when recognized by managers. How to use dashboards to help motivate employees and increase their performance So, given that feedback, recognition, and rewards are an excellent way to help motivate employees, how can you, as a manager, facilitate that? First, you need to set goals. Once the goals are set, and the team has alignment on what they are and understands their tasks, milestones, and benchmarks along the way, one of the best tools you can utilize to not only track progress and performance, but to also provide ongoing feedback, is a business intelligence dashboard. Track Progress with Goals BrightGauge Goals are really easy to set up and monitor over time.  They allow you to assign a specific and measurable goal to an individual employee, with a due date, and automatically send weekly check-in reminders to the individual. Not only does this allow you to assess whether an employee is on-track to be rewarded, but it encourages accountability with team members, while provided that very essentially regular feedback which are both so important.   Dashboards are a Simple Way to Track KPIs The kinds of metrics required for motivation are generally the kinds of data that document the success of the company as well. Performance data should be tracked across time to establish visible baselines for the company’s growth and progress, which ties back to KPIs and how they’re measured. BrightGauge makes it easy to track KPIs and other important company, team, or individual metrics by automatically collecting data from your unique data sources and displaying it on easy-to-access dashboards.  Work performance metrics like response times and latencies can be automatically measured, inbound calls can be counted, and sales numbers can be accumulated in the course of daily activities. Further, you can automate your reporting and share these dashboards with your team to keep them focused and motivated. If properly identified and effectively measured, KPI indicators can form the basis for performance reports that enable the kind of regular feedback to be delivered readily and efficiently. Graphics also display critical statistics so performance becomes highly visible and measurable. If you'd like to talk more about how BrightGauge tools can help you motivate employees and track their progress on key goals and initiatives, get in touch with us today!
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How to Make SLA Metrics Reporting Easy

Two clear components of successful relationships are clear expectations and great communication. If we really think about it, this is true of every relationship we hope to foster in our lives and it’s no different in business. In fact, those two principles are the reason for the existence of SLAs and SLA reporting. We can, quite easily, reduce documents like SLAs to contractual documents, but they’re really more than that. The goal of a solidly written SLA and regular timely SLA reports is to help foster and build a relationship between provider and client. For that reason, it’s important to understand how to best use them to further that relationship building goal. Quick Links What does SLA stand for? How is an SLA measured? What are the 3 types of SLA? What is an SLA report? How to choose SLA metrics to report on Make SLA metrics reporting easy with dashboards   What does SLA stand for? SLA stands for service level agreement. The SLA outlines the type and level of services one business technology provider will deliver for another business. Not only does it lay out the services as well as the expectations, but it also covers the remediations and consequences should service levels not be achieved.   How is an SLA measured? SLAs are typically measured via specific and detailed metrics determined by the type of services being delivered. In other words, in a data center SLA one might expect to see uptime reliability as a reportable SLA metric. If you’re an MSP, one metric you might include is Resolved Tickets. Again, the SLA metrics included in an SLA will depend on the type of service being provided.   What are the 3 types of SLA?   As noted above, the SLA you provide will depend largely on the client.  That said, there are, traditionally, 3 different types of SLA. A customer-based SLA  is tailored to a specific client. Typically, this would be used when the client is only using very specific services that may differ from other clients and enables the vendor to keep things simple by utilizing just one SLA. In contrast, a service-based SLA groups customers together based on the one service they contact for. In this case, all customers are using the same service with no deviations. Finally, a multi-level SLA allows a larger organization to define different levels of services, such as across different departments, even if services provided are similar. For example, both a finance and human resource department may need the same umbrella service, but when drilling down into the details, they may need a different level of service based on their organizational and departmental needs. The multi-level SLA allows a vendor to tailor an SLA to meet varying needs within one complex organization. What is an SLA report? Essentially, the SLA report allows a provider to communicate with the client and maintain transparency on the deliverables outlined in the SLA. For example, if the SLA requires that trouble tickets are resolved within 72 hours, the SLA report would include data on whether that metric was met and, if not, how that issue is being addressed. Further, if the SLA includes device management, the report would include data and information on each device, its status, and where the management falls in relation to the metrics outlined in the SLA. While reporting SLAs does have some overlap with reporting performance metrics, there is a key difference between the two types of reporting: key performance indicators (KPIs) focus on business priorities for the service provider, while SLA metrics prioritize the client’s needs. Additionally, SLAs can be notoriously difficult to accurately track—especially when some SLA metrics are dependent on customer responses.   How to choose SLA metrics to report Odds are that, as a service provider, you already have a list of SLA metrics to report. However, it's important to ask how relevant those metrics are to your customers. Why are you tracking some metrics and not others? When was the last time you reviewed your service level agreements? Before you start reporting SLAs, it’s important to start addressing these questions. After all, if you’re tracking irrelevant metrics, what good does that do you? Picking SLAs based on adherence to your service contract is a good start because it helps you find metrics that make sense to your clients. However, there is more to tracking SLA metrics than that. When setting new service level agreement metrics to track and report, it can help to look at your current SLAs and how well they: Align with your business’ services; Match with the details of your service contract; Support your customer’s needs/wants; Can be measured; and Can be controlled by you or your team. Taking the time to converse with your customers about what they want, or at least surveying them about their perception of your performance, can further help you refine your list of SLAs to report. Basing SLA metrics on the details of the service contract can help to ensure that you’re satisfying each client’s specific goals.   For example, your SLA with one client may specify that you'll respond to support tickets within a day of receiving them. In that case, time to response would be a great SLA metric for your business to track.   When creating SLA metrics, it’s also important to consider how factors outside of your control can influence them. For example, time to resolution is a commonly-tracked metric. However, when resolutions are dependent on customer response times, your results can easily become skewed. So, it may be necessary to either modify the metrics you choose for your SLA reports, or to find ways to minimize the impact of outside factors on the SLAs you report—such as “pausing the clock” on time-to-resolution tracking whenever your team has to wait on customer input or tracking total labor time spent on tasks instead.   Having well-chosen SLA metrics helps make reporting tasks somewhat easier and more valuable to your customers.   How to make SLA metrics reporting easy After finalizing the list of service level agreement metrics you want to track and share with your clients, how can you make reporting SLAs as easy as possible?   One method is to use an automated reporting system that can pull the data you want to share from a preset source at the time the report is sent. Take, for example, BrightGauge’s own automated client reporting system. In the BrightGauge client reporting feature, you can select SLAs to share with your clients along with other KPI data.   In the reporting feature, simply click on the drag-and-drop interface to choose which KPIs and SLA metrics you want to include, rearrange their order to choose which ones to highlight, and drag-click the box edges to resize them however you want. Once created, these data boxes will automatically populate with the latest information from whichever datasource they’re using.   Alternatively, all available data sources in BrightGauge come with default report templates to help you get going right away. Choose a pre-built template, feel free to customize it, and you’re ready to send it off.   From there, you can use the client mappings feature to select who you want to receive each report and then select a frequency for how often you want those clients to get a report (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). Once set up, these reports will be automatically generated and sent for each of the clients in your client map whenever you set them to send; all without you having to lift a finger ever again (unless you want to alter the report or change the recipient list).   For some BrightGauge users, this automated reporting feature can save between eight and ten hours a week on client reporting. The ability to report SLAs metrics consistently helps to build transparency between your organization and its clients—which helps to earn client trust in the long run. SLAs formalize the relationship between provider and client and enable alignment on expectations in a way that , when SLA metrics are met, helps build trust and long lasting business partnerships. If you’re ready to take your SLA metrics reporting to the next level? Reach out to our team at any time to get started!

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Why You Need a Customer Success Team Now

Language matters; it’s often nuanced in ways we don’t explore. Further, it’s not important just because it’s how we communicate, but because it has the potential to shape the way we interact and the way we understand our worlds. For that reason, how we frame our interactions with customers matters. For decades we’ve focused on customer service with the implication, based on language, being that there is a clear delineation of roles suggestive of give and take, and often in a way that separates our goals from the goals of our customers. Customer success, however, looks at this relationship quite differently. Service, by definition, means the act of helping or doing something for someone. While there are relationships built on service, the key word here is for. Customer success, on the other hand, changes that word “for” and replaces it with “with.” The concept is one that shifts the focus away from what we can do for you to what we can do with you. And that whole idea changes the way we interact with our customers. When we start to view our success as intricately tied to our customer’s success, we shift a business paradigm in a way that has the potential to grow not only relationships, but also business and revenue. Quick Link What is customer success? What does a customer success team do? When should you start building a customer success team? Using your customer success team to guides your clients    What is customer success? Customer success, as a customer relationship management method, ensures your team understands your customers’ goals and actively partners to help them achieve those goals. Your product or service was developed or designed to help your customers achieve specific outcomes or goals, and customer success is the method by which you track the success of your service and support. Essentially, customer success helps foster an aligned relationship that ensures mutual successes. While you’re working to their goals, the successful relationship, continued business, and potential for upsells means your team is also reaching their goals. What does a customer success team do? Currently, most businesses employ customer service teams. Customer service is who businesses call when a product or service isn’t functioning as expected or promised. In contrast, customer success is proactive. It’s an engaged method and a dedicated team that looks at data and performance and is therefore able to identify potential friction points or possible opportunities to improve or expand services. In short, it’s the difference between having a reactive team or a responsive team. Additionally, a dedicated customer success team is empowered to focus on specific clients with the understanding that by focusing on one’s clients, and their successes, a business then is successful as well. Currently, many metrics focus solely on how one’s business is doing, how it’s growing, where it’s generating revenue. Customer success shifts that focus to the customer and whether they’re hitting their targets because when they do, your business wins as well. Some of the structure looks similar to existing customer service team structures. Specifically, however, your customer success team is made up of the following individuals: Account Executive-  This is primarily a pre-sale role responsible for prospecting, presenting demos, qualifying prospects, and closing sales. Once the sale is closed, the account/customer is handed off to the account manager. Account Manager- Post-sale, this person acts as the primary point of contact for the customer, managing and overseeing the needs and services provided for the customer. They are, primarily, responsible for nurturing the relationship. Success Specialist- As noted above, one of the goals of customer success teams is to have an individual who is responsible for understanding client goals and digging into customer/client data points to identify needs, proactively address issues or concerns, and ensure they are reaching their goals. Support Technician- Even the most proactive team will incur client issues. The role of the support technician is to handle any issues customers have as they arise, particularly those related to the service desk. The support technician will  manage the ticket queue, and help clients solve IT problems. While each person has a distinct role, ensuring each aspect of the account has individual oversight, the overall goal remains to keep alignment with the client’s goals and work to proactively ensure their success. When should you start building a customer success team? Ideally, from the start of the business, establishing the members of a customer success team is best. However, when a business is just starting, the focus will likely be on customer acquisition, product development, and other elements that will help launch the business. However, customer retention is often a much stronger revenue strategy than customer acquisition as it costs less and can, ideally, lead to inbound sales. In fact, a majority of your revenue will come from existing customers, so ensuring they are successful and happy is a key revenue generation strategy. For that reason, it will be clear, once your business has established itself and has clients who will benefit from this level of assistance. These are the clients who have potential to be long term, who have the potential to assist with word of mouth, and whose success will help you build your own success. There is, naturally, a point at which it will seem clear to switch your focus from building product/services out to aligning your products and services with client goals and ensuring the two are symbiotic. Using your customer success team to guides your clients  As noted above, customer success is about relationship building. The old customer service model involved a lot of handoffs, staff dedicated to roles and tasks rather than clients, and reactive services rather than responsive support. As your marketing team will tell you, your customer’s journey begins well before they’ve spent any money with you or on your product. The one agreed upon point across all sales is that multiple “touch points” are needed to close a sale. Each and every one of those touch points is an opportunity for your customer success team to begin nurturing the relationship (this is the job of the account executive). It’s an early opportunity to not only differentiate yourself in a competitive marketplace, but it also establishes the foundation upon which you will continue to build this proactive and responsive relationship. One of the key pieces once the sale is closed is a thorough onboarding process where the client has been provided a map and has had clear communications about what work will be done, when, and with whom. This ability to clearly communicate and provide a transparent process enables your business to demonstrate the nature of customer success vs. customer service. You can then continue this type of communication and dedication to their goals and aligning them with the services you provide and offer with a quarterly business review. Customer success teams can be the key difference not just between you and your competition but between churn and retention. Developing your teams, having them align with your clients, digging deep into their goals, and applying the tools and services you offer to help them achieve them is the future of proactive and responsive customer relationships. BrightGauge is no stranger to the MSP market where, among others, this strategy is incredibly valuable, but we employ this method as well. Our own Customer Success Team  interacts with partners on a daily basis, using our business intelligence software to ensure success on both ends. Get in touch with us today to talk more!  

Dashboard of the Month: Client Account Overview

When it comes to providing exceptional customer service, it is oftentimes the small details that can win a customer over. Making an effort to take something just one step further can result in repeat business for a managed service provider (MSP), which is always the goal.    Something as simple as providing customers with a quick way to get an overview of their account details can make a difference in the way an MSP and a customer do business with one another. And that simple account overview is exactly what we are presenting this month.    The Client Account Overview dashboard is ideal for lower-touch customers or those customers who don't require detailed visibility into the service provided to them. Essentially, it contains basic MSP information for the customer.   Client Account Overview dashboard - view here   The Client Account Overview dashboard includes: Useful information like contact details, how to open a ticket, where to pay bills, etc.  Currently open tickets Number of workstations and servers A list of all services currently being paid for  Modules to insert client logos, images, contextual information, and more    This dashboard can truly be customized to include the exact information that would be most useful to an MSP's customer. At the end of the day, it's a way to add a professional touch to an MSP's relationship with their customer.    To recreate this dashboard for your own customers, check out the links below: Client Account Overview dashboard (public view link) Client Account Overview Buildout Key   We'd love to see how you are using this dashboard with your own customers. Please feel free to reach out to success@brightgauge.com with any questions you have!  

The Complete Guide to Quarterly Business Reviews for MSPs

Ready for a breakfast meeting? Not quite? Grab a cup of coffee because we’re about to tell you how to prepare for one of the most important breakfast meetings on your calendar. The Quarterly Business Review is among the most important meetings you’ll have with your clients. It’s like a managed service provider wellness check. An opportunity to build relationships with clients while showcasing your services and ensuring an ongoing partnership.   In fact, there are few things more important than customer satisfaction in the business of managed services, and the keys to that satisfaction are transparency and great communication. For this reason, Quarterly Business Reviews are one of the best tools you can use when it comes to keeping your clients updated on all the work that you’re taking care of for them.   Quick Links What is a quarterly business review (QBR)? How to structure a quarterly business review How to create a quarterly business review How to prepare for a QBR meeting Benefits of Quarterly Business Reviews Next Steps for Mastering Your Review What is a quarterly business review (QBR)?   Sometimes referred to as a Technical Business Review or Semi-Annual Business Review, a QBR serves as an excellent opportunity, throughout the year, to touch base with clients, highlight the value of the services you provide, and create a strategic agenda moving forward. It’s an excellent opportunity to discuss your client’s business goals, projects or plans they have in the pipeline, and learn about their long-term goals. In turn, it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you and your services can help them along the way. In our managed services business, Compuquip, we learned a lot about perfecting these reviews and they served as a cornerstone in our efforts to keep clients happy and informed.   Let’s take a deep-dive into what a QBR meeting should look like, and how to leverage these meetings for closer, more fruitful partnerships! How to Structure Your QBR   As noted above, our managed service business afforded us the opportunity to become quite adept at structuring a QBR. Not only did our format and content enable us align ourselves with our client’s goals, but it also allowed us to showcase how our services were essential to helping them achieve their goals. These meetings and QBRs also allowed us to provide transparency with our clients that enabled us to build trusting relationships, the kind that enhance partnerships and create long-term success. Timing for a Quarterly Business Review If you think about your work week, and more specifically your work day, there are times you’re more amenable to conversation, less pressed for time, and more open to the kind of conversations that open doors rather than close them. This should all be taken into consideration when it comes to the timing of your QBR. First, ensure the meeting is convenient for all stakeholders. Still, it’s more than convenience. You also want to choose a time when everyone is alert and, again, open. Not easy, right?! That’s why we always suggest avoiding late lunch or a meeting near the end of the day. To be more specific, we found that QBRs as a breakfast meeting gave us the best results.   Why is that? To start, people are more likely to be in good moods, alert, and ready to take part in strategic discussions in the morning. Further, because other meetings are rarely scheduled first thing in the morning, choosing an early meeting ensures availability and can help you stand out from the crowd. Finally, most of our morning routine’s are hectic. We rush out the door, drop off our kids or clothes at the cleaner (sometimes the other way if we’ve not had coffee) and fight rush hour traffic to get to work. A meeting that allows us to sit down, grab a cup of coffee, have something light to eat is a pretty nice way to start the day.  Pro tip: Don’t think you have to assemble an entire spread of breakfast choices! Trust us... after years of successful QBRs, keep it simple. The secret? Bagels and coffee. They’re easy to transport, practically everyone loves them, and the price is great too!   In addition to when, you want to consider how often you should be meeting. You know your clients best, and it is important to provide them with a valuable interaction, that uses their, and your, time wisely. That isn’t always possible if you’re meeting too often. We recommend you try to meet at least three times per year as that keeps you in the forefront of their minds and helps build a stronger partnership. Who Should Participate in QBRs? Knowing the first step to QBR success lies in picking a time that will yield the highest attendance, it’s also just as important to make sure the right people are present. This helps ensure that the QBR has the proper gravity, that all stakeholders understand the connection between their business and your services.   Let’s take a closer look at who those stakeholders are:   Your Technical Account Manager: Bring the person who manages this particular account on a day-to-day basis because they know the ins and outs of the client’s business. This is the person who puts together the report, sets the agenda, and generally leads the actual meeting. Your Point of Contact: Invite the person your team regularly interfaces with because they have an understanding of your daily operations and is likely someone with whom you already have rapport. Depending on the size and structure of your client’s business, this may be an Office Manger or even a COO or CIO. The Boss: Who’s the top dog, so to speak, on the client side? Again, this depends on the size and structure of each client, but someone like the Founder, Owner, or CEO of the business. The Person Who Signs Your Check: Who signs off on your partnership? It’s absolutely critical that this person sees the value in your services and they are the most important attendee. For your smaller clients, this may be the boss, but with your larger clients, the money person may be a CFO. Find out who it is, and make sure they are included at each QBR. Other Department Heads: This should include people who are one level down from the executives, such as members of  a leadership team. Invite anyone who is relevant to the discussion, especially if you plan on pitching changes in processes that will involve their department. If necessary, provide a brief explanation for why you would like them to attend when planning the meeting. How to Create a QBR Okay. We’ve got a time, we’ve got a place, we’ve got the people. This is where we really dig in. It’s “The reason I asked you all here today…” Make QBRs Strategic, Not Tactical Your Quarterly Business Review isn’t the ideal time to get down into the nitty-gritty of daily operations. This is one of the few times you have executives from the client company there to listen to what you have to say — make the most of it and don’t get bogged down in the details.   Instead, zoom out and take a high-level approach to subjects you discuss. Executives and stakeholders are unlikely to be involved in day-to-day operations, so they don’t care about execution. They care about results.   Sometimes MSPs are tempted to use QBR time to discuss tactical issues, but we advise against it because those points should be discussed and coordinated directly with your day-to-day contact person. Executives aren’t as interested in the how as they are the what as in what have you done for them? For that reason, come to the QBR meeting armed with data. Show real-world returns from prevented problems and increased uptime. This approach builds trust and furthers your relationship as a trusted business advisor, rather than as just another vendor.    Additionally, during the meeting address the various roadblocks and obstacles that must be overcome to deliver an ideal service. This allows you to demonstrate your overall understanding of the landscape, where your client stands, and where they’d like to be. Identify areas where improvements can be made, and take a big picture strategic approach to problem-solving. Make sure you also listen closely to their concerns. In the end, both teams should align on ways to drive more value through your partnership. What You Should Include in Your Reviews   As an MSP, the goal of your Quarterly Business Review should be to provide a top-down view of operations, making sure each discussion offers transparency and highlights the value your MSP has provided in that specific area.   Service Ticket Review First, your QBRs should include a comprehensive service ticket review from the past quarter that shows how your team is handling ticket volume. The metrics are very straightforward - you want to compare the number of open tickets to the number of closed tickets. If your open and closed numbers are fairly even, it shows your customer that your team is handling support requests quickly. If the numbers are not relatively even, then you may have some explaining to do! Or more likely, it may be an indication the customer is over utilizing the service desk or they may need a different structure for their support. In other words, this is an opportunity for you to be a business advisor. Suggest an alternative structure or methods and techniques to decrease service tickets. Service requests, even if your team is responding quickly and efficiently, results in slowed workflows and, potentially, employee frustration. Now is the time to offer a plan to alleviate both concerns.   SLA Review Your QBR should also address your SLA. Compare your agreement to the services rendered and highlight areas where you have gone above and beyond. If there have been disputes or issues, now is a great time to discuss the matter while decision-makers are present.   In your report, take a deep dive into your agreement and provide updates on goals. How quickly have you responded to service requests? Have you met or exceeded your agreed-upon standards? If not, is there a reason why this is the case? Have you reached your service request resolution goal?   The SLA Review portion of your QBR is a good place to leverage positive client satisfaction surveys as well. As always, focus on the value you’ve provided while being honest about how you can improve moving forward and how those initiatives will work for your client’s goals as well.   Technical Review   The technical review should make up the bulk of your Quarterly Business Review. It gives you the opportunity to put the value you’ve provided front and center, while also providing some insight into where improvements in process could be made on both sides. The technical review must include all aspects of your services to provide a complete picture. Your technical review should include the following:   Endpoint Management   Having the ability to centrally deploy, update, and troubleshoot endpoint devices for your clients is critical to a successful partnership, which is why most MSPs will agree that endpoint management is the “meat and potatoes” of your partnerships. You probably also know from experience that, when done well, the client rarely knows everything that goes into endpoint management and likely everything you’re doing for them.   For this reason, focus on detailing your endpoint management actions - it’s low-hanging fruit in terms of demonstrating value. Your QBR should include several aspects of endpoint management that should also be covered in your meeting: Patch management. Because patches are the first line of defense for your clients, it’s important to provide details about your patch management. More specifically,  detail which machines are fully patched, which machines are missing patches (and how many patches they are missing), and reasons why those machines are behind. For instance, if those machines were powered off during that last installation window; it’s an important fact you should relay. Endpoint Security. Endpoint security is an important but often overlooked aspect of an MSP’s services. Often, clients only look into endpoint security when something goes wrong. However, you should make sure you set aside time in your QBR meeting to discuss your proactive efforts on endpoint security. Provide stats regarding your threat reporting and antivirus efforts. How many threats were detected? How many scans did you complete to identify those threats? Not only does this establish transparency and provide a full view of the work you’re doing to protect their assets, but again, it provides an opportunity to align on goals and demonstrate your understanding of the security landscape. Warranty Reporting. Establishing your knowledge and oversight of your client’s devices is an opportunity to help showcase your value. Which machines will have their warranty run out soon? What are the recommended next steps? Will you soon provide a quote to extend the warranties? Infrastructure Management   The infrastructure management section of your QBR will include a lot of critical yet also technical information. While this is another excellent opportunity to showcase your value, reeling off a list of techie terms, speeds, and feeds won’t do that for you. Make sure that, in this section, you take the time to explain why each one of these areas is a big deal for the client’s business. Hint: If you use BrightGauge to monitor these areas, this is a great place to include your gauges and a visual representation of these values! If not, you can always include this data from other sources. Overall network uptime. Include network uptime data for all relevant servers. If uptime can be improved, provide insight into why the numbers are lower than expected and make recommendations for improvement. Alert trending data. Provide insight into recent trend reports. Is there a vital piece of equipment, system, or network that is constantly running into issues? What steps should be taken to improve performance? Server backups. How often are you backing up data? Have there ever been any issues during data backups? A summary of all relevant backups is a good thing to add, as it provides a detailed picture of how you are protecting their business. Domain admins audit. Who has access to the domain admin security group? Keeping a close eye on domain administrators that have access to servers, workstations, and files is important for protecting clients. How often is the user list being audited? Will that change moving forward? Server patch status. Which servers are up to date? Which servers are missing patches? Why are they missing patches? Offer a plan to ensure that all servers stay up to date moving forward. Again, the goal with each metric is to provide the data, look for and recommend areas for improvement, and take the opportunity to make those suggestions.   Network Security Defense   Since protecting networks against viruses and other threats is important for maintaining the security of the entire organization, you’ll want to detail some key aspects of your network security efforts in this section of your report (this may also be a good opportunity to touch on your GDPR compliance efforts): Server Virus Protection. How many updates and scans have been performed? Have any threats been detected? Provide a complete picture of server virus protection using data.   Email Security. Detail the protection efforts of the company’s emails and email server. Provide any relevant data regarding detected threats. Many organizations are compromised through employee email and clients know this. Reassure them that you have protections in place and demonstrate how those protections are working.   Strategic Planning   Keeping the subjects you just discussed in mind, now is a good time to dive into big-picture strategy and proposals to improve the business relationship moving forward. Make sure that everyone at the meeting has a solid understanding of what you are currently working on, what is planned for the future, and any recommended changes you may have. Include these recommendations in your report, and come to the meeting prepared to discuss those aspects of your partnership.   User-Training   Let your clients know which of their employees may require additional training, based on the support tickets you have received. Training not only enables your organization to save time, but it is also another way for you to prove useful to your clients during the QBR meeting. Training may also go beyond tickets, but can include updated security and threat training as this is often a shortcoming at many organizations.      How to prepare for a QBR meeting Got the bagels? Good. Truth be told, we all know it’s more than bagels and coffee. Again, this is your opportunity to stand out and demonstrate why your services are exceeding expectations and can continue to do so moving forward. You’ve got the chance to showcase how you are aware of your client’s business needs and goals and how your service can be tailored to help them achieve those objectives. Much like everything else outline here, however, there are a few steps you want to take to ensure your meeting runs smoothly and touches on all the points you want to address with your client.   Create an agenda The agenda is your opportunity to outline the information you’ll be presenting to your clients and also provides an overview for the areas you’ll want to research and be prepared to discuss in depth during the meeting. Finally, it’s important to remember that the QBR meeting is a chance for discussion, a chance for you to listen as well as speak, so the agenda is a good place for you to identify the areas where you may want client input. You can also outline here the time you anticipate you’ll need which allows any executives or upper management in attendance to understand expectations and block out time for you. Your ability to anticipate their needs and deliver on them, in even this small way, sends an important message. Gather your data and do your research   Three to four months, the time you’ll have, roughly, between QBRs, is ample time to analyze data regarding any initiatives started since your last meeting. Further, you’ll want to have the client data you’ll need as well as any relevant industry or market data to make any comparisons but also to provide that data and suggested initiatives to your client. It’s also an opportunity to review client goals discussed at the last meeting so you’re prepared to report on progress. You’ll also want ample time to formulate responses to any shortfalls or weaknesses and investigate potential fixes. Be prepared to demonstrate not only your awareness that they exist, but how you’re prepared to adjust your strategies and tactics to improve.   Benefits of Quarterly Business Reviews   After ironing out the QBR process in our MSP, we found that there are quite a few benefits. To start, it offers a personal touch that clients appreciate. As MSPs, we’re all too familiar with the dreaded “why am I paying you” question. Of course, we at BrightGauge advocate for weekly or monthly reporting to help avoid that question from popping up, but adding in the face-to-face QBRs is a great touch point and opportunity to explain things in detail or answer questions that may not come up in emailed reports.   Second, having several people there from each department makes it easy to pinpoint issues and receive input from multiple viewpoints. Additionally, you’ll have everyone you need to make decisions to solve those problems. Ensuring that several high ranking employees within the company attend, you will dramatically improve your CSAT scores and ultimately, your customer retention.   Another often overlooked benefit of conducting a thorough in-person QBR is the fact that it will help you to highlight which of your customers are not a great match for your services. During your meeting preparation, you may find that there are conflicts within your SLA that inhibit your ability to provide a valuable service. Some common examples include machines not receiving timely updates, or an unwillingness to invest in critical infrastructure. You can also use these reports to gauge the overall profitability of a customer and decide when it may be appropriate for both parties to go their separate ways. In fact, Andrew Hutchison, Network Ops Manager at BlackPoint IT, confirms “We had some hard conversations, but having the data available took us down the path of getting rid of unprofitable customers.” Next Steps for Mastering Your Review   Quarterly business reviews are a critical tool for your success. Instead of putting together a report and attaching it to an email, take the time to schedule a meeting with all relevant stakeholders. And, before the end of your meeting, schedule the next! Use each meeting to highlight the value you’ve provided, identify areas for improvement, and establish your business as a trusted partner, expert, and advisor, rather than an ordinary vendor.   In our MSP, we created a QBR template in Word that we could easily customize for each client with screenshot images from BrightGauge - and you can too! Download a copy of the Quarterly Business Review template that worked like a charm for us. And get in touch with the BrightGauge team to learn how our dashboards and gauges can enhance your QBR or how our reporting can streamline your data gathering efforts.

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Key metrics and accompanying formulas to help MSPs skyrocket growth and success!

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50 Goal Ideas for Every Member of Your Team

As we hit a few months into the new year, now is typically the time when memories of our resolutions start to fade, we lose track of our goals, or abandon them altogether. We’re here to say now is the time to recommit, rather than give up. It’s completely reasonable to review and adjust your goals regularly throughout the year. For many, 2020 was an interesting year and that means we put off setting goals in 2021 until we could see what the landscape might look like. Now is the time to set those goals. If you put them off or just need to re-evaluate, seize the moment. Quick Links What are team goals? How to set team goals Best practices for goal setting 50 team goal examples How BrightGauge Goals help you track progress throughout the year What are team goals? Goals help to keep our eyes on the prize, working towards a desired outcome, and focused on success. When we have an end result in mind, it’s easier to stay hyper-productive and in a deep workflow. This is especially true when working in teams. With a team goal, you ensure that everyone stays on track and focused on the common objective, even if their individual tasks seem isolated. When setting goals, both team and individual, it’s important to remember that there are 3 types of goals you, or a team, can set. Outcome goals are the results we’d like to see or what it is we hope to achieve. Process goals are the strategies or actions that will lead us to the outcome. Performance goals are the standards you set to apply to your process. For example, let’s say your team sends out a customer service survey after interactions with your team and lately those scores have fallen by 7 points. The outcome goal associated with this might be to increase customer service satisfaction scores by 7 points. The process goal would be to have weekly check-ins with your customer. Your performance goal would be to spend at least 10 minutes discussing concerns with the customer and ensure they have no questions or concerns when the call is done.  How to Set Team Goals When setting a team goal, it’s important that you’re not just “going through the motions.” Often when we talk about goal setting, people envision lofty goals that are unattainable, and so faith in goal setting as a practice is weaker than it should be. When specific and challenging S.M.A.R.T. goals are set, especially for a team, they can be motivating. When setting goals for a team, you want to do the following: 1. Figure out the outcome First, nearly 40% of employees do not know what their business’s goals are. This should be deeply concerning to a company, and to teams. While team goals may only be part of the larger business goal, getting everyone on the same page is key. Right now, according to these stats, half the team isn’t even reading the right book! Further, if you don’t know what you want to achieve, it’ll be next to impossible to figure out the process or performance goals that will help you get there. You’ll want to assess the larger business goal (outcome) and see where your team fits in achieving that. What will the outcome for your team look like? How does it align with the overall business goal? 2.  Have team members set personal goals One of the greatest assets you have is your team itself. For that reason, you want to ensure buy-in on your goals and one great way to do that is to allow team members to determine where their individual process goals will help achieve the outcome. Not only does this strategy ensure individual team members envision how they fit into the larger goals, but it can also improve efficiency and the chances of success. In setting these goals, it’s vital to remember the principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals: S-Specific - Keep it simple, but detailed. M- Measurable- Find a way to track it. How will you know when it is achieved? A- Achievable- Keep it realistic. R- Relevant- Does it matter? Does it help you get to the outcome? T- Timely- Set a deadline and keep that realistic, but challenging.    Here’s an example: If you’re in sales, it’s not enough to say, “Next quarter, we'll close more accounts.” Instead, a S.M.A.R.T. goal would be, “By the end of next quarter, I will bring in 10 new accounts that will result in a higher commission for myself and contribute to the overall revenue goals of our company; I’ll do this by increasing the amount of calls I make from 100 to 150.”  3.  Set deadlines One of the most important aspects of goal setting is creating deadlines. The fundamentals of S.M.A.R.T. goals include being timely. Open-ended goals, or a failure to create specific tasks (process goals), to be measured in a specific time, are likely to lead to confusion and, quite possibly, failure. Remember, it’s important to set realistic deadlines, and, if necessary, break large tasks into smaller tasks that can also be measured, and also have deadlines.  4. Track progress S.M.A.R.T. goals must be measured. That means you, and your team, need to be aligned and reviewing progress. Successes and meeting benchmarks will motivate team members, but tracking also allows your team to adjust. Some tasks may take longer than others and others may present unexpected challenges. By checking in with team members, and tracking progress, team leaders, and members, can step in where needed and adjust. 5. Adjust as needed One reason tracking is so important is that it allows you to adjust. Many people view goal setting as black and white. Success or failure. What this fails to account for is the importance of tracking progress and remaining agile throughout the process. Regular feedback and team input can help create the kind of cohesion that leads to success, even in the face of challenges.   Best practices for goal-setting   When you’ve landed on a goal that resonates with you and your team, and aligns with your overall business goals, be sure to keep a few things in mind that will ultimately help you be successful.   Tie your goals to overall KPIs. We often compare key performance indicators to a North Star because KPIs are what keep everyone focused and aligned. If your individual goals aren’t tied to KPIs, then you won’t be working towards the target you care about most. And remember, just like goals, your sales team, service team, project team, finance team, and NOC/operations team KPIs will all vary from one another. Don’t rely on goals for performance reviews. This can be hard to do, but remember: goal-setting should encourage employees to stretch for something big. And in the process, it’s okay to not be afraid to fail and to not settle for mediocrity. It's also important to keep tracking, keep monitoring, and adjust as needed.   If goals were simply boxes to be check and then tied to compensation, teams would naturally only choose attainable goals, which wouldn’t leave a lot of room for growth. Risk has its rewards. While goals should be attainable, they should also present a challenge. 50 team goal examples Each department in your organization contributes to the overall success of your company in different ways. Your support team will have different responsibilities than your sales team, and so each of your employees’ goals will vary as well. Make sure that the goals that are being set are relevant the goal owner. Here are some ideas: Leadership Team: Build on existing MRR: create upsell goals for existing managed services revenue Develop Existing Resources: look at how you can develop your team to meet hiring plans for the future Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead) Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead) Utilization Rate: hours billed vs. total hours in the week (good for operations manager) Past Due Receivables: track how much is owed to your business that is past due (good for finance lead) Average Response Time: monitor the time it takes to respond to a service request (good for services lead) Cash in Bank: see how much cash is in the bank at the end of the week (good for finance lead) Employee Engagement: assess whether you’re keeping and attracting top talen Current Pipeline: the total amount in the pipeline multiplied by percentage chance of closing (good for sales lead) Service Team: Bring Down Response Time: are you responding to support requests quickly enough? Bring Down Response Plan Time: are you starting work on the ticket fast enough? Bring Down Resolution Time: total time to resolve tickets, minus business hours and hold statuses New Certifications: stay on top of certifications that keep your team members relevant Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead) Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead) SLAs Missed: tickets that missed their SLA (good for services lead) Noisy Tickets: tickets with more than 5 time entries that are still open Ticket Backlog: tracking the backlog of tickets to make sure they are coming down Stale Tickets: open tickets that haven’t been updated in over 3 days Finance/HR Teams: Implement Quarterly Fun Event: a great one for HR, to keep team members engaged and close knit Nothing Over 90 Days Past Due: strive to reduce AR to as little as possible Past Due Accounts Receivable: total dollar amount of past due invoices >90 Days Past Due: total dollar amount greater than 90 days past due Cash in Bank: monitor how much cash is on hand Payables Past Due: total money owed to vendors/clients Invoices Delivered: monitor how efficiently and on-time invoices are being sent Continued Education Hours: track how well you’re investing in employees and how much continued education they are completing Operations/Projects Teams: Fixed Fee Projects > 20k: keeping track of the fixed fee projects in your pipeline Document Sales to Project Team Handoff: document the process for sales to hand off a won project to the project team Projects Over Budget: number of projects that are over budget against Work Plan hours Project Hours: track these to determine if too much/too little time is being spent on projects and see if priorities need to be readjusted Documentation New & Updated: monitor how many documents are being created and updated Open Projects: keep an eye on overall workload Hours Not Billed: hours without an agreement or project without an associated invoice Sales Team: New New MRR: the amount of money closed in managed services revenue Pipeline Per Sales Rep: the current weekly pipeline multiplied by stage Networking Events Attended: an important one for sales reps as they can result in new business, track the number of networking events they are participating in Dials Made: count how many outbound calls are being made Opportunities With No Activity: the number of opportunities with no activity in the previous week While professional goals are of utmost importance, we always like to leave room for personal development, too. That’s why we think it can be a good idea to assign 1 ‘fun’ goal to each employee per cycle. When we’re growing and pushing our own boundaries, it makes us more well-rounded and productive employees. Fun goals: Watch all the Oscar winning movies from your birth year Learn how to juggle Explore 3 new parks this quarter Win a trivia night this year Walk 50,000 steps in one month Learn an instrument Call at least one family member or friend on way to or from work, weekly Get an hour massage this month Watch a Ted talk with a friend or partner then discuss over coffee   BrightGauge Goals helps you track progress throughout the year We’re passionate about goal-setting, and the goals feature of BrightGauge was designed for that reason. It makes it easy to stay on track of progress because it's automated for you. Further, our dashboards allow you to track and customize the KPIs that are along the path to your objectives. You can share those with your team as a whole or individual employees. Send employees an email to check in on their goals through highly visible goal cards. You'll keep team members motivated and accountable for their process goals. Plus, those inspiration ideas  we mentioned above? Most of them can be found in BrightGauge, so if you’re feeling intimidated about the process of actually coming up with goals, fear not. They take just a few minutes to set up. We live for goals. Let us help you achieve yours.

How Your Business Can Benefit from the E-Automate Dashboard Integration

While some can quibble about the meaning of the phrase “Time is money,” the truth is time spent on one task does take away from others. When you’re trying to prioritize the needs of your clients and provide exceptional service, finding tools that enable you to be successful while enabling you to grow your own business is fortuitous. It’s why the pairing of an exceptional data collection and reporting tools with the power of automation is the kind solution that builds strong service relationships and provides the foundation for solid business growth. BrightGauge and E-Automate both offer business services that help streamline your efforts, saving you time and money, allowing you to grow your business all while providing outstanding customer service. When the two join together, you’ve got instant access to the data you need, the reports you want, and the automation that delivers both assets where they need to go. Quick Links What is E-Automate?  3 Core Features of E-Automate  Why Use BrightGauge With E-Automate's Dashboard Integration What is E-Automate?  E-Automate is a cloud based enterprise resource planning platform that streamlines all business operations and procedures by putting them in one easy to use application. Unlike traditional ERP platforms, E-Automate leverages the latest technology to work more efficiently so you can work smarter, not harder. In other words, regardless of your industry, you can automate the processes and gather the data you need across multiple locations, multiple clients, and multiple inputs and have reports automatically sent directly to you.  3 Core Features of E-Automate BrightGauge’s ability to pull the data you need to monitor from multiple sources and display it on one seamless dashboard makes for an invaluable and powerful tool for monitoring KPIs and critical business data. When paired with E-Automate, the two create a powerful system that harnesses the strengths of both BrightGauge’s dynamic dashboards and E-Automate’s automation capabilities. E-Automate Data Dashboards Regardless of the customer data you need, whether it’s service calls, parts ordering, or other sales and service functions, BrightGauge and E-Automate, paired together, provide a single integrated dashboard that’s updated in real-time. What this means for you is there’s no logging in and out of multiple systems, no complicated spreadsheets, no cutting and pasting information from one place to another. Further, because it’s automated, there’s no searching for the data either. The dashboard updates automatically, providing you with key data and information, saving you time so you can service your customers rather than the data. Customizable E-Automate Reports One of the most important aspects of any business is reporting. Whether it’s to our clients or to our team, we need to be able to furnish the data that demonstrates how well we’re doing our jobs and where we need to focus our efforts to improve. Whether you’re tracking the KPIs of your team or your SLAs, BrightGauge’s platform enables you to create customized reports based on the data you need and want. Then, when partnered with E-Automate, you can schedule that report to run as frequently as you need it to, easily adjusting when to send it and to whom. Reporting is a service provider essential and providing detailed reports, on time, helps keep your customers satisfied, improving your service level, but not increasing your workload. Default E-Automate Gauges All of BrightGauge’s integrations come with default dashboards and gauges, and  E-Automate is no exception. With 72 default gauges that measure the business demands that matter, we’re ready to help you out of the gate. While customization is one of the many benefits so is being able to leverage this powerful tool from day one. Why Use BrightGauge With E-Automate's Dashboard Integration When it comes to providing customer service, one of the best things we can do is to stay abreast of our customers’ needs, anticipate them, and be responsive to their fluctuations. To provide even better customer service, we can be predictive and anticipate their needs and deliver before they ask. While those are laudable efforts, and the hallmarks of exceptional service, they’re also incredibly time consuming. They require regular data collection and analysis and frequent reporting to a client to reassure them that we’re keyed into the needs of their business and our job as a service provider. In competitive industries, this enables them to focus on their business and trust that they’re in good hands. The value of that is immeasurable. One of the best ways to provide this service is to leverage the tools available to you, tools like BrightGauge and E-Automate. This pairing gathers the data collection you need to deliver on your SLAs in one place, and enables reporting that reassures your customers. As a result, you build the kind of trust that creates long lasting relationships and increases the lifetime value of your customer. If you’re ready to talk about how these two solutions can help you streamline your business and deliver exceptional service and support, get in touch with our team today.

What is a Goal Dashboard? (+ Why They're So Effective)

In June of 1986, the “Hand of God” helped Diego Maradona lead the Argentinian squad to a win over England in FIFA’s World Cup soccer final. That first goal (1 of 2) is known by most who follow soccer, even casual fans, because it was likely a handball and shouldn’t have counted. With the height of the ball, Maradona likely couldn’t have gotten his head on the ball alone (which he credits in part) and had the referees had a better view, England may have made it to overtime and, quite possibly, a win.   Why do we recount this story? Because goals shouldn’t be that hard. They shouldn’t require the “Hand of God” to help them be met or achieved. Goal setting and goal management are fundamental responsibilities of your management or leadership team and enabling them to do both, with the use of goal dashboards, can make them easier to realize - without resorting to divine intervention. Quick Links What is a goal dashboard? Why goal dashboards work  Types of business goals that can be tracked through goal dashboards  Achieve your business goals faster with BrightGauge's data dashboards! What is a goal dashboard? Simply put, a goal dashboard is a visual tool that allows you to manage, share, and gauge the KPIs that evaluate your progress on any goal, either short or long-term. Whether it’s your sales, customer service, development, or marketing team, you’ve got goals for the quarter and year ahead. A dashboard puts all the analytics you need in one place allowing you to monitor progress, align your team, and adjust as needed to make sure you hit your mark. Why goal dashboards work  Anyone who’s done any reading on goal setting is likely familiar with the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals. The reason this strategy (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) works, is because it provides a framework for the goal itself. Often we set goals that leave us with no way to determine whether we’re on track, made progress, or even, sometimes, achieved it. Goal dashboards facilitate the S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy in a variety of ways and allow you to effectively manage your goals, across your entire business. Further, research suggests that writing down and tracking and sharing goals results in more achievement success. S- First, they allow you to define specifics, especially when you’ve broken down a larger goal into something smaller. For example, let’s say for 2021 your sales team’s goal is to increase sales revenue over the year by 20%. The team can break this down by quarter, by team member, by client acquisition, and any of those measurements are accessible via a goal dashboard. You can then view, share, and drill down on these specifics over any period of time to assess whether you’ll hit that 20%. If it looks unlikely, you can adjust your strategy. M- Measurement is the bread and butter of a goals dashboard. It puts all the analytics at your fingertips, provides for reporting and sharing across your management team as well as the team responsible for delivering the goal. Further, you can design the goal dashboard to make progress clear (based on the style, color, or appearance), meaning measuring your progress can be at a glance before you move into strategy and analysis. A- What is success? With full analytics from each year, you can gauge and compare what’s feasible. If, for example, you set that sales goal at 20% yet your dashboard reveals that over the past 3 years the sales team has only been able to grow revenue by 10%, then you can adjust your goal. Without key performance indicators and measurable analytics, gauging what’s possible becomes more difficult. You want to set a goal that is challenging but feasible. Goal dashboards help you visualize that. R- Is the goal important to this team? Is it where they should put their energy? If sales revenue has increased, but client retention decreased, meaning you’re taking on new clients, but failing to keep them, then perhaps increasing revenue isn’t a relevant goal at this time. Goal dashboards, and the analytics you choose to include, can help you align your goals to your long term strategy. T- Finally, you want to have a timeframe to measure. Without benchmarks, without end points, how is your team to know whether they were successful? How are you, in leadership, able to adjust strategy and see where, in short term and long term goals aren’t matching up. Ideally, short term goals should act as mile markers for your long term goal. To use the same example for sales, to realize a 20% increase, you’d need to see a 5% increase over each quarter. Without keeping track quarterly, you may not realize you’re about to miss, or exceed, your goal. S.M.A.R.T. goal strategy is stressed in just about every goal setting endeavor for a reason: it works. All we’re saying is we have a tool to help you manage that strategy.   Types of business goals that can be tracked through goal dashboards  Not to overdo it on the sports analogies, but there’s a line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” and the same is true for your goal dashboards. Any team in your organization can “come” to a dashboard and find a way to use it as a valuable tool to achieve their goals, even if the goal isn’t building a baseball diamond in a corn field. If you build a tool that measures the KPIs that matter to that team, one that monitors their progress and allows them to shift strategies while staying in alignment, they will come. That means for your sales team you can set revenue goals, for your customer service team you can set client/customer happiness or retention goals, and HR can have recruitment or retainment goals. You can build out those goals across teams, across multiple departments, and even across the entire business, allow multiple team leaders to assess the long term strategy, their team’s role in that, and the smaller, specific goals their team must meet for the mile markers along the way. Achieve your business goals faster with BrightGauge's data dashboards! With a variety of pre-built dashboard templates and a fully customizable system with filters for your departments, BrightGauge’s dashboard solutions can help you stay on track, adjust when needed, and meet your goals, short and long term. You can use existing dashboards or build your own, depending on your needs and our team is ready to assist. Whether your goals are outcome or processed based, let our team help you determine the best way to measure your progress and score every time. Even if you need help envisioning that field of dreams, we can help. Get in touch today and let’s talk about what’s possible.

Dashboard of the Month: Service Team Huddle

A necessity for any service team is a regularly-occurring stand-up meeting where team members can review what's going on with support action items. Stand-ups answer questions like:   How many tickets do we currently have open? What does our kill rate look like? Are we responding to tickets quickly enough? Is there anything that needs to be escalated?    Being proactive about this type of information allows service team members to provide the best possible support to customers while running an efficient and productive service desk.    So, how are you going about conducting your daily or weekly stand-ups?   This month, BrightGauge partner Paul Bischer, Director of Business Development at GRIT Technologies, shares his Service Team Huddle dashboard.   This dashboard provides an overview of the day's action items for the support team and is used to drive the agenda at daily team meetings by providing insight into open tickets, daily schedules, and any past due items. It also motivates daily conversation around performance metrics such as: % Same-Day Resolution Average Response Time Average Resolution Time   Service Team Huddle dashboard - view here This is a really great way to keep your team huddles productive, on-agenda, and time-efficient, plus it gives your entire team visibility into what's going on in the service desk as a whole. Visibility can be a powerful motivator, especially during this era of remote work.    To recreate this dashboard for your own team, check out the links below: Service Team Huddle dashboard (public view link) Service Team Huddle Buildout Key   Thank you, Paul for sharing your insights.   Please feel free to reach out to success@brightgauge.com with any questions you have!

KPI Examples to Gauge Employee Engagement

Teachers can often gauge student engagement by how many are looking at the clock, waiting on a bell to ring. Your employees are likely no different. Your managers and team leaders can likely measure employee engagement by how eager your team is to leave at lunch, at the end of the day, and on Friday. While no doubt most of us look forward to our non-work lives, the most successful businesses are the ones with employees who have buy-in. Employees who are invested in seeing that a company succeeds are focused on tasks and objectives more than the clock. In fact, 71% of executives say that engagement is fundamental to their success. That’s not to say work-life balance isn’t essential (and a contributing factor to employee happiness), but employees who are engaged in business can have a significant impact on profitability, customer satisfaction, recruitment and retention, innovation and a number of other factors that help build business success. Because these metrics are so important, monitoring valuable employee engagement metrics can be vital to making sure you’re leveraging your employees’ energy and investment and turning it into a boon for your business.   Quick Links How the remote workforce shift impacts employee engagement KPI examples for monitoring employee engagement Using data dashboards to gauge employee engagement How to use insights from data dashboards to boost employee engagement How the remote workforce shift impacts employee engagement By now, we’ve all come to the realization that the workplace changes instigated by the Coronavirus pandemic may be more permanent than originally anticipated. Certainly this shift presented multiple challenges to businesses well beyond human resource concerns, but those cannot and should not be ignored. It’s always been far easier to welcome new employees into organizational culture when they had daily touch points with other employees and integration into an office environment. Similarly, team building and mustering alignment on key objectives was also easier when everyone was in the same place. Team building opportunities and familiarity with co-workers and business goals, from working together on projects to casual office banter, facilitated employee engagement in ways that often cannot be recreated in remote work situations. That said, there is definitely an argument to be made that, on smaller teams, video conferencing has opened a window into our co-workers lives that helps team building and fosters relationships. Further, workers report being happier working from home as well. But can that, does that, translate into employee engagement? It might. In May of 2020, a study found that 62% of employees said remote work was actually beneficial to their engagement.  KPI examples for monitoring employee engagement Regardless of whether remote work continues, there’s no debate regarding the positive impacts of employee engagement. Whether from home or from the office, employees invested in your business improve your bottom line, so it’s in your team’s best interest to understand the best ways to gauge employee engagement. One KPI example used to measure employee engagement is productivity. Workers who are engaged are driven to perform. They see value in their work. In turn, they are 21% more productive than disengaged employees. There are multiple ways to measure this, including revenue/employees, but there are other factors worth considering. Another KPI example for monitoring employee engagement is absenteeism. When your team wants to be in the office, feels connected to your organization’s mission or vision, and feels driven to deliver on tasks and projects, you’ll see a decrease in absenteeism. In fact, in a study, 63% of U.S. employers report a direct connection between attendance and engagement. In this regard, you can track and monitor team absences as well as employee churn. Engaged employees want to be at work. Another metric to consider when looking at employee engagement KPIs is efficiency. While productive workers deliver a lot of work, effective workers complete work correctly and with as little wasted time, effort, and resources as possible. You can gauge this by looking at trouble tickets, customer satisfaction, resource management, and the time it takes to complete standard tasks. A final KPI example for measuring employee engagement is customer satisfaction. Engaged employees want to support the businesses they work for and contribute to their success. Naturally, many of them will make the connection between customer experience and satisfaction and the success of a business. In response, engaged employees are more likely to extend themselves for customers and clients, reaching beyond expectations to ensure that coveted customer satisfaction. In turn, your business has returning customers who cost less to serve and sing your praises providing valuable word of mouth referrals. Using data dashboards to gauge employee engagement   While we’ve highlighted a few of the key KPI examples to gauge employee engagement, there’s actually quite a bit you can be monitoring in terms of your employees to fully measure their engagement and satisfaction. In addition to their individual performance and customer response, you can also be monitoring revenue, customer acquisition, and HR metrics like successful hires and internal promotions. In short, there’s a lot to look at. One of the best ways to track all of these different KPIs is through a data dashboard. Particularly when you use BrightGauge’s customizable dashboards, you can tailor your view to include all the metrics you’ll need to fully understand how engaged your employees are and how that’s impacting your customers and business’s bottom line. A visual tool to monitor all of these items gives you and your team a great overview of where you’re having success and helps you measure when engagement may be waning so you can respond quickly and effectively. How to use insights from data dashboards to boost employee engagement Employee engagement not only ensures business success, but it also helps your organization hire and retain the best people for the job. Considering these two very important elements, it’s critical that should you notice employee engagement KPIs waning, steps can be taken to reinvigorate your team, increase their feelings of connection to the business and teams and to their work. Data dashboards and their visual display allow you to draw connections between an employee’s task and business growth or success. Your ability to share this data with teams or individuals helps establish a connection between them and larger goals, making them feel valuable to your organization. Additionally, if you notice issues, scheduling meetings with team members or whole teams, depending on the metrics and encouraging their feedback allows you to address issues before they start to impact other aspects of your business. Finally, the ability to see and share all of this information with your employees fosters trust in your organization. Transparency is valuable because it’s inclusive and that inclusion translates to buy-in. If you’re looking for a data dashboard that’s fully customizable, providing filters that allow you to organize information the way you’d like it to be seen, that provides a bird’s eye view as well as a drilled down inspection of the metrics you care about, that allows you to monitor the engagement, productivity, and retention KPIs you care about, get in touch with our team today. Let’s see how we can help you turn or keep your team into one of your business’s best assets.  

Cassandra Lutz Joins BrightGauge as Customer Support Specialist

We’re excited to welcome Cassandra Lutz to the team as a Customer Support Specialist! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge family.    In the beginning   Brooklyn in the house!    While most of us BrightGauge folk hail from Florida, Cassie comes to us from New York! She was born and raised in Brooklyn and spent her teenage years living in the Poconos. Eventually, Cassie made her way down to the Sunshine State. In her words, Cassie has earned her Florida stripes by "surviving hurricanes, ungodly humidity, severe sunburns, and general 'Florida crazy'". If you know, you know.    Cassie entered the world of MSP support in 2015, joining the ConnectWise team. In that role, she discovered a love for helping partners solve puzzles, making her feel like her own version of Sherlock Holmes (who she believes should be classified as a Superhero).    Joining BrightGauge   With BrightGauge and ConnectWise becoming one, Cassie was given the opportunity to join our Customer Support team. Here, she's looking forward to broadening her knowledge with SQL and working with a team that is expanding and leaving its imprint across many platforms.    She'd like to play a role in contributing to the growth of BrightGauge while still being able to enjoy the thrill of solving whatever puzzles partners will be throwing her way.    Out of office     Cassie's tribe consists of two teenage sons, a Husky, a tiny Boston Terrier/Jack Russell mix, and a NYC deli cat who also thinks he is a dog. She loves spending time with all of her "hooligans" and will tell you all about them if you let her!   When she can, Cassie loves hiking, paddle-boarding, painting crummy pictures, and enjoying live music, escape rooms and board games!   We're so thrilled to have Cassie - and her amazing sense of humor - on the team!

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