Blog Logo-2.svg

The BrightGauge Blog

4 Simple Tricks for Motivating Your Employees

Motivating your employees can be the secret to achieving lasting success as a company. A workforce that is actively engaged with their work is more likely to go the extra mile, be more productive, ...
Motivating your employees can be the secret to achieving lasting success as a company. A workforce that is actively engaged with their work is more likely to go the extra mile, be more productive, and want to stay with the company for longer (improving employee retention). All of these factors can contribute to the success of the business and make it more competitive. However, mastering employee motivation can be difficult at the best of times. There are any number of variables in the workplace culture that can impact employee performance and motivation. So, here’s a list of simple tips and tricks for how to motivate employees. 1: Consider how leadership actions impact workplace culture The actions of leaders in an organization can have a massive impact on workplace culture and employee motivation. For example, if you’ve ever been told “Do as I say, not as I do,” odds are good that you know how frustrating it is to be held to a higher standard than others unfairly. So imagine how your employees might feel if they see leadership team members getting away with behaviors that they would be reprimanded (or even terminated) for. A workplace culture that seems to encourage double standards can quickly create actively disengaged employees. On the other hand, having leaders exemplify the behaviors that you want your employees to model, and showing employees that everyone will be treated equally when it comes to both rewards and consequences, can help to improve employee engagement. 2: Take some time for 1:1 meetings with employees How leaders communicate with their teams can also have a major impact on employee motivation and performance. As Kevin Plank, the founder of Under Armour, said in an article for Inc.: “I listened to everyone’s opinions, and, without fail, they’d bring up things I hadn’t thought of. More important, my team members knew they were part of the process and that their voices mattered… Employees are more motivated when they feel needed, appreciated, and valued.” By taking employee suggestions and implementing them, Plank was able to influence his company’s workplace culture. This created an environment where employees were encouraged to share their thoughts—helping them to be more engaged and motivated. Holding 1:1 meetings with team members to provide feedback and collect ideas can make employees feel more appreciated—making these meetings an invaluable tool for motivating your employees. 3: Use visible data dashboards to encourage healthy competition Creating some data dashboards featuring employee performance statistics and putting them where all employees can see them can help to create some healthy competitiveness. When your teams see these “leaderboards” of who is doing what the most effectively, it can spur them to try harder and be more competitive so they can reach the top spot. This trick for motivating your employees borrows from the concept of online leaderboards in video games—making this a type of “gamification” strategy. By providing open recognition for strong employee performance, and attaching a “score” to employee efforts, you can increase employee engagement and create a workplace culture that promotes excellence. However, it’s important to employ this tactic carefully. Making sure that the performance metrics tracked on the public data dashboard are both relevant to your business’ goals and are within your employees’ ability to control. Otherwise, employees may waste effort on worthless activities to boost the wrong numbers or become demotivated. 4: Create opportunities for employees to learn new skills for the company Many employees are looking for opportunities to move to a new role or get promoted. However, they may not currently have the right skills to move into a new position. Without education opportunities, these employees will stagnate and, eventually, leave to find new opportunities in a company where they’ll be given such opportunities. Providing an employee training program that can give employees new skills that allow them to take on different roles can be an excellent way to motivate them. This not only lets employees try new things, it creates a chance for your company to find promising talent to promote from within. When employees feel as though their employer is willing to invest in them, they’re more likely to stay—increasing employee retention. To maximize the effectiveness of an employee training program, it helps to: Ensure interested employees have the time to pursue the training—people who are already working full time may not be able to squeeze in extra time for training. Provide incentives to complete the optional training—such as providing pay increases or other bonuses to people willing to learn skills the company needs. Publicly recognize employees who learn vital skills—doing so helps advertise the learning program and reward employees who complete a course. Motivating your employees can be difficult. However, using a few simple tricks can help increase employee engagement. Have questions about how you can pick the right employee performance metrics to track for your public data dashboards? Reach out to the team at BrightGauge for advice!
See how it works

This Week’s KPI: Services Gross Margin

Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise company, generating a steady (and improving) gross margin for your services is essential to a healthy business. When starting or managing a business, there are many KPIs to track. At BrightGauge, we always recommend you lean towards simple as too much data can be overwhelming. An often overlooked but essential KPI to watch is Services Gross Margin. So, why is gross margin so important for MSPs? Simple. Services Gross Margin represents cash being generated to cover all those operating expenses. Your sales team, the office space, marketing efforts – all covered by Services Gross Margin. Higher gross margin means more money to invest in your business and accelerate growth. Calculating Services Gross Margin Here are some definitions to keep in mind when calculating Services Gross Margin: Total Services Revenue is any and all revenue your services team delivers. This would include both Managed Services Revenue and Professional Services (consulting, project). You can calculate different margin rates per type of services (more on that later). Cost Of Services is the total direct costs associated with delivering services, which not only includes the obvious base salary, incentives of your services team, but also all the direct costs. That includes, parking, mileage, laptops, software, benefits, etc. Over the years we’ve heard different variations for how to calculate Services Gross Margin. For the purposes of this post we are going to use this formula: (Total Services Revenue - Cost of Services) / Total Services Revenue   An example of how to track Services Gross Margin in BrightGauge Using Services Gross Margin at Our MSP Before we formed BrightGauge, we had our own Miami-based MSP, Compuquip. Our typical Services Gross Margin hovered around 42% - 48%. This was well below industry best practices according to most. We were a Technically Led Sales Organization. Therefore, our cost of engineers was higher than normal and our margins tended to be lower. When we broke out the services by line item, we usually ended up with an average margin on Managed Services of approximately 40% - 45% and Project or Professional Services at 50% - 60% range. To see a more detailed breakdown of the types of revenue please visit: Revenue By Category. We believe anything above 50% is a great target margin and if you can move the percentage up to 60% you are best in class. If this number starts to trend downward, you could be approaching a cash flow problem. That’s why it’s important to start measuring and tracking these types of financial KPIs on a regular basis. Once you decide on those metrics that matter to you, start setting goals to guide you and your team. Interested in More? To learn more about gross margin and other metrics that matter for MSPs, download the full white paper here. If you already know what KPIs matter to you but you’re struggling keeping track of everything, reach out to us and we’ll help.     Note: This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Subscribe to get the latest content delivered to your inbox

Christopher Turpin Joins BrightGauge as Customer Support Specialist

We’re excited to welcome Christopher Turpin 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   Christopher calls Plantation, Florida his hometown, but was lucky enough to experience the best of both worlds - splitting his childhood between New York and Miami and getting a taste of what few native Floridians do: seasons.    While in New York, Christopher also spent a lot of time with his grandparents, up in Syracuse.    When it came time to choose a university, Christopher opted for warmer weather and stayed put in South Florida, attending Florida International University, making him a proud Golden Panther.    In 2017, Christopher attended Wyncode (like many other BrightGaugers!) in an effort to better understand how apps work behind the scenes and in hopes to one day build his own app.    Most recently, he put what he learned at Wyncode to work as a Junior Developer at a local startup company called Wahii.    Joining BrightGauge   Through his peers from Wyncode, Christopher learned of an opportunity at BrightGauge and was drawn to the idea of working closely on an app.   The entire interview process proved to be such a great experience, making him eager to join the team. In his words, “Everyone made me feel at ease and the atmosphere was so down to earth, it was like everyone was family.” Yeah, we feel that way, too!    Christopher is looking forward to helping out BrightGauge customers, as well as expanding his SQL knowledge.    Out of office   *in case you couldn't tell, this is a throwback photo! :)   When not in the office, Christopher entertains himself with his many interests, like discovering new music, watching a great movie, or binging on an addictive series. You can also find him playing video games and soccer.    Heads up: Christopher is a self-proclaimed sneakerhead, so if you know of a good spot to check out, let him know!

Is KPI Tracking Worth It for Your Business?

Very few business leaders question the importance of tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) for their business. KPI tracking has long been an integral strategy for helping businesses improve employee performance and meet their long-term business goals. However, though this is the commonly-accepted thought, is KPI tracking worth it for your business?   The short answer is: “Most likely yes.” Here’s an explanation of the benefits of KPI tracking and why it’s worth your time. The business benefits of KPI tracking When used correctly, KPI tracking can be an incredibly helpful tool for businesses. Some of the key benefits of measuring performance metrics and acting on that data include:   Being able to recognize and motivate top performers One of the most important benefits of measuring performance metrics is that it can help you track who your top-performing team members are. Using KPIs, you can identify, congratulate, and reward these top performers—which can help spur them and others to improve.   For example, say that you have two people on your client services team, Bill and Bob. If Bill is consistently exceeding his goals for customer satisfaction rates, tickets closed, and time-to-resolution while Bob isn’t, you can incentivize Bill’s performance with public recognition and other bonuses.   On the other hand, failing to acknowledge and reward Bill’s extra effort can risk demotivating him. If Bill only gets the same amount of compensation and recognition as Bob despite putting in extra effort and performing better, Bill may think that it isn’t worth working hard—leading to a drop in his performance.   Identifying learning opportunities amongst your team Continuing from the Bill and Bob example above, once you’ve identified a top performer in your team by tracking their performance metrics, what else can you do aside from simply recognizing and rewarding them? One thing you could do is ask them to provide coaching for others on the team who are struggling to meet their performance goals.   For instance, you could have Bill talk to Bob about how they each approach their client services work, and provide some tips and tricks for ensuring client happiness and streamlining service delivery. This helps not only to recognize Bill’s achievements, but to increase Bob’s skills so he can improve his own performance metrics as well. It can even help to groom Bill for an eventual leadership role on the team by getting him used to teaching and leading others.   Having the data needed to course correct Even the best-laid plans may not succeed. However, without tracking performance metrics for the business, it’s nearly impossible to tell when a given strategy is having a positive or negative impact on the business.   Using KPI tracking to monitor key business metrics can help you identify trends and even associate them with specific events or actions. For example, say you’ve hired a new leader for your sales team, and your sales KPIs immediately improve or worsen. By tracking KPIs, you could associate the change in sales performance with the act of changing leadership.   Using this information as a starting point, you can poll your sales team and their new leader to see what else was changed, and use that information to make more course corrections to improve business performance.   By tracking key performance indicators, you can identify when the business plan is doing very well or going off the rails. Hopefully, you’ll also have the data you need to make smarter business decisions to keep things improving. Choosing the right KPIs for benchmarking employee and business performance Naturally, to achieve the best effect for measuring key performance indicators in your business, it’s important to choose the right ones in the first place. When selecting KPIs for your business, it can help to use a goal-setting framework to help ensure that each KPI you pick is relevant. One popular framework to use is the SMART framework. SMART being an acronym for:   Specific. Meaning that the performance metric can be clearly-defined—such as saying “sales should add $50,000 in monthly recurring revenue each month in quarter one” as opposed to “I want to sell a lot.” Measurable. This means that the KPI should be objectively measurable. In other words, results should not have room for interpretation or bias; they should simply have a goal that can be objectively met or missed—such as “closing 10 deals per month” instead of “being more upbeat on sales calls.” Achievable. Can employees meet the goal set for a KPI with the resources available to them? This may require you to take a look at historic performance to see whether a goal being set can be achieved. For example, if your historic top performance for sales in a month is $200,000 in closed deals—and that was by one top performer who never repeated the feat—then asking every member of the sales team to hit $300,000 in sales in a month may not be achievable. Relevant. Does the KPI really matter to your business and its overall goals? For example, if your business focuses on managed services, then KPIs focused on service delivery would make sense, while inventory management-focused metrics may not be as relevant (except where the inventory is required to deliver services). Timely. Establishing a time frame for meeting certain goals can be important for creating a sense of urgency. If the span of time for meeting a KPI goal is too long, it becomes an abstract concept to employees—so they don’t focus on meeting that goal.   Choosing KPIs to track and setting goals for them using the SMART framework listed above can help you ensure that you’re picking the right performance metrics to motivate your people. Need help tracking your KPIs so you can improve business performance? Reach out to the BrightGauge team to learn more!

Dashboard of the Month - IT Management Associates

When it comes to building out the right dashboards for your team, seeing what others are doing can provide some guidance and spark new ideas.    Starting today, we’ll be sharing what other BrightGauge users are building out in our Dashboard of the Month series. Check back each month to see what key performance indicators (KPIs) are being tracked and for guidance on how to recreate the dashboards for yourself.    July’s Dashboards were submitted by Brad Schultz of IT Management Associates from Perth, Australia. Not only do ITMA’s dashboards really pop off the screen, they serve a major daily purpose for Brad and his service delivery team.         Brad states the objective of these dashboards is to provide up-to-date information on tickets, hours entered, SLA stats and survey responses.  These KPIs help his team stay on top of different ticket queues while fostering a bit of friendly competition to ensure time is being entered, tickets are being closed, and most importantly, that ITMA’s clients are happy.   We chose ITMA’s dashboards because they do a great job breaking up and displaying data designed for in-office displays.  Brad’s usage of rotating dashboards, color thresholds, and labels enact our Dashboard Best Practices, allowing his team to easily identify, assess, and act in real-time while simultaneously tracking weekly team performance.   Brad and his team use ConnectWise Manage to view their data and to build their dashboards, but the same metrics can be tracked using other PSA tools like Autotask.   Think this dashboard will be helpful for your team? Reach out to success@brightgauge.com if you’d like to recreate this dashboard for yourself and we’ll be happy to provide the guidance you’ll need.    Thank you, Brad & ITMA, for sharing your Service Delivery Dashboards with us!   P.S. Also reach out to success@brightgauge.com if you want your dashboard to be featured in an upcoming post.   Link to Public Dashboard Link to Dashboard Recreation Key

70+ Metrics for MSPs

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

Get your KPIs

Cleaning Up Your BrightGauge

We're constantly thinking about upcoming quarters and projections for the future. Something that we firmly believe in is decluttering and beginning a new cycle with a fresh start. Whether it’s a change in seasons or a new fiscal year, the benefits of decluttering are big. In this post, we’ll share tips for how to clean up your BrightGauge accounts so you can work more efficiently and deeply. BrighGauge ‘spring cleaning’ tips Think of this as a lesson in spring cleaning, but for an app. We all lead busy lives and when it comes to our data, we want to get what we need as quickly as possible. Because of this, we’ve found that BrightGauge users tend to let their gauges and dashboards stack up, instead of taking some time to delete ones that are no longer used or needed. It’s kind of like when we save every single file to our hard drive and forget to clean out some of those files every now and then. That kind of clutter serves no value or purpose to us. There are several ways you can clean up your BrightGauge to get rid of unnecessary mess and to ensure that you’re using its features as optimally as possible. Doing this will make your BrightGauge a lot more manageable.   1. Delete what you don’t need  Make time to go through your list of gauges and dashboards and take stock of what’s still of use to you and your team. Do you have duplicate gauges? Sometimes when we’re building a gauge, we forget that we had already attempted to create a similar one, so make sure to delete the superfluous ones. Do you have years-old gauges? Do they need to be updated or are they totally irrelevant? Click on your ‘Unused Gauges’, which are gauges that are not being used on any dashboards, reports, or goal lists. Is there any reason you still need these? Look through your team members’ folders. Are there any employees who no longer work at your company? Are their gauges still being used?   2. Consolidate what you can  When you are in your Gauge Builder, are you configuring your gauges to look at more than one piece of data? If you’re not using layers, you may be creating more gauges than you need. Layers are great for when you want to see a comparison in your data. For example, you may want to see how many tickets your techs have resolved this month versus last month. You’d simply create the 1st layer of ticket stats for the current month and then you’d create a 2nd layer of ticket stats for last month. The data would be displayed side by side in a column chart (or bar chart if you wish). This is a much better use of your gauges than if you had created one separate gauge per month. Likewise, if you’re using separate dashboards for similar data, you probably want to consolidate your metrics into one seamless dashboard. You wouldn’t want to look at Currently Open Tickets, Tickets in New Status, and Tickets Opened This Week in one dashboard and then Ticket Response Time and Tickets by Type in another. Try to put it on a single pane of glass when possible.   3. Be more efficient with your gauges and dashboards  First and foremost, make sure your dashboards are displaying only the gauges you need. Think of your dashboard like your desk. Too much clutter causes anxiety and can make you less productive. Too many unnecessary gauges on a dashboard make it harder to get the exact snapshot of data you need. We have features that make it easy to get really specific so that your insights are sharper and more conclusive. Make sure you’re taking advantage of these. Calculated metrics allow you to create formulas in your gauges, the way you would in Microsoft Excel (please note, you need to be on our Enterprise Plans to access this feature). As an example, you can use a calculated gauge to return your Kill Rate % by dividing Tickets Closed Today (layer 1) by Tickets Opened Today (layer 2). This saves you time and gives you a clearer idea of where you stand. Make sure your gauges are utilizing this feature when applicable. Similarly, if you’re not filtering your gauges, dashboards and reports, you may be looking at excessive or non-specific data. There are 4 filters you can limit your data by: date, text, number, and boolean. A common example is to take a metric or KPI and filter it by technician, so you can evaluate their performance in a streamlined manner. This is especially useful if you have lots of direct reports. Pro ‘spring cleaning’ tips: Use linked filters to edit the same filter across multiple gauges. Read about how to do that here. Exclude filters from your dashboards and reports when you need to. Read about how to do that here.   4. Disconnect datasources you're no longer using  If you still have access to a datasource that integrates with BrightGauge, but you aren’t really using it anymore nor do you plan to in the future, just get rid of it! No sense in holding on to something you don’t need.   5. Automate your reports So many of our clients tell us that our client reporting feature has been a complete game-changer. It is so easy to create custom, interactive reports in just a few minutes. But, make sure you’re taking full advantage of this feature. Once you’ve created a report once, you can save it as a template, and you can schedule it to go out on a recurring basis to the exact recipients you want, on the date and time you choose. This is perfect for daily, weekly, or monthly reports that you need to send to various clients. Recipients can’t see who is cc’d on reports, so no need to worry if you’ve got multiple people receiving the same report.   6. Set up your client mappings Make sure you’ve got your client mappings properly set up. We can’t stress enough what a huge time saver this can be for you. This is great to do if you integrate with multiple datasources, but your client names appear slightly differently across those datasources. Client mappings help you tell your data who’s who, which is of significant value when you’re sending lots of reports out! Here’s a client mapping video to make sure you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s.   7. Archive old goal lists  We know how exciting it is to hit your goals and have an amazing quarter. Kudos to you when this happens. But instead of holding on to the past, work towards the future! Archive or delete the goal lists that you are no longer using and make space to absolutely crush new goals. At BrightGauge, we only keep up goal lists for the current quarter. Makes it easier to focus on the current task at hand. Being organized will make a huge difference down the line You might think you don’t have enough time to go through a ‘spring cleaning’, but trust us when we tell you that it’ll save you a ton of time later on. Plus, you’ll be working within BrightGauge much more efficiently, which will make data insights and analysis a whole lot less overwhelming. It’s worth dedicating time to this so you can head into each day a bit tidier and a lot more prepared. For more tips on cleaning up your BrightGauge, check out our webinar, 'Best Practices for Organization and Account Cleanup'.

Why You Should Really Clean up Your KPI List

Being able to track data is crucial for measuring employee performance and identifying opportunities for improvement. However, there is such a thing as trying to keep track of too much data at once. Trying to monitor too many different key performance indicators (KPIs) at once can easily lead to data bloat, which is something to be avoided. Why should you clean up your KPI list as soon as possible? Here’s an explanation of why, as well as some advice for cleaning up KPI lists. Why you should clean your KPI lists 1: To stop data bloat The major issue with data bloat of any kind is that it can distract you from the performance metrics that matter most to your business. The problem is that data bloat doesn’t happen overnight—it creeps up on you slowly and steadily. For example, it can start with a single employee performance metric that you use for a single project. Then, you forget to do anything with it and keep adding more and more KPIs to the list for future projects. One day, before you realize it, your KPI list is full of performance metrics you never use. When you go through your key performance indicators to look for metrics to measure employee goals, this data bloat makes the task take much more time to complete. Periodically cleaning up your KPI lists to get rid of unused performance metrics is crucial for stopping KPI bloat in its tracks. This, in turn, can help simplify data management tasks and save you time on measuring KPIs in the future. 2: To focus on your most important employee goals Another reason to prune some employee performance metrics from your KPI list is to increase focus on your most important employee goals. For example, is your business’ overall goal to increase revenue? If that’s the case, then you may want to delete some employee metrics to focus on ones that contribute more towards revenue growth. At the very least, tweaking the data dashboards you use for employees to reflect these new priorities can be helpful for motivating them, even if you don’t delete the performance metrics from your KPI list. Choosing which employee performance metrics to remove So, how can you ensure that you’re keeping the KPIs that matter and only deleting the performance metrics that you don’t need from your KPI list? It can help to ask yourself the following few questions: Do I know what the KPI was being used for? If you don’t know the purpose of a KPI in your list, odds are that tracking the KPI is a waste of time and effort. Being able to understand the purpose of a performance metric is crucial for using it to improve your business. Is the KPI relevant to my business’ goals? KPIs that aren’t relevant to your business’ goals probably shouldn’t be taking up valuable space in your KPI list. Irrelevant metrics do little more than create data bloat and waste time. Does the KPI help me hold better discussions with my team? A KPI that helps you have better meetings with your team members so you can help them meet their employee goals may be worth holding on to. Can I measure the performance metric objectively? To be valuable, a key performance indicator has to be objectively measurable. For example, “Having a positive, upbeat attitude towards customers” sounds good in theory, but it isn’t an objective standard that can be measured—positive results in customer satisfaction surveys is. Is the employee performance metric something an employee can control? Measuring KPIs for employees that are beyond their control—like the number of customers that walk into a retail store’s doors or the number of calls that are made to a call center—is unfair and demoralizing. While these metrics might be worth tracking for assessing issues with the business, they shouldn’t be part of employee performance-focused KPI lists. Consider reorganizing your KPI list Aside from simply removing unused or unnecessary KPIs, consider reorganizing your KPI list to make it easier to browse in the future. For example, you could arrange your KPIs in order of importance to put the ones you most frequently reference in 1:1 employee meetings at the top of the list (or organize them into employee data dashboards). You could also organize KPIs in alphabetical order to make them all easier to find when searching for a specific metric that isn’t used frequently, but is still important enough to keep in the KPI list. Another idea is to create different KPI lists that are specific to each team or department within the organization. For example, creating a KPI list just for the sales team would allow you to stuff it full of sales-oriented performance metrics. Meanwhile, a services team-specific KPI list could be used to track an entirely different set of metrics that are more meaningful to that department. Creating multiple lists has the benefit of making it easier to keep each list short, making the data therein easier to manage for each team. However, some KPIs may be repeated between multiple lists. Here, having a solution for automatically updating KPI data in lists can be invaluable for saving time and effort. Do you have a preferred method for managing which KPIs you track? Or, are you curious about how you can improve KPI tracking for your business? Reach out to BrightGauge today to let us know!

Anthony Cook Joins BrightGauge as Integration Developer

We’re excited to welcome Anthony Cook to the team as an Integration Developer! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge family…   In the beginning   Anthony brings a fresh perspective to us - he is one of the few BrightGaugers who is not originally from the South Florida area! He was born and raised mainly in Brooklyn, New York.    When he was in high school, Anthony’s mom decided to relocate the family to Georgia, as their neighborhood in Brooklyn was not the best. Anthony was in Georgia through high school and for his first year of college, but eventually was craving the city life once again.    Inevitably, Anthony ended up in South Florida, where he finished his bachelor’s in Digital Media Studies at Florida International University. Two years ago, he went back to school to earn his MBA at Lynn University. While there, he learned of Lynn University’s partnership with Wyncode, and decided to take the steps needed to become a programmer.    After graduating, Anthony worked at Promero, Inc. in Pompano Beach. There, he wrote code to build chatbots using the Oracle Digital Assistant platform and the Oracle Mobile Cloud environment. These chatbots were integrated with backend systems such as Salesforce.    Joining BrightGauge   Anthony’s former Wyncode instructor and current programming mentor, Auston, informed him of BrightGauge and existing opportunities. Anthony had been seeking a more collaborative environment, so decided to apply for the Integration Developer position.    Anthony said he had heard great things about the BrightGauge culture and was looking for a place where he could learn from many talented developers. We felt he could bring a lot to the table and are so excited to have him in our group!    As Anthony says, “I’m most excited about becoming a stronger Python programmer and expanding my technical knowledge base. I want to learn anything and everything I can from anyone and everyone here.”    Out of office   When Anthony’s not impressing us with his knowledge (and gif game) at work, you can find him playing video games, listening to rap, indulging his passion of literature and poetry, and working on his own novel.    He’s also big into public speaking. Recently, he spoke at an event sponsored by BET about the growing black tech community. It’s his hope to speak with more African-Americans about the opportunities that come with a career in STEM and to defeat certain perceptions about how one becomes a programmer.      We’re so proud to have such a forward-thinker on our team. 

How to Use a Data Dashboard to Light a Fire Under Your People

Employee performance is a major concern for organizations of all sizes. Companies that fail to improve employee performance will be competitively stagnant and struggle to meet their overall business goals. One key strategy for maximizing employee performance is to ensure that employees are actively “engaged” with their work. Employee engagement is important because, as noted by Gallup, “Organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.” Engaged employees are productive, high-performing employees. The question is this: How can you light a fire under your employees to get them engaged with their work? One trick is to use data dashboards to measure employee key performance indicators (KPIs) and motivate people. Here are a few ways that you can use data dashboards to motivate employees to improve their performance: 1: Displaying data dashboards to encourage competitiveness A little competitiveness among employees can be a very good thing for maximizing employee performance. Displaying a data dashboard that can be viewed in a common area of the office can be a very strong motivator for employees. How does having a data dashboard where everyone can see it help increase employee engagement and productivity? Here’s a hypothetical example: Say your sales department has two sales reps—we’ll call them Bill and John. Bill has been on the team for years, while John is a relatively new hire who wants to work his way to the top. In one week, John closes $80,000 in new deals for the company by working his contacts and leads as efficiently as possible. Bill, more comfortable in his position, works his leads less vigorously and only closes $33,000 in new deals—less than half of what John pulled in. If there were a data dashboard showcasing the sales team’s KPIs for the last week where everyone could see them, Bill would see that John is crushing his numbers. Determined not to let the new guy show him up, Bill redoubles his efforts next week, working his contacts list and making deals that are more favorable to the company to show that he isn’t going to take this loss lying down. This could be considered a “gamification” strategy for the workplace—creating a leaderboard of sorts that provides real-time feedback to employees. As noted in a Forbes article on gamification in the workplace, employees “can work toward real-time, measurable, meaningful targets, and get upper-level feedback as those targets are hit or missed.” This helps to drive engagement and employee performance. Of course, when displaying such a data dashboard for everyone to see, it’s important to frame it as a way to gauge success—not to punish failure. Otherwise, a large disparity between two employees might discourage one or the other and have the opposite effect. 2: Using KPIs tracked in data dashboards for 1:1 meetings Another way to use a performance dashboard is during employee performance reviews. Having an organized list of an employee’s most important KPIs can be enormously helpful during these one-on-one meetings. For example, with an employee’s data dashboard on hand, you can show them their top KPIs and where they have opportunities to improve. Using the information contained in their performance dashboard, you can even create a personalized employee improvement program specific to that employee’s needs. Creating personalized content for an employee to work on can be much more impactful than sending them to a random seminar with a dozen other people who have different performance issues. 3: Using employee performance dashboards to identify leaders Aside from tracking employee performance KPIs to identify high performers and recognize their efforts, you can also use the data tracked in a dashboard to identify those with leadership potential. By tracking certain leadership KPIs among your employees on their data dashboards, you can identify people who have the potential to succeed if promoted. It should be noted that these will be different KPIs from your productivity-related indicators that you would normally track—just because an employee is great at closing deals or making products doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to effectively lead other people in doing so. Knowing that you’re tracking leadership KPIs and using that information to identify and promote new leaders from within your existing teams can be a powerful motivator. Employees who are looking to take on a leadership role will work to demonstrate those qualities (once they know which qualities to work on) and be more likely to stay on because of the advancement opportunities that exist. These are just a few ways to take advantage of data dashboards (and the KPIs they show you) to improve employee performance by lighting a fire under them. For more information about data dashboards, KPI tracking, and how to use data in your business, reach out to the BrightGauge team!

Introducing Public Dashboards

Announcing the latest feature now available to BrightGauge customers: Public Dashboards.   With this feature, you can share your top boards and key performance indicators (KPIs) with stakeholders, clients, internal teams, or whomever you want.    How Public Dashboards work   Essentially, Public Dashboards are shared via an auto-generated URL that we provide within the BrightGauge app. The dashboards will be read-only, so anyone with access to the link will simply be able to view the data without the ability to manipulate any of the gauges.    On your end, you would go to the dashboard you want to share, designate it as a public URL, and obtain a link. Anyone who receives the link will be able to view your dashboard without needing to sign in.    If at any time you disable the public URL, the link will no longer function.    Public Dashboards sync and update just like they do within the BrightGauge app.    In your BrightGauge, you’ll know if a dashboard has been designated as public because there will be a green PUBLIC label next to the title of your board.        Here you can see a dashboard in the wild.     What should I do with Public Dashboards?   Well, the world is your oyster! Share these however and with whomever you want.    Some customers have already told us that they’re loving this feature because it allows them to display their dashboards on multiple TVs/monitors without needing logins or special software or hardware.    For our users who can’t see their clients at the frequency they would like to, being able to share a Public Dashboard is a great way to keep them in the loop on the work they’re doing and show how they’re tracking against their SLAs.   Users who work for really large companies may share Public Dashboards internally to show KPI progress with other team members without needing to give everyone their own BrightGauge login.    There are so many possibilities when it comes to Public Dashboards, so be sure to share your use cases with us.    Please note, Public Dashboards are available at Enterprise-level plans only.    Learn more about how to set up your Public Dashboards here or submit a support ticket if you’ve got questions at any time. 

KPI of the Week: Kill Rate Percentage

  Ask any service desk managers about the key performance indicators (KPIs) they are tracking, and we're willing to bet that Kill Rate Percentage is highly likely to be on their list.    This KPI takes a look at your ratio of closed to open tickets, informing you of how well you're doing at staying ahead of your backlog and moving through your ticket queue. Ideally, you want your Kill Rate % to be equal to or greater than 100% for a given period, as that means you've closed more tickets than were opened.    This quick tutorial video shows you how to build a simple Kill Rate Percentage gauge within BrightGauge using a PSA. If you have questions at any time, please feel free to reach out to our support team!    For more KPIs and tutorial videos, check us out on YouTube. 

Our Latest Content