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The BrightGauge Blog

5 Automated Reports That Can Save You Hours Every Week

There’s a reason why automation is such a highly regarded business practice. It can save MSPs a ton of time and allow you to get back to revenue-generating tasks that will move your business forward. ...
There’s a reason why automation is such a highly regarded business practice. It can save MSPs a ton of time and allow you to get back to revenue-generating tasks that will move your business forward.   When you automate something like the generation and delivery of consistent KPI (key performance indicator) reports, it’s a win-win: you save time on a really important, but often tedious task and you build trust and transparency with your clients, which ultimately leads to repeat business.   With BrightGauge, all integrations come with default report templates that are ready to customize and send out, or you can create your own templates and schedule them to send out on a recurring cadence based on your preferences.   The set-up time is minimal and the pay-off can be really rewarding. We’ve had partners report that BrightGauge saves them 8-10 hours per week in comparison to using spreadsheets to generate KPI reports, which is really time-consuming and clunky at best.   Just ahead, 5 BrightGauge reports that you can start using this week to save you hours and strengthen your transparency practices.   Internal Weekly Service Report   You may already be accustomed to holding a weekly service desk “stand-up” with your team, where you review the prior week’s numbers and see where adjustments are needed to get the team on an optimal track.   It’s important to make sure your team or even individual techs are hitting goals for average response time, kill rate, SLAs, and so on, which are the KPIs that should be evaluated during the stand-up.   An internal report highlighting these KPIs can reinforce what was discussed and serve as a visual reminder for what’s working and what isn’t. As a bonus, being able to refer to those reports over time can indicate trends and patterns that would be worth knowing about.   Here’s an example of an Internal Weekly Service Report in BrightGauge that you can recreate yourself using this buildout key:         Executive Summary Report (or End of Month report)   This is a good report to share with key stakeholders and decision makers to show the value of what you’re doing and how you are helping clients remain successful. You should cover the KPIs that are most important to your client and give them a report that will take no more than a few minutes to look over, while still making a big impact.   It’s up to you and your client to decide how often to send this type of report, but generally, at least once a month is a really good idea.   Here’s a look at one End of Month report example that focuses on tickets, devices, and networks:         To recreate this report for yourself, see this buildout key.   Finance KPIs   What business owner or manager is not interested in the health of their finances? Knowing crucial finance KPIs such as gross profit margin, monthly recurring revenue, cash on hand, and so on can help MSPs make informed business decisions that shape the future of their companies.   An automated Finance KPI report makes it easy and a no-brainer to stay on top of those metrics and act upon them before they become an issue.   You can present these Finance KPIs to your executive team in dashboard form, as shown below, or select “Convert to Report” from your dashboard menu to get it into a report format. See this buildout key to recreate these KPI gauges for yourself.         Project Updates   What’s the status of your active projects? How much time is spent completing those projects? What’s coming up in the next month or so?   When it comes to keeping your clients informed on what’s going on with various projects, it makes sense to send a projects KPI report that shows metrics and data pertaining to the projects relating to that client.   Your Project Management KPIs can be shared as a dashboard (read about sharing BrightGauge data here), or you can select “Convert to Report” from your dashboard menu to share it as a report. See this buildout key to recreate these KPI gauges for yourself.         Sales KPIs   This will likely be more internal than client-facing, but will be of equal interest to sales managers and internal stakeholders. Sales activities are a good predictor of future revenue and business performance, so it’s important to keep an eye on KPIs such as opportunities in the pipeline, deals won, and monthly recurring revenue.   Again, feel free to share your Sales KPIs as a dashboard or convert it to a report if you prefer! Either way, here’s a buildout key to recreate these KPI gauges for yourself.           See more dashboard and report examples here.   To learn more about how BrightGauge dashboards and reports can save you hours each week and give you a better understanding of your data, contact us today and we’ll be happy to chat.    
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Report of the Month: Engineer Audit

This month, we're stepping away from our regular dashboard of the month to share this awesome Engineer Audit Monthly Report. Luckily, your BrightGauge is flexible in that any of the gauges you see here can also be added to a dashboard, or converted to a number gauge and used to track your goals.    All KPIs displayed: Hours Billable vs Total Member Scorecard - Last 6 Months Hours by Work Type Time Rounding CSAT 6 Months   What is in the report On a recent account review call with our partners Cygnus Systems, I was amazed by some of the time tracking gauges their CEO Craig Isaacs shared.    For this monthly report, we're given a summary of the team's performance over the last 6 months, and whether each metric is trending upwards or downwards.   We especially love this Time Rounding gauge that highlights when team members might be over- or under-rounding for their timesheets, a common hallmark of those who don't enter their hours in a timely manner. This translates to keeping an eye on upping your Billable % for each team member.    While it's a simple amount of gauges, this report gets the job done. When it comes to putting the numbers in front of your team, less (and what's actionable), is always more!   How to recreate in your BrightGauge First, view the report here. Follow these modules here to recreate this report, or build any of the gauges found here, back in your BrightGauge account: Report Buildout Key     For more examples of how BrightGauge works, check out our Templates as well as our Monthly User Showcase Webinars.

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7 Sales Activities KPIs to Track Right Now

As many managed service providers (MSPs) are placing a heavy emphasis on customer retention in addition to customer acquisition, it’s becoming increasingly important to understand how to track and manage sales activities, opportunities, revenue, and more.    Having a solid grasp on these activities can make a real difference in how efficiently your business is run because if these critical metrics fall through the cracks, it can have a negative impact on the business decisions you make, thus causing a ripple effect.   The key is to hone in on a specific set of metrics and track them in real-time.    Just ahead, we cover 7 key performance indicators (KPIs) you should be tracking and how you can automate the monitoring process.   7 Sales Activity KPIs to Track   Net New MRR - the reigning champ of all sales metrics. This is one that every sales manager is sure to prioritize, as it is a valid indicator of how well (or not) your company is growing. Essentially, Net New MRR is the amount of monthly revenue generated by new customers and comparing this metric over time is essential in understanding your typical periods of high-profits versus churn, how your growth is trending, and how to plan and forecast your financial performance. Quotes Won - quite simply, this is a number that tells you how many quotes have been closed in any given time period (likely per month). It serves as a quick check-in to make sure sales performance is at an acceptable level. A number that is below your specific threshold can indicate that it’s time to dig deeper and find underlying causes for that level of performance. Percent Gross Margin - this may be the oldest KPI on the block, but it’ll never not be important, as it is another solid indicator of a company’s financial performance. It basically is a calculation of your total revenue minus your cost of goods sold (aka, Revenue - Expenses). The higher this number the better, as that shows you’re bringing in more than you’re spending - in other words, you’re making a higher profit on each dollar being spent to run your business. Top 10 Accounts by Revenue - which of your clients can you credit with bringing in your largest chunk of revenue? And why is it important to know this? Well, it is known that it is more economical to retain existing clients than to attract new ones. So, if you know who your top performers are, you’re going to want to focus on nurturing those accounts and making sure those clients have what they need to stick around for the long-term. Quotes Leaderboard - in this time of global unrest, remote work, and many “unknowns” it’s increasingly challenging and important to motivate and incentivize your team members. Leaderboards are an effective way to do this from afar because they rank performance for all to see. Creating a sales leaderboard based on who has closed the most quotes can inspire a little healthy and friendly competition between team members and can effectively keep motivation up. Reward your winner with an Amazon gift card or something simple. Profitability - the best way to track profitability is to understand how it fluctuates over time. What are the trends associated with this number? Are you generally becoming more profitable over time (awesome!) or are you wavering back and forth? When calculating this metric, you’re likely taking revenue, costs, and gross margin into account and comparing what they do over time. Understanding this will help you plan for the future. Count of Quotes Won - yes, we already covered this one, but here’s a different way to analyze this metric. Take a look at this number over time - for example, for each of the last 6 months - to understand when you’ve got momentum and what you can attribute to that momentum. You may notice trend lines that can drive your sales processes in the future.    Automating KPI Tracking   It’s easy to understand the need for and importance of tracking data, but doing so can be a full-time job in and of itself. This is why it pays to invest in a tech stack that works for you. Have reliable tools that support your business and can automate time-consuming, yet critical tasks for you.    Any sales manager should be using a sales tool, like ConnectWise Sell, to manage quotes, proposals, contacts, opportunities won, and more. This is just an absolute must if you want to keep your sales processes and communications with prospects or partners organized.    Because you’re likely be using several tools across your company (your accounting team may use Quickbooks, service team may use ConnectWise Automate, marketing might use SmileBack, etc), it also makes sense to bring in a tool that can consolidate all your data into one place, like BrightGauge.    Adding business intelligence like BrightGauge to your stack can give you that real-time, high-level visualization of your KPIs at any given moment in time. Having the ability to glance over at a dashboard and see your important metrics can be a game-changer for stronger and faster business decisions.    Plus, it makes it easier to share KPIs with internal team members, key stakeholders, or your clients, which gets everyone on the same page and working together to meet goals.    No matter the datasource you’re integrating with BrightGauge, you’ll have access to pre-built dashboard and report templates, meaning you’ll get right to that data you need from day one.   As an example, if you integrate ConnectWise Sell with BrightGauge, you’ll automatically have access to a Monthly Performance Report that pulls in all the KPIs we listed above.    Month-to-month you can review this data with your team, dig into why the numbers are where they are, and make a plan for the coming month. Doing this ensures everyone is optimizing productivity, efficiency, and accountability and it fosters relationships built on trust and transparency.    To learn more about this ConnectWise Sell Monthly Performance Report or to ask a question about BrightGauge, contact us today.    For more KPIs that MSPs should track, plus their accompanying formulas, see 70+ Metrics for MSPs.   

Best Practices for Sharing Your BrightGauge Data

As a BrightGauge user, you’re constantly referencing your gauges, dashboards, and reports to gain data insights that drive important business decisions.    Right now, as remote work is the norm, your data is playing an increasingly important role in aligning your team members and making sure productivity stays on track. To really solidify that alignment amongst employees, you probably want to get more eyes on that crucial data on a more consistent basis.    A question we often get asked is, “How can I share my BrightGauge data without adding more licenses to my account?”.    There are various ways you can publicly share your data with key players without having to add more licenses, including dashboard playlists, public dashboard links, and embeddable gauges.   Just ahead, we’ll cover each one.    Dashboard playlists & viewer licenses   You likely have several dashboards you are watching on a daily basis and that you care to share with your individual technicians or clients or board of directors.    Creating dashboard playlists makes this simple. You can group relevant dashboards into one playlist, which will rotate in a carousel throughout the day, so you can easily stay on top of what matters.    This is especially helpful if you like to view your dashboards on a TV or other screen other than your main computer.   Here's a quick video on setting up your rotating dashboards:       From your dashboard, click on ‘Present’ mode and select ‘Rotate Dashboards’, where you’ll see the option to choose from 3 playlists. Every user on your account can create up to 3 playlists, and each playlist includes up to 10 dashboards, so your viewing possibilities here are vast. Dashboards will rotate every 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 5 minutes depending on the cadence you prefer.    NOTE ON VIEWER LICENSES: To share these dashboards, simply give your desired recipient ‘Viewer’ permissions within BrightGauge, which means they will have read-only access to anything you share with them and will not be able to edit or manipulate data. Reminder: your account comes with an unlimited number of viewer user allowances!   Pro tip: use an internal viewer license for displaying dashboards on TVs, that way you won’t be prompted to log in!    For more on user permissions, read this.    Public dashboards   A favorite amongst BrightGauge partners and perhaps the simplest way to share data with anyone you’d like.    A Public dashboard is quite simply a read-only dashboard that is shared via a public URL. A dashboard is not public by default - you can only share a dashboard if you have switched on the public URL modal.    The nice thing about public dashboards is that the end-user does not need to have any BrightGauge permissions whatsoever. Everybody and anybody with a public dashboard link will be able to view that dashboard without being required to sign in or enter any information.    Some BrightGauge partners have told us they’ve shared public dashboards with peers and colleagues in order to help them understand what valuable metrics they should be tracking. We love this because we truly believe that teamwork makes the dreamwork!    To learn more about sharing public dashboards, read this.    Embeddable gauges   When you want to display your metrics for anyone to see, rather than one specific individual to see, embeddable gauges are a great choice.    They are basically just what their name implies - gauges which you can embed on a public site. When you mark a gauge as publicly viewable, you’ll have access to a short snippet of code that will allow you to embed the gauge wherever you’d like. Anyone viewing that gauge will not be able to click into it to apply a filter or access the drilldown, so what you see is what you get.   One popular way partners use this feature is to display their CSAT scores or their average response times right on their marketing site, which is a great way to let numbers do the talking for you.    See how BrightGauge partner C SPIRE started a service library using these gauges.   Want to upgrade your account or understand more about these features? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to have a chat!     

Dashboard of the Month - Engineers & Self-Triaging

Among the many things they do right, Network Doctor, an MSP firm based out of the Northern US, excels at keeping their engineers engaged and always focused on where they can help out next. Through their BrightGauge dashboards, each is able to cover a little self-triaging while seeing where their metrics line up for the day.   We recently hosted a webinar with our longtime partners to go over how they use their dashboards to keep their techs motivated while on top of the endless ticket queues. Watch the webinar here: Pushing for Accountability & Auditing your Data with Network Doctor.     For the dashboard featured, Network Doctor partner David Birk shared how they create individual dashboards for each team member. Color thresholds are then set to show the split of what the technician has on their plate, stats from the previous week, and where there is room for them to pick up "In-Progressable" tickets (tickets that aren't waiting on the customer and may be progressed along).    Engineer Dashboard - public view link Engineer Dashboard key - public link with instructions on how to rebuild in your BrightGauge   KPIs displayed - filtered for each technician: Your Hr./Ticket Ratio - Last 30 Days Team Weekly Average (2-Week Lookback) Assigned Today Completed Today Worked On Today Your Ticket Stats For LAST Week (Member Board) Your Ticket Stats For THIS Week (Member Board) Hours Entered Today Past Due Items In-Progressable - Today's Ratio In Progress Currently In-Progressable Tickets Your "New to Completed" Stats (HD Board Tickets Only) Your Surveys This Year Your 30-Day Utilization Average Survey Leaderboard Your Hours By Client     This type of dashboard has provided the Network Doctor team with a high level of visibility and transparency that has helped keep productivity consistent, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.   To recreate these dashboards for your own teams, check out the links below: Public view link - Engineer-filtered Dashboard Buildout Key Instructions   Please feel free to reach out to success@brightgauge.com with any questions you have!

70+ Metrics for MSPs

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

Get your KPIs

Ashley Nicely Joins BrightGauge as Partner Success Specialist

We’re excited to welcome Ashley Nicely to the team as a Partner Success Specialist! Join us in learning more about the newest member of our growing BrightGauge family.   In the beginning     Ashley comes to us from right here in South Florida, where she was born and raised. Specifically, she grew up in the Miami Lakes/Hialeah area.    Ashley attended Florida International University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a minor in Education. She’s always taken an interest in understanding human behavior and mental processes and in creating content that engages the mind. During her statistics classes in college, Ashley gained an appreciation for data analytics and insights.   This appreciation was further fueled by her many different client-facing roles, starting off in the service industry. Having to communicate with all walks of life and working in a fast-paced environment was a perfect fit for Ashley and she credits her experience in the service industry with her strong work ethic and attention to detail.    She took her love of communication to a technology startup, Vs Media LLC, where she was an account manager tasked with helping clients create richer customer experiences, drive social discovery and networking online. Her work was largely driven by KPIs and using data to understand how to help people, which cemented her desire to focus her career on customer success.    Joining BrightGauge   Ashley’s passion for customer success is what brought her to BrightGauge, along with her appreciation for our commitment to making customer success a company-wide priority. What sold her on the opportunity was the BrightGauge culture.    She says that during the interview process, it just felt like home. Everyone was warm and welcoming and really drove home the importance of accountability, transparency, and teamwork, which perfectly aligns with her core values.    Ashley is really excited about living and breathing the BrightGauge product and helping our partners get the most out of their data.    Out of office   Ashley spends her free time with her beautiful family, including her husband, two young sons, and a Shih Tzu named Agatha. They are all lovers of outdoor adventures, so they visit city and state parks as much as possible. Local favorites are Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and The Everglades National Park.    Ashley’s husband is an avid bird watcher, so whenever they plan vacations, it’s always first about the birds he can see and second about the foods Ashley can eat.    At the end of a long day, Ashley loves nothing more than curling up with a hot cup of chamomile tea and a novel, so if you’re chatting with her, make sure to mention your latest read!   

What Are the Best Measurable KPIs for Customer Service?

For many businesses, great customer service is the key to future success and customer retention. Being able to effectively manage customers and resolve issues helps to improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) so they’re more likely to return for repeat business or be receptive to upsell opportunities. But, how can you measure the quality and effectiveness of customer service in your company? Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the most common tool for measuring employee performance. However, to get the most out of tracking customer service metrics, it’s important to use the right KPIs—ones that are measurable and specific. It should be noted that some businesses may track different customer service metrics than others or apply different terms for specific KPIs. For example, a customer support call center may track “tickets” while a high-end services provider might refer to them as “cases.” Both of these customer service metrics involve unique interactions with customers, but have tweaked names to match a specific industry. To help you track your company’s own efforts, here’s a list of some of the best measurable KPIs for customer service that you should monitor: Measurable KPIs for customer service. Tickets Opened Each Day. How many tickets/cases/customer interactions does an employee, team, or the company as a whole process each day? This is an important customer service metric to track for monitoring the workloads being handled. Individual-level “Tickets Opened” metrics allow for comparisons of productivity, while team or business-level tracking helps establish overall workload. Tickets Closed Each Day. Simply opening a ticket doesn’t mean that the issues behind it are going to be resolved. Until a ticket closes, that customer/client is left waiting. If the number of closed tickets is far below the number opened, it can be indicative of a problem (such as insufficient labor to keep up with workloads, or employees not having the right tools and training to close tickets properly). Time to Resolution. On average, how long does it take for a ticket to close? Time to resolution is an important KPI for measuring employee performance. If one employee’s time to resolution is particularly long compared to others working on similar issues, it may indicate an opportunity for improvement. First Contact Resolution Rate. What percentage of ticket resolutions occur during the first contact with the customer/client? While it may not be possible to resolve every issue in a single interaction, tracking first contact resolution rate helps highlight the overall complexity of issues faced by the customer service team. This makes it a useful measurable KPI for customer service to track. Handle Time. How much time does an employee spend on each ticket? Note that this customer service metric, while closely related to resolution time, is distinct because it is a measure of actual time spent working on the ticket—which may not be the time the customer spends waiting for a resolution. Time to Response. Once a customer opens a ticket or dials the support number, how long do they have to wait for a response? Time to response is a critical customer support metric that has a direct impact on CSAT and retention. It may also be a factor in satisfying service level agreements (SLAs) for some companies. Service Activity Metrics. Companies can track individual activities made by employees (such as number of phone calls made, emails written, etc.) in the course of responding to and handling tickets. These metrics should be filtered by specific activity type to help correlate specific activities with service ticket outcomes. For example, do employees who make more calls have a higher or lower CSAT score than others? This can be useful when planning new hire employee training so it focuses on those activities that generate the best ROI. Churn Rate. One of the most important measurable KPIs for customer service is the company’s overall churn rate—or the number of customers that stop doing business with the company over a given period of time. High churn rates not only indicate a problem with the quality of customer service provided, but it can eventually cause a business to fail if too many customers leave before they can be replaced with new ones. A success team can help with keeping this KPI on track. CSAT Scores. Customer satisfaction is one of the most obvious KPIs for customer service that a business should track—but one where it is often hard to collect reliable data. Surveys are a common method of getting this data, but the results often skew overly positive or negative because only those customers who had a particularly impactful experience (one way or the other) have a strong motivation to fill out a satisfaction survey. However, even with this issue, CSAT is an important customer service metric to track. Customer Complaint Rates. How many customers reach out to complain about the service they’ve received? This is a measurable KPI for customer service that helps to highlight issues in the service team. If there are a high number of customer complaints during a specific period, it can help to review any changes made during that time frame to isolate a cause. It can also help to review specific complaints to see what they’re about. Things to keep in mind when tracking KPIs for customer service Many of the customer service metrics listed above can be measured at different levels. For example, you could track time to resolution on an individual level, a team level, or a company-wide level. Tracking KPIs for customer service at all levels can provide value in various ways. Tracking time to resolution on a team or company level provides an average to compare individual performance against. This, in turn, makes it easier to identify when someone could improve their performance or is being especially efficient. In the former case, the employee could be put through some additional training to help them. In the latter case, you could study what that employee does differently and apply that to the rest of your processes. Another thing to keep in mind is that none of these KPIs for customer service should be considered by themselves. They need to be considered as small puzzle pieces that form a bigger picture. For example, say one employee has an especially fast time to resolution. That sounds good, right? However, what are the churn rate and customer complaint rate for the employee’s clients? How often do those customers come back with another ticket to fix right after? Getting the job done fast is not necessarily synonymous with getting the job done right. On the other hand, say an employee has a relatively long time to resolution and handle time—something around 25% longer than others handling similar tickets. Based on these customer service metrics alone, it would be easy to assume the employee’s performance is subpar. However, what if the other measurable KPIs for customer service provided by this employee are all extremely positive compared to the average for the business—such as having 50% less churn among clients they handle or having 50% higher CSAT scores? In this case, it might demonstrate that other customer service team members might need to start spending more time on each ticket to provide superior service. Additionally, if they have more service activities logged to correlate to the longer time to resolution, it can help to demonstrate how much more that employee is doing to provide top-notch customer service. These are just a few of the best measurable KPIs for customer service that businesses can track. Do you need help creating a simple and effective dashboard for measuring key performance indicators amongst your team? Reach out to BrightGauge today for assistance! *This post was originally published in May 2019

9 Things You Should Be Doing as a CEO Right Now

Although states are reopening and people may be returning to their offices, we’re still very much at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting recession. MSP owners and CEOs may be wondering what to focus on as they work to keep their businesses thriving.  Here are my recommendations for 9 areas CEOs and owners should prioritize right now:   1. Protect Stakeholder Value - This is something that needs to come from the top, as it doesn’t make sense for anyone else in an organization to prioritize this. Even though you’re likely focused on keeping your business afloat, you should also think about how to make it thrive in the future.    How to accomplish this: Maintain and create business value.   2. Define Business Legacy - What are your benchmarks for success? Does everyone in your company know what your version of success looks like? Now is the time to make sure everyone in the company understands their role and how they contribute to where the company is headed.   How to accomplish this: Start from the top with a vision and a high-level strategy and let it trickle down to every member of the team.   3. Manage the Balance Sheet - We are all aware of the importance of cash flow, especially now. Maximizing cash flow - whether through banking relationships, government programs, or cutting costs - must remain a current focus.    How to accomplish this: Keep your company adaptable and solvent in today’s environment, but ready to thrive tomorrow (theoretically speaking).   4. Define the Culture - It can be challenging to do so, but setting an example works best when it comes from the top. An owner/CEO should guide the culture of an organization, driven by a mission, vision, and core values.    How to accomplish this: Make sure core values and culture are clearly communicated to team members, especially during this time of remote work.   5. Grow through M&A - At some point, owners and CEOs consider mergers and acquisitions as a way to meet a business legacy objective. Keep an eye out for these opportunities.    How to accomplish this: Be actively involved in the M&A market to pinpoint and pursue any opportunities that would make sense to your company.   6. Develop Your Leaders - Meet with your team members, get to know them, and identify opportunities to help them develop. As a leader, one of the most important things you can do is invest in your team members’ personal and professional growth.      How to accomplish this: Hold regular individual and team meetings focused on skill development and growth; CEOs and owners should also make sure they’re developing their own leadership skills.    7. Acquire and Retain Key Talent - The success of your organization depends largely on the talent you have on hand. Focus on building a leadership team you have confidence in, as they will ultimately be drivers of company success or failure.     How to accomplish this: Clearly define your talent needs and be proactive about filling in gaps while retaining the A players on your team.   8. Manage Critical Relationships - When owners or CEOs are directly involved in a relationship (whether business like finance or legal or vendor/supplier relationships), these relationships must be well-managed and protected. Now more than ever, as we face a complex set of challenges, these relationships are vital.    How to accomplish this: Foster better and more frequent communication and interaction with key relationships at this moment.   9. Drive Innovation - Your biggest competitor is likely not another company in your industry. Instead, it’s resistance to change and maintaining status quo. To flourish and thrive in our new world, change is a must.    How to accomplish this: Be open to new ideas, encourage free thinking, move outside of the box, and be an innovator.    For more of my insights and thoughts surrounding our current state of work, tune into ConnectWise’s Inside the Industry podcast series.   

5 Reasons Why Goals and Performance Reviews Still Matter

With all 50 states now open in some capacity, many managed service providers (MSPs) are reverting back to working from their offices, or are still more comfortable with working remotely. It’s possible that you, as an MSP, have restructured your departments, reduced or eliminated some employee benefits, or unfortunately have had to let some of your talent go.    Whatever your specific scenario, the common thread is that we are all still figuring out this COVID-19 situation and its implications on our future.    If you are amongst those who have delayed or eliminated promotions or merit increases, you should still take the time to sit with each employee and conduct a formal review. At the very least, this year’s performance should still be counted and recorded in the employee’s records.    Beyond that, here are 5 reasons why goals and annual performance reviews matter now, more than ever.   1. Accountability. Fostering a culture of accountability is a really smart business practice. Not only does it teach your employees an invaluable soft skill that they’ll carry with them throughout their career, but accountability also helps keep everyone working towards important goals that impact your bottom line.    Collaborating to set goals and implementing a goal-management software are two effective ways to get your team members to be more accountable.    When you’ve got employees with specific goals assigned to them, and those goals are being monitored, that employee will feel encouraged and motivated to hit those goals. It’s our instinct as humans to want to succeed, so we’ll hold ourselves accountable to what needs to be done to get there.    Especially as remote work continues to be the norm and there are fewer opportunities for quick check-ins, an annual review provides the space and time to evaluate goal progress, see where gaps in accountability exist, and talk through ways to improve.    2. Investing in growth. Remote work used to be a novelty or a rare perk offered by select companies. Now that it’s here to stay in some fashion, MSPs and other employers need to explore other means of hiring and retaining the best talent. With budgets being slashed, today’s perks are going to have an even heavier focus on an employee’s personal and professional growth.    Studies have shown that employees really value professional growth opportunities and if those needs are not being met, they are highly likely to seek them elsewhere.    In times of crisis, continuing with annual performance reviews sends the message that your employee’s growth is a priority, their career and advancement matter, and their contributions are being acknowledged and can hopefully be rewarded if and when a state of normalcy resumes.    3. Employee morale. Let’s face it, times are weird. And hard. People are angry, frustrated, scared, isolated, and overwhelmed. Any semblance of normalcy right now can feel pretty good.    Continuing to set and track goals can provide that feeling of normalcy. On days when the world is just too much, but work must go on, goals can tell us what we should focus on and where we can be productive.    Plus, knowing that as a company, we’re all working together to meet a goal can help us feel more unified when many of us are physically still isolated.    As we come to the middle of the year and the time when many companies conduct their annual performance reviews, it can feel nice to carry on with something that’s expected when there are so many unexpected events happening around us.    Having a formal time to chat and review performance can help employees feel good about what they’ve accomplished and give direction on what they can focus on as the year goes on.    And without quarterly fun events, happy hours, or other social gatherings for colleagues to engage in, having a regular, expected performance review might just make us feel like things will soon be okay.    4. Pulse check. Goals work best when they’re flexible and fluid, meaning they can change when business circumstances change. An unforeseen event like COVID-19 has made many MSP owners and managers reevaluate their goals for the year and redefine how they see success. Makes sense.    Setting and tracking goals with each employee, and discussing them over a performance review, can serve as a two-way pulse check.    As the employer, you get to find out whether or not your employee is making progress, what additional resources they made need to advance their progress, what roadblocks they’ve encountered, and how they’re projected to finish out the year.    Employees get a real-time update on the health of the company, any changes in goal direction, constructive feedback on their own work, and expectations for the remainder of the year.    Having a presumably longer chunk of time carved out for a performance review also gives an opportunity for employees and managers to talk about anything else that might be going on, whether personal or professional. In these times, we’re all leaning on one another a bit more.     5. Company key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will continue to be an important way for managers to run their businesses. Measurable KPIs are like a north star that leaders use to make sure the company is on the right path to success, and goals are the little stepping stones that lead us all along that path.    Being diligent about setting and tracking each employee’s goal ensures that everyone is aware of the part they have to play and nobody is losing sight of those critical KPIs.    Even though KPIs may change as the year progresses, the function of the individual goals remains the same, which is to make sure we’re doing the right things to get us to the optimal end result.    BrightGauge provides partners with dashboards, reports, and a proprietary goal-management system that makes it easier to manage data and align with team members and clients. To learn more, schedule a live one-on-one demo today. 

Join BrightGauge at IT Nation Explore

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the power of going digital. We’ve all adapted to a remote world quickly and seamlessly, and it hasn’t stopped us from getting anything done. We’ve kept up with our work, we’ve visited with friends and loved ones, we’ve attended weddings, we’ve held important meetings, and we’ve banded together all through our computer screens.   And now we’re also attending conferences virtually. While it may be hard for us to get used to the lack of face-to-face time, virtual conferences still present us with a great opportunity to network, learn from our peers, and gain valuable insights. And a majority of this year’s conferences have gone digital, so the opportunities are vast.   This year, IT Nation Explore is all virtual and completely free for anybody to attend and we’ll be presenting!   Join BrightGauge’s Success Team Lead Danielle Ungermann and Support Team Lead Kristian Muñoz for two sessions that’ll help you get a better grasp of BrightGauge and how it can help you make progress in your business. Here’s an overview:   Measuring to Meet Your Objectives: Learn how to keep your team motivated and held accountable, all while keeping their individual performance in view. Danielle and Kristian will review what makes for good data, how to use BrightGauge to track what’s actionable, see long-tail trends, and set goals and thresholds into metrics as a baseline for growth.   Getting Started with BrightGauge - a High Level Overview of How to Work With Your Data: This session is for partners who are new to BrightGauge or are looking for a refresher. Kristian will dive into each area of the product, working with the data coming in, customizations, and top tricks you can apply to master KPIs through automated reporting and shared dashboards.     Register for IT Nation Explore, taking place June 23-26, 2020, to expand your knowledge of how ConnectWise products can help you grow your business and for more information on these BrightGauge sessions. See you online! 

Planning for Business Recovery and Financial Health

As we continue to forge ahead in 2020 and understand how COVID-19 has impacted our businesses, it is time to plan for recovery.    Whether you have experienced significant changes or you’ve been operating like normal, we all need to think about what comes next.    Join Paul Dippell, CEO of Service Leadership, Inc., for the Rapid Recovery Webinar Series, hosted by ConnectWise.    In the three-part series, Paul will offer advice on maximizing profits, improving customer retention, and generating new business.    Read on for more details and to register for the events.   Determining Your Financial Situation and Protecting Profitability June 5, 2020; 1:00-2:00pm EST  In the first of the Rapid Recovery Webinar Series with Paul Dippell, we’ll discuss how to clearly understand your financial health and maximize profits during and post-COVID.  Register now: https://www.connectwise.com/resources/inside-the-industry/webinar-predicting-profitability   Retaining and Risk-Managing Your Existing Customers June 15, 2020; 2:00-3:00pm EST  In this episode, Paul Dippell will share advice on how to prevent customer churn and sustained revenue loss by doubling down on customer retention and risk management.  Register now: https://www.connectwise.com/resources/inside-the-industry/webinar-retaining-customers   Selling into the Storm – New Business Generation in a Downturn June 30, 2020; 1:00-2:00pm EST In the third and final installment of the Rapid Recovery Webinar Series, the conversation will turn to how solution providers can tackle the increased challenge of driving sales during this period of uncertainty.  Register now: https://www.connectwise.com/resources/inside-the-industry/webinar-selling-in-economic-downturn    

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