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What do your KPIs say about you?

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

The short answer is, of course, everything!

It’s human nature – if we’re being judged on something, we work harder on it.

We prioritise it.

At About Loyalty, we love this quote. We really believe that it’s only when you start to measure different things that change happens.

It’s little wonder that we’ve suffered as a sector. All our KPIs have been based on short-term financial measures, so we’ve focussed on tactical activities that generate the best short-term financial responses.

I was reflecting on this when a client told me that he couldn’t implement the ideas we’d been discussing for growing greater engagement with his prospect audience. He was as frustrated as I was because he wanted to do it, but the ‘corporate KPIs’ were all around how much money was to be raised, how many people were giving and the levels of volunteering from them. There was, therefore, no budget for all the ‘nice’ things that we’d come up with.

So we talked about what we could do to change this, and particularly how their KPIs were actually holding the organisation back. We agreed a couple of new KPIs, that included growing the emotional engagement that these people feel towards them and, critically, we created a way of showing how this new KPI (for emotional engagement) would lead to an increase in their longer-term financial and volunteering KPIs (which was, after all, still the ultimate objective).

It’s early days – the client is going to test some activities specifically aimed at growing engagement and see what impact they have on both the way the individual feels and then how much they support. And that’s great.

But even more rewarding was seeing the change in approach from the team. There was a renewed enthusiasm for coming up with new and creative ways to excite the audience and make them feel engaged. They’re about to start their strategic planning for next year, and I know they’ll approach it with a new energy.

Yes they’re changing what they are doing. But, more importantly, they have changed themselves.

Having the right KPIs really matters. They describe what’s important and they shape how you’ll behave.

What are your KPIs and what do they say about you?


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