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Key Performance Indicators are a waste of time


Key Performance IndicatorsWhy are Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) a waste of time? HR Consulting by King Consulting, its all about business growth!

They only produce statistical information and trends. They don’t give the reasons or investigate the cause or the full picture.

A case in point why KPI’s alone are not an accurate measure of success:

Our team were brought in to analyse the statics of a high-volume telecommunications contact centre team to independently assess who were the best performing contact centre staff and who needed performance improvement.

We reviewed the statics and Leah (fake name) was on surface the outstanding performer. She answered 100 calls per day. James (fake name) was the poorest performer. He only answered half the number of calls per day.

Leah was to be chosen as the star performer of the month and awarded a prize. James was to be performance managed based on these statistics.

We asked to be given a little more time to investigate these variables and to come up with a solution for achieving higher performance across the whole team not just James. What we uncovered will surprise, maybe even shock some of you but possibly not those that actually work in a contact centre.

Leah’s callers invariably had to ring back again due to not having their call resolved. They often requested to be escalated to a team leader or manager too. Leah’s callers identified Leah as a very rude, unhelpful person who some claimed had hung up the caller before resolving the call.

Hmm interesting we thought to ourselves. We had been present in the contact centre and heard Leah’s manner with customers and how she spoke about the callers to her nearby associates. It was not with any degree of courtesy or respect for the callers. With comments along the lines of: “oh man, some of these people are so stupid they can’t even operate a simple mobile phone.”

We also investigated James’ calls and discovered he in fact resolved each call first time. James’ received compliments from callers and never escalated a call to a team leader or manager to resolve. We heard James speak to the customers all in an equivalent manner with courtesy, patience and respect. He demonstrated a real eagerness to resolve the caller’s problem as efficiently as possible.

Learning outcome for the contact centre manager as well as ourselves, in HR Consulting, from this deeper analysis:

The statistics only give half of the picture. The other half is in the soft KPI’s such as the behaviour and way each contact centre officer operated at the call centre. James was the real star and Leah was a real problem.

Imagine if the contact centre manager had based the performance solely on the hard KPI’s the statistics. Leah would have been seen as the star the one whose behaviour should be modelled by others. She may even have been promoted to a leadership position teaching others how to behave as she did.

James may have been performance managed and potentially even asked to leave the contact centre.

The result of a deeper analysis of what the Key Performance Indicators really demonstrated and the conclusion:

Leah was put on performance management for her attitude and realigned to the company values of treating all customers with respect and resolving each call first time. James was given the star performer award and chosen to mentor new team members. James performed/behaved according to the company philosophy and values where Leah did not.

James is ear marked for a leadership position in the future. He embraced and epitomized the company values, therefore culture.

Contact us if you want to review your company Key Performance Indicators to make sure they are aligned to real growth data.


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