Skip to content
Orange slice with dart on blue background. Blog post: Setting KPIs for Your Team and Your Company

How-To: Setting KPIs for Your Team and Your Company

Jenny Stilwell

Jan 29, 2020

Most people who run a business or a team in a large company struggle when it comes to setting KPIs–Key Performance Indicators.

Here Are Three Steps for Setting KPIs for Your Team:

1. Ask what the person is responsible for and what you want them to focus on.

  • Check their position description and adjust if necessary
  • If they don’t have a position description, write them a good position description
  • Identify 5-7 key areas of responsibility
  • Sum up the main reason why you have that role in your business
  • Do you have any initiatives for the year to focus on improving or developing key areas of your business? If any of those are relevant to a particular role, include it in your list of 5-7 key areas of responsibility
  • You should now know what KPIs you want the person to focus on. KPIs are about focus on key–important–outcomes.

2. You can also ask what are the most important of the person’s key responsibilities that will have the greatest impact on the business.

  • For example, for an Account Manager, it will be client retention and growth; it may specifically be retention of the largest clients in their portfolio
  • For an Operations Manager, it could be core process improvement to reduce the cost of goods
  • For a Finance Manager, it is predominantly compliance and protection of the company from risk
  • For any employee, it may be a responsibility for a special project or initiative that’s relevant to one year in particular and not part of their ongoing responsibilities
  • A key KPI may also relate to a problem that must be addressed and solved within a certain timeframe, for example, to successfully transition the company from one enterprise management system to a new one without any downtime

3. How many KPIs do you set?

  • Depending on the scope, difficulty and timeframe of the KPIs, and the person’s role, I usually set between 2-5 KPIs at the most.
  • I always set quantifiable and qualitative measures. KPIs MUST be able to be measured.
  • If a salesperson misses a KPI to achieve 1M in new business by 100K, that’s a call you will make as to whether they have achieved that KPI or not.
  • If a salesperson has achieved 1.5M in new business on a KPI of 1M, BUT they are disruptive and have attitude and behavior issues with the rest of the team, they are unlikely to meet qualitative KPIs if you’ve set up the right measures.
  • Measures for behavior and attitude might include things like <demonstrable collaboration with the rest of the team on XYZ, or, full attendance and contribution on all agenda items at the annual strategic retreat. The tighter the qualitative measures are the better, because it’s usually these issues that, when they arise, cause problems for the whole team and are the hardest to performance manage.

Converting Team KPIs to Company KPIs

I incorporate the most important KPIs from my direct reports into the company’s overall dashboard as indicators that we track, along with key financial indicators and marketing measures.

It’s a bit circular because knowing what the business needs to achieve and focus on, will translate to key indicators for the team members responsible, which then goes back into the management dashboard for the company overall.

The other great thing about KPIs for your team is that it makes one-on-ones easier as you have timelines and progress of key indicators to track and discuss, and it keeps your team focused on what MUST be done, even if you aren’t there.

As PR and marketing teams focus on their data analytics and delivering KPIs for their campaigns and marketing actions, delving into the right metrics becomes essential. Depending on what team members’ duties, their KPIs will emerge from those actions.To begin assessing the right data, take a look at our infographic for reporting.

This post originally appeared in Jenny Stilwell, was written by Jenny Stilwell from Business2Community, and legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to