Remember, November is men’s health month! Men, take care of yourselves. Ladies, remind the men in your life to take care of themselves (because we’ll forget).
There’s no question we are becoming a data-driven society. Not just in economics or business or research, but in our everyday lives. I was scanning Mashable this morning and was taken aback by the number of articles regarding wearable fitness technology that had been posted in the past few days. To me, this emerging new market is indicative of a greater movement to cut the guesswork out of our lives and start making more calculated decisions that will have a real payoff.
It makes sense that fitness-tech gadgets would take off. It’s pretty straightforward for most users: calories go in, calories get burnt, get your heart rate to this level, etc… and compare all that to the physical goals. If you didn’t reach your goal, adjust your variables, do it again and measure the results. It doesn’t take a doctorate to get practical application from the data these devices collect and report. If we can use data to make changes in our personal lives, why not apply these principles to the corporate level?
It’s Not Just About Looking Healthy...
Tracking your “corporate fitness” starts with an understanding of what you can measure and the quality of the data you can reasonably expect to get. Fitness, whether discussing health or business, needs to take a holistic approach. We’re not just talking hits to your website or monthly sales. Those things are important, but how can you measure the well-being of other functions of your organization? You can look at the sales and marketing numbers and feel good about yourself (think of this as your physique), but you also need to look deeper to find areas where you could improve (the same way you would keep an eye on cholesterol, for example).
Your office systems and networks should also be included in your corporate fitness evaluation, and the data you should be looking for is typically pretty easy to find. How often are employees utilizing certain systems and programs (marketing automation or communications networks, for example)? It’s important to ask not only how often are these being used, but how they are being used. If you’re paying for a certain feature of a phone system and no one knows how to use it properly, you’re wasting money. These platforms track usage and usually offer a variety of reports to pull, making it a little easier to derive their value to the company.
For individual employees, how is production being tracked? Again, you can go back to the systems they use for the hard numbers. If a customer service rep isn’t answering any calls, that’s going to be visible in a back-end report (or at least your system should be able to show you this info). Aside from functions of their daily role, make sure you’re also tracking participation and progress in any ongoing employee development initiatives.
When it comes to these areas of corporate fitness, the data is typically readily available. Too often, however, the data doesn’t leave the department for a second opinion from other leaders of the organization. So it’s not just about what data you have, it’s how you present it and, of course, how you apply it. Review, analyze, change your strategy, and see what happens. Just like personal fitness, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it; the more you ignore it, the more likely you are to have issues. So take some stock in your corporate fitness, and don’t forget to make some time for your personal fitness as well.