Joy is The Leading Indicator
Watch employees' enjoyment at work to know about problems before they arise
Every responsible CEO looks for indicators that will help identify potential problems in his or her business. Most prefer data-driven metrics because they provide objective evidence of a coming trend or potential problem. A spike in inventory is a reliable indicator of an imminent sales decline. A drop in Net Promoter Score signals trouble with customer loyalty.
As reliable as those metrics are, by the time they appear in a CEO’s dashboard, the problem may be too far along to prevent. The best indicators are those that provide the earliest warnings possible. For instance, one of the best early predictors of a financial downturn is employee morale.
One company I’ve worked with is famous for industry-leading financial results and employee satisfaction. During a semi-annual employee survey, they noticed a slight dip in a particular area of the survey. Employee confidence dropped from “extraordinarily high” to “not-quite-as-extraordinary-but-still-light-years-ahead-of-most-competitors,” which would have left most executives resting easy or even continuing to boast about the result.
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