Vital business indicators start with yourself

“Charity begins at home,” – meaning that a person’s first responsibility is for the needs of their own family and friends.

A paragraph in my colleague’s short biography mentions how grateful he is to work at Sage Intelligence, and this got me thinking about the above proverb. Part of what he says is about how he is really excited about coming to work in the morning, and that everyone is accepted for who they are and feels empowered to do their best because of this.

I feel exactly the same, and know that it motivates me to work harder and make Sage Intelligence a success. But how much time do you as business owners spend looking at indicators related to your employees’ motivation and satisfaction?

At Sage Intelligence, we provide amazing reports and dashboards on many different aspects of your business performance. Because of this, we know bad cash flow management kills most start-ups in the 1st year—but do we know the root cause?

Is it because the business owner is pushing themselves so hard that they’re making themselves ill? Or is it tension with the wife or family that makes it difficult to focus on important aspects of the business? How about stress making business owners ruin business relationships before they start because of their state of desperation? Or, is it that the small staff they have, feel they are disempowered or micro-managed?

None of the above speaks to a great work environment where business owners or employees can thrive. This will definitely have an affect on sales, cash flow, and the overall perception of business through interactions with customers.

All of this speaks to having a measure to understand more about your own health, your own happiness and that of your employees. And there are plenty out there, for example; A Strategy For Measuring Employee Happiness (And Acting On The Result)—but how often do you see it on a company’s dashboard? Surely these should be right next to the Current Ratio?

Taking it one step further, a good indicator of staff engagement and productivity is their sick leave taken. Most organisations that have engaged staff have very little sick leave among them. This should also be monitored and health checks conducted regularly.

But what about you, the business owner? You are in many cases the CEO, marketer, sales person, IT, and logistics manager all rolled into one—to name a few. What is the dashboard of your engagement and productivity? Are you monitoring your stress levels? What about cholesterol, blood pressure readings? Have you done a “traffic light” check in with your family?

Also, most employees in today’s work place want to be part of something. Do you include them in decisions? Have you got charity programmes that allow them to give back? Do you treat them like family instead of a wage number?

Maybe it isn’t just cash flow management that should be checked every day. You should also be checking and tracking the vitals of yourself, your family and work family. Full engagement may help boost trust, productivity and even sales. That will, in turn, reduce your stress levels and drive your business even further.

Just make sure these measures never fall off your dashboard!