Got your KPIs? What about your KBBs?

Key Business Behaviours

Watching Australian cricket this summer has felt a little tainted by the scandalous behaviour of recent times. This got me thinking…what caused one of the best teams in the world to even consider cheating? They had all the talent and capability to produce the results so how did they end up there? There’s no doubt in my mind that the pressure these players are under is immense. To deliver winning performances, live up to an incredible cricketing legacy and meet the expectations of a proud cricketing nation is beyond my comprehension…but cheating??? Really?

I once heard it said that:

“A good team knows what success looks like but, a great team knows how to measure it.”

The premise behind this is that if we can measure performance then we have access to data that feeds an assess-analyse-adjust-improve process. Such continuous improvement in theory should give teams and businesses every chance of success and from this mentality we build the KPI (Key Performance Indicator).

The idea behind a KPI is to motivate us and our teams to turn a picture of success into reality. In many cases, KPIs will contain multi-faceted degrees of success allowing us to link performance incentives and rewards to outcomes. Essentially, we are attempting to manufacture a hunger in our people that will hopefully deliver our desired outcomes. But is hunger always helpful?

Helpful hunger

It seems a fair assumption that the hunger of those cricketers involved in the recent scandal produced the poor behaviour. At such elite levels of competitive sport, winning performance is linked to job security and financial incentive. Those who fail to perform get cut or miss out on match bonuses. In any environment where this is true, there’s plenty room for unhealthy behaviour to become a tolerated norm. It’s as true in business as it is in sport.

So, how can we foster high performing teams that deliver goals AND have behaviours we can be proud of? If the focus is simply on the end goal and we never consider how we want our people to get there we may find ourselves losing out long term. In addition to KPIs let's introduce some KBBs – Key Business Behaviours!

Here’s a simple process for setting KBBs and I would recommend that you make this a collaborative experience by including at least a few key people from the team (Note: if you’re struggling with any of these steps get in touch and we can help you reach the outcome your looking for)

  1. What are your KPIs?

If you don’t have KPIs then forming them is your first step. What are the goals of your business or team and what are the difference levels and indicators of success?

  1. What are your corporate, business or team values?

What are the 3-6 values of your business or team? They're often nouns. Consider what is important to you and the business’s image, and how you want your customers to perceive you? Understanding this will help you answer the next question.

  1. What are the KBBs (think ideal behaviours) you want to see in your people as they get the job done?

There are many ways to get an end result but not all of them will be good for your team or your business. Building them around you values is often a very useful way to have your teams live out your values as they work.

  1. How can you measure these behaviours?

Identifying the behaviour is one thing, measuring it is another. This might take a bit of time and it might be useful to talk to your team about this so that they not only understand but engage in the conversation. It is always best to find a tangible thing that can be measured to avoid too much subjectivity when calculating results.

  1. Do your KPIs and KBBs complement one another?

Your people need to be able to achieve their KPIs and KBBs at the same time. If they can’t then you will only see frustration and poor performance.

  1. What weight is given to KPIs vs KBBs?

This is really a question of preference. If the KPI is more important than the behaviour or vice versa it might be worth weighting it accordingly. In doing so you can create a scorecard which will determine the overall performance of your people. Have a look at the example below.

  1. How will you reward and celebrate success?

Recognising strong performance at a corporate, team or individual level is always be good for morale. If you can’t or don’t offer financial incentives think about what you can offer to your teams and individuals if they hit your goals and do so with the behaviours you want to see.

Helping you and your business to find your flourish is what Mountain Top Consulting is known for. My recommendation to anyone who is reading this with interest is to get in touch. We would love to partner with you in reaching new successes this year.

Incentive $0 $1,000 $2,000 Weight (%)
KPI 1: Business market share growth

(% change in market share)

<1% 1% – 5% >5% 35%
KPI 2: Individual Sales Revenue

($ of sales achieve in the year)

<$50K $50K – $100K >$100K 20%
KPI 3: Customer Satisfaction (#)

(average net promoter score)

<5.0 5.0 – 8.4 >8.4 15%
KBB 1: Team engagement

(attendance at weekly team meetings)

<30 30 – 35 >35 15%
KBB 2: Individual Innovation

(# of business improvement concepts developed and implemented)

0 1 – 2 >2 15%

Jim works for Widgets Galore. In the last financial year Widgets Galore grew its market share by 3.9%. Jim achieved an individual sales revenue of $156K mainly thanks to one massive sale of $102K to The Widget Warehouse. After this he got lazy with customers which was reflected in a net promoter score of only 4.9. However, he only missed 3 team meetings in the year getting to 43 total and he always came with new ideas for improving the business, 2 of which were developed and implemented.

For his performance and behaviour Jim got $1,200 of a maximum $2,000 bonus calculated as follows:

KPI 1: $1,000 x 35% = $350

KPI 2: $2,000 x 20% = $400

KPI 3: $0 x 15% = $0

KBB 1: $2,000 x 15% = $300

KBB 2: $1,000 x 15% = $150