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Career Confessions of Gen Z: Make Your Data Work For You

Apr 10

When you think about the top companies in the world, what are the first companies that come to mind?

I would bet that Google was one of the first companies that popped in your mind.

I am positive that HR professionals around the world are trying to figure out the formula to building such a great workplace environment for employees. After reading the book, Work Rules: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Block, I learned that one of the keys to Google’s continued success is metrics.

Every new initiative or process that they introduce to employees is calculated and analyzed to determine how successful it was. They often use a small sample group to test and get feedback on the new idea.

The problem with most companies is that when they introduce something new, they don’t have a strategy as to how they will determine the program’s success. Companies are basing the success of initiatives purely on opinion.

In 2016, fewer than a third of all projects were successfully completed on time and budget over the course of the year (Capterra). Here are a few tips to using metrics to properly gage the success of a project:

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

What are we trying to accomplish with this project that is measurable? What benefit will this project bring to involved stakeholders? What is our budget and time frame for this project?

These are all simple questions that should render the data that you need to measure the success of the initiative.

For some companies, there may be historical data from the past that you can use to compare a new project in terms of success. This can be helpful for looking at what was done in the past and how it can be improved upon.

However, not every company has been around long enough to use historical data. These companies can use data from other companies who have done something similar as a benchmark. No need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to.

Get Feedback From Those Involved

Getting the proper feedback from the people involved in a project is essential for improving on that project in the future. How else are you going to know what employees like and what they don’t like? Come up with a creative way to get honest, useful responses.

Make Sure it Aligns with the Company Strategy

I’ve seen companies come up with great ideas that are successful as soon as they are implemented. The only problem is that the project does not fall in line with the vision and values of the company. Whether that project has success or not, you must consider what message you are sending to your employees.

Not everybody likes dealing with numbers, I know, but numbers can be very beneficial if used properly. I’ll leave you with a quote by the musical genius Jay Z:

“Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t lie”


Jonathan Sutherlin is a human resource professional with experience in the engineering and automotive industry. Currently going for his Master’s in Organizational Change Leadership in a hybrid program at Western Michigan University. He is very passionate about reading, philanthropy, basketball, and fitness. You can connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn or through email at jonsutherlin@gmail.com. When Jonathan is not at work trying to impact lives, you can either catch him in the gym or nose deep in a good book!

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