performance management, productivity

How To Accelerate Business Results Using A Scorecard

By Asa Beavers

Let’s cut straight to the chase right now because, after all, what business isn’t seeking to accelerate results?

And this strategy might just be THE best thing you can do.

So, how does a business scorecard accelerate results? One word...


That’s right. Feedback is the special sauce your business needs to accelerate results. But the type of feedback I’m talking about might not be what your thinking.

Having a scorecard is one way to know if your business had a good day or not, and it provides essential feedback on most critical business activities.


The Human Psyche

Before I get into the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of creating a scorecard for your business, let’s first take a journey into the human psyche.

We humans love our freedom of choice. Yet recent surveys show that ⅔ of Americans are unhappy with their jobs. Our lives are full of things we have-to-do, and then there’s things we want-to-do. We typically enjoy things we want-to-do, and aren’t as excited about things we have-to-do.

In work, employees are told exactly what to do and how to do it, and for many, work just isn’t very fun. Since the choices employees have in their work environments are limited, work turns into something they have-to-do, and enjoyment disappears.

And so does productivity!

Managing under-performing employees is one way to go about increasing productivity, and it works when done well. But when we’re talking about under-performing businesses or teams, there are underlying challenges or opportunities that need to be uncovered and addressed.

So to summarize… we have employees who have-to work, in jobs where their choices are limited, in businesses that tell them what and how to do their jobs, which results in a workplace where ⅔ are unhappy.

It’s no wonder there are businesses where the staff is indifferent to the needs of the customer, where productivity suffers, and results are inconsistent.

If this strikes a chord with you, here’s how we’re going to change things.

Activities Outside The Workplace

As humans, employees engage in activities outside the workplace. These are things they want-to-do, and things they find enjoyable. Many of these activities are different types of sports and recreation. It’s usually something they choose to do, and it’s something they can learn to excel at.

And guess what?

Every sport and recreational activity has a set of rules, and a system for keeping score.

Rules allow everyone to participate on a level playing field. And keeping score records how they are doing in their activity of choice WHILE they are participating.

Outside of work, humans have an innate characteristic to measure progress in the recreational activities of their choice.

To create a more engaging workplace for your staff and your customers it’s crucial to tap into this human characteristic.

The Measurement Problem

The problem with many work environments is performance and results are measured after the fact.

Too often business owners don’t know how their business performed until after the end of the month.

Too many employees have no idea how they’re doing in their jobs, or understand the contribution they’re making to the business.

And unlike the recreational activities they do outside of work, their work activity doesn’t provide the same kind of feedback. They don’t know the score.

This makes it virtually impossible for them to understand how they’re doing, and make adjustments during the month that could lead to better results, quicker.

Therein lies the challenge or opportunity: providing team members with a “score” so they can embrace their work activity in the same way they embrace their recreational activities.

Why A Scorecard?

Many businesses have some type of software collecting and storing the kind of data that measures business activities. They often have a reporting function aggregating data, and a list of available reports from which to choose.

From my experience the data is usually there, but the formats of the available reports leaves much to be desired. There’s either too much or too little data, the reports are difficult to modify, and when you export the data it’s difficult to build a report on your own. That is unless you’re a whiz at spreadsheeting data.

Don’t get me wrong. They have some good data points when you have time to invest analyzing the business, but they aren’t a great scorecard. I often help clients use this same data to build their own scorecards.

What is a Scorecard?

Let me first say this, in my book having a scorecard is essential for EVERY busy business owner, or team leader.

Here’s why…

Your business scorecard is your ‘go-to’ place to see the most important, and up-to-date measurements for your business.

When done correctly it will provide you an at-a-glance tool to:

  • Quickly view business results
  • Quickly view daily/weekly key performance indicators
  • Measure how your business is performing to goal
  • Measure performance for bonus programsUse as a tool in huddles and meetings
  • Help employees to understand ‘the current score’ of the business
  • Make adjustments quicker when results are lagging


… to make your business a place where employees want-to-do better because they understand how their efforts affect the overall business results.

And if you do it right, it can actually make your business environment a FUN place to work.

Practice Owners Love This

I’ve had massive success implementing Scorecards into all types of businesses, but it’s in my work with Optometry and Dental practices where they have really embraced it and make it work.

WHY? One reason is because doctors as practice owners have limited time to analyze business performance. Another reason is they quickly come to realize the simple act of measuring, and talking about it, leads to improved results. And finally, once they learn to set daily goals for themselves and the team everyone is more focused on the most important things.

Hmm… sounds like that could work for just about any kind of business.

Building Your Own Scorecard

By now you understand why having a Scorecard that provides constant FEEDBACK is essential for any business. It also fits in well to how humans measure performance in their recreational activities outside of work.

Again, people simply want to know that the efforts they provide the business contribute to the success of the business in a measurable way. And when feedback is provided “during the game” it’s more likely they can make adjustments to improve performance and achieve the goal.

Click the download button above to receive a workbook with a full example of a Scorecard and a 5-step action plan to help you build your own Scorecard.