I was just listening to the news and heard a story about a police department and how they wanted to laser-focus their people and other resource allocations.

Interestingly, they said, we don’t necessarily want more cops on the beat, at least not right now. We need to understand the data so we know where the greatest needs are at any given time.

They needed to focus on the right data and metrics to understand their community so they could make better decisions about when and where to allocate resources to most effectively serve and protect.

That’s rock solid awesome!

The right metrics can make all the difference whether the goal is to protect a community or to build and scale a company.

So how do you measure your performance and the performance of your team?

Having a great system is not just helpful — it’s absolutely necessary.

Ron Alvesteffer, my guest for Episode 765 of Onward Nation, has put a remarkable set of measurements in place as president and CEO of Service Express. His company uses a performance measurement system they call SR5.

It stands for Scorecards, ROIs and 5/15s.

So what does all that mean? During our time together on Onward Nation — Ron shared the basic framework in full transparency. Here’s a short breakdown of the SR5 framework, how it drives culture, and impacts the bottom line:

Scorecards — The Scorecard covers key performance indicators for the entire company, for each department. They drill down by region, right down to each local office. The scorecard measures team goals.

ROIs — This is not what you think. ROI in this case stands for Responsibilities, Objectives and Indicators. The responsibilities and objectives amount to a measurable job description that everybody in the company has, including Ron, and is posted on the company Intranet for all to see.

And then the indicator would be monthly revenues tied to each responsibility and objective. So everyone has a job to do, and everyone can see how revenue is connected to that job.

5/15s — Okay — so they’ve covered team goals and individual job descriptions. That translates down to the day to day through the 5/15.

The 5/15 is a professional development plan created by each employee. The name comes from the idea that they should take no more than 5-minutes to read and no more than 15-minutes to prepare.

Every quarter, the employee records their priorities for the next 90-days then they take a proactive approach to completing them in that time. It’s not just a checklist of to-dos. The 5/15s have a direct impact on their ROIs and on the Scorecards for their department and for the company.

The SR5 system makes such an impact at Service Express because they use individual goals as the building blocks, understanding that individual contributions are vitally important. Plus, each team member’s manager keeps track.

But not in an overbearing or micro-managing way.

Ron talks about it this way: “We have these monthly one-on-one meetings, so everyone is tracking with the 5/15 goals. Are you crushing goals? Are you missing your goals? Do you need training? Do you need resources? Do you need support? How can I help?”

With the SR5 system in place, every employee knows that they matter and their work matters. The 5/15 goals connect directly with ROI numbers, and the ROI numbers roll up to Scorecard numbers, which roll up to company numbers.

And so individual contributors can directly see the impact they’re having on the company based on the goals and objectives they had a big hand in developing.

This creates a culture where everyone has skin in the game, and they know specifically what they can do to help the company stay on track and crush goals. Too often culture and metrics are seen as oil and water. Ron told me how, for Service Express, it has been the exact opposite. Creating a culture where people set their own high expectations, and everyone can see what’s expected — when there is a simple but effective system to know where you stand and get the support you need to accomplish the goals you set — that is nothing short of empowerment!

The right metrics take the guesswork out of growth. Way back in 2002, Service Express set the holy bananas goal (yes the quintessential BHAG) of growing to $100 million in revenue by 2020. The number was much, much smaller in 2002, to say the least!

But in 2018, they blew past that BHAG goal, a full 2-years ahead of schedule. How? They had the goal, and they kept the individual measurements and team measurements and the corporate measurements all pegged to that and similar goals.

Everyone knew where they and the company stood every step of the way.

What are the metrics used in your business? How are they working? Tools like SR5 show us that big, audacious stuff that happens is often the result of putting a solid plan together and eating that proverbial elephant one bite at a time.