How to Measure Leadership Performance (with real data)

Effective leaders drive the success of an organization. But how do you measure leader performance? Like any employees at your company, the effectiveness of leaders and managers can be measured to analyze where they excel and where they can improve.

Actionable data is fundamental to the process. Typically, top-line KPIs related to revenue and cost-cutting are considered, and that’s a good start. But to actually understand operations at your company and how leaders influence outcomes, you’ll need more and better data.

In this blog, we’ll walk through the steps for accurately measuring leadership performance. Whether you’re a leader yourself or you’re looking for a better way to evaluate your organization's effectiveness, Worklytics can be your solution. Read on to learn more.

Understanding Leadership Effectiveness 

Before diving into KPIs and goals for leadership, it’s important to understand the concept of leadership effectiveness. Leadership goes beyond merely delegating tasks and managing a team. Effective leadership requires a vision for success, decisions driven by strategy, and an ability to achieve intended outcomes. 

Leadership effectiveness requires a balance of hard and soft skills, like strategic planning, decision-making, communication, empathy, and adaptability. An effective leader must achieve organizational goals while also ensuring an optimal workplace for their employees. 

The metrics we measure leadership effectiveness should reflect these criteria. More holistic, qualitative KPIs can help leaders in an organization understand how they can be more effective in clear and actionable ways.

Traditional Metrics for Leaders 

In many board rooms, incomplete metrics are used to evaluate leaders and their ability to achieve outcomes for an organization. These traditional metrics focus on top-line financial data that don’t reflect actual operations and opportunities. Common traditional metrics for leaders include revenue achievement, cost management, employee turnover, and customer satisfaction scores.

Of course, these traditional metrics aren’t without merit. Revenue achievement and cost management can show a leader’s ability to drive profits and manage resources. Employee turnover rates can indicate if a leader is fostering a positive and engaging work environment. Customer satisfaction can show if a leader can align the organization’s goals with the wants and needs of the customers. All important metrics, but they don’t always paint the entire picture. 

For instance, revenue and cost management metrics may not reflect external market forces. Employees may be leaving for reasons outside their leader’s control. These traditional metrics should still be considered, but it’s also important to have more nuanced and holistic ways to measure leadership effectiveness.

The Need for New and Holistic KPIs 

The business landscape is always changing, and modern organizations need modern solutions. The shift toward new and holistic KPIs is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity for businesses that want to be competitive. If you want to access these holistic KPIs and understand the full breadth of a leader’s impact on your organization, Worklytics can help.

Worklytics is a comprehensive people analytics solution that offers an intuitive way to look under the hood of your real-time operations. Using Worklytics, you can get actionable insights into organizational activities and outcomes. Then, you can benchmark these insights against competitors using live data from your tech stack.

Worklytics easily integrates with tools like Zoom, Salesforce, Asana, Outlook and more to give you a unified and anonymized view of work data across your organization. From there, you can generate actionable insights, dashboards and reports about management effectiveness at your company. Using these metrics, you can see how leaders work with their teams and how work is getting done daily. Leaders can also utilize this data to better understand the needs and pain points of their team, so they can improve day-to-day operations for them.

Measuring Effectiveness: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Do you want to transition your organization to more holistic KPIs? Here’s a step-by-step guide for measuring effectiveness to get you started.

1) Identify key objectives and north star metrics 

The first step for measuring performance and effectiveness is defining what success looks like for your organization. This means identifying key objectives and north star metrics that align with the goals of your company. By setting this core foundation, your leaders and employees will have a clear understanding of how to achieve success and what to strive toward going forward. It pays to have everyone on the same page, especially when you want your leaders to work toward being more effective in their roles.

2) Unify data sources across your tech stack 

 To effectively measure leadership performance, it’s important to integrate and unify your various data sources and platforms across your tech stack. While modern organizations need a variety of software tools and platforms to perform essential processes, these don’t always communicate easily with each other. It can also be difficult to glean data from these sources in an intuitive and compiled format. By consolidating data from these tools and systems into a single, accessible repository, you can get a more holistic view of people analytics and crucial metrics to better understand how your organization is working and how your leaders are making an impact.

3) Prioritize privacy with secure anonymization 

When measuring leadership performance, it’s important to safeguard the privacy of individuals through secure anonymization techniques. Using secure anonymization allows you to protect sensitive information to ensure you’re only getting the information you need for analytics, and not personal information from individuals. This privacy-centric approach to data analysis fosters trust in your workforce and encourages open communication. In short, secure anonymization serves the dual purpose of improving your data analysis processes to accurately measure performance while also respecting the confidentiality of your employees.

4) Monitor, measure and establish baselines  

Once you have your objectives in place and your data sources consolidated, you can start the process of monitoring and measuring your north star metrics. After a short period of analysis and data measuring, you can establish baselines to give you a point of reference for future analytics. This is key for allowing you to track progress over time. Setting benchmarks also will help you to identify trends, make adjustments to processes as necessary and recognize achievements as they occur. 

5) Leverage data-driven organizational network analysis 

One of the best ways to see the flow of your organization is through data-driven organizational network analysis (ONA). This data analysis technique allows you to create visualizations of how information, decisions, communications and more connect in your organization. Of course, a key part of this is seeing how your leaders impact the communication, decisions and outcomes in your organization. Leveraging ONA allows you to pinpoint areas where leadership can be improved in these areas and gives you another data-driven perspective for measuring leadership performance and effectiveness that you may not see through traditional metrics alone.

6) Benchmark performance against teams at similar companies 

One powerful way to get more insight into leadership effectiveness is by benchmarking performance against teams at similar companies. With tools like Worklytics, you can better understand how your leadership is performing in the industry at large. You can compare leadership performance metrics to peers in your industry to identify strengths, weaknesses and potential opportunities. This also helps leaders continually improve and set realistic targets for development. Of course, it also helps ensure your team remains competitive in a rapidly changing and evolving business environment.

7) Share clear, actionable, data dashboards and reports 

Once you’ve collected and analyzed leadership performance data, the next step is to create accessible and actionable reports with that data. Clear data dashboards and reports should highlight key performance indicators and make them easily digestible and understandable for leaders and stakeholders. These reports and dashboards should make it clear where things are going well and where things can improve. They can also help foster open discussions about performance and encourage a culture that values learning and development. Sharing these insights regularly will ensure your organization can follow the final step of our guide – iterating toward perfection. 

8) Track progress and iterate toward perfection 

Finally, it’s essential to track progress against your previously established benchmarks. This allows you to iterate on leadership strategies and techniques and work toward improvement and perfection. By taking this holistic approach to improving leadership performance, you can foster a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. You can also make sure your leadership techniques and strategies remain relevant to the modern needs of your industry. By following this step-by-step guide for measuring effectiveness, you can create better leaders and maintain a competitive edge in today’s increasingly fast-paced business environment. 

Worklytics helps leaders learn how work is getting done 

Measuring effectiveness and performance doesn’t have to be difficult. Worklytics makes it easy for leaders to understand how work is getting done, allowing them to continually improve their company, their team, and their own performance. 

Worklytics gives you actionable, real-time anonymous work data with intuitive self-serve dashboards. Ready to harness the power of people analytics to improve workflows, collaboration, leadership and employee satisfaction today? Book a demo with Worklytics to get started.

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