How do local companies measure performance?

Published: 3 August 2015 at 12:15

Graph with coins - photo by Ken Teegardin

Anglia Ruskin experts investigate whether financial success is always the best tool

How do small and medium sized businesses measure performance? A new research project is trying to answer this – and suggest improvements – by studying firms across the East of England.

Businesses traditionally measure success based on financial performance, but the researchers behind the study believe factors such as customer and employee satisfaction, and a company’s rate of innovation, should also be considered.

As well as aiming to find out how business managers measure the overall performance of their companies, the study also looks to highlight the measurement practices that lead to an increase in performance.

Magdalena Partac, the lead researcher from Anglia Ruskin University’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School, said: 

“It is commonly said that what gets measured, gets done. But knowing what to measure and how to measure it is of utmost importance.

“There are examples of performance management tools rewarding the wrong behaviour, while Microsoft recently abandoned the practice of ‘Stack Ranking’, which forces managers to designate a proportion of employees as ‘under performers’.

“The results of the study will help managers enhance their business performance by pinpointing the performance aspects they need to look at in order to be successful.  It should have practical implications for the local business community and beyond.”

The study takes the form of an online questionnaire which has been developed by a group of experts from three universities: Magdalena Partac and Dr Brynn Deprey from Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Matthias Fink from Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria) and Professor Francis Greene from the University of Birmingham.

The results of the study will be disseminated to managers and decision-makers to help them better understand their business and support their future development.

Further information is available from Magdalena Partac and businesses can take part by completing our online survey.

Photo of graph and coins by Ken Teegardin.