Beyond the Numbers: The Right Way to Measure Business Success

For many business leaders, success is defined by the bottom line. However, revenue alone isn’t a true indicator of success. Workplace culture and employee happiness should also be managed and measured just like sales and ROI. This three-dimensional approach to business properly aligns a company’s long-term growth and sustainability. 

Why numbers aren’t always the best measure of business success.

Numbers are the most tangible indicators for how well a business is doing. But when the line doesn’t curve up and to the right, it doesn’t spell failure any more than early revenue promises meaningful, long-term growth. Past results can’t reliably forecast future performance.

A common mistake is choosing the wrong means to achieve success: maximizing revenue. This strategy reinforces that the people behind the product and the customers are secondary to the numbers. In truth, people are a company’s most important resource. Studies consistently show that happiness and well-being of employees impact the bottom line. Invest in people, and the product and profits will follow.

Investing in employee development increases retention and business output.

There’s an adage: hire for attitude, train for skill. Early on at Choozle, we recruited people who weren’t trained to skill level but had the aptitude and embodied our values of attitude, growth, service, and ownership. Those people, many of whom still work here after years, stretched their roles and have risen to become department heads and effective leaders.

Because of our culture of trust and growth, the company is able to yield great productivity by empowering our team members to empower themselves. The team is the through-line that carries the company through volatile financial performance inherent in any growth-stage company.

Investing in employees rather than focusing on numbers enables leadership to think strategically – to plan across multiple horizons as they trust the team to execute day-to-day. It creates an engaged, creative, and agile workplace where individuals are empowered to do great work.  Everyone focuses on the journey, not just the destination, which optimizes long-term productivity, performance, satisfaction, and retention.

The true measure of business success.

Making money is the outcome, not the goal, of a business. A three-dimensional approach with a focus on employee growth and development ensures true long-term success. Time and again, we see companies that prioritize customer and employee engagement ahead of profits make more money than ones that don’t.

It all starts with culture and the team members who define it. A strong and positive culture enables a company to consistently outperform its competitors. It makes talented people want to work there. It ensures talented employees want to stay, and they truly care about their work and their teammates. And that, to me, is true business success.


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