Eating the Balanced Scorecard
There's an old joke that asks 'how do you eat an elephant"? The answer - "one bite at a time" - also applies to implementing a public sector balanced scorecard.
But where do you take the 'first bite' of your scorecard? Despite the fact that organizations exist to serve someone outside themselves, the Clientele/Customer Perspective may not be the best place to start.
Collection and attribution of data related to this perspective may be very challenging. And you need to find unambiguous data to tell you what you need to change - i.e. change drivers - to improve customer perceptions and satisfaction. This may be too big a challenge for an organization just starting out with performance measurement.
Instead, consider starting with the Learning and Growth Perspective. Data collection will be simpler, and addressing results more within the control of the organization. There is also the undeniable benefit that your staff will appreciate the attention paid to their working life.
Perhaps most importantly, the intuitive notion that engaged employees will better serve their customers has been borne out by research in the B.C. government. Their investigation into the 'Public Service Value Chain' has demonstrated a clear correlation between employee engagement - i.e. organization satisfaction, job satisfaction, public service commitment - and customer satisfaction.
They conclude that employee organization satisfaction is the best predictor of customer satisfaction. And, organizations with higher employee organization satisfaction have higher customer satisfaction than do organizations with lower employee organization satisfaction.
This makes employee satisfaction both a 'leading indicator' and a driver of customer satisfaction, and well worth the attention of the public sector manager starting out with the Balanced Scorecard.
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