In comments, you're getting asked a lot of questions, and you're being asked to explain why you think certain metrics are (or are not) important. This might seem annoying because you're not being given a simple answer, but the reality is, determining which metrics to measure is often not simple. Companies often make the same types of mistakes when determining metrics:
- They choose things that are easy to measure. If you have certain data at your fingertips, it's easy to talk yourself into a plausible (but maybe inaccurate) reason why it's important.
- They choose things that are easy to understand. Something like "calls per hour" doesn't need to be explained. That doesn't inherently mean it's useful though.
Unfortunately, measuring the wrong things can lead to worse performance, not better. Measuring the wrong things, and then holding employees accountable to those wrong things, will at best waste people's time and attention by focusing on something that doesn't matter. At worst, it can hurt performance, by teaching people habits that have poor outcomes.
This is especially relevant in a call center environment, where an agent has a choice to make every time they get a cooperative person on the phone. How much effort should they put in to that phone call? If the conversation verges on meaningless small chat, do they let it ride, or push for a quick resolution? Staff measured on something like calls per hour will quickly learn to end calls as quickly as possible which may result in missed opportunities.
So, how do you decide what to measure? The ideal situation is that your business has a tangible goal you can directly link to employee activity. For instance, in a bank, the team that makes outgoing calls to people who are delinquent on their loans can simply be measured on the dollar value of the payments they collect. However, in other outbound call scenarios, the goal may be much softer - maybe it's relationship based, or based on future business opportunities. Even in those cases though, there may be an opportunity to link value back to an employee. In many outbound call centers that are focused on relationship building (in the hopes of creating future business), a CRM can be set up to capture logs of which agents have spoken with which customers - that way, you can retroactively measure someone's performance by watching for new business from customer's they've talked to.
These are just examples though - the key is, before you try to measure something (and hold people accountable to it), make sure you can tie that thing back to your business's goals.
And if you have nothing direct, and are forced to use an indirect measure, it's a good idea to focus on a way to try to validate or audit the strength of that indirect measure. For instance, if you implement a new program measuring an indirect factor, you can watch key indicators of the business's performance during and after the implementation, normalize to remove factors not related to the implementation, and see what the result was. Then, you can turn that effort into a meta-metric to have a fallback where you can measure the metric going forwards. In call centers where something basic like "calls per hour" is legitimately the only type of measurement you have available, it is critically important to understand performance as you implement, such that you have a guard rail to tell you if your new metric is meaningful or not.
As another follow up thought, consider examining specific "case studies" related to the metric, as an opportunity to learn and spread value. If you have a few star performers who always max their numbers, make sure you take opportunities to (manually, separately from the metric itself) validate their success. This can be another way to check that the metric is accurate. And, if it turns out that your star performers really are your star performers, put effort into understanding why they are star performers. People aren't good because they can do a lot of calls per hour. People are good because of what they do on those calls, how they decide when to wrap up a call, and other decisions they make. Don't just focus on the numbers. Let the numbers help you understand where to look for the stories that actually tell where the value is coming from. To say it a different way: the numbers aren't the important behavior, they're just a measurement of the important behavior. And, most importantly, once you know what the behaviors are, you can teach behaviors, instead of teaching people to hit numbers.
And - finally - if it wasn't obvious from the above, if you can't find a reliable metric, it may actually be better to not have one at all. Staff who are measured on metrics that are clearly not meaningful will (at best) become unhappy drones. Staff who are punished based on quality metrics that you can justify will have no counter argument. But, no one wants to be scolded for something that has no value.