How to Use Benchmarking

How to Use Benchmarking

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on Aug 7, 2019

Benchmarking can improve many business functions

benchmarkingBenchmarking gives you a look at the internal workings of your business and other businesses in your field. It can be a helpful way to correct which policies and procedures aren’t working well for your company, and what you can do to fix them. With benchmarking, you can determine how competitors handle things to give them an edge over their rivals and decide if implementing similar policies could help your business in the same way. It’s also a way to judge how your employees are doing and what you can do to help engage them.

  • Benchmarks are split into internal and external. Internal benchmarks show you how your company is doing on the inside over time, while external benchmarks show you how you measure up to other companies.
  • Benchmarks won’t tell you competitor size, name, or when the data was collected.
  • Benchmark reports won’t give you suggestions to improve.
  • Benchmarking is typically done once a year to see how you’re improving.

What’s the average?

How are other businesses in your industry doing with employee engagement? Each industry will have its own standard of how engaged their employees are. It’s your job to figure out what that standard is so you can measure how well your company is doing when it comes to engagement. When you figure this out, dig deeper than the numbers. What are other companies doing differently? What could you implement to engage your employees?

Knowing how you stand within the industry average can help you pinpoint your risk of losing great talent to another company if you don’t work on your company culture. Employees aren’t stuck with jobs anymore, and if they’re a rising star, any of your competitors would be happy to employ them.

Hold on to your data

Typically, companies will conduct a benchmark audit once a year to see how they’re measuring up to the competition and how they’re employee engagement has improved. If you’re just starting off and your company needs a lot of work in employee engagement, then you may want to look at these numbers more frequently to see if new policies and procedures have the effect you envisioned when you created them.

Try breaking your data down by department so you can see which departments are doing better than others. This can help you implement those practices across the board, and it also helps show your managers that great numbers are achievable within your company.

Don’t pressure managers

Managers may feel like they’re being judged when you start benchmarking. It may make them feel like it’s a numbers game and they’re in competition with other managers to do better. This fear could have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for.

Instead of engaging employees, managers may cause them stress by looking at numbers instead of personalities and behaviors. Remember, you want to improve engagement to make your employees happier with their job, so make sure you’re very clear on that. You’re not looking for performance or output – though that will come naturally – you’re looking to improve your business for the betterment of your employees.


When we’re doing an external benchmark, it’s easy to try to imitate what other companies are doing, when really what got those companies to the top was their innovation. If you really want to give other companies a run for their money, you’ll want to be a thought leader and innovator as well.

There could be issues with your data. How big or small are the companies the report analyzed? The data is useful if it measures companies the same size as yours, but if their business is much larger or smaller than yours, then the data will be skewed.

The data is just data. You won’t know what factors played into other company’s benchmarks, and you don’t know how old the data is. You’re only able to see the numbers and measure your company against those.

Benchmarking can help you improve employee engagement, but often a lot of trial and error goes into how to improve your numbers. Reports won’t tell you ways to improve, they just show where you rank against other business. This could lead to a large investment with multiple ideas that don’t pay off.

One way you can improve employee engagement is with CrewHu. Our services are specifically targeted to get companies and associates on the same page and increase the fun at work as well as performance! Contact us to schedule your demo.

Topics: measurement, performance

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