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Every Number Tells a Story: How I Lead evolvedMD’s Data-Driven Culture
Insight. Action. Change. That’s the power of data. Leadership teams at rapidly growing companies want to harness this power to make better decisions, but many don’t know where to start. As an analytics wonk charged with leading evolvedMD’s data-driven culture, there are some learnings I’ve encountered over my career that shape how I approach using data to make better decisions and ultimately drive change.
Everyone Must Have Skin in the Game
Data-driven cultures must be rooted in transparency. From top to bottom, everyone in your organization should understand that they have influence on data and company goals, but we can’t expect people to buy in if they don’t know how their performance impacts our goals. Also, we must be thoughtful about identifying the right data to measure as it pertains to our collective goals, so your people know where to focus their efforts.
In my role at evolvedMD, part of my job is communicating that everyone can impact throughput and revenue. Let’s break it down to see how various teams across the organization play a role:
- From the top, I work with each staff member to identify their KPIs for the quarter
- Our Marketing team can write compelling blog articles to attract customers (primary care practices) to our website, to which they can then fill out a form to become a partner
- Our Sales team meets with this potential partner to close a deal
- Our Human Resources and Recruitment team can hire more Behavioral Health Managers to staff onsite at this partner’s primary care practice
- Our Implementation team can ensure a smooth rollout and program launch
- Our Clinical team can start seeing patients at this partner’s primary care practice
- Our Customer Success team can nurture the end-to-end customer journey and optimize their experience
If everyone does their part, we will collectively achieve our company throughout and revenue goals. And if we don’t, I work with each team to understand where we can improve to maximize productivity. When everyone understands their role in reaching a common goal, they’re more likely to take ownership and make better decisions so we can reach that goal.
Key Takeaway: Sit down with each employee and help them understand their role in achieving company-wide goals. Give them personal ownership.
Compel With Data
Data coupled with solid storytelling can tell a tale that’s both complex and rich anchored by numbers and narrative. From my experience, data by itself is pointless and instead, you must dig deep and see what story it tells—both the good and bad stories—to drive decision-making.
My first challenge when I joined evolvedMD was developing the metrics and KPI’s the organization should focus on with the most pressing related to talent: the company’s retention rate. Anecdotally, I heard about our renowned culture and assumed that retention would follow.
But did the data match the story?
After analyzing the numbers, I saw discovered a retention rate far above industry averages and that figure supported a much larger story: the story of a company recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Phoenix Business Journal, the story as the employer of choice for mental health professionals, the story of a high-growth company that will reach 100 employees by year end.
Compelling and confirmed by data, instances like these encourage us to see the story behind all of our metrics as a larger take on success.
Key Takeaway: Data is your greatest storyteller. See what narratives you can craft from your data to help inform future decisions which can lead to even more compelling narratives.
Understand What Drives the Data
The key to helming a data-driven company is understanding the factors, events, and triggers that influence outcomes with successful leaders seeking clarity on how they arrived at the metrics.
What drives our industry-leading retention rate? Why do people not only like working here but commit to staying? The answers are validated by ongoing and continuous feedback throughout the organization.
The data revealed that most of our employees feel aligned with our mission to reimagine behavioral health and increase access to high-quality care. They also appreciated the company’s commitment to wellness by rewarding bonuses for completing self-care activities. Finally, an overwhelming majority enjoy the intentional focus on personal and professional development by introducing a wide variety of employee engagement initiatives.
Each of these elements confirm that we’ve created a strong, people-centric culture that resonates with our employees. They also reinforce our decisions to invest more time and money in opportunities for wellness and professional growth.
Key Takeaway: It’s not just a matter of achieving positive or negative outcomes, you must also understand how you got there. Work backwards and understand the building blocks that lead to your outcomes. From there, you can make better, more informed decisions to achieve the outcome you want.
Validate Our Work and Celebrate Wins
The cool thing about data is that it gives us the stamp of approval of the work we’re doing. That stamp of approval gives us the opportunity to celebrate our wins but also come together as a team to learn how we can optimize for even better results.
One of the best examples of this in action is when my colleague, Kim Ho, Director of Sales, spearheaded a month-long company campaign to build connection and camaraderie while expanding our footprint in target markets. This collective effort involved a series of activities including sharing recruitment posts on social media, making 30-second videos about why our employees love working at evolvedMD, and much more. These efforts resulted in a 36% increase in direct reach on evolvedMD’s LinkedIn page and six new potential partner engagements representing over 1,000 primary care practices.
This data proved that employee engagement is critical to our organization’s success and taught us to invest more in employee engagement activities, so we drive increased brand awareness and generate more deals.
Key Takeaway: Take every opportunity to celebrate your wins according to your data.
Running a data-driven culture is the ticket to moving the needle together as an organization. Rather than leading emotion or intuition, leading evolvedMD’s data-driven culture has transformed us into a forward-thinking company that not only meets the needs for today but puts us in the driver seat of what happens tomorrow. If you follow how I lead evolvedMD’s culture, I’m confident your organization can become a high-impact, data-driven organization as well.