National Research Center, Inc.’s (NRC) performance measurement helps organizations to improve their effectiveness. The results of our studies are used to benchmark, budget, enhance performance, improve outcomes and raise or reallocate funds. We train and provide technical assistance to build the capacity of organizations to conduct their own assessments of effectiveness by measuring the changes they expect to see in their organizations and the clients they serve.
Measuring performance is about people, not numbers. As the touchstone of good management, performance measurement seeks to keep focus on the important processes and outcomes of an organization so that customers’ lives are improved. Whether you are a not-for-profit human service agency or a government, you can’t improve your game unless you know the score. NRC aims our client at measuring what matters—not just the number of services or service hours but the quality of service and the change in the quality of life of the client who receives the service.
We provide direct assistance and training to identify indicators of organizational performance and to set performance standards—thresholds for the indicator that serve as performance goals for the organization. NRC helps organizations to understand that they should not measure just because they can. The indicators easiest to measure may not have the most meaning, so NRC often brings in its survey research expertise to tap the perspectives of our clients’ employees or customers. NRC staff often serve as faculty at various trainings to teach about measuring customer perspectives.
We are mindful of the axiom, “You get what you measure,” so we take the assessment process seriously. We understand that targeted performance measures can focus all staff in an organization to attend to the right operations and outcomes and once the targets are set, and perhaps rewards are established for meeting those targets, staff feel responsible for pushing the performance indicators higher. We help our clients not only to aim well but to define carefully what should be in the bull’s eye.
Performance Measurement in Local Government
We help local governments to measure their performance by measuring the opinions and satisfaction of their consumers through surveys, interviews and/or the collection and compilation of observational and secondary data. As part of this work, we have compiled a normative database with service and quality of life ratings from more than a quarter-million U.S. residents in 40 states. These community amenity and service ratings are used as benchmarks so a local jurisdiction can compare itself to national norms and like jurisdictions.
Performance Measurement for Community Based Organizations
We help community based organizations measure their
performance by measuring the opinions and satisfaction of their
participants through surveys, interviews and/or the collection and
compilation of observational and secondary data. We help organizations
to develop logic models, set performance standards, develop tools and
analyze evaluation data. We work with agency staff to feed performance
data back into logic models for program improvement and we offer low
burden solutions to measurement.