The (Surprising) Power of Benchmarking

By Lynnette Mcintire
Mar 31, 2016 12:30 PM ET

How good are you? Most companies tell their employees they are (of course) the best. But the truth is little time or money is spent confirming or dispelling the notion. Why take the risk of diminishing your company’s perceived achievements, because after all that’s how performance reviews and subsequent bonuses and promotions are determined, right? 

Nevertheless, benchmarking may actually be your best technique for gaining more resources and recognition.  By comparing your performance to others, you gain objective insights about whether your company is indeed a leader or, alas, a laggard. And whether your resources should be reallocated to address your preferred position.

Benchmarking can be particularly valuable to managers who manage corporate responsibility programs that encompass social, environmental and governance.

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Lynnette McIntire is the CEO of Silver Birch Communications, which specializes in sustainability communications and strategy, executive thought leadership, issues management and stakeholder engagement. She also is a Senior Fellow of Social Innovation at Babson College's Lewis Center and teaches executive sustainability courses for Boston College's Center for Corporate Citizenship.