Everyone’s present but the class is empty…

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are ways of measuring Critical Success Factors in a business (Critical Success Factors are in effect items which an organisation has to get right in order to survive).

Could a t-shirt be part of a KPI though?

It’s not just commercial companies that need to focus on KPIs. Not for profit organisations should also be using them.

Schools are good examples of where KPIs should be used. Measures such as classroom utilisation and exam success should be monitored.

There’s also the subject of looking at the percentage of students that decide to take unauthorised absence from school (or to use a quant old English term, they decide to “bunk off school” and miss lessons).

A city in Brazil has just identified a novel approach to let parents know if their children are missing classes.

Approximately 20,000 students in the Brazilian city of Vitoria de Conquista have just started wearing T-shirts with a built in chip. This chip links with a receiver in class and if the student isn’t where he or she should be a message is sent to the parents to let them know the student isn’t in class.

This sounds very much like a high tech version of “clocking on and clocking off” which can be found at certain workplaces around the world where workers have to record their arrival and departure times.

Only time will tell if the chip enabled t-shirts will be a success and the relevant KPIs for the schools will improve.

Personally I somehow think that some entrepreneurial school-kid may start charging a fee for looking after t-shirts in class. He may well be found sitting in the classroom with a big pile of t-shirts next to him but no classmates…

How much paid holiday should you get?
Here’s an interesting question – if you were asked whether you wanted more paid holiday or not, what would you say?
The standard amount of paid holiday in most European countries is 4 weeks.
Over in Switzerland though there was a national referendum recently which amongst other things asked people to vote on increasing the minimum amount of paid holidays from 4 weeks to 6 weeks a year.
Now, let’s just pause there and think about this.
Be honest. If somebody said to you “Do you want 6 weeks paid holiday instead of 4?” what would you say?
My feeling is that there may be a fair few of you out there who would vote for the 6 weeks holiday.
Now holidays are important and are needed to enable people to “wind down” and “recharge their batteries” after working hard but businesses in Switzerland warned against increasing the holiday entitlement.
They mentioned that having more weeks of paid vacation would in effect increase the labour costs for businesses (they would be paying the same amount as before but for lower productivity).
This increased labour cost could put the economy at risk. Putting it another way, an increase to 6 weeks paid holiday could result in people losing their jobs and having in effect a 52 week “unpaid holiday”.
The votes were counted and two-thirds of the voters rejected the proposal to increase the amount of holiday and the minimum stays at 4 weeks.
Now go and grab two colleagues and ask them if they would want an extra 2 weeks holiday.
If you’re in Switzerland then only one of the three of you will be saying yes.

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