Soft value calculation – Coffee complaining

Ancient business Mythology tells a legend of a CFO who once asked: “What if we invest in our employees and they leave us” to which the CEO responded “What if we don’t and they stay?”.

Are you already bored of reading and just want to jump right in? Feel free to click on the image below to open the Coffee Complaining calculator!

First thing that comes to mind might be the salary but interestingly, when people are asked if their drive comes from internal or external values, most claim it comes from internal values. Internal value could for example be recognition, sense of accomplishments, pride in the work you do and such. External factors would be a company issues car, higher salary or a more fancy title. Funny thing is, when asked what you think others value higher, most people think others are driven by external factors. This might be a reason that we often don’t care to much about soft (internal) values. That and of course that it’s hard to measure and we often prefer to measure what is easy to measure rather than what we want to know.

But what if we could make some assumptions and calculate soft values? What might that look like? Consider this blog post as an inspiration on what is possible and as a driver for your own imagination for what could be calculated.

How to use this report?

On the left side, you have some slicers to give the Power BI Report inputs. You can use them to experiment and for example mimic your own organizations figures. Bear with me that I have absolutely 0 idea on the cost of coffee machines so I might have to come back with an update on this post later on. The report will tell you how much the time wasted on complaining about bad coffee is actually costing! Should this time be invested to drive results instead, your organization would benefit greatly! (Probably much more than just the direct cost of employees).

The call out summary on the upper right side tells us how much money we could spend on improving the coffee experience and if it reduced the number of complaining minutes, you would actually have pretty much the same cost on the last row. I know, I know, you already have the cost of these employees and you’re not magically going to earn money on better coffee, but do feel free to reach out and we’ll create a new version of this with some kind of actual value by minute-measure. Until then, this gives you an idea on how to balance out your costs and actually get a lot back from investing in your employees!

How is this report made?

I usually claim that Power BI is great at many things. It will make insights out of raw data thrown at it, but it’s not that great at creating this data by itself. As equally usual, I stand corrected. By myself. This entire report is made up of 6 What-If parameters and from them I make some measures to be shown in red in the screen.

Whenever you create a What-if parameter, you name it and provide some input to the available span. You always get a question in regards to adding a slicer to the page in in all of the cases, I simply said yes. Each What-if parameter is created in their own table and consist of the columns with all available values and a measure that only shows the selected value from the column. I simply used these pre-made measures as input in my own calculated measures to determine what 1 employee minute is costing for example.

The background is a stock photo from PowerPoint where I simply searched for Coffee and the white layer is a rectangle in Power BI with white background, a lot of transparency and some shadow.

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