A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is exactly what it sounds like - a number that indicates the performance of an individual or an organization in a key task.
For an excellent look at KPIs in the real world, let's turn to the sports industry. How many times on television have you seen the photo of a professional player with a list of numbers next to them? Every minute detail of that player's performance is carefully tabulated, averaged, compared, and grossed into the team's overall performance; this performance is then carefully tabulated, averaged, compared and modified as the season goes on to determine playoff standing, probability of yearend final standing and the possibility of making history. Every one of those individual stats contributes to a larger number that translates into predictions, player swaps, and the future of teams as a whole.
Coaching is not just for sports - and neither are stats. Every player in a business is part of a team that is shooting for common goals, and their KPIs (personal stats) will translate into team stats; these, in turn, will help indicate how well a business is meeting its objectives.
If someone on your team is having a difficult time developing personal KPIs, have a sit-down with them. Talk about the top five things they do each day and the top five things they do that generate the most revenue for the business. A business runs on time and money, so developing KPIs based on these fundamental resources makes it easy to see the affect of individual's tasks on the business as a whole. Take three of those tasks and make them measurable. A salesman could develop a KPI based on number or dollar value of sales. A process worker could develop a KPI based on how long it takes them to accomplish their task. Once these tasks are identified and scaled, you have a list of trackable, measurable KPIs. (on a sidenote - this is important! Everyone is responsible for certain tasks, and therefore certain KPIs. No KPIs appear where there is no specific performing player! ie: every KPI should have a name attached to it.).
Develop KPIs this week - get a clear idea of how well you are performing. Start keeping stats, and stay tuned for the best ways to use your KPIs to get measurable/quantifiable results ...