A 2024 Guide to Measures of Employee Performance

A 2024 Guide to Measures of Employee Performance - Toolshero

Life and human activity simply resist simplicity. Nothing, even the simplest things, is as simple as they might seem at the start. Bring something as abstract as performance involves determining the quality and quantity of certain results and behaviours, and those have to be compared to a reasonable, average baseline.

As an employer or a manager, it is essential to see which metrics for employee performance are right and relevant for your business. Those who are familiar with these concepts will most likely find them under the name KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. Of course, some of these measures are very subjective and malleable and may differ on a case-by-case basis. Your particular company or market niche may prioritize a KPI that other industries simply do not care about.

Let’s take a look at some of the best and easiest-to-understand metrics to measure employee performance and why they are needed in the first place.

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Why the need to complicate things?

As previously stated, measuring something is more complicated than it seems. Let’s take an easy example: “Is something hot”?

Well, it depends on what you mean by “hot”. Describing an oven as hot is different from describing the ambient air temperature on a summer day. We think of hot water as having one temperature, hot air as another, and a hot oven as another. All of these values and judgments have to be measured against something in order for the question to make sense.
Also, what tools are you using to measure, and what is the unit of measurement?

When you are first entering the corporate world, it may seem that the business culture is overcomplicating a simple issue. “Is the guy good or not? Why do we need 100 different ways to track performance?”

These questions that were just asked may seem pedantic because you don’t really need them for daily life.

We evaluate people in our lives based mostly on instinct, reputation and learned behavior, and we’re not used to tracking everything in such detail. The reason why we need employee performance metrics is that we need to see what works and what does not, and we need to eliminate subjectivity as much as possible.

Technically, the process of succeeding as an employee should be measurable, repeatable, and easy to follow.

Productivity

This is the simplest and most important KPI used in every business on the planet.

“How much of your paid work time?”, “Are you actually doing something productive?”

Usually, when calculating, the calculation divides the number of work hours in a day or month by the number of hours spent working on a particular project.

If your company does not officially book time, then it can be harder to judge productivity. You need to somehow establish a benchmark against which to compare output from employees.

For example, if you employ a bunch of essay sites, try to average out a target that 90-92% of them will be able to contribute given an 8-hour workday. Looking at your top contributors may hurt more than it helps. Exceptions will always make for bad rules, and these people or services are your top writers for a reason: they do more than the average employee (keyword being average).

Some use productivity tracking software, but that can be seen as overly invasive by employees, and the good ones may want to avoid working for you. Those with experience in any field may have more options for employment, so you do need to have appealing work conditions. Nobody wants to be penalized for taking too many smoke breaks.

The temptation for any employer would be to try to squeeze every single drop of productivity out of their employees. Of course, it is your legal right to do so, as you are paying for their time.

However, that is unrealistic, and most companies realize that. Most people on most days do not 8 hours on the dot. I think it is physically and physiologically impossible to be able to have a laser-like focus for that amount of time.

You have to avoid pushing people too hard if you want to attract the best of the best.

Customer Satisfaction

“The customer is always right” was the motto of every company on the planet. Nowadays, companies can afford to scorn at least some of their clients due to political lobbying and regulations that destroy competition.

However, in a true market, the sincerest metrics for performance evaluation are those that measure feedback from the people you are selling to. This may seem unrelated to evaluating your staff, but it is not.

For example, you can measure employee performance by creating a KPI that tracks complaints or praise. A neutral average score will mean that you had neither, complaints will bring down the score, while praise will bring it up.

If you have the time and resources, you can also start to categorize and catalog the reasons mentioned by the customers, basically analyzing meta-data for your company. This can be worth your time if you have many employees.

Proactivity

Employee performance metrics examples should also look at proactivity. In many domains of activity, the seniors and juniors are actually doing more or less the same work.

But if they are doing the same work, why are they paid differently? Well, seniors do not need their hands to be held. When you are experienced, you can start to see and solve problems on your own, with no need to consult with your manager.

Juniors are often smarter, younger, and better prepared than seniors, but their lack of experience means that they just sit around, waiting for you to tell them what to do. This can eat up the manager’s time, time that costs money.

Overall, employees should be evaluated and rewarded for their productivity and for their desire to take initiative. Of course, those who show even greater levels of proactivity can be good candidates for leadership positions.

Out of all the measurements we talked about today, this can be the hardest to quantify and put into a formula. For small companies, you don’t even need to bother with a calculation, as most likely you know everyone personally.

Conclusion

Nobody has reinvented the wheel when it comes to working. Since the dawn of time, good workers have been productive, and proactive, and their contribution has been appreciated by the recipient.

The innovation of modern business culture is that they often design formulas and calculations to quantify these metrics. For thousands of years, it was done by ear, with a man’s reputation promising both to reward and punish his contribution.

By putting evaluations in writing and making them easier to measure and less subjective, you can more easily prove to any inquirer and to the employees themselves that your review was honest and objective.

Vincent van Vliet
Article by:

Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.

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