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Measure Employee Performance


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Evaluating the performance of your staff is not a simple task. There are many measures you can use to do so.

Reducing the complexity of measurement will help you arrive at more usable criteria. Here are some tips on making this happen.

Mark Swartz, MBA, M.Ed. Workplace Specialist

Published in: Business, Technology
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Measure Employee Performance

  1. 1. Employer&RecruiterTipCheryl Stein,Contributor
  3. 3. 1.1 COMPLEXITY CREATES LACK OF CLARITYComplexity is something that we see very often in companies as theytry to measure the performance of their employees.They do this convoluted analysis to try and get to the bottom of whatis really important to them; are people really doing what they aresupposed to be doing, are they getting the job done that they arebeing paid for, and should they be replaced?Companies don’t want to get rid of someone if they have potential togrow and it is really hard to find good people, so they come up withthese very elaborate ways of trying to measure whether or not theirpeople are performing and usually make it so complicated that in theend, the purpose of the measurement is defeated.
  4. 4. 1.2 WHAT YOU MEASURE IS WHAT YOU GETAccording to the writers of ‘The Balanced Scorecard” Robert S. Kaplanand David P. Norton, “What you measure is what you get” (HarvardBusiness Review, July-August 2005).Proper measurement of performance in any company has to have abalance, and suggest evaluating a variety of metrics to determine thebusiness’ overall performance. But you must deliver the findings inlanguage that can be easily translated into personal growth.Clarity isn’t the only problem in performance evaluation. Another bigissue to watch out for is the competition that can arise from over-emphasizing individual performance.
  6. 6. 2.1 SIMPLIFY• Reduce ComplexityMeasuring performance shouldn’t be something that requires aninterpreter. Keep it simple and make what you measure and how youmeasure it clear and consistent throughout the company. When youdeliver performance evaluations, make sure your language makessense and there are clear actionable items for people to work on.• Avoid the Numbers GameDon’t tell people that they scored a 1.618 on their performancescorecard. Aside from being particularly meaningless, numbers like thisaren’t actionable. Use words to let a person know how they are doing.
  7. 7. 2.2 IDENTIFY YOUR RELATIONSHIP BUILDERS• Get in Touch with the UntouchablesSometimes a person is valuable because of the way that they are andnot necessarily for the things that they do. So many companies placevalue on getting things done quickly but a fast work pace isn’t the onlything that contributes to the overall success of a company.• Identify who the relationship builders are in your organization. Thoseare the people that smooth out the conflicts, the ones that makepeople feel good working in the office. It is hard to put a price tag onhow much this kind of work is worth but it is an essential function inwork place productivity.
  8. 8. 2.3 ASK FOR PERSONAL INPUT•Get the Whole StoryYou can use assessments and matrices to figure out if your employeesare performing but getting the real story from the people that aredirectly affected by this person is really the way to get to the bottomof things.• Make sure your measurements include some questions about howco-workers feel about the person being evaluated. Asking the rightquestions can give you some deep insight into the performance of thepeople who work for you.
  9. 9. 2.4 EMPHASIZE TEAMWORK• Think Win/WinMake sure the tone of your evaluation emphasizes cooperation andteamwork. When people feel that they are rewarded for work they doinstead of the teamwork that they have contributed to, they will havethe tendency to want to prove that they are better than others.• Measuring employee performance is a tough thing to do right. Onthe one hand you want to let people know how they are doing, but onthe other, there are lots of things to measure to come up with a properevaluation. Don’t let yourselves get caught up in the complexity trap.Be clear about what you want to measure and be clear about how youdeliver the news. That way everyone will know where they stand.
  10. 10. more on this topic: How To Measure Employee Performance more Employer/Recruiter/HR advice: join us on: