What Is Employee Performance in The Workplace?
Employee performance in the workplace is a set of metrics that a company uses in order to understand the output of its employees. With any occupation, an employer is paying an employee to do a certain amount of work in a set amount of time, and to a certain company standard. An employment contract says that the employee completes a, b and c in exchange for x amount of pay. However straightforward that may seem, the way employee performance in the workplace is measured can vary greatly between industries.
Depending on the occupation, metrics of employee performance can include percentages of deadlines met, number of orders processed, hours clocked, or projects completed. The particulars will change from company to company, but the key metrics tend to focus on efficiency, speed, and quality of work output.
Many are familiar with the concept of the Quality Triangle, wherein quality is at the center, and time, cost, and scope each take up one side of the triangle. It can be argued that all three sides cannot simultaneously improve if quality remains the top priority—something has to give.
However, most employers understand this and will tell their employees which metrics comprise the company’s top priorities, while also understanding that the complete picture of what an employee brings to the table is more nuanced.
Why Is Employee Performance Important?
It is important to measure employee performance because performance metrics are often what drive the likelihood of career advancement, higher pay and bonuses.
Although these metrics can make us feel like nothing more than a number, or a cog in the machine, they are valuable to employers who must take them into account in conjunction with qualities that are not so easily measured. We are humans, not robots, after all.
Employee performance metric standards cannot accurately account for soft skills such as creativity, collaboration, integrity, and flexibility. For example, what an employee may lack in speed, they might more than make up for in value when it comes to keeping office morale high.
Nonetheless, metrics play an important role in providing employers with insight when it comes to decisions that guide an employee’s future with the company. Thus, scheduling routine employee performance reviews can serve as both direction and motivation when it comes to making sure that employees understand what is expected of them, how they can improve, and that their contributions and growth are valued.
1. Make information available to everyone.
Large projects can have a lot of moving parts, and it is important that the people responsible for completing the project fully understand what their part is, when it is due, and whose parts are dependent on others completing their items first. Shared calendars and task lists make the information visible to everyone so that completed items don’t float around and get lost in the shuffle.
For prioritization to be possible, tip number one must also be in play. Make information regarding parts and deadlines available to everyone so that the bigger picture is available at a glance. Doing so will enable your employees to prioritize their time, and shift tasks to make sure that pressing items are addressed first. Likewise, project managers can quickly shift priorities in ways that keep action items visible to everyone involved.
Chaotic work spaces do not work. Encourage employees to keep clutter, personal items, and projects unrelated to the task at hand to a minimum. Likewise, digital clutter can cause just as much damage. Set protocol for how to name digital files and folders so that everyone’s folder system is the same, and time is not wasted hunting for needed information.
4. Assign ownership.
Every project needs a clear leader with the final say on important items. Projects can linger and quickly become overdue when team members are unclear on who needs to make an important decision in order for a project to advance to its next stages. Asking for volunteers to lead projects shows that you trust your employees’ sensibilities, and that you believe they will rise to the occasion.
5. Stay balanced.
Burnout is real. Make sure your employees are familiar with the signs of burnout—frequent illness, irritability, energy loss, and chronic stress—and foster a healthy workplace environment that emphasizes the importance of self-care. Employees need to know that their jobs will not be in jeopardy should they need to take a personal day to step away from workplace demands.
6. Make goals clear.
Sometimes done is better than good. Be concise when it comes to setting goals, and be generous in breaking up larger goals into many smaller ones. A large project can be daunting. Rather than overwhelming employees with a vague requirement and deadline it is better to break that goal up into many smaller pieces with specific dates.
7. Grant autonomy.
Employees who are overmanaged often underperform. You hire your employees after reviewing their resumes, interviewing them, and deciding that they are capable of doing the job. Give them the space to show you what they are capable of. Micromanaging every aspect of their work output puts unnecessary pressure on them, and can cause them to lose sight of larger goals.
Ready to Implement Roadmaps & Programs
Within our extensive training library, a quick search of the word “performance” delivers 514 results—that’s 514 existing resources that are available to you at the click of a button. Show your employees that you are invested in their future and growth so that performance reviews are fruitful, and lay out a clear path to success.
If you need additional help with your employee’s performance, contact us and we will guide you with the best options for your organization.
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