Employees and their time are the biggest assets of any company. They drive the business forward and cultivate company culture.
As any manager and business owner knows, today’s market is extremely competitive, and many companies have to go above and beyond to remain relevant. That is why reaching and maintaining high performance among the employees is one of the biggest priorities in any office.
The results of a high-performing team are twofold. Firstly, the company’s profit and reputation will flourish. Secondly, the members of the team themselves will become a force to be reckoned with. They will also develop a positive relationship with their collective, reducing employee turnover. That is to say, the benefits of good performance are both short and long-term and reflect on the immediate results of work and the overall company morale.
How to Define Employee Performance?
When we are talking about employee performance, we are describing the way team member acts in their role within the company. The components of the role are numerous and depend on the industry, company policies, and individual business roles themselves. However, you can divide them into qualitative, quantitative, and consistency-based.
This part of employee performance regards whether the quality of work of an individual employee meets the company standards. The company’s goal is to produce products and services of the utmost quality. Hence, it is important to evaluate the way your employees fulfill their tasks.
It is equally important for the employees to complete their tasks well and do them on time. That is to say, the speed of work should be as high as possible while still being able to turn in high-quality work. Combined, qualitative and quantitative elements create the
Can you rely on your employees to continue producing the same amount of work on a regular basis? This component reflects the level of trust you have for your employees to come through the hardships independently.
Why is it Important to Evaluate Your Employees?
The evaluation process is important both for the employer and the employee. As long as you do it constructively, it can pinpoint any team member’s strengths and areas for improvement. The employer, on the other hand, will obtain a deeper understanding of their company’s inner workings.
However, the evaluation process isn’t an easy one. It can get very complicated and time-consuming depending on the size of your team and the amount of data you’d like to receive and communicate. Hence, it is important to start off right and create a plan for evaluation that will provide you with relevant information.
Employee Performance Evaluation Techniques and Tips
1. 360-Degree Feedback
This method of evaluation includes assessments and opinions of multiple team members. That is to say, the employee’s coworkers, managers, subordinates, etc., are all giving their opinions on them. This is a good way to obtain a well-rounded report on the way each team member acts both within their role as a worker and as a team member. You will be able to catch on to any disagreements and problematic behavior early on.
This method is important and necessary if you are interested in creating a positive atmosphere and strong company culture.
This is another method of employee performance management. Surveys are generally a quick and easy way to receive relevant information while taking as little time as possible. The survey can be aimed toward employees themselves, their coworkers, managers, supervisors, etc. If you choose this way of conducting the evaluation, you will need to consider the wording of your questions carefully.
Think about the data you want to receive. Considering that, choose the type of questions you will ask (open-ended, multiple-choice, yes/no questions, or a combination).
3. Supervisor Evaluation
It is important to understand how the employees directly involved in the production are doing. Yet, knowing whether the supervisors within your organization are doing a satisfactory job is equally significant. Supervisors are the loadbearing pillars in any organization, and it is important to know how much value they bring to it.
Supervisor evaluation is important as it is a good gauge of company morale and company culture as well. A supervisor who is either too lenient or too strict can impact the overall success of their department.
4. Manager Evaluation
Similar to supervisor evaluation, measuring the effectiveness of the managers in your organization is important. It shows whether the most important employees within your company are doing their best to motivate their subordinates, whether they offer adequate help, etc.
Since managers work with teams more directly than supervisors, their evaluation is going to give you an even closer assessment of the way your teams function and the interpersonal connections within them.
5. Effective Work Tracking
Different time management platforms can contribute greatly to employee performance tracking. Tracking the ratio of effective work to total work time is a great example.
You can calculate effective work by comparing the total logged work time spent on tasks to total time – spent at work and time off.
6. Employee Satisfaction
While it is important to know how well your employees are doing, it is crucial to understand whether they are satisfied with your company or not. Employees who aren’t satisfied with their work conditions, including
- Interpersonal problems
- Hiccups with the equipment
- The amount of work
- The way work is divided among coworkers
tend to be less involved with their roles within the company. In other words, their productivity won’t be satisfactory to you. Hence, you should allow them to express their concerns and suggestions for improvement. This feedback is the key to creating a more positive work environment for every team member and raising productivity.
7. Employee Engagement
Understanding the level of engagement throughout your workforce is a good way to gauge productivity. Motivation is what drives the employees to do their work more or less efficiently. The lower the motivation on the company level, the more likely will it be for negative practices and work mistakes to occur and spread. That is why an employee engagement survey can be crucial in understanding employee performance.
8. Self Assessment
This is a way to gauge employee performance metrics by allowing the employees to assess themselves. You will need to create a questionnaire where the employees can express different elements, such as
- Stress levels
- Their views of their work quality
- Identifying problems
It is important to accompany the self-assessment process with a one-on-one conversation. Some employees will have more difficulty seeing their own work and accomplishments realistically. That is why you should compare their opinion of themselves with the objective truth – key performance indicators like productivity assessments, motivation levels, etc.
9. Team Assessment
This is another form of manager assessment, except it doesn’t concern a single employee, but a team instead. Of course, some team members will be more or less prominent within these assessments. Yet, it is crucial to understand whether a team is functioning at its optimum capacity and the roles within it.
No man is an island, and a strong company needs fully functional building blocks (aka teams). Their solidity and the way members interact with each other are all good indicators for employee performance assessment.
10. Tracking time utilization
Employee performance metrics, such as time utilization can be calculated very accurately. For example, timesheet time tracking software clearly shows the ratio of billable and non-billable hours within total hours worked. This is a great performance metric, as it shows how much time your employees spend on task-related activities and how much is spent on non-crucial tasks, such as mandatory meetings, phone calls, and also time-wasting activities.
11. Billing Rate Tracking
Billing rates are another amazing performance metric, as they show the monetary value of your employees’ time. Namely, the billing rate shows how much your clients pay for a specific employee’s services. This is a great way to discover your top performers. After you’ve discovered who they are, you’ll be able to track them more closely and allow them to set a positive example for your other employees.
12. Training Needs and Opportunities
There are multiple benefits to providing training to your employees. Firstly, the individuals who may be falling behind can catch up with their colleagues. This way, you’ll signal that you care about your team and would rather invest in a current employee than simply replace them. This simple act of good will and trust can make all the difference between employee retention and turnover.
On the other hand, you can also invest in an employee’s further training and education to prepare them for a more responsible position. Again, this indicates you recognize your employees’ hard work and dedication and want to give them a reason to stay with you.
Performance evaluation is the key component to understanding which employees need some additional help or have the potential for something more serious.
13. Readiness to Step Up
Simply having the potential for something more is a good starting point. Being able to take on new duties and wanting them are the deciding factors, though.
Some employees won’t be interested in changing positions. The reasons can be personal or business. Whichever may be the case, you should first assess if they are ready and willing to take on a new role and its corresponding workload.
A 360-feedback is a good addition to examining whether an individual within a collective is ready to step up to a more responsible role.
What to Do Once You Identify Low Performance
14. Uncover the Reasons
Identifying the causes for low performance is the first step you should take. As we have previously mentioned, low morale and results can happen due to many different circumstances. That is why it is important to have a well-rounded understanding of your company and all its moving parts.
For example, outdated equipment can significantly slow down production. So can low morale and be prone to negative business practices. In other words, two completely different causes can lead to the same consequence. You will have to find the actual reason for lower performance.
Doing your due diligence and ensuring all your employees have optimal work conditions will show a spike in productivity. If the unproductive behavior continues without any outer cause, the time has come to take corrective measures.
15. Make the Feedback Constructive
Feedback is the natural conclusion of any employee performance evaluation. If you want to get the most out of its results, it is important to give praise where it’s due. Being just and objective (that is, putting your personal thoughts on the employee aside) will be appreciated.
Neither praises nor critique should be completely one-sided and generic. There is always room for growth, and you should point it out. The same applies to the positive impact any member of the team has on the company.
You should strive to be as constructive with your feedback as possible. Don’t be aggressive or condescending in your delivery, and offer help if you see an employee is struggling.
16. Continue the Feedback
A single employee performance review is not enough to completely turn your company around. To put it plainly, you will have to make the evaluation process a regular part of your business, even though it will take up time and energy.
Your employees should know whether they’re still on track, or if their performance has improved or worsened in the last period. So, you should provide them with that information and make sure as many employees as possible are on an upward path.
In other words, evaluation isn’t an occurrence, but a process. Furthermore, it needs to be a constantly ongoing process to take effect.
17. How to Improve?
Employee performance evaluation shouldn’t be set in stone. You will have to test its aspects and your own approach to the practice. It is important to strive toward process improvement. This will mean adding new steps that became relevant or removing those that don’t give you the results you want.
However, we can’t recommend changing the structure of the evaluation too often. Continuous improvement is a noble cause, but your employees won’t take the process seriously if there aren’t at least some constants. Here are some mistakes to avoid.
- Inconsistent evaluation timing
- Adding and removing questions constantly
- Changing the formatting of the assessment
- Not being specific enough for the employee’s position
Employee assessment is a necessary process in any company. The process itself takes major coordination, especially in bigger businesses. Yet, the results of the process are important for understanding the way your company works. The conversations with your employees are a key part of the assessment and should be taken seriously. There are multiple ways to conduct the evaluation, such as questionnaires, interviews, going through logs, etc.
You may have to experiment with multiple methods in the beginning, but once you discover the best way to evaluate your employees you should hold on to it. Employee feedback is one of the best ways to recognize whether your evaluation strategy is working or not.
Remember, the evaluations’ goal isn’t to tear down the employees who are struggling, but to find a solution that will allow them to reach their full potential. This dynamic should go both ways. To conclude – use the evaluation process to create a more pleasant work environment to motivate your employees to give their best.
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