There’s no doubt that tracking team member performance is important. Talented team members will want feedback to help them grow and improve, but beyond that, it simply makes sense to keep track of what’s going on at your business. However, quantifying and measuring performance metrics is easier said than done. Traditional metrics such as productivity can present a moving target and can often be misleading. As Jeff Haden notes in an article for Inc, “measuring is important, but measuring what you need to measure and measuring it the right way is critical.”
There are a number of different methods to choose from for actually tracking performance metrics. The Houston Chronicle outlined regular appraisals, productivity tests, 360-degree feedback, and management by objectives as a few common forms of measuring individual performance metrics. That’s a lot to consider, but there are certainly options out there that can help you along. For instance, tools like WIRL and 7Geese aim to simplify feedback and help team members reach their goals.
Certainly, there are a number of different metrics that can be used when it comes to tracking how team members are doing, and the most effective ones will depend on your business and on different team member roles. Here are five metrics for measuring team member performance.
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Team Member Performance Metric #1: Attendance
First and foremost, it’s important to look at whether a team member shows up to work or not. Attendance is definitely worth tracking. We’ve talked about using time and attendance data for company growth before, but team attendance can be a useful performance metric as well. Automating time and attendance is a great way to keep an eye on things. If a team member is consistently showing up late, leaving early, or taking an unusual number of sick days, they’re likely not showing their full potential.
Poor attendance can be caused by any number of things, including a lack of motivation, health issues, or burnout. HR World notes that absenteeism can put extra pressure on other team members who have to make up for missing coworkers. Furthermore, if your organization is understaffed and team members are overworked in general, it’s best to address the problem as soon as possible to avoid putting team health and well-being at risk.
Team Member Performance Metric #2: Helpfulness
We love helping our clients, so it isn’t surprising that we’d aim to include helpfulness on a list of team member performance metrics. Joshua Konowe of Konowe & Associates told AllBusiness Experts that helpfulness is a key performance metric at his company: “At our company, we ask: ‘Who in your department (or another department) has been the most helpful over the past six months to you and your operational role?’”
He adds that posing this question to team members is “a great motivator, is totally anonymous, and identifies the real doers in the company—not just what management believes.’” Helpfulness is important for fostering a culture of teamwork, allowing your team to perform better when tackling difficult tasks together. It might be difficult to measure helpfulness, but Konowe’s method is a great place to start.
Team Member Performance Metric #3: Efficiency
Team members need to be able to complete their work on time. They should have a good handle on the limitations provided by the time and resources available and should be able to prioritize to get things done as efficiently as possible. Look for missed deadlines or work that suffers as a result of cramming for deadlines for clues as to how efficiently a team member is working.
Attendance is important here too: if you see a team member clocking large amounts of overtime every day, you may need to speak to them about time management.
Team Member Performance Metric #4: Initiative
It’s nice when those you work with ask what’s needed and where they can help. It’s even nicer when they see a need and take steps to meet it on their own. An employee that takes initiative is definitely a sign of team satisfaction and engagement.
Looking at team members who take initiative is also important for growing businesses and for rapidly changing workplaces that require people who can adapt and be proactive. Initiative-taking is definitely a difficult metric to measure, but a good place to start would be by keeping track of the times you see a team member taking initiative, either with a nifty app or with good old-fashioned pen and paper.
Team Member Performance Metric #5: Quality
The quality of work your team members put out is perhaps the most important metric, but it is also the most difficult to define. Team members who care about what they do and are engaged at work will likely perform better, and it’s a good idea to recognize resulting achievements. Productivity is more complex than simply looking at the number of sales calls put out or the number of blog posts published. How many meaningful connections did your salesperson actually make with the new leads? How much of your content actually gets viewed and shared by your audience? HR World suggests measuring the amount of work that gets rejected or needs to be redone as a proxy for the quality of work, but it’s best to pick and design the method that suits your business best.
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Over to you
People and culture pros have their work cut out for them when it comes to measuring and assessing team performance. How do you quantify the performance of a rockstar member of the team? Certainly, while quantification is important, Cheryl Stein at Monster.com advised people and culture professionals not to get too caught up in numbers and details.
At the end of the day, team members are people and not just resources to be consumed. Stein notes that some qualities—like the propensity for relationship building—are worth their weight in gold and should not be overlooked. However, Stein also suggested that it’s crucial to keep an eye on trends because a change in team performance could be a sign of something bigger in an organization: “Declines in performance could signal shifts in the market, or lack of buy-in to your company’s product line, marketing strategy, mission, vision, or values.”
Stein also stressed the importance of clear communication when measuring team member performance: “Be clear about what you want to measure and be clear about how you deliver the news. That way everyone will know where they stand.”
Looking for a better way to improve performance across your organization? Rise HR software helps Canadian businesses manage their teams, track time off, keep an eye on employee engagement, and much more. Request a demo to see the Rise platform and learn how Rise can help grow your business.