Tracking team member performance is invaluable. Talented employees want feedback to help them grow and improve. Not only that, but understanding performance at your company can help you plan and achieve more in terms of output and revenue.
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 an Inc. article notes: “Measuring is important, but measuring what you need to measure and measuring it the right way is critical.”
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There are a number of different methods you can choose to track performance metrics. The Houston Chronicle outlines regular appraisals, productivity tests, 360-degree feedback, and management by objectives as a few common forms of measuring individual performance metrics.
The most effective metrics for measuring team member performance will depend on your business and on different team member roles. Here are five possible metrics for measuring team member performance.
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. Automating time tracking is a great way to keep an eye on attendance. 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. Although poor attendance is not in itself a measure of bad performance, consistent attendance can be a metric for positive performance.
Poor attendance can be caused by a number of things, including a lack of motivation, health issues, or burnout. There are a number of indirect costs of absenteeism such as extra pressure put on other team members, which can affect work quality and safety. 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 your employees’ health and well-being at risk.
Team member performance metric #2: Quality
Two of the main metrics of performance that many organizations and managers use are quality or quantity. Which is more important—quality or quantity—will vary by role, organization, industry, and sometimes even by the specific tasks and projects themselves.
The quality of work your employees put out is perhaps the most important metric, but it can also be the most difficult—and subjective—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 their achievements.
As far as quality is concerned, this metric for measuring team member performance can be quite subjective. There are times when an employee may feel that their work is of high quality, but their manager may not feel the same. That's what it's important to communicate expectations clearly so that both employee and employer know exactly what quality work looks like.
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 those new leads? How much of your content actually gets viewed and shared by your audience? One suggestion is to measure 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.
This can include things like how an employee's tasks contribute overall organizational goals or OKRs, measuring customer satisfaction, or other metrics that are relevant to your organization and industry.
Team Member Performance Metric #3: Quantity
Quantity is another team member performance metric that is important, but is much easier to measure than quality of work.
For roles, organizations, industries, or tasks where output is important, quantity plays a crucial role. Whether it's the number of clicks on a new ad, how many rubber ducks are sold in a month, or the number of calls answered and resolved by a customer support agent, quantity can give a great idea of how well a team member is performing. Like quality of work, quantity also ties back in to organizational goals.
Team member performance metric #4: Efficiency
Team members need to be able to complete their work on time. They should have a good handle on the limitations of the time and resources available and should be able to prioritize getting things done as efficiently as possible. Look for missed deadlines or work that suffers as a result of tight deadlines for clues as to how efficiently a team member is working.
It's also important to note that for some people, efficiency comes more naturally. Don't dismiss team members that have multiple to-do lists or task management systems. If it's getting their work done efficiently, then it's efficient for them!
Attendance is important here too: if you see a team member clocking large amounts of overtime regularly, you may need to speak to them about time management.
Team member performance metric #5: Initiative
Employees who ask for help or jump in when they see help is needed are the ones that show initiative—and an employee who shows initiative is a sign of team satisfaction and engagement.
Looking at team members who take initiative is also important for rapidly growing businesses that require people who can adapt and be proactive. Initiative-taking is definitely a difficult metric to measure. A good place to start would be by keeping track of the times you see a team member taking initiative, but also can be a part of your performance reviews with self, peer, or manager ratings.
People and culture experts 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, it’s also important to not 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. Some qualities—such as the propensity for relationship building—are worth their weight in gold and should not be overlooked. It’s important to evaluate your employees in a way that takes into account their measurable contributions but also examines the individual value that they bring to your organization.
Download our free ebook: The positive effects of an effective performance management process, to learn how performance management plays a critical role in employee engagement and retention.