5 Ways to Track & Improve Employee Performance

Supervisor pointing at an employee's computer

Direct monitoring of employees is not always practical.

Employee performance tracking is critical to ensure that your organization operates efficiently and meets its strategic goals. If your organization wants to effectively track and improve employee performance, you need to understand the role your employees play in meeting the organization’s objectives and implement the appropriate tools and practices to track and support them.

1) Set Clear, Measurable, & Actionable Goals 

You cannot improve what you do not measure. In order to improve employee performance, you need to have a clear understanding of what employee performance improvement looks like in the context of your organization. Without specific and measurable productivity goals, the effectiveness of your performance improvement plan will be difficult to track. 

To start, determine your top strategic priorities and use a goal-setting framework to set clear, measurable, and actionable goals that support those priorities. With relevant goals established, you can then determine the metrics of employee performance that ultimately improve the effectiveness of your organization’s strategic priorities. 

Organizational Goal-Setting Frameworks:

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs are quantifiable measures such as Capacity Utilisation Rate and Revenue Per Employee. KPIs are excellent for comparing changes in performance on a monthly, quarterly, or annual scale so long as they are relevant and meaningful to the organization’s mission. To determine the KPIs that are suitable for your organization, visit Bernard Marr’s KPI library for ideas.
  • Objective & Key Result (OKRs): OKRs are monthly or quarterly goals that are openly shared and prioritized within the organization. A basic OKR strategy includes 3-5 high-level objectives, each with 3-5 measurable key results that support the objective.
  • SMART Goals: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. The goals you set for your organization (and subsequently for your employees) need to be properly contextualized for use within your organization; vague and irrelevant goals only serve to frustrate and confuse employees.

Ideally, you will have an abundance of historical employee productivity data to use as a baseline for comparison when determining the effectiveness of your productivity improvement plan. With historical data you will be able to properly contextualize changes in employee performance by comparing metrics that were captured before and after the plan is implemented. 

2) Capture Productivity Data with Employee Monitoring Software

If your organization is not currently measuring employee productivity, you will need to determine the data you would like to collect and implement tools to monitor employee performance. Employee monitoring software can be used to monitor work performance by tracking the metrics that matter to your organization such as time spent on tasks, application usage, and internet activity. 

The best method to monitor employee performance will depend on the nature of work your employees engage in. Employee computer monitoring software is an excellent tool for organizations that regularly use electronic devices to perform their core duties as they can monitor time spent on tasks and identify unproductive employee internet usage.

 3) 1:1 Meetings & Reports

Successful monitoring of employee performance starts with making a routine of regular, continuous, 1-on-1 meetings. 

Managers play a critical role in leading improvements to the performance of their employees. Standup meetings are an excellent opportunity for managers to develop rapport, provide authentic and frequent recognition, and collect process improvement feedback from employees.

When managers make a habit of regularly checking in they will develop a better understanding of the progress of ongoing projects, monitor employee engagement, and help to alleviate any blocks that are interfering with employee productivity.

When managers require further insights or they are not as available as they need to be for regular check-ins, supplementing direct engagement with the data-driven insights provided by employee monitoring reports will allow them to keep their fingers on the pulse of their workforce until they can return to their usual routines.

4) Self-Monitoring

Improving employee performance does not solely fall on the organization and its managers. Employees that are actively engaged in self-monitoring will proactively measure the progress of their projects and personal productivity by using tools such as project plans, checklists, and activity logs. Self-monitoring tools will help empower employees to set and track their own goals, leading to improved engagement and ownership over their tasks.

If your organization is tracking employee performance with software, employees will benefit from being provided access to their personal employee monitoring reports as well. These reports will provide your employees with specific measures of how they are spending their time during the workday, allowing them to self-adjust as necessary.

Proactive self-monitoring goes hand-in-hand with the regular standup reports the employee will have with their manager. Self-monitoring gives the employee a heightened awareness of their performance and current needs, allowing them to make the best use of the time spent in these brief check-ins.

5) Project Management Tools

Time spent working can be a useful metric when used in conjunction with other relevant metrics, but is the work getting done? With project management tools such as Asana, Monday, and Trello, project managers can not only track project progress – they can track employee performance, too!

Project management tools allow project leaders to monitor the project-specific output of employees, identify blocks to project progress, and overview upcoming deadlines for the deliverables needed to ensure the project executes smoothly.

Conclusion

With the above methods in mind, your organization can drastically improve employee performance through mindful goal setting, defining and tracking the metrics that support the organization’s goals, and maintaining a clear vision for your employees. 

If you are considering internet monitoring or web access control solutions to mitigate inappropriate technology use in your organization, see our guide on choosing which internet content control method is right for you.

Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland is a Marketing Coordinator for CurrentWare, a global provider of endpoint security and employee monitoring software. Dale’s diverse multimedia background allows him the opportunity to produce a variety of content for CurrentWare including blogs, infographics, videos, eBooks, and social media shareables.