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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.

In this article you will learn how to monitor staff performance using a combination of goal setting, employee performance trackers, continuous communication, and project management tools.


Software to Monitor Employee Performance

Want to track employee productivity? With CurrentWare’s employee productivity monitoring software, monitoring computer activities is as easy as installing the solution on your employee’s computers and running reports on their computer activity from a convenient central console.

1) Set Clear, Measurable, & Actionable Goals 

A group of employees reviewing reports

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 an Employee Performance Tracker

An employee performance tracker is the best way to track employee performance. With these productivity monitoring tools you can make data-driven productivity management decisions.

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 performance tracking 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.

What You Can Track With CurrentWare’s Employee Productivity Monitoring Software:

 3) 1:1 Meetings & Reports

man and woman in business attire shaking hands

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.

Get Your FREE Employee Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) Template

Mockup of a employee performance improvement plan template
  • Set expectations for underperforming employees
  • Establish a timeline for improving on actionable goals
  • Keep track of check-ins and milestones throughout the PIP

Get started today—Download the FREE template to start correcting employee productivity and conduct issues.

4) Self-Monitoring

“The employees find the reports to be an extremely helpful self-analysis tool, and use the reports to analyze and reconfigure priorities!”

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

A photo of a whiteboard. It is covered in week-by-week breakdowns and sticky notes

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.

How to Monitor Employees

Thanks for checking out the latest CurrentWare how-to video. Today we will cover How to Monitor Internet Use. 

If you like this or other videos we’ve produced, hit the subscribe button below. Stay tuned to the end to learn how to get a free trial of the software I demo today.

In a previous video, we covered some of the benefits of monitoring employees including for productivity reasons, to avoid legal liability and to prevent cyber threats. In this video, we’re going to cover how to monitor internet use and some of the industry best practices.

We’re going to be using BrowseReporter, CurrentWare’s computer monitoring solution. 

This solution requires an agent to be installed on your employee’s computers. Once installed, their computer activity is streamed to your server where you can run reports and view their activity. 

To start off, we recommend you determine which browsers are being used by your company. This is a good time to look at your company’s policy and determine which default browser you recommend. You can also find out which browsers your employees are using with BrowseReporter’s application monitoring report. In addition, you can actually block the installation or use of other browsers by using CurrentWare’s BrowseControl solution.

The next step is to figure out what time period you want to look at. You can pull reports on demand at any desired time period including last 7 days, last month or a custom date range. 

For this example, we’ll look at yesterday’s results. Now you can actually schedule these reports to email automatically to the appropriate person on your team, but in this case we are going to use on-demand reports, pulling the reports up as needed.

So let’s jump in and start with a snapshot report on employee internet use based on productivity.

With the CurrentWare Employee Productivity Report, you get a simple snapshot into how much time was spent on websites that are deemed to be productive. The definition of productive is based on our proprietary system of ranking each website based on whether it’s productive, unproductive or neutral. You can even change the categorization of websites based on your business needs to make this report more helpful.

Looking at the CurrentWare console, we’ll pull up the employee productivity report for employee Conan. We will look at yesterday’s performance and see that Conan was only 24% productive. The majority of his time was spent on Social Media and Sports websites vs. work related tasks.

The next way to assess productivity is to see which sites someone has spent the most time on. For example, if you know the employee is on the sales team and should be spending the majority of time on, you can investigate and see which are the main sites they are really browsing. 

By pulling up the Top Domains visited report, we can see exactly which domains Conan browsed yesterday by Active Time and Total Time. Similar to the previous report, we see the majority of his time was spent on Facebook and ESPN.

One of the most interesting features of CurrentWare’s internet monitoring reports are related to tracking the actual activity of a user and not letting the data get convoluted with different tabs or windows that a user has open.

BrowseReporter has 3 different ways to determine how the internet and applications are being used:

  • Active Time
  • Total Time
  • Idle Time

Active Time measures how long the current window is in focus, giving you the most accurate report on where users spent their time on websites and applications. BrowseReporter has the capability to determine which website tab was active at the top of the screen so you get extremely accurate reporting on where they spent their time. 

Total Time measures the total duration the window is opened for, from the start time until the end time regardless of whether the window was in focus or not. Not every user acts the same. Some users switch between two monitors. Some like to stream content in the background. No matter what their behaviors are, BrowseReporter can track the total time they spent on the websites whether or not they were focused on the window.

Finally, Idle time measures how long the user is away from his computer after the mouse and keyboard stopped moving. By default, idle time is tracked after 20 minutes of inactivity. Time tracking should be fair. If your users are not in front of their computers, BrowseReporter will separate the time tracked into idle time so you can filter it out if you need to during report generation.

Now if you want to investigate the exact website pages that the employee visited, you can use the Sites visited report. This report breaks down each url in detail along with how much time was spent on each page.

This lets you distill down if they were looking at pages related to work on those domains or if it was something more personal. This is specifically helpful for domains like which for certain industries or roles can provide value, but knowing which exact video was watched can help you understand the use case by the employee.

Finally, we recommend investigating productivity by looking at employee keyword searches.

This report allows you to Review the exact search keywords used by employees and Identify employees that are distracted or struggling with specific topics. In addition, you can also discover employee sentiment and monitor for high-risk search terms such as attempts to find adult-oriented websites.

In this keywords searched example we can see employee Greg has searched lots of personal items into google over the past working days. This helps you understand where they may be spending their time and what they are  browsing in google.

That’s it for this video on how to monitor internet use with BrowseReporter. If you have any thoughts on the reports or suggestions we’ve covered in this video, feel free to comment below.. 

If you’d like to give BrowseReporter or any of the other CurrentWare Solutions a try, please check our free trial at or get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help!

NOTE: The above video contains a legacy user interface for BrowseReporter. To see the most up-to-date version, please visit the BrowseReporter product page.

With employee computer monitoring software you can track and improve employee performance by monitoring how they spend their time at work. In this video tutorial, you will learn how to use BrowseReporter to monitor employees.

With BrowseReporter you can…

  • Monitor employee internet usage, including exact URLs and timestamps
  • See a breakdown of productive vs unprodutive internet usage; these classifications can be customized to suit what is considered productive for your company
  • Monitor employee application usage to see what software is being used, for how long, and at what time


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 control method is right for you.

Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.