The way managers measure performance is changing. It used to be managers would measure results. They’d manage numbers and outputs. If an employee missed the mark by a fraction of a percent, it meant they wouldn’t get a raise or bonus.
That would leave employees feeling dejected and eventually disengaged in their work. It’s also way 82% of employees demand that their employers see them as people first, productivity vessels second. As a manager, you need to track progress in a way that measures performance and lets employees feel valued and heard.
It’s a delicate balance that could make a big difference to your bottom line. How can you use employee performance standards to track progress and hold employees accountable. Keep reading this guide to find out.
Business Goals and Objectives
Everything starts at the top of the business, including employee performance. In order to track employee progress, you need to set goals for each employee to target.
Outline the larger goals and objectives of the business. You can then create individual objectives aligned with the company’s goals. An excellent way to do this is with employee alignment software. This software can cascade the company’s strategy to everyone in the organization. It also allows employees to see how their roles contribute toward big-picture goals, enables better communication, and empowers leaders to display relevant data on dynamic dashboards and reports. This drives the company’s overall performance and helps it achieve its goals.
You see this most often within sales teams. The business goal is always to increase revenue. The sales manager knows that to increase revenue, sales have to increase.
The sales manager breaks that number down into the number of sales each rep has to make each month. They can further break down the performance tasks into the number of customer contacts, leads, and appointments to reach the monthly goal.
Create a Set of Expectations
Employees understand what tasks they need to accomplish each day. They’ll check their email, complete assigned tasks, and sit in meetings.
They may have phone calls and water cooler conversations in between.
Employees don’t understand what is expected of them beyond that. They understand the basic role and function of their position, but not much beyond that.
That allows them to cruise through each day. You need to change that mindset.
Sit with each employee and communicate their performance goals and expectations. This also needs to happen with every new hire.
Employees understand what they need to do each day and they have something to work towards. It also minimizes confusion between you and your employees.
Remember that statistic cited at the beginning of this article? Employees need to feel valued and like people. If you give them a set of performance indicators without support, they’ll look for another job.
Give them the tools they need to thrive. Offer additional coaching and training if you need to.
Keep the communication open between you and your employees. This is often difficult for managers because you have a tin of work to do yourself.
Managers have an open-door policy where employees can pop in and ask questions during specific times. That allows your employees to get what they need and you to get your work done.
Some managers have weekly one-on-one meetings with employees. That gives employees and managers a moment to catch up and review the week. It’s also a time to reiterate the expectations and goals.
Use Software to Track Progress
Software is a powerful way to monitor team accountability and track progress. Depending on the software, it could be a blessing or a curse.
Due to the rise of remote work, employers want to make sure their employees are actually working. They implemented employee tracking software to see if they’re logged in or not.
Other employers treat their employees like adults. They focus on goals and OKRs that drive the business forward.
Employees and managers can see where the team stands. That allows everyone to prioritize project tasks.
Create a Feedback Loop
Software helps you identify areas where your team fails to reach its common goals. A feedback loop gives you a holistic perspective of what’s going on in your business.
The feedback loop also gives you more information beyond software. You can ask the employee’s colleagues about what it’s like to work with that person.
Ask your customers what they like about working with your employees. You can use this as a tool to assess an employee’s soft skills.
You could uncover valuable traits that typical performance goals don’t cover.
Have an Employee Termination Plan
There will be employees that just can’t do the job, no matter how hard they try. They could be the nicest people, but they aren’t working out.
The worst thing about being a manager is that you do have to fire people occasionally. If an employee consistently fails to meet performance standards, you have to have a process in place to let them go.
There may be a warning system where you document the issues. Work with the employee and create a performance improvement plan.
If the employee still can’t measure up, then you’ll have to terminate them.
Communicate this process to employees so they are aware of the consequences of missing performance standards.
Managing vs. Leading
There are stark differences between leaders and managers. Managers focus on outputs, or on the end result. They look at the details and operations and fail to lead.
Leaders are influential in a positive way. They have outstanding communication skills and the ability to motivate and inspire others.
Outstanding leaders track progress and continue to motivate employees to reach their performance goals.
Tips to Track Progress and Performance
Your employees are the most important asset in your business. It’s imperative that you maintain a great relationship with them. It’s also important to track progress to make sure you’re maximizing their potential.
This article showed you how to create team accountability and measure performance. It’s all about effective work communication and setting goals based on business objectives.
For more helpful business tips and insights, check out the other articles on the blog.