How to Measure Individual Employee Performance
To increase the chances that your employees become and stay engaged, and that your organization’s goals will be met, you must connect the metrics in a balanced scorecard and other key organizational goals to each employee’s job.
This is critical in building a “line of sight,” which is key to employee engagement. Typically, this is done through the dreaded performance appraisal process, which is generally despised by managers and employees alike.
Employees don’t want to be average — they want to win! To really get the most out of your people, you have to define and communicate what constitutes “high performance.” If you don’t, you can’t expect improvement from your employees.
The best scorecards build in “average” and “high-performance” norms to activate their employees’ achievement gene. Your staff needs to have a clear picture of what’s optimal, not just the minimum required to get by.
Most companies benchmark against competitors but shy away from benchmarking within their own organization, but this approach is foolish. You need to know who your top-performing employees are (or aren’t) before you can determine why they perform highly (or don’t). How do you define those individuals? What are their performance benchmarks?
If you don’t communicate average and high-performance norms, the best you can hope for is to sustain mediocrity.
So, what individual metrics should you measure? There are probably dozens — if not hundreds — of different types of jobs at your company, let alone in the world, and there isn’t one set of metrics that would apply to all of them.
The best performance management and measurement systems include a blend of quantitative metrics (the “what”) and qualitative metrics (the “how”). If an organization can capture and report on quantitative benchmarks for average and high-performing norms, employees will better understand what defines success.
For illustrative purposes, this table provides examples of both quantitative and qualitative metrics.
|Quantitative Metrics||Qualitative Metrics|
|Number of defects||Teamwork|
|Number of calls per hour||Dependability|
|Number of customer calls||Initiative|
|Percentage complete||Planning and organization|
|Percentage of projects completed on time||Enthusiasm|
|Number of projects completed on time and within budget||Mentoring and coaching|
|Number of projects completed within budget||Communication|
|Percentage of performance appraisals (of direct reports)
|OSHA recordables (injuries reported to OSHA)||Quest for learning|
|Number of patient re-admissions||Technological efficiency|
|Number of infections||Resourcefulness|
|On-time delivery rate||Inquisitiveness|
|Returns per employee||Creativity|
|Sales per employee|