Understanding Job Performance in your Company

Job performance is the assessment of whether an employee has done their job well. It’s an individual evaluation—one measured based on a single person’s effort. Your human resource department will usually manage the assessment, but job performance is a hugely important process to the entire company’s success.

That said, while individual job performance is important, it must not be confused with measuring the outcome of an their work. Job performance is simply the measurement of an employee’s behaviors. This is because the outcome of an individual’s role depends on a variety of factors, from the economy to company culture. For example, while a customer service representative may have a perfect support record, if your phone lines are unreliable, the outcome of her work will not be a good indicator of how well she performed in her role.

Human resource departments and individual supervisors should measure employee job performance on regular basis. Ongoing measurement keeps team members on track and will help everyone identify areas for improvement.

Let’s look deeper into the importance of measuring job performance, including what to measure and how to do it effectively.

How Job Performance Affects a Company's Performance

Individual employee job performance will impact your organization’s performance.  

For example, take time management. When an employee understands his quarterly goals and can effectively manage his projects, he’s much better equipped to plan each day to help accomplish these goals.

Or let’s take ambition. Employees who are on the hunt to improve their individual skills are usually passionate about advancement. He may stay late to help his peers or take a weekend course to better tackle his upcoming projects. These make him a more productive member of your team, and helps HR save money by promoting from within. When employees actively look to move up in an organization, that organization benefits.

These benefits trickle down to your customers too. If they call your support line with a question and are connected to a friendly, knowledgeable agent, they leave feeling respected—and keep coming back. But if your support agents lack the skills and training to do their job, you’ll lose customers quicker than you can find them.

Measuring Employees Job Performance

Effective performance management is a year-round collaboration between employee and supervisor. This is the only way you can make adjustments and support each individual’s skills and goals.

To measure job performance, employees should meet with their supervisors on a regular basis. Weekly and monthly meetings should cover upcoming projects, roadblocks and company goals. Quarterly and yearly reviews, on the other hand, should touch on these four important topics:

  • Job description review
  • Upcoming goals
  • Skills assessment
  • Long-term career goals

These discussions should also cover an evaluation of the employee’s work, from their latest achievements, internal relationships and areas for improvement. Not only will this keep employees accountable, but once they’ve been in their role for over a year, you can review old evaluations to monitor progress.

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What to Measure

Every company needs to determine what they need to measure and why they’re measuring it for themselves. If you don’t measure the right things from the get-go, future programs will only have a small impact on organization performance.

If you manage an international, remote team with flexible hours, “tardiness” may not matter, while “communication” may be at the top of your list.

Here are eight qualities most organizations measure during their performance reviews (adapted from the book Effective Phrases For Performance Appraisals).

Achievement: In this section you’ll want to point to evidence of specific accomplishments. For example, “Roger helped decrease customer support tickets by 37% when he added 100 macros to our Knowledge Base.”

Administration: It may not be sexy, but process is everything. If an employee creates their own procedures and/or follows company procedures, they’re helping make your entire organization more efficient.

Communication: Does your employee effectively communicate their progress, expectations, and roadblocks? Are they great at facilitating brainstorming sessions or keeping meetings on track? Or are they slow to respond to email and hard to track down?

Cooperation: If your employee encourages team collaboration, shares ideas and builds strong relationships with others, here’s the place to talk about it.

Delegating: Are employees clear on their personal strengths? Do they have the right authority and resources to delegate tasks? If you’re eager to turn team members into leaders, delegation should be at the top of your list.

Improvement: As we talked about earlier, ambitious employees are good for everyone. You may want to consider measuring whether your staff is constantly looking for ways to grow and improve. Maybe they’re developing new internal strategies or working on new skills.

Productivity: Does this employee produce more than expected? Does he often exceed normal output standards? Is she an important contributor to the success of your department? Nearly every organization tracks employee productivity. Doing so will help you determine which employees make the biggest contribution to your company’s growth.  

Vision: Can this team member turn visions into concrete plans? Does he or she promote strong support of your mission? This section is great for determining who on your team is living your organizational values.

These are just a few of the many qualities you should measure during your performance reviews.

How to Measure

You can measure job performance through an analytics platform, dedicated software or even a simple spreadsheet.

The benefit to using a dedicated software is the ability to view trends and insights at a glance. With all your data in one place you can see exactly where your employees stand.

But even a simple spreadsheet or Word document can allow you to customize questions and set goals for each employee. Store it in a file or in the cloud and you can refer back to each employee’s worksheet every time you do a review. While not as high-tech, HR departments have been doing things this way for years and if you’re limited by budget or resources, a paper worksheet is better than nothing.

You may want to also consider including a 360 review into your arsenal of tools. These reviews paint a more holistic picture in your employee’s performance by including feedback from managers, peers and direct reports. These types of performance reviews are increasing in popularity because they help team members develop business and interpersonal skills as opposed to only looking at their successes and failures.

Regardless of what you choose to measure, if you’re at a large or fast-growing company, you’ll definitely want to consider a formal review software, whether you’re measuring job performance on it’s own, or as part of your organizational culture. A dedicated software can streamline the entire process and eliminate a lot of the administrative headaches that often come with frequent surveying. Features like automated reminders decreases your workload while ensuring team members complete their reviews on time. Pulse surveys help you collect ongoing feedback, which is easier to remember and incorporate on a daily basis.

How CultureIQ Can Help

Your employees should never be surprised by their performance review. Whatever they learn—successes or failures—should be discussed on an ongoing basis. For this reason, many HR departments have realized that one-off employee reviews and annual surveys just don’t work.

CultureIQ is a culture software designed for year-round use. Our pulse surveys collect ongoing feedback, letting you immediately evaluate your latest initiative. You can pinpoint problems, measure successes, and gain the flexibility to course correct on everything from a new benefits program to your recent merger. No more waiting months for data or diving into an ocean of feedback from a cumbersome annual survey.

A culture software may be the perfect fit if you’re eager to look at the bigger picture and work on improving company culture.

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