By Vivian Wagner, special to Workplace Tribes.
“Metrics” is a word that can sound intimidating. Essentially, it refers to ways of measuring data about a company, organization, or employee.
Employee performance metrics in this sense are nothing new; managers have always evaluated employees based on certain criteria, such as sales records, attendance, or production.
What’s new is that the methods of measurement have gotten increasingly sophisticated over the past few years. Now, instead of simply looking at a salesperson’s number of sales over the course of a year, for instance, employers can use software programs to gather, analyze, and interpret that data, looking at it from all possible angles.
Whether the data is measured in person, on paper, or online, there are still standard criteria used in employee performance metrics. Here are a few of them:
This is the biggie. Every company, after all, wants its employees to be productive. Productivity can be measured in various ways, depending on the business, but basically it evaluates how much work an employee does in a specific timeframe. What counts as work varies based on what the company or the department does.
In a production facility, number of units produced is one valid measurement of employee performance. Flickr/Matthew C. Wright
For instance, sales departments might measure the number of sales calls made, the number of sales completed, or the overall revenue generated by a salesperson. Manufacturing companies might measure the number of units produced, packaged, or shipped by each employee. A research and development company might measure the fiscal impact of an employee’s research projects, the number of patents produced, or the number of projects that have successfully converted into products.
Skills and Competencies
This kind of measurement evaluates specific employee skills and abilities, such as technical skills, communication skills, customer service abilities, sales aptitude, team player attributes, or leadership tendencies. While it might seem that the measurement of such skills involves a certain degree of subjectivity, it’s possible to design written tests, online questionnaires, or other metrics that make the measurement as objective and quantifiable as possible.
It’s also important to measure how an employee performs over time. Have sales increased? Has customer satisfaction? Has the amount of positive feedback from other employees increased? Trend measurements can be built into other metrics, or this data can be gathered separately. This kind of metric can be useful both to employers and to employees, who love to see objective proof of the work they’re doing and the improvements they’ve made.
Training metrics involve tests before, during, or after training sessions, which assess the effectiveness of a training program. By seeing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that develop in employees, managers can gauge the effectiveness of training programs, and make any necessary changes for future programs.
Training metrics, in other words, measure both the employees (“outcomes”) and the training program itself (“process”).
There are lots of metrics out there, but they’re all doing basically the same thing: measuring the effectiveness of your staff. New technologies and methodologies make it easier to custom-design employee performance metrics systems that works for your business. This helps both your staff, and your bottom line.
TribeHR’s performance appraisal system makes it easy to include your own metrics, so that you can build a team and culture that’s engaged in its own success.