Quality performance tracking helps employees become more capable and confident on the job. It involves consistently monitoring and measuring the results team members achieve. Through these measurements, you can also see whether performance has changed—for better or worse. Equipped with this information, you can shape their continued growth.
Let’s dig into the benefits of tracking employee performance in more detail. Then, we’ll look at strategies for optimizing performance tracking.
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The Importance of Performance Tracking
Performance tracking strongly influences an organization’s outcomes. Let’s review the substantial benefits of a good performance tracking system:
- Employees appreciate knowing if they’re on track to meet expectations. This reduces frustration and increases satisfaction.
- Each employee will receive the individualized support they need. Managers will better understand how to coach them and provide the right resources.
- Teams will achieve their KPIs, boosting organizational success.
Performance tracking benefits every organization, but it’s especially crucial for remote and hybrid teams. Without the right support, remote employees will lack direction. Implementing a strong system will help them stay productive. Plus, it can enhance team collaboration by keeping everyone focused on the right goals.
Performance Tracking Pitfalls to Avoid
Are there any potential drawbacks to performance tracking? Only if you fall into these traps:
- Tracking how employees spend every moment of their time. Don’t be one of those employers who tracks what websites employees use throughout the day. That level of micromanagement conveys mistrust and harms relationships. Instead, focus on whether they’re accomplishing their targets.
- Making feedback linked to performance tracking feel like a punishment or penalty. When delivering constructive feedback, focus on how to improve in the future. Always maintain a positive, upbeat tone.
- Assigning numerical rankings, which tend to be demoralizing. “People would rather hear ‘You’re meeting, not exceeding, expectations’ than ‘You’re a 3 on a 5-point scale,’” write Heidi K. Gardner and Ivan Matviak in Harvard Business Review.
- Not adequately rewarding major wins. If all accomplishments receive similar rewards, you’ll reduce incentive to achieve big ones. Celebrate big wins in a way that stands out. For instance, gather everyone together to share appreciation for an employee’s efforts.
- Not giving employees access to the data. When they can clearly see their progress for themselves, they’ll feel more motivated. Plus, they’ll be able to adapt in real time and feel more convinced of the need to make necessary changes.
Now, let’s examine how to maximize results from performance tracking.
Performance Tracking Methods
You can employ several useful methods of performance tracking. They are not mutually exclusive—we suggest using all of them in tandem.
- Self-monitoring performance tracking
- Continuous performance tracking
- 360 review tracking
Self-monitoring involves tracking one’s own performance. Continuous performance tracking uses a system of tracking daily performance to produce up-to-date information on progress. And 360 reviews assess performance from the standpoint of colleagues. In particular, 360s provide a wealth of data on interpersonal performance.
An occasional 360 can complement continuous performance tracking. We’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of these techniques in the next section.
Optimizing Your Performance Tracking
Importantly, performance tracking doesn’t just relate to productivity level. Rather, it focuses on whether the employee is being productive in the right areas.
Establishing a good performance tracking system begins with setting goals. We’ll discuss this step, followed by methods, metrics, and more. Using quality software will make all of this possible.
Create clear goals and expectations to kick off your performance tracking efforts. Good software will let you set goals and KPIs for each employee. For example, Primalogik’s performance tracking tools allow you to set clear targets and deadlines for them.
These goals and KPIs should be fleshed out in a personal development plan. Develop this individualized plan with employees, based on their professional goals and the demands of their role.
Empower employees to take ownership of their performance tracking. A quality system will make this easy. Employees will have access to the same data that managers see, in an easily digestible format. Every day, they will get clear and objective updates on their progress.
Using Performance Tracking Metrics
Know the right performance tracking metrics to emphasize. Quality of work and productivity (volume of work) are two broad categories to focus on. Within them, you can look at metrics like these:
- Customer satisfaction
- Sales made
- Leads secured
- Reports produced
- Projects completed
- Products produced
- Marketing campaigns completed
- Trainings provided
- Skills developed
Tailor each employee’s metrics to their individual goals and KPIs. Different roles will need different metrics. Before establishing individual metrics, establish team goals, KPIs, and metrics. Individuals’ metrics should cascade from these.
Keeping a Manager Log
Your manager log will complement the results shown by your performance tracking software. For instance, you may have seen an employee confronting a challenge that influenced this week’s progress. Your observations can provide context for the system’s findings.
If the employee successfully overcame the unforeseen challenge, you might consider it a successful week even if the target wasn’t yet achieved. These observations are critical to weekly and quarterly reviews.
Sharing Daily Feedback
Give employees constructive feedback based on performance tracking results. In your feedback, focus on outcomes. Avoid micromanaging how employees spend their time or complete tasks. Of course, if they need help with prioritizing, you can assist them with that. But don’t try to dictate exactly how they complete tasks—especially if they aren’t asking.
Give plenty of positive feedback as well. Ask yourself, “What advice did I give the employee yesterday? Are they using it?” Share input on whether they’re responding effectively to this past input.
Holding Weekly Recap Sessions
Once a week, hold recaps to discuss performance. Friday check-ins can work well for this purpose. After all, they allow you to discuss the past week’s performance while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind. Recap what you’ve noticed through the software and your own observations.
Make these sessions a two-way dialogue. Invite employees to respond to your observations. They can share challenges they faced that you might not know about, for instance. Ask about their needs for additional support or resources.
Check in about their work/life balance as well. By doing so, you’ll show that you care about them as a person and want them to enjoy a high quality of life.
Using a Performance Tracking Template
A performance tracking template will help you easily structure your check-ins. Holding weekly one-on-ones will feel much easier with this support, streamlining your process. Quality software will offer a template for these recap sessions. It will also generate handy visuals like charts and graphs to provide a quick refresher.
Weekly Performance Review Template
Employee Name: _______________
Manager Name :_______________
Please rate the employee in the following areas:
Goal achievement 1 2 3 4 5
Communication 1 2 3 4 5
Teamwork 1 2 3 4 5
Integrity 1 2 3 4 5
Creativity 1 2 3 4 5
Problem-solving 1 2 3 4 5
Please provide detailed responses to these questions:
- Has the employee been struggling in any areas this week? Describe your observations.
- What successes (major or minor) has the employee experienced this week?
- What progress has the employee made toward goals and KPIs? Does this meet expectations?
- Have any unforeseen hurdles affected goal achievement? Explain.
- Describe the employee’s interpersonal skills and any difficulties in this area.
- How effectively does the employee manage his or her time—and how could this improve?
- Would you like to add any additional information?
Managers should use their answers to these questions to structure conversations with employees. This documentation is also crucial from an ethical and compliance standpoint. Having this paper trail can help pinpoint and address bias. And it can help prevent legal issues (after, for instance, letting an employee go) by thoroughly documenting the rationale for your choices.
Gaining Peer Feedback
A 360 review gathers and synthesizes feedback from a range of colleagues. They can include peers, subordinates, leaders, and even clients. Software tools can draw conclusions from their responses.
Questions in 360 reviews should especially focus on communication and teamwork. After all, colleagues have valuable perspectives in these areas.
This feedback can help employees strengthen their collaboration abilities. Managers should discuss the results of these periodic reviews with employees. Conducting them once per quarter, or every 6 months, can provide more relevant results than an annual 360.
With the right support, managers and employees will excel. As a result, organizations can achieve more ambitious KPIs and goals. Make sure performance tracking is a core component of your talent management to optimize organizational success.
Want to see firsthand how software can enable great performance? As a top-of-the-line performance tracking tool, Primalogik provides the support organizations need in all of these areas. Demo our product to see for yourself!