The success of an organization primarily depends on the performance of its employees. Performance is the outcome achieved through the collective contribution of employees to accomplish organizational goals. Employers expect an employee to perform their duties and responsibilities with the utmost integrity to deliver productive results.
Employers face the challenge of finding productive tools to measure and track employee performance. This article highlights the techniques of monitoring performance and the emerging role of technologically-advanced tools to keep track of employee activities.
Significance of Tracking Employee Performance
Managers are responsible for observing and scrutinizing the qualitative and quantitative performance of their employees. They objectively monitor and examine the performance on different parameters and give ratings as per predefined standards. Thus, they set quantifiable performance targets for the level of achievement expected from them in a given time frame.
The objectives to track employee performance are:
- to compare the performance with set expectations,
- to discern the deviations, and
- to find practical solutions for a better future performance
Tracking employee performance facilitates understanding and interpreting their personality and professional traits. It brings to fore the extent to which the competency of employees aligns with the organizational goals. The tangible evaluation results form the basis for strategic employee-related decisions such as employee growth (promotion, salary hike), rewards, bonuses, training and professional development, and many others.
Techniques to Track Employee Performance
Organizations employ fair and unbiased mechanisms to analyze and track the performance of their employees. The focus is on monitoring, measuring, and improving employee work performance, and consequently, augmenting the profitability quotient of the business.
Managers have used different manual and automated tools to monitor employees’ activities. A few of the methods that have helped in tracking employee performance are:
- Maintaining work logbooks, output register, and excel sheets
- Manual recording of check-in and check-out time
- Camera surveillance
However, technological advancement has made these methods obsolete as they did not provide accurate and complete visibility of employee performance.
The age-old performance tracking techniques focus on measuring the work performance based on the quantitative data collated by the line managers. HR managers use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Balanced Scorecard tools to determine the baseline of evaluating and tracking employee efforts. For example, average output per unit of time (hours, days, or month), average cost saved per unit of production, the conversion rate of each sales promotion, and so on. Employees get ratings as per these predetermined quantifiable standards. Thus, the calculable output forms the basis of manager assessment on the employee performance.
Other successful tools to track employee performance are Management By Objectives (MBO) and Objective and Key Result (OKRs). The manager and employee jointly define objectives to be achieved within a definite time frame. They analyze past performance and identify the improvement areas. The objectives set are in sync with working on those improvement areas and realizing overall organizational goals. MBO and OKRs thus adopt a focused approach to track employee performance.
Guidelines to Track Employee Performance
- Set explicit goals for your employees with defined deadlines and communicate them well to drive a focused performance from them. SMART goals are the modern goal-setting criteria that focus on defining Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely goals for your employees.
- Check-in frequently to gauge their day-to-day activities. Morning huddles and one-on-one discussions are the best ways to engage with your team. Enquire if they are facing any difficulties or need additional resources. Take regular updates to know the exact status and pace of their work.
- Invariably keep tabs on both the short-term and long-term achievements. Pat on their backs to recognize their efforts and keep their morale high. Give them feedback on improving their performance and productivity.
The New-age Performance Tracking Techniques
Before diving deep into the new-age techniques to track employee performances, introspect and analyze the answers to these questions on your current Performance Tracking System:
- Does it seamlessly and meticulously record the performance of each employee of your organization?
- Are your existing performance metrics giving you an accurate and transparent picture of the motivational and demotivational factors contributing to employees’ performance?
- Does it provide a two-way interactive platform for your employees to share their thoughts, viewpoints, and ideas? In case it does, are you able to track all the feedback, comments, suggestions, or distress of each employee?
The answers to these questions will sensitize you to the need to have a 21st-century digital system to measure and analyze the performance of your employees.
The Human Resource departments in organizations are leveraging technological advancements to monitor the performance of employees. The contemporary automated, innovative, and real-time performance tracking systems have replaced the traditional methods. They provide practical insights into how employees behave and perform at work. The new-age HR software provides digital, customized, and cloud-based solutions to the performance tracking needs of the organizations. A few of the unique functionalities of this software are:
- It measures performance as per inputs received from the line managers and gathers accurate details of employees’ non-performance.
- It closely keeps a watch on the online activities of the employees. It tracks the details such as websites visited, apps used, hours spent working on the internet, etc. It ensures that employees do not pass the time surfing the internet and not use organizational resources for personal purposes. The close surveillance keeps them on guard and helps them stay on track!
- The automated time mapping feature allots a deadline to each task assigned to an employee and tracks the actual time taken to accomplish that task. It creates a list of pending work and raises red flags that take a long time to finish.
- It calculates effective working hours by recording the mouse and keyboard clicks. It further facilitates determining their work or idle status (productive and unproductive hours) on a real-time basis. The programmed time-tracking tool creates attendance reports based on logging in time on computers.
- It presents the data in graphs, bar charts, pie charts to give a bird-eye view of employee performance.
- It examines and interprets an employee’s behavior and its impact on their performance (in both positive and negative ways). It highlights the obstacles to good performance and the demotivational triggers to a not-up-to-the-mark performance.
- It transcribes the subjective components, such as employee perception, judgment, and reasoning, that play a significant role in defining the satisfaction level and hence the performance of employees.
In a Nutshell
Employers analyze and track employee performance to relate actions to expectations of the desired outcome. Modern performance tracking systems are practical automatic tools to oversee the work completion status of employees. The innovative features quantify employee productivity and provide 360-degree visibility of their work performance.