• 6 min read

7 Ways to Track Employee Performance

Maria Chambi
Maria Chambi

HR and Finance Expert

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustration of a man holding a large magnifying glass and analysing the performance of four people

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Whether or not you feel your employees are doing their job properly, it’s still important to track their performance.

Unfortunately, leaders, managers and supervisors across the globe are not doing enough to monitor employee performance, which is leading to undermanagement: a chronic workplace problem that can be difficult to identify. Undermanagement involves managing on autopilot until something goes wrong, but the implications of this are huge.

Instead, what’s needed is an effective way to monitor employees.

Employee performance tracking is central to the success of your business because it allows you to determine how your employees are doing in terms of efficiency, productivity and customer service. What’s more, there are so many easy and efficient ways to do so.

Here are seven of the best methods you can adopt to monitor employee performance.

1. Set expectations and goals early on

Once hired, it’s vital that your employees understand precisely what’s expected of them, not just within their role overall, but within each specific project they do, too.

A recent Gallup Poll found that 38% of US employees are engaged at work and 13% are actively disengaged. While the figures are promising in some respects, there is still plenty of potential for improvement.

Managers and supervisors must not only be clear about their expectations from Day One but should also provide their staff with the tools and resources they need to effectively do their job. If they don’t, they run the risk of having employees who lack effort, energy and passion.

Clearly setting expectations and goals early eliminates confusion, maximises productivity and enhances the chances of employees achieving their goals. This, without question, enhances the success of the organisation but also contributes to greater employee retention.

2. Check in often with employees

Regularly checking in with your employees on a one-to-one basis enables you to carefully monitor their work and hold them accountable for their actions. This also gives you a stronger employee-manager relationship, which will radically improve their engagement levels.

Consistently checking in makes them feel valued and it reminds them to keep up with their good work. In turn, they avoid slipping into bad habits or losing the incentive to work hard. Ideally, you should aim to check in with them once a week or, at the very least, once a month.

In the words of Sir Richard Branson: ‘Put your staff first, customers second and shareholders third’. When you give your employees the tools to do a good job and make them feel looked after and treated well, this will make them feel happy to come to work. Ultimately, your customers will have a positive experience and will want to come back for more.

3. Improve your leadership skills

Strong, highly engaged leaders inspire employees to do great things. They motivate, support and facilitate communication among individuals, teams and departments.

Being a great leader means you understand where your team is headed. You remain in tune with your employees, providing highly structured, regular dialogue that boosts employee engagement and productivity.

It also shows you how your employees are progressing. This is one of the best ways to keep your employees aligned, coordinate goals, as well as develop excellent strategies. When the time comes, it also makes the transition into leadership roles more seamless.

The importance of great leadership in the workplace should never be underestimated. It gives you clear insight into how your employees are progressing, which:

  • Shapes the attitudes of employees
  • Promotes a harmonious working environment
  • Increases morale
  • Analyses issues and solves problems
  • Develops others
  • Drives results

This minimises employee turnover and contributes to the long-term success of your business.

4. Use employee monitoring software

Employee monitoring software is designed to track productivity metrics and improve efficiency. It’s not for the purpose of micromanaging; in fact, it avoids micromanaging because you have a clear and transparent way of keeping track of your employees’ activities and tasks.

Employee monitoring software enables employees to evaluate their personal productivity and work output. This also gives managers real, tangible examples of good performance and areas to improve.

The software eliminates bias and the need to carry out uninformative criteria questionnaires. Instead, you can now regularly review your employees to adjust areas that need improvement and improve their skills and productivity.

There are so many great tools out there offering superb functionality, ease of use and secure encryption. They give you a clear picture of what’s happening in your organisation and clearly demonstrate how well your employees are doing at their job. They’re also ideal if you have remote employees or several branches.


5. Gain 360-degree feedback

The 360-degree feedback process involves gaining feedback from an employee’s colleagues, subordinates, customers and their supervisors in the form of an anonymous feedback form. It addresses soft skills such as goal-setting, listening and planning, as well as subjective skills such as character, leadership effectiveness and teamwork.

It’s used as a performance appraisal tool, allowing you to measure employee performance, behaviours and competencies. It clearly demonstrates an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and allows you to create a development plan together with the individual.

While 360-degree feedback has its benefits, it should not be used in isolation. It’s also not ideal for measuring technical or job-specific skills, or strictly objective matters such as attendance or sales quotas.

6. Emphasise quality over quantity

Employee performance isn’t necessarily about how, when or where tasks are completed, but more about the fact that tasks are being completed with positive results. You should, therefore, encourage a get-the-work-done attitude.

Employee performance should always be measured in a way that encourages smarter, more effective working, as opposed to the number of hours and minutes clocked. Elements you should be tracking include tasks accomplished, projects completed and deadlines met. As such, if you do use an online task platform, opt for one that encourages flexibility, collaboration and mobility.

7. Perform appraisals

Performance appraisals are regular reviews of an employee’s job performance. Typically carried out annually, semi-annually or quarterly, they’re used to evaluate an employee’s achievements and growth – or lack of – and also to assess their overall contribution to the company.

They enable you to monitor employees’ workload and create a plan for employee development, whether through further training and increased responsibilities or as a way to identify areas of improvement the employee could work on.

Performance appraisals can be very positive for both managers and employees. When they’re carried out properly, they give you a chance to provide your employees with constructive feedback. This lays the foundations for a successful career path, both in the short and long term.

Performance appraisals are also beneficial in that they:

  • Track progress against goals
  • Identify where further training is needed
  • Provide a fair assessment of pay increases
  • Improve performance
  • Bring to light any grievances, and help to resolve them
  • Identify individuals for promotion
  • Increase profitability

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?

Your employees are your business’s most valuable asset, as they’re the most important contributors towards its success – and profits. Closely monitoring employee performance is, therefore, vital to the success of your company. It gives you a clear picture of how your employees are performing and it keeps your business moving in the right direction.

What are your thoughts on monitoring employee performance? What other strategies would you adopt? Let us know in the comments section below!

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This article is an updated version of earlier article originally published on 30 November 2016.