What to measure in employee performance reviews

“You can’t improve what you can’t measure” and “what gets measured, gets done.”

Measuring your employees performances can often be challenging especially when it's tricky to obtain real tangible data to evaluate against. However, here we try to break down the main questions to ask, and the performance factors you need to know.

The main questions asked:

  1. Is this team member effective and do they produce what they’re supposed to? 
  2. Is this team member efficient, using all resources well?
  3. Is this team member learning, taking actions to improve themselves and their environment?

There are many factors to consider when trying to answer these main questions.

Some of the important ones are:

  • Considering if your employees are effective by way of productivity and quality
  • In performance appraisals, productivity is one of the first things that comes up indicating their output in a specific amount of time. However, quality must not be forgotten as this is a major aspect of performance and employee output.

You could potentially to assess how effective the employee’s output is by asking: 

  • How many of their sales calls converted into actual sales
  • How many of their pitches where won?
  • How many new visitors have they attracted to the website?

Equally you could try measuring from a negative perspective by asking:

  • How many customer complaints were passed on for others to solve?
  • What percentage of their sales calls were unsuccessful?


By doing regular performance reviews it gives employees the opportunity to improve regularly instead of annually.

Key areas to think about are: 

  • Objectives and goals
  • When goals are quality orientated, ‘management by objectives’ works well. Using this measurement technique mean you can talk to your team and set realistic goals together ensuring they have their say also.
  • Teams and individual members should both have goals that contribute to the entire company. Employees should also be aware how you monitor their work against these goals. That way, they’ll understand your expectations more accurately.


A few questions worth asking are:

  • How many critical objectives did they meet?
  • Did they complete any secondary tasks?
  • Were any targets not met?


By answering the above questions you will gain a more accurate measurement of your employee’s performance. The results can also help set future goals. Weekly meetings with staff are a great way to keep on top of set goals helping to sort through problems early on.


How efficient are your employees?



Measuring attendance only makes sense if the role is time sensitive such as being a customer services adviser. However, if your company is results driven then this may not apply so much.

Some example measurements for attendance are:

  • Number of days employees checked-in late
  • How often employees were absent for
  • Amount of time lost due to absence



In a lot of roles, time management is a very desirable skill. With employees dividing their time effectively across their projects, employers can measure their time-management skills by calculating the percentage of missed deadlines, turnaround time or how quickly they complete tasks. Project management software like Asana, Jira, Podio and Trello will help with this.


Are your employees learning and improving?

Organisations aim to measure the success of training programs there employees attended annually. It’s a good idea to try and measure the results of the training sessions by measuring their performance before and after the session. This can be done by measuring their performance rating in one skill before and after relevant training. If an employee’s recent performance metrics are 10% higher than they were previously, it’s a positive indication that the training was effective.


Innovation and initiative

Historically these qualities can be difficult to measure as innovation can come in a variety of forms. Large or small gestures can often make a considerable impact on their performance or the companies as a whole.

An employee who always has new ideas will obviously gain attention but its important to track small improvements your team has made also.

You don’t always need quantifiable data when trying to measure these two as numbers won't always be able to capture what has been done. 


How to make the most out of employee performance reviews


There are several ways but here are some of the key bullet points to remember:

  • Measure only the important factors
  • Create your own formulas that work for your individual needs
  • Revise your measurements making sure they are meaningful and ditch the ones that aren’t 
  • Communicate results to your team so they know what to focus on and how to improve
  • See performance evaluation as a daily priority so you can make improvements quickly rather than annually
  • Try 360 degree feedback so your team can collaborate


Although continually measuring employees performance can seem like a daunting task it often is the most effective way to build productive teams and a stronger more profitable company.

We hope you find this information helpful but please keep in mind that it does not constitute legal advice and we can not be held responsible for any inaccuracies or damages that may result.

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