How to measure employee performance

How to measure employee performance

Having a team of productive employees is a key component of any successful business. One of the best ways to keep productivity high is to evaluate each individual employee’s performance on a regular basis. Praise for a job well done motivates and encourages, but when deficiencies are identified, action plans can be created and implemented to turn things around.

Evaluating employee performance isn’t a difficult task. There are a number of metrics you can assess that can quickly and easily tell you how someone is doing.

For each metric you assess, you can assign a numerical score, for example, from one to ten. Another way to evaluate each metric is to make a note of any deficiencies in a particular area. If an employee does well in a metric, just leave the notes blank and move on to the next one. This will allow you to quickly see how that person is doing.

The following are 10 attributes to consider the next time you conduct an employee evaluation.


Does a particular employee show up for work on a regular basis? Or does that person have a habit of calling in as a no-show a little too often? If regular attendance is required for a job, then the job isn’t going to get done if no one is there to do it.

While there are many valid reasons for missing work, such as an unexpected or chronic illness, having an employee who misses a lot of work with excuses that are not deemed valid may be an indication that the individual is not too excited to be working for the company.

Frequent unexcused absences could be a red flag for an underlying problem. The employee could, for example, be searching for another job. It could also indicate a lack of motivation for the position, the company, or the corporate mission.


Closely related to attendance, whether an employee shows up to work on time every day is another important metric that can be used to assess performance.

Sometimes things happen to even the best employees that can cause them to be late for work. Traffic issues, a burst pipe at home, a flat tire, and other unexpected things can be legitimate causes for showing up late. However, frequent punctuality issues can result in performance problems in other areas. Like a domino effect, one issue can lead to another.

If someone habitually shows up late for work, it might be an indication of a problem. On the other hand, a person who shows up early and stays late regularly is someone who is showing initiative and drive.


Initiative is the ability to recognize when something needs to be done and then taking care of it without being told to do so. A person who displays initiative is often someone who does not need a lot of supervision or direction. These employees often make quality managers after they have gained sufficient work experience.

An employee who lacks initiative and must be told to do every little thing can take up a lot of management resources. These are resources that could be put to better use – like focusing on increasing productivity.

Quality of work

The quality of the work from employees is one of the most important aspects of a company’s success. It’s essential then to make sure everyone is working at peak performance and that the work they do is of the highest quality.

Does one person do a barely passable job, essentially just going through the motions? Perhaps the projects this person works on are not as organized as the projects others complete. Identifying a quality of work issue may mean there is a need for additional training, resources, or there might be another issue that needs to be addressed.


Efficiency is a metric that is closely related to quality of work. Efficiency involves how well employees utilize time and resources in the performance of their duties. For many positions, this metric often involves how long it takes to complete certain tasks.

For example, if it normally takes employees an average of 15 minutes to complete a task, but one person completes the task in 12 minutes, that person is working at a high rate of efficiency. And another person who completes the same task in 20 minutes is not working as efficiently as the others.

Helpful to other employees

Employees that offer help to others when needed tend to operate more as a team than as a group of individuals, and ultimately this results in increased productivity and fewer errors. A strong, cohesive team can work to lift up those who may be struggling in some areas. This boosts morale, builds camaraderie, and makes management’s job a lot easier.

Has a particular employee been observed helping a coworker in need? Or does that person tend to work more as an individual and less like a team member? An employee who always extends a hand to those in need is someone who is showing initiative, is thoughtful, and cares about both the person needing help and the company.


Professionalism as an employee metric refers to how individuals conduct themselves on the job. Just a few examples of conduct that could be problematic include engaging in office gossip, talking down to others, emotional outbursts, and other disruptive behavior.

Lack of professional conduct doesn’t just affect the individual, it can have a negative impact on the entire team. Engaging in office gossip, for example, could cause hard feelings if the person being talked about discovers it. This could have a negative impact on morale and job performance.

Personal presentation

Many companies have dress codes for a reason, especially if regular in-person interaction with customers or clients is part of the job. After all, no one wants to buy something from someone who doesn’t look professional.

Employees are extensions of the companies they work for, and if those representing the company do not appear professional at all times, it can reflect poorly on the company.

Adhering to a professional dress code, however, can involve more than the clothes someone wears. It can also include such things as maintaining a professional hairstyle, facial hair, and other grooming concerns.


One of the most important things to assess in employees is their attitude toward their work. Do people genuinely enjoy their work, or do they appear to be just going through the motions to earn their paychecks? Are they excited about the company they work for and the corporate mission, or is it “just a job” to them?

Attitude matters. If a company has just one or two employees with negative attitudes, the negativity can spread through the company like a virus, dragging others down with them as they complain about perceived injustices and other things.

On the other hand, those with positive attitudes often build each other up and boost morale with their can-do spirits, positive outlooks, and the fact that they are genuinely happy to be doing the work they do. These are the people that companies strive to attract and retain; they are the foundation of corporate success.

A systematic approach

Conducting an employee evaluation doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. You don’t have to rely on intuition, subjectivity, or instinct. Instead, you can use a systematic approach where you evaluate individuals on each metric of performance and assign a score to each area.

If an issue is identified in any area, you can create an action plan for improvement and coach the employee on ways to improve. And if no deficiencies are noted, you can offer praise for a job well done, and then let that person get back to doing what he or she does best – being an awesome employee.

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