A company is only as good as the people who make up its workforce, so staying ahead of monitoring and measuring employee performance is a critical part of accelerating the productivity of ensure they meet revenue and performance goals.

Regardless of your company’s focus, it will only be able to achieve its annual targets if all team members are playing their part. Let’s examine seven ways to efficiently measure employee performance for SMBs.

1.   Attendance

It may seem obvious, but a productive team is one that is present! While we’re all human and can be prone to the occasional sick day or family emergency, prolonged or regular absenteeism can be fatal to a team’s productivity.

Attendance is a key indicator to monitor and evaluate for an employee’s productivity. Every worker at every level has tasks to complete in a certain timeframe, so unreliable attendance is a huge hindrance, particularly for a small or medium company that may not have a backup solution for absenteeism.

2. Measuring the Quantity Produced

Second to attendance, monitoring the quantity of work produced by your workforce is a key indicator of the team’s overall well-being and whether the company is on track to achieving its goals. To do this, calculate an individual employee’s productivity by the number of work/tasks achieved in a certain timeframe.

For SMBs, this can be an achievable goal. This type of productivity measurement can be done either by the number of products created in the space of a specific timeframe, or by the monetary value of that product or service. Take into consideration anything that might hinder this measurement that is out of your employee’s hands, such as waiting for external supplies/parts/services, or new training being required.

3.   Quality of Work Measurement

The next step to measuring the quantity of work produced is to measure the quality of the work. This is a crucial step because quantity can vastly differ from quality. Just because an employee achieves the required amount of X, Y, Z – or more – doesn’t necessarily indicate that the quality is satisfactory. Less than satisfactory work can be detrimental to a business where time (as well as resources) is money.

Simply put, an employee should be able to achieve a satisfactory quantity of work at a satisfactory quality — that’s the bare minimum. If this isn’t happening, it needs to be investigated as to why.

Often, the reason for this may be due to lack of training or even confidence. In this case, a review of training provided is required. If this isn’t the case and the problem is down to the employee’s work ethic, disciplinary steps can then be taken.

4.   360-degree Feedback

360-degree Feedback uses feedback (either written or verbal) to measure an employee’s performance. Please note: this approach can only be successful if the employees in your company interact with one another on a regular basis, as the feedback is generally from his/her co-workers.

The evaluation is a roundhouse approach from everyone in the organization who interacts with the employee, regardless of role or seniority. For this method to be successful, all evaluators must be aware of and understand their co-worker’s overall role and function within the team and organization, as well as their daily work duties, professional credentials, overall attitude and behavior, including their communication skills — hence, why it’s important to only implement this approach if your team is interactive.

This approach is like a team appraisal carried out in a larger enterprise, and can work for the whole team, from C-level to entry-level workers. Again – only if everyone interacts regularly. The feedback must be impartial, unbiased and not based on any personal observations.

5.   Management by Objectives

Management by objectives is a strategic approach that team leads can use to motivate an organization’s performance. In this process, managers and team leads can assign tasks to each team member based on their individual goals and how it aligns with the company’s. This allows employees to take ownership of their contribution, as well as provides an effective tool to measure employee performance.

By working on personal goals aligned to company objectives, employees can better understand their fundamental role and how it contributes to the organization’s success. Team leads can then measure if the employee meets these expectations within a certain timeframe. Points or recognition are offered to employees once the company goal is achieved.

6.   Initiative

The initiative approach is the absence of needing to prompt or micromanage a team to complete tasks that they should know to do on their own. Employees who don’t require much supervision are beneficial to a company and its goals and often go on to become valued leaders.

An employee who lacks an overall or consistent initiative and must regularly be told what to do can eventually take up a lot of management resources that could be put to better use, like focusing on increasing productivity.

7.   Helpful to Other Employees

Perhaps the most important question to ask: Are your people team players? Employees who understand the importance of working as a team and rolling up their sleeves to help others are a valuable asset.

While it’s no one’s job to complete other team member’s work, employees who offer help and support understand that this achieves better productivity, and ultimately, company goals. A team with helpful and supportive workers are more likely to be resilient and healthy. These types of teams can use their morale to boost performance and make the workday more manageable.

In a SMB, it doesn’t take long to notice those who don’t lift a finger to help others. This can be cancerous to a team, as it often means they don’t understand and/or care about their team and the importance of working together to achieve a goal or a set of goals.

A way to tackle this (without penalizing) is encouraging group tasks and activities, and regularly highlighting that there is no “I” in team.

Moving Forward

Understanding how (and if) your team is performing is crucial for understanding whether your company is on track to achieving company objectives. And for SMBs, it’s very easy to measure employees’ performance by implementing any one of the above methods.

While no one is perfect, there can always be room for improvement. Performing an evaluation can help you understand which team members need to improve, why and how to go about it. These systematic approaches will allow you to form accurate, unbiased calculations of your team’s performance and whether they’re helping or hindering the company in achieving its goals.