Monitoring performance is important because it can make the difference between success and failure. It is a crucial element in all organisations and businesses. Without monitoring performance you will have no way of knowing how effective your staff, team, department and organisation are. This will result in directionless goals and a confused and aimless working culture.
If you don’t know exactly how well or how poorly your employees are performing, how will you know who to reward to maintain motivation and retain staff? Likewise, how will you know who to assist? Or when disciplinary actions are required for those who are underperforming? Monitoring performance gives you the ability to assess employee efficiency, identify who is working hard and who isn’t, and how to improve your workplace’s overall productivity.
How to monitor performance
1. Observe your team
One of the most effective and straightforward ways to monitor performance is observation. Watch how they interact with one another, with you and with the clients/ customers (if you have any). By simply observing an employee you can see what their strengths and weaknesses are. Rather than spending time in an office or separate section of the building, it can be really beneficial for managers to spend time with their team and interact with them in the office or working environment.
Likewise if a team member is struggling with a task, it can be very beneficial to go through it with them. By observing how they are attempting to complete it you will be able to identify ways they can improve and communicate how they could do it better.
2. Create work plans
Within regular one to one meeting a work plan should provide a focus. Work plans should be created in consultation with the employee and include clear tasks, timescales and the resources required. Each one to one should include discussion of the work plan. What progress has been made since last time? Did they meet their targets? If not, why?
Listen to the feedback you are given. Ask questions and encourage the individual to consider how they can work effectively and reach their potential. Make sure the employee is aware they are accountable for their actions. Engage them in deciding and agreeing on targets and timescales for their work plans.
3. Encourage the use of self monitoring tools
Project plans, checklists and activity logs are all great ways of monitoring performance. This is beneficial not just as a tool for project management but also so employees themselves can monitor their own goals and deadlines.
4. Carry out regular reviews
By regularly checking in with employees you can begin to create a strong understanding of strengths and weaknesses. If they are struggling to achieve a particular goal but regularly achieve others, would it be worth adjusting their work plan and concentrating on areas they perform well in. Do they require training? Perhaps they would benefit from a mentor or would work better in a team? By reviewing progress regularly you will be able to pick up on these subtleties and provide your employees with the support and guidance they need to reach their potential for themselves and the organisation.
Give and encourage feedback as often as possible. Don’t wait until meetings, one to ones and reviews. Encourage your team to come and speak to you and keep them motivated by keeping on top of their progress and letting them know when they are doing well. Always remain constructive. If feedback is critical, make sure you include ways this can be improved in future and allow employees time to ask questions and seek solutions.
Engage in Learning’s Performance Management Pathway courses will introduce you to ways to develop a motivated, high performance workforce and how to set achievable expectations. The monitoring performance module will assist you in exploring the benefits of observing and recording performance data to achieve consistent performance improvement.