The best ways to analyse your employees’ performance: what to consider
Improving employee performance is one of the most important aspects of management. Whether you’re running your own small business or are part of a larger company, the performance of your employees is a major determining factor in whether you succeed or fail. But before you can begin making improvements, you need to make an analysis – a kind of human resources audit. This will tell you where your weak points are, and also your strengths. It will show you where you need to make changes, whether that is in organisation and deployment, or in personnel. Employee performance analysis will enable your business or department to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In today’s tough economic climate, productivity is all-important, and any weak links need to be isolated and strengthened – or replaced – as soon as possible.
Analysing employee performance is most important when that employee is not meeting expectations. You want to find out as quickly as possible why that is, and what can be done about it. I hope that you will be able to help them improve their performance and overcome their weaknesses. Otherwise, it may be necessary to move them to a different department or job role or, in the worst case, to let them go. Performance analysis can be somewhat like a medical diagnosis – sometimes the only course of action is to remove the infected organ before the disease spreads.
Methods of analysis
One-to-one meetings are a good way to get to know your staff individually. You can learn about their ambitions and their experiences, and get the measure of their personality and potential. Focus on individuals; establish their strengths and their weaknesses, set them goals and monitor their performance. Give them opportunities to progress and develop, and get them out of their workplace comfort zone. Remember, each employee is different, and regular appraisals will help you see what their potential is, and what problems need to be tackled.
Your employees also need to work together as a team, and collective goals should also be set. In order to measure performance you need targets and expectations to measure it against. Make sure everyone is aware of the ground rules, and set benchmarks to measure progress.
When it becomes apparent that an employee is under-performing, you need to establish the reasons. Personal appraisals may uncover resentments or frustrations, family problems or pressures both from within and outside of the workplace. If this approach is unsatisfactory, other methods such as drug testing may uncover the cause of the problem. An oral fluid lab test can quickly establish whether an employee is under the influence of any one of a range of legal and illegal substances.
Whether the performance analysis is carried out through appraisals, drug testing or team-building exercises, management can use the results to improve and strengthen performance and productivity. The factors that cause poor performance need to be identified and tackled as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order that your business can be the best it can be in a competitive marketplace.
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