In a McKinsey and Co. report titled, “How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever,” it finds that the pandemic has sped up the adoption of digital technologies by seven years. Working from home meant that we needed ways to connect in the digital realm and learn ways of working without the photocopier or a filing cabinet in sight. 

Many companies have continued their remote work – for digital organizations that can stay at home – and over 56% of employees surveyed by Microsoft and YouGov found that they were happier working from home. A Stanford study found that people were 13% more productive when working from home. The New York Times mirrored that sentiment saying that many companies feel that employees working from home are hyper-efficient. 

But how do you measure productivity and performance? Are your HR metrics set to measure how well employees are doing? Here’s how to leverage data to help managers increase performance.

How do you measure employee performance?

We typically use managerial assessment and self-assessment to understand how employees are performing: graphical rating scales, 360-degree feedback, self-evaluation, management by objectives (MBO), and checklists.

Graphical rating scales are ways that a line manager answers questions that have a rating system, sometimes 1-5 or 1-10 to see if the employee “participates in decision-making” or “performs the job tasks.” The rating scale will depend on the job tasks that the employee has to perform, which will have been outlined in their contract and expectations.

360-degree feedback is where you account for feedback, options, and assessment of employee performance from a circle of people in the company and you can spot trends in the data and identify areas where the employee may need support.

Self-evaluation where the employee measures his/her own performance, keeping in mind that employees are often more self-critical and when compared to other forms of feedback, you can see if there are discrepancies or you can get a richer understanding of the employee’s work.

Management by objectives (MBO) is where employees and managers come up with objectives together to align with company goals. Then the employee is measured and evaluated against these objectives. They’ll have a clear understanding of the expectation and this type of evaluation fosters communication and motivation.

Finally, there are checklists where there’s a simple yes/no checklist to see if employees perform or are deficient in performance areas. It’ll identify gaps or where an employee needs more training or support.

Some organizations combine these more typical performance reviews with psychometric data so that they can gauge more about employees’ personalities and characteristics to measure projected reactions, for example, how employees will react to pressure or what motivates them and so forth.

Of course, there are many tools out there and more progressive organizations may have moved past these more typical forms of employee evaluation.

Often, though, employee performance cannot always be boiled down to data. You can track your sales teams’ targets versus performance – if they’re missing, hitting, or exceeding targets, for example. You can track employee projects to see if deadlines are met and how well those tasks are performed but employee performance is more nuanced than numbers. 

But numbers can give you an overall picture or snapshot of where you are and where you want to be – as long as you don’t lose sight that employees are more than numbers on a screen (as much as we do love numbers and data at Employee Cycle).

Why does HR data matter?

C-suite execs and stakeholders often want numbers to back up decisions with data-driven facts so HR data matters more than ever. 

But the old-fashioned way of inputting data into sets of spreadsheets takes hours to keep track of and calculate with formulas to get the numbers you need. However, with so many HR software packages on the market, your life is made easier yet they don’t “speak” to each other so are you any better off than when you had the spreadsheets? 

And that’s where Employee Cycle’s dashboard comes in: it takes all of the existing platforms you have and pulls the data into a single dashboard in whatever format you like (bar chart, line chart, pie graph, etc) into one place where you can measure the metrics and KPIs you need, including engagement and performance – however you choose to measure them.

This data can be leveraged to show managers where there are low-performing teams that need additional training or coaching – or even where they’re overloaded and need additional hires to help out. You can find out which teams are performing well and dive down to understand why and how to replicate that success.

How employee performance is linked to employee engagement

The Harvard Business Review in its report, “The Impact of employee engagement on performance” acknowledges that “a highly engaged workforce can increase innovation, productivity, and bottom-line performance while reducing costs related to hiring and retention in highly competitive talent markets.”

Metrics aside, in order to have productive and engaged employees, you need happy employees. Employee engagement is linked to workplace culture, effective organizational communication, meaningful work, relationships with colleagues, compelling leadership and managerial styles, employee voice, trust, respect, company brand and reputation as well as feeling valued and fairly compensated.

Overall, remember that your employees will work hard for you if you work hard for them. Productivity is about more than robotic-style performance and no amount of data and managerial coaching can make up for lack of engagement. 

How can Employee Cycle help you use your data?

If you want all your data in one place so you can help improve productivity, engagement, retention, and so much more, schedule your free demo of Employee Cycle’s dashboard today.

We meet with every client through a touchpoint call where we find out what you need from your data and how we can solve those problems; to coaching sessions; to receiving feedback once you’ve used the dashboard so we can understand ways we can improve our dashboard and integration to meet your growing and unique needs each year.