It’s no secret that one of the biggest workplace trends over recent decades is the rise of teamwork. According to a Harvard Business Review study published in 2016, the average employee spends 50 percent more time on teams than two decades ago, and 80 percent of all their time on the job working collaboratively. Deloitte has even defined the organization of the future as “a network of teams” designed to drive greater collaboration and internal agility. Team success is more important than ever.
This shift means we should reconsider how we think about measuring and improving work performance. Teams have replaced individuals as the core operating units across most organizations. So it’s worth asking how we can make sure we have the right infrastructure and tracking models in place to assess collaborative performance and drive team success.
The good news is that it’s not as hard as you might think to measure these drivers. Success – the ability to perform consistently at a high level – essentially boils down to five key attributes: Direction, Connection, Adaptability, Attitude and Performance. Specific employee performance metrics can measure these key attributes.
What Are Employee Performance Metrics?
Employers increasingly want to know how to measure team success. These performance metrics come from data analyses that benchmark and measure employee performance. By tracking employee productivity and efficiency, you can gain valuable insight into how your teams work at work. These analytics can pinpoint employee strengths, job satisfaction and opportunities for growth.
Some performance metrics are quantifiable (like the number of units produced within a specific timeframe), while others cannot be easily measured (like the effects of certain soft skills in a particular role). Still, capturing this information is essential because each data point impacts the team’s business. The employee performance metrics you use in your organization will likely depend on your industry, company size and business objectives.
By keeping track of performance metrics, employers can determine how well their teams perform the duties assigned to their role. When performance declines, metrics can be reviewed to identify the underlying cause of the change and take steps toward improvement. Tracking performance metrics offers essential benefits for companies, like improving performance and collaboration while increasing engagement, building resiliency, and reducing turnover.
Team Success Relies on Resilience
Together, the five attributes of Direction, Connection, Alignment, Attitude and Performance add up to resilience. A resilient team thrives through disruption. They are strong in each of these five areas:
Groups that score high on Direction share a clear purpose together. They are purposeful, collaborative and focused. They all move in the same direction as a collective unit. For a quick pulse on your team’s Direction, ask each member to jot down what they see as the team’s shared purpose. Sharing and discussing these responses can help your team sharpen their focus and get on the same page about what success looks like.
Highly-connected teams know they can do more together than they can on their own. They trust one another, feel safe as a group and are open to productive conflict. To determine the level of Connection on your team, take a closer look at how they work together. If some team members seem reluctant to ask for help or engage in passive-aggressive behaviors, your team may need help handling conflict productively. Once they feel more comfortable engaging with conflict, they’ll start to better connect with one another.
Adaptable teams understand the needs of their internal and external stakeholders, as well as the larger organization’s strategy. They’re able to adapt to change with an attitude of continuous learning. To increase Adaptability, ask other teams in your organization how your team can better collaborate with them in support of organization-wide goals. This is a great chance to learn the bigger picture with everyone’s work.
Teams with high Attitude have team members who bring an optimistic, “can-do” mindset to work. They don’t let obstacles or setbacks distract them from their goals. One way to assess the strength of your team’s Attitude is to look at how they take risks. Is there a sense on your team that you can all brainstorm freely, experiment with ideas and test strategies that may fail? If not, you can take steps to encourage a more risk-tolerant culture for your organization. The goal is to help your teams see failure as a learning opportunity instead of a doomsday scenario.
High-performing teams get things done. They deliver, meet and exceed their goals and objectives. But Performance also goes beyond numbers and metrics. Are your team meetings productive? Can the group discuss issues and make good decisions quickly? Does everyone value inclusivity and listen to different perspectives? These are just some of the drivers that create high-performing teams.
To Improve, Focus on Building and Measuring Employee Performance Metrics
What’s the advantage of assessing a specific list of capabilities? It’s the ability to come away with a clear goal. By honing in on one or more of these five aspects, you can focus your energy on the efforts that will strengthen that area. Then, you can reassess periodically (through pulse surveys or other vehicles) if your team is making progress. Making the target clear to your team will improve the chance they will take the actions that lead to progress and sustained long-term team success.
Benefits of Tracking Performance Metrics
There are many benefits to tracking employee performance metrics. When done effectively, it can help improve the overall performance of your team by providing a clear goal to strive for and measuring progress along the way. Additionally, it can help identify areas that need improvement and allow you to take corrective action to get back on track. Regular assessment of employee performance metrics can help ensure that your team is performing at its peak and identify any potential problems before they have a chance to impact your business. Consider how these benefits of tracking employee performance metrics can improve your organization.
Set Goals and Expectations
A recent McKinsey study revealed that 70% of employees say their sense of purpose is defined by their work. Moreover, when employees feel their purpose is aligned with the organization, they are more engaged at work. They are also more willing to recommend the company to others.
Performance metrics can set benchmarks for team goals and give roadmaps for how to meet those goals. One of those goals can be to give your employees a clearly-defined purpose aligned with your company’s values. When you set expectations for your employees, you can help your teams see how they fit into the bigger picture.
Setting goals and implementing plans to reach them can improve team morale. When you set SMART goals for employees and teams, you can clearly outline expectations for individuals and teams to complete specific projects or finish daily tasks. When teams meet their goals, celebrate these important milestones. By improving morale this way, your teams will be more motivated to work their hardest in the long-term.
Reduce Employee Churn
Employees place great value on how they feel about their job and their place within the company. When your employees have clear objectives, they know exactly what is expected of them. Recognition from managers and colleagues for a job well done is essential in encouraging employees to stay with the company. Collaboration among teams helps employees feel like they belong to a larger community. Together, these factors create a positive work environment where employees are more likely to stay with the company.
Improve Performance Metrics
Tracking employee performance allows your teams to see their results rise in real-time. By watching their progress this way, teams will continually find new ways to improve. As your teams keep improving, you’ll see the tangible rewards for your business.
Why You Should Track Quality of Work
The phrase “quality over quantity” highlights the importance of high-performing products and services. Yet businesses also understand that time is money and hope to balance quality and efficiency as they strive to meet customer demand. How can leaders achieve both of these goals for their company?
Work quality is an essential metric for any company. The quality of a product or service is a strong determining factor in whether or not a customer will return. Many companies rely on customer feedback to gauge the quality of their products or services. Other companies may keep data on complaints, returns and warranty claims. Tracking work quality can also help to identify areas where employees need additional training or support. By addressing these pain points, companies can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improve employee morale and retention.
Achieving this quality of work begins with transparency in the workplace. Adequate communication about processes, changes, and company objectives lets employees know what is expected of them and how they can help the company meet its goals. This communication also helps to identify areas where improvements can be made. When employers actively collaborate with employees to find solutions, it boosts morale and commitment to quality. In turn, the company develops a culture of continual improvement that leads to satisfied customers.
Measuring Employee Performance Sets Employees Up for Success
Employee and team performance metrics give leaders the tools they need to identify and understand the issues holding their teams back. Then they can address these roadblocks by taking the right actions.
Measuring employee performance can also improve employee satisfaction and increase engagement at work. When employees have clear goals and benchmarks to aim for, they gain a healthier work environment that promotes growth. Measuring and evaluating employee performance ensures your teams and your business will thrive.
RallyBright’s team performance tools give leaders the science, software and skills to build high-performing, inclusive teams that deliver exceptional business results. Learn more about how to measure employee performance. Book a demo to see RallyBright in action.