Manage Employee Performance with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

16 December 2018

Sincron HR Software Power Hour - Driving results

By Rikka Bouseh and John Thornburn

Rikka Bouseh, CHRP, is the founder of Surge HR Solutions. John Thornburn, MA is a partner at Sincron HR Software.

Managing your employees’ performance is vital not only to your organization’s success but also to your employees’ engagement levels. To drive the best results from your employees, it is important to define Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and develop processes and systems to measure performance accurately. By establishing KPIs for each role, you can ensure that the feedback to your team is relevant and measurable. This will help your organization thrive and help your team members succeed.

A Key Performance Indicator is defined as a measurable value that shows how effectively a company is achieving its key business or service objectives.  Organizations, profit and non-for-profit, can use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.

In order for KPIs to be effective, they must have the following three characteristics:

  1. They must be clear and measurable.
  2. They must be relevant to the team or organization.
  3. They must be communicated to the employees responsible for achieving the goals.

To help you apply these characteristics, this article focuses on the three types of KPIs listed below:

  1. Strategic KPIs
  2. Program KPIs
  3. Role KPIs

Strategic KPIs monitor progress or trends towards a stated destination.  Your strategy should focus on your organization’s short and long term targets as well as the key milestones required to reach them. The KPIs that you define for your team should directly correlate to these objectives. For Strategic KPIs, it is important to monitor them over time so you can get an accurate view of the progress of the strategic goal.  For example, if the strategic goal were to develop resource homes in new communities, the KPI may be identifying one new possible rental home per month.

Program KPIs monitor the success of a program.  For example, if the program objective was to support youth to develop independent life skills, the KPI may be that each employee will need to deliver 25 hours of life skills education per month.  Another example would be each part-time employee must deliver two hours of life skills programming per week that they work.

Based on the employee’s results, you would be able to assess the employee’s performance, whether the target is achievable, what efficiencies can be made to reach the target, or whether the right employee has been assigned to the program.

Role KPIs can be used to monitor the efficiency or effectiveness of an employee and are generally found in the job description as “tasks” that must be completed.  Role KPIs help to identify the key tasks  of the employee’s job and creates measurable targets for each task (or responsibility).  

Role KPIs can be measured in a few different ways. For example, to monitor your team members efficiency, you may create a task KPI such as an employee completing their daily checklist 95% of the time. Or you may want to measure the success of an initiative by developing a responsibility KPI for developing successful relationships with youth. The measurement for this KPI would be scoring at least 90% or higher on satisfaction surveys.

In addition, you can measure your employee’s success by developing skill KPIs such as an employee applying their MANDT training with no errors 100% of the time, or competency based KPIs to assess whether an employee consistently generates creative, resourceful solutions in crisis situations.

Not only can you drive results by managing KPIs for long term results, but you can develop KPIs to measure the successful completion of short term projects.  An objective KPI example would be where an employee must draft a Person-Centred-Plan within one week which ensures that the team member will meet their customers needs within the required period of time.

If used effectively, KPIs are a useful tool to evaluate an organization’s success at reaching their targets.  There is flexibility that allows the organization and managers to focus their training, feedback and accountability in key areas that are crucial for organizational success. By understanding what is important to your organization’s success, your KPIs will motivate your team members to reach their individual targets which will ultimately lead your company to achieve its goals.

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