How to Monitor Staff Performance against Performance Objectives

monitor staff performanceResearch tells us that clear objectives ‘with effective measures’ can improve staff performance by over 30%. It’s difficult for managers to have ‘effective measures’ in place unless they monitor staff performance against the objectives

So how can managers monitor staff performance? Here are some ideas

The start point for managers is to identify a range of monitoring methods – so they can then choose the method that’s most effective (and easiest to apply!). For most managers the easiest part of monitoring staff performance is related to the quantifiable objectives. Here are some examples


Monitor staff performance against quantifiable objectives


Sales reports

Deadlines met

Error reports

Accuracy reports




Budget forecasts

Widgets produced

These tend to be the monitoring methods many managers are comfortable with because they’re about what the staff member does. It’s not too difficult to see if the staff member is submitting accurate work or achieving a sales target and these are great monitoring methods for the quantity, quality and time elements of the job

Where difficulties arise is when these are the only monitoring methods a manager uses because most jobs aren’t just about the ‘what’, they’re also about ‘how’ the staff member does their job. Such as how the staff member:

• works as a team member

• works with customers

• deals with problems

• deals with change and so on

In summary, the staff members behaviours

When managers only monitor the ‘what’ of the job they only monitor staff performance for part of the job (and sometimes a relatively small part). If managers only monitor staff performance for part of the job then, usually, that is the only part that the staff member will feel it’s worth focusing on (no surprise there then!) What managers need to do is…

Monitor staff performance against behavioural objectives

Here are three ways to monitor behaviours

1. Observation

Observation is about the manager taking a planned approach to watching their staff member ‘in action’. The idea is that the manager plans to observe the specific behaviours that they have described as performance objectives. For example, if the manager has agreed that one of the performance objectives for team work is ‘contributing to team meetings’ then those are the specific behaviours they will plan to observe. It’s about the manager:

• looking at the performance objectives they have agreed that relate to behavioural elements of the job and then

• planning how they will observe those behaviours e.g. paying particular attention to the staff member’s behaviour in the next team meeting

2. Report back

Report back is about the staff member reporting back to the manager on their performance. This is a really useful technique where the staff member is responsible for ‘evidencing‘ their performance against the objectives the manager has agreed with them

A good example would be if the manager had an agreed a performance objective for ‘effective time management’ which included ‘takes action to manage interruptions’. Then the staff member would simply report back to the manager with some examples of when they had taken action to manage interruptions

3. Feedback

Feedback is about the manager getting feedback from people on the staff member’s performance. This could be from:

• customers

• suppliers

• team members

• other departments

NB! It’s important that managers only look for feedback:

a) As agreed between the manager and the staff member and

b) Described in the performance objectives

For example, an objective related to ‘Client Servicing’ is ‘Client feedback reflects a high level of satisfaction ’. This is the feedback the manager and / or the staff member would focus on collecting

How to Monitor Staff Performance against Objectives – A Key Principle

The wider the range of methods the manager uses, the more effective the monitoring will be because using a range of methods means they will gain a more balanced view of the staff member’s performance

This means managers can then give their staff the type of performance feedback that staff tell us they want more of, because they find it constructive and motivational, and which improves performance

And of course we know – ‘what get’s measured gets done’ and it’s impossible to measure without monitoring!

How to Monitor Staff Performance – Do The Managers in Your Business Need Help?

In my video ‘Motivating Your Staff by Monitoring and Reviewing Performance’ I teach managers how to; identify a range of monitoring methods that are easy to apply and effective, involve the staff member in monitoring their own performance, use a planned (and unplanned) approach to monitoring, how to prepare effectively for a performance review / appraisal meeting and how to run the meeting in a way that the staff member finds highly motivational. Take a look at the video details and find out how to watch a preview session from the video HERE

Or if you want something simpler…

Then why not take a look at my Kindle book ‘A step-by-step guide to easily and effectively monitoring employee performance’

employee performanceJust like the ad – this 10 minute guide does just what it says it will do. A useful aid memoire prior to staff appraisals to remind me, as a manager, what I can do to make the process more effective and productive for staff and myself. Logically written, easy to read with relevant work place examples you can follow and relate to – would recommend.

You can check it out on Amazon (and try a sample) HERE

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