How to monitor staff performance

Published: 12/11/2021

Employees are one of the most valuable assets a business has. Hiring additional staff members signals your business is growing and you alone can no longer shoulder the workload, so your employees are essentially there to help your business continue to thrive.

That said, expanding your workforce doesn’t come cheap so you want to be sure your staff are performing to a high standard, right? But how?

On the one hand, you don’t want to be breathing down their necks but on the other, you can’t just leave them to it and hope for the best. 

The golden rule is to “trust, but verify”, and in this article, we’ll give you five ways to monitor staff performance to achieve that happy medium and help your business succeed. But first…

What is employee performance and why is it important?

Essentially employee performance refers to how a staff member fulfils their day to day duties at work e.g. carries out tasks and conducts themselves.

Common measurements of staff performance include the quantity, quality, and efficiency of work - keeping tabs on such things allows you the owner to stay abreast of how your business is functioning and most importantly, identify any areas for improvement and fuel any future growth.

Not only will performance monitoring better your business outcomes, but it benefits your workforce and your customers too:

  • You’ll identify areas where employees need additional support and training, helping them reach their full potential and boosting overall morale while you’re at it. 
  • Staff not performing to a high standard can lead to dissatisfied customers, so by monitoring performance you can alleviate negative outcomes. 

Five ways to monitor staff performance

1. Reviews & one-to-ones

Regular and ongoing one-to-one meetings with all of your staff members is a great place to start. This doesn’t have to be anything massively time-consuming, but setting aside as little as ten minutes to get together with each employee and discuss their work can provide invaluable information.

It’s a good idea to make this chat feel informal and open - remember the “trust, but verify” rule - you want your workers to feel comfortable discussing anything and everything with you.

Ask questions like:

  • How is everything going?
  • Is there anything on your mind?
  • How confident do you feel carrying out your duties?
  • Are there any areas you’d like more training or support?

And always finish by opening up the floor to any feedback, suggestions, or goals they might like to share with you. Creating this open and honest two-way dialogue will empower your staff, give a sense of ownership and autonomy, and ensure they’re always comfortable approaching you with any concerns. 

2. Staff monitoring tools

In this day and age, business owners have access to heaps of tech to make the smooth and efficient running of their business easier than ever, and that’s true of staff monitoring too.

Tools like our epos card machine systems come with inbuilt staff tracking functionality which you can use to streamline and simplify the entire process of staff monitoring. 

Using your epos, you’ll be able to see how each individual staff member is performing and you can hone in on this data, right down to certain days and even certain times of day - game-changing, right?

That means, on a per-staff member basis, you can see their strengths and weaknesses and where they need more support and training, even when you’re not there - you can log into your back-office system from anywhere you have access to the internet. 

3. Mentorship 

You won’t always have time, as the business owner, to monitor the performance of all members of staff alongside all the other tasks involved in running a business. 

Assigning one of your more senior or long-standing employees to mentor new hires is a great workaround - they can pass on their wealth of knowledge, train them up to a high standard, and monitor their progress and performance on your behalf. 

Top tip: The sales and performance data gleaned from your epos is a nifty way to work out which staff members would make great mentors, and who needs the extra support. 

It goes without saying this mentor must be a trusted staff member as they’ll essentially be your eyes and ears. Be sure to set aside time on a regular cadence to get together with this mentor to discuss the performance of their mentee.

4. Self-evaluation

Once you’ve established the aforementioned trust and open relationship with your workforce, and alongside regular one-to-ones, asking employees to evaluate their own performance is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse.

You can use the likes of activity logs, questionnaires, surveys, and checklists to find out not only who’s doing what and when, but:

  • Where there’s room for improvement,
  • Any barriers to performance, and 
  • How you can help employees reach their potential.

Remember, sub-standard performance isn’t always purely down to the employee but there might be adjustments to be made on your end too! Self-evaluation is a great way to weed out these issues as some individuals will be more comfortable getting them down in writing as opposed to discussing them face-to-face.

5. Watch 

Last but not least, and perhaps most obviously, watch how your staff are performing with your own eyes. 

You can talk, track, and evaluate until you’re blue in the face, but watching an employee interact with a customer or carry out a duty in real-time will tell you more about their performance than any other tactic. 

Again, try to do this as unobtrusively as possible! Naturally, people are going to feel the strain if they can see their boss watching their every move, and always remember to watch more than one interaction or behaviour - everyone makes mistakes or has their off days.

How to improve staff performance

Follow the above five steps and you’ll have heaps of performance data to work with, but how do you put it into action, improve staff performance (where needed), and help your business flourish? Follow these seven steps.

1. Get to the root of the problem - Is there something holding your employee back? Are they lacking in training? Is there a problem outside of work? 

2. Remedy it - If they need more training, provide it. If they want more support, offer it. If they’re struggling personally, be flexible. 

3. Provide consistent feedback - Both good and bad! Yes, you need to highlight and work on any performance issues but equally providing positive affirmation will work wonders for staff morale, satisfaction, and ultimately performance. 

4. Create a positive workplace culture - We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, fostering a culture of openness and honesty will help you nip any performance issues in the bud. Don’t come down on employees like a tonne of bricks but tackle issues with empathy and encourage two-way dialogue. 

5. Set realistic goals - if your performance data shows, for example, that employee A is making 10 sales a day and employee B is making 2, you might be tempted to set all your employees the upper limit as their sales target. Tread carefully. 

6. The data might show, for example, that employees C, D, and E, all make on average 5 sales a day and in fact, employee A is just a superstar seller. Setting the bar too high can overwhelm and lead to worse performance overall. 

7. Recognise and reward - Fostering a workplace that regularly recognises and rewards hard work and great performance will both motivate and engage your top performers and inspire and spur on those not yet reaching their full potential. Consistently focusing on the negative can have the opposite effect.

8. Address long-term performance issues - As we said, everyone has bumps in the road, but if you’ve consistently set goals that haven’t been met, provided all the support and training you can, and performance still doesn’t improve, it’s time to act.

Failure to do so sets a precedent for the rest of your workforce - subpar is acceptable and poor performance is inconsequential. 

Next steps

To find out more about our market-leading epos systems, eposmove either head to our website or reach out to one of our dedicated experts who’re always on hand to help.

Not only is their inbuilt staff performance monitoring game-changing but they come with heaps of other business perks including:

  • Integrated payments, 
  • An inbuilt app store, 
  • A cloud-based back-office system, 
  • Inventory management, 
  • Integrated accounting packages,
  • End of day reporting, and more. 

For more info on expanding your workforce check out these guides over on our jam-packed blog:

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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