What Are You Doing to Nurture Your Most Valuable Assset?

By Anna Johansson,
business.com writer
Jul 09, 2015
Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

7 Key Metrics for Developing Employees

It’s often said that employees are one of the most valuable assets for any business. That’s why wise managers strive to provide numerous avenues for their staff to enhance their talents, learn new skills and earn promotions.

In order to provide such opportunities for employees, a system of metrics for staff evaluation and development must first be established.

There are seven critical metrics that are vital to enhancing the skills of staff and providing them ways to maximize their career potential.

1. High Potential Talent

This metric begins actually before the employee is hired. During an interview, candidates should be evaluated on their desire to get promoted in the company and future potential.

Do they elicit trust? Do they care about what they’re doing? Find out if they’re flexible with their time and what they can devote to the business. These are all important steps and questions to consider while weeding through potential employees. Measure the effectiveness of your hiring process to discover what methods work and what practices may not be as effective.

2. Training and Development

Businesses spend a great deal of time and money on employee training. With background checks, trainers and on the job training expenses, the cost of each employee can seem rather high. Having cost-effective training programs can save money, but managers should also ensure their training programs produce results.

Examine what’s spent on internal and external courses, travel and technical equipment. Look at the time spent in training, what topics are covered, and who’s getting trained.  Formulate methods to evaluate your training and development programs, consider the return on investment as well as the return on expectation. Use both quantitative and qualitative methods of evaluation, and get insight into the effectiveness of your training programs by measuring attendance at classes and following-up with participants.

3. Engagement

Employees who feel that they play an important role in the company generally tend to be happier and more productive. They need to know their contribution matters and is both noticed and appreciated.

Employees who feel connected to your company will be less likely to seek employment elsewhere, while disengaged staff are more likely to steal, communicate negativity to coworkers and miss time from work. Degrees of engagement can be measured by surveys and focus groups. For example, SurveyMonkey provides employee satisfaction surveys.

4. Employee Efficiency

Measuring employee efficiency can be both objective and subjective. An objective view can be obtained by looking at the number of units produced or sold, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Subjective aspects can be evaluated by looking at interactions with co-workers and customers. Conducting in-depth evaluations of team members can help measure the effectiveness of each employee.

5. Individual Goals

Having individual goals can provide a great amount of insight into the effectiveness of your staff development program. Goals should be realistic and within the range of the employee’s specific strengths. Employees who regularly meet their goals can help can help you identify those with the potential for leadership positions.

Give positive feedback and constructive criticism as the individual is working to complete the goal. Observing an employee during this time can provide subjective information about their desire to improve their work performance.

The best time to evaluate individual goals is during a quarterly review. This should be a casual one-to-one meeting where accomplishment can be discussed and weaknesses can be addressed.

6. Peer Review

Peer review can be an excellent way to show the effectiveness of employee development programs. Interviewing coworkers can provide more accurate review of a worker’s attitude, work habits and commitment to teamwork. Peers can give an honest assessment of another employee as they are the ones who work closely with them each day.

7.  Task Completion vs. Hours Worked

Many employees are time-oriented, and paid by the hour, placing more emphasis on the time needed to complete a project, which can be easily done through time tracing from services like Due.com. Others place more emphasis on the task at hand. They focus on the value of the work they’re doing and their level of performance at completing each project, working to the best of their abilities and striving to achieve outstanding results.

Both of these methods can be effective. Development of both types of workers can be measured by setting specific benchmarks, which provide a set of clearly-defined tiers that ultimately lead to the completed task.

Assessing Performance for These Metrics

Establishing metrics can be very helpful to a company, but only if employees are held responsible for their metrics and evaluated on a regular basis. Here are some useful tips to remember when developing performance metrics.

  • There are guidelines to follow to assess metrics.
  • Determine the quality of the metric.
  • Can the metric be objectively measured?
  • Does the metric place emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness?
  • The data collected by the metric should be fit for analysis and statistical review.
  • The metric should meet industry and other applicable standards.
  • All parties involved should agree on the specific details of the metric.
  • The metric should include milestones to determine qualitative criteria.
Anna is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more, Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.
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