This blog was written by Brandon White, Director of Human Resources at Helpside. Brandon has more than a decade of experience, allowing him to make complicated employment situations and regulations approachable for small businesses.

COVID-19 has changed the way we work. As the COVID-19 threat became a pandemic, many businesses were forced to embrace work-from-home arrangements in order to maintain operations. This sudden surge of working from home created new challenges and new opportunities for everyone involved. One challenge of remote work is that you are unable to physically see employees working and may have limited interaction with them throughout the day.

When employees work together in an office, measuring the time that an employee works is straightforward. You are able to see when they arrive at work and you can pop over to their desk and ask them a question whenever you would like. Typically, you can physically hear them interacting with your customers or clients. Historically this has given managers a sense of what is going on in their department. While measuring time is typically the easiest to measure of employee productivity, it isn’t always the most beneficial piece of information you can have as a manager of people.

Performance management is the process of creating a work environment in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Measuring Performance is a skill that can take time to develop. It requires extra effort from the manager to gain an understanding of each of the positions that report to them. But the extra time it takes to understand the requirements of each position that reports to you will be worth it when measuring the performance of your employees. As their leader you will understand what it takes to effectively perform in the role and you will be a valuable asset that can help your employees achieve success. Here are some tips to get you started on the path of measuring performance in more meaningful ways.

  • Select the role that you want to measure performance for.
  • Identify the top 3 to 5 responsibilities for the role.
  • Determine the critical metrics. Where possible use quantifiable measurements such as quotas or net promoter scores. Where this is not possible, use metrics that can be objectively measured.
  • List the primary skills that are required to be successful in this role.
  • Identify the other roles or key stakeholders who are affected by this position.

When you are finished you may have something that looks like the following:

Similar information may be incorporated into a well thought out Job Description.

The next step along the path of successfully measuring performance is to use the information you have collected. Once you have this information, meet with your employee to discuss expectations. Imagine the clarity that can come from a meeting where you sit down with your employee and say, “In a nutshell here is how I view success for you in your position. I want you to focus on these three main responsibilities. Here is how we will measure success against those responsibilities. Some of the Key Stakeholders for your position are the following. I hired you because you already exhibited 3 of the 4 Primary Skills required for this position. I’d like to enroll you in this course to work on developing the 4th primary skill.”

You can also utilize this information in the corrective action process. It may be that the employee is missing the mark on some of their Critical Metrics. You could begin by coaching that employee and reiterating where those metrics need to be. If coaching does not do the job, you are able to easily shift over to a verbal or written warning and move down the progressive disciplinary path if needed.

By sitting down and meeting with your employee regularly to review these four categories, they will have a better understanding of what is expected from them in their position. You will have a deeper knowledge about their position so you can measure their performance more successfully.

If you would like more information about successfully measuring performance please reach out to your Helpside Human Resources team at