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Things Managers Should Always Know About Employee Performance Management

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Happy teams are productive teams. But employee happiness is not a given constant - its appearance depends on continuous, thoughtful support. Managers need to balance a number of different needs and aspirations to keep their teams motivated, happy and psychologically safe. However, some are easier to identify and track than others.

Understanding employee performance

When it comes to teamwork, the effort of the whole is the most important thing. It's about letting everyone pull together, working together harmoniously and having access to the right resources at the right time. But understanding the performance of the individual employee is fundamental to this. Measuring employee performance can not only help you keep everyone up to date, but also help you measure employee performance:

  • Learn what your team is doing and why
  • Break down internal costs to root out our inefficiencies
  • Protect employees from burnout
  • Alignment with the goals and objectives of your company
  • Understand progress towards goals
  • Correct misunderstandings before they become snowballs
  • Collaborate more intelligently
  • Build fairer practices based on feedback
  • Exact documentation of all overtime of the employees
  • Develop better HR standards and practices
  • Creating a positive employer brand

Things every manager should know

Employee performance KPIs may appear more clinical when a person's job performance depends on broader psychological factors such as their well-being. Managers need to quickly identify the things that stand in the way of their teams - by creating undue stress, frustration, disappointment or withdrawal. They must also be able to recognize the good and identify new opportunities, expand skills and refine processes.

Managing employee performance will always be a big task, but it does not have to be overwhelming. It is a good start if you have a good understanding of these nine factors that affect employee performance.


Recording the hours your teams work in a week is essential for performance management. It provides you with an instant indicator of their availability and workload - essential for balancing work within your team and identifying anyone who may be having difficulty or being overworked.

Work flow

A healthy workload requires an even distribution of work throughout the week. In the first two days there is no flooding, followed by a drought. Inconsistent workloads can massively affect employee engagement, as employees work unnecessarily under intense, uncontrollable stress - which can quickly lead to burnout. Pay attention to how the workload of your team is distributed and remember to keep individual goals small and consistent.


Apart from the fact that it is a legal requirement for companies in the EU, it is generally a good idea to document all overtime worked by your employees. A disproportionate amount of overtime is a clear sign that there is something structurally wrong with your team - be it a lack of resources, unrealistic expectations, a poor assessment or a misunderstanding of what needs to be done. It is also generally resented - especially if you don't have the documentation to remunerate overtime correctly.

Team activity

It sounds obvious, but every manager should know what tasks his employees are working on. This is important to ensure that everyone is working according to your priorities and tasks. It can also help to highlight major problems, especially if a task takes much longer than normal to complete. For the team members themselves, knowing what their colleagues are up to is a good way to coordinate and provide proactive support.

Employee satisfaction

It is important to measure employee satisfaction, not only in the interest of employee retention, but because satisfied employees do the best work. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between job satisfaction and the performance of excellent work, with highly engaged teams showing a 21% higher return on investment. Dedicated employees are also likely to pursue their goals longer and feel a stronger sense of purpose.

Free time

Taking the free time you are entitled to is not a "slack" - it is crucial for productive excellence and quality work. Managers need to keep an eye on employees' vacation time - not to put pressure on availability, but to ensure that each member of the team uses their full vacation allowance.

State of mind

The mental health of workers is as important as their physical health. For managers, this does not mean intruding into employees' private lives. It means offering employees the right tools to support good mental health in the workplace. It also includes communication - creating a feedback culture where people feel comfortable and safe and can talk about their well-being. But it's much more than that - it's about providing structures, training and support to help people deal with their mental health.

Low-value work

Knowledge work is saturated with a ton of meaningless, unproductive tasks that keep people from applying the skills they are actually passionate about. Some are necessary evils, but they can be made more efficient or outsourced altogether. Pursuing your team's biggest low-value tasks is essential to their long-term success.

Career goals

You probably know the goals or purpose of a project, but do you know where each employee wants to go on their own career path? This has a huge impact on motivation and commitment - if employees feel that they are in the wrong role to achieve longer-term career goals, they probably won't give it their all. Take the time to talk and understand the individual needs of each person and help find opportunities that will help them get there - even if that ultimately means helping them move to another team or department.

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