Good employees are at the heart of every successful business. If you don’t have an amazing team, you’re not going to get anywhere regardless of how great your product ideas are. But paying staff salaries is also your biggest expense, so you need to be sure that you’re spending that money wisely.
If you’re paying a good salary to an employee that doesn’t really do much and, most importantly, doesn’t help to generate revenue or play an important role in the day to day operation of the business, you’re wasting money. That’s why it’s so essential that you know just how effective your employees are.
If you can review their performance, it will help you to identify the people that aren’t pulling their weight and then you can give them the support and advice that they need to improve. If their work still isn’t up to scratch, you might have to consider replacing them.
Developments in technology are another reason that you need to review your employee performance from time to time. Implementing new technology allows you to automate certain areas of the business and speed up menial tasks that your employees are doing. Over time, this might mean that certain staff members are rendered obsolete, but a lot of business owners don’t realize this because it happens gradually. You might have employees in your business right now that you simply don’t need, but you’re still paying them a salary.
It’s important that you identify these employees so you can do something about it. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of them, you can move them into a different role or take some of the workload of other employees that have a lot on their plate to increase efficiency.
Evaluating your employees can be tough and a lot of business owners don’t do a thorough enough job so they miss things. If you’re not sure how best to evaluate your team, these are some of the things that you should be looking at.
This is incredibly important because if people aren’t showing up to work on time or they’re taking extra long breaks, they’re not getting any work done during hours that they’re still getting paid for. The easiest way to keep tabs on punctuality in your employees is to have a good clocking in system in the office. That way, you can easily track employee hours down to the second. When you’re conducting a review, you can go back over those hours for the last few months and see if there are any patterns.
If they were late once or twice in the last 6 months, that’s not too much of a problem. But if they’re turning up half an hour late on a regular basis, that is a cause for concern and you need to ask them why it keeps happening. Sometimes, it might just be that they’re struggling to balance their starting time with other commitments like dropping kids off at school, for example.
You might be able to come to a compromise where they start half an hour later and then stay for an extra half an hour at the end of the day if it makes life easier for them. However, if they don’t have a good reason for being late, that’s a big red flag and it tells you something about their work ethic and their dedication to the company.
Quality Of Work
This is an obvious one but a lot of employers don’t really know exactly what they’re looking for. Completing projects in a timely manner is important, of course. If you delegate work to employees and give them a deadline, it’s important that they meet that deadline, but that’s only one of the things that you should be considering.
In a lot of cases, you also need to think about how their work is impacting the company and helping it to move forward. For example, if you task your marketing team with creating a new promotion, it’s obviously a good thing if they complete the project in a timely manner. But if that new promotion doesn’t connect with consumers and you don’t see any increase in sales off the back of it, that’s not really a success.
Similarly, if you’re paying an IT team to develop new software for the sales team and the sales staff are telling you that it’s making their job harder because it’s riddled with bugs and errors, that’s a bad sign. When you’re trying to assess quality of work, always think about whether an employees work is having a positive impact on the business or not.
It’s always important to remember that your employees are just that, they’re not your friends. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take notice of some of their personal habits when they’re in the workplace because they can impact their ability to work productively. Things like engaging in workplace gossip that might create a difficult working atmosphere, distracting other employees or taking unauthorized breaks are all things to watch out for. Using computers for personal tasks is a big problem as well. If you’ve got employees that are spending a lot of time looking at social media or shopping online when they should be working, they’re going to be incredibly inefficient.
The best way around these issues is to have a clear behavioural code for your employees while they’re at work. Let them know that it’s fine to use their phones or look at social media on their computer while they’re on their lunch break, but not when they’re supposed to be working. You need to discourage gossip and foster a professional atmosphere as well because any personal issues between employees make it more difficult for them to work effectively as a team.
This all depends on your particular preferences because some business owners don’t really have a strict dress code. But if you do, the way that your employees interpret that dress code says a lot about their attitude to working. For example, if you require people to wear business attire to work and somebody is coming in with their shirt untucked and their tie half down, that suggests that they don’t really care.
This is especially important if you’ve got employees that are coming in direct contact with customers. They’re an ambassador for your business and anything that they do when they’re with a customer reflects back on you. Outline the rules of your dress code clearly so everybody knows exactly what is expected of them.
A lack of performance in your employees will eventually have some impact on the customer, even if that employee doesn’t have direct contact with them, so you should conduct customer surveys regularly. For example, if you’ve got a customer service operative that isn’t conducting themselves well on the phone, your customers will tell you about that. But equally, if you’re selling products online and a lot of customers are reporting late delivery, you know that your employees in the shipping department aren’t performing well.
Getting your employees to do their own self-review is always a good idea. Often, people aren’t making a conscious effort to slack off, they just don’t realize where their weaknesses are. But getting them to sit down and fill out a questionnaire about their performance will encourage them to think a bit more about it.
You’ll find that a lot of people will see where they’re not doing so well and will make an effort to ask for help and improve their performance without you having to step in. If you assess all of these things during an employee evaluation, you should be able to get a good idea of where the weaknesses in your business are.