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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Employee Performance

How well an individual is fulfilling their job duties and responsibilities constitutes employee performance. It involves the effectiveness, quality, and efficiency of an employee’s output, and is often measured against predetermined goals, targets, or benchmarks.

What is employee performance?

Employee performance is a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of individual skills, talents, and efforts. It’s the symphony of actions and results that an employee contributes to their workplace.

It’s like a mirror, reflecting the employee’s abilities in the light of organizational goals. It’s measured through various parameters such as quality of work, efficiency, leadership skills, teamwork, creativity, and adaptability.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

Who is responsible for monitoring employee performance?

Monitoring employee performance is undertaken by a panel of HR professionals. Some of the esteemed higher-ups are listed below:

  • Immediate supervisors or managers: These individuals are typically the closest to the employees’ day-to-day work. They have a direct line of sight to the employees’ tasks and can therefore provide immediate feedback and guidance. They are responsible for setting clear expectations, providing resources, and addressing any performance issues promptly. They also play a crucial role in motivating their team members and fostering a positive work environment.
  • Human resources department: The HR department plays a strategic role in managing employee performance. They design and implement performance management systems that align with the organization’s goals. They ensure that the performance evaluation process is fair, transparent, and consistent across all departments. They also handle any disputes or issues that arise during the performance review process. Additionally, they provide training and development programs to help employees improve their skills and performance.
  • Senior leadership: The top management of an organization, including the CEO, directors, and other senior leaders, also monitor employee performance, especially for key roles and strategic initiatives. They ensure that the performance of all employees aligns with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. They also set the tone for a performance-driven culture within the organization.
  • Employees: Self-monitoring is an important aspect of performance management. Employees are encouraged to regularly assess their own performance, set personal goals, and seek feedback. This self-awareness and proactive approach can lead to personal growth and improved performance over time.

When should an employee performance review be conducted?

Employee performance reviews are typically conducted on a regular basis, which can vary depending on the organization’s policies and culture. Here are some common timelines:

  • Annual reviews: This is the most traditional approach, where performance reviews are conducted once a year. This gives a comprehensive overview of the employee’s performance over the entire year.
  • Semi-annual or quarterly reviews: Some organizations prefer to conduct reviews twice a year or every quarter. This allows for more frequent feedback and the ability to address issues or make adjustments more promptly.
  • Monthly reviews: In some fast-paced industries or roles, monthly reviews may be appropriate. This provides regular, ongoing feedback and allows for quick course corrections.
  • Project-based reviews: In some cases, reviews may be conducted at the end of a major project or assignment. This allows for timely feedback related to specific tasks or projects.
  • Continuous feedback: Some organizations are moving towards a model of continuous feedback, where managers provide regular, informal feedback on a day-to-day basis.

Why is employee performance important?

Employee performance is crucial for the following reasons:

  • Productivity: Employee performance is directly tied to productivity. The higher the performance level, the more productive an employee is. This increased productivity can lead to more efficient operations, higher output, and ultimately, increased revenue for the organization.
    It’s like a well-oiled machine, where each part performs its function efficiently, leading to smooth and effective overall operation.
  • Quality of work: The performance of an employee also affects the quality of their work. High-performing employees tend to be more meticulous, dedicated, and committed to their tasks, leading to superior work quality.
    This can enhance the organization’s reputation, lead to higher customer satisfaction, and even open up new opportunities for business growth.
  • Employee morale: There’s a strong correlation between employee performance and morale. When employees perform well and their efforts are recognized, it boosts their morale. This increased morale can lead to even better performance, creating a positive feedback loop. It’s like a team winning a game - the victory boosts the team’s morale, which in turn motivates them to perform even better in the next game.
  • Retention: High employee performance can lead to lower turnover rates. When employees are performing well, they are likely to be more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave the organization. This can save the organization significant costs associated with hiring and training new employees. It’s like a family where each member feels valued and appreciated, leading to strong bonds and a low likelihood of members leaving.
  • Competitive advantage: High employee performance can provide a competitive advantage to an organization. High-performing employees can drive innovation, provide superior customer service, and achieve operational excellence. These factors can set the organization apart from its competitors, much like a runner with exceptional speed and endurance stands out in a race.

How to improve employee performance?

Employee performance can be improved in the following ways:

  • Clear goals: Clear goals provide a sense of direction and purpose. They should be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This helps employees understand what is expected of them and align their efforts with organizational objectives.
  • Training and development: Continuous learning is key to improvement. This could be in the form of workshops, seminars, online courses, or mentoring. By investing in employees’ skills and knowledge, you’re improving their performance and showing them that they are valued.
  • Feedback: Feedback is a powerful tool for improvement. Constructive feedback helps employees understand what they’re doing well and where to improve. It should be timely, specific, and focused on behavior, not the person. Remember, the goal of feedback is to help employees grow, not to criticize or demoralize them.
  • Recognition and rewards: Recognizing and rewarding good performance is a great motivator. This could be in the form of bonuses, promotions, or even a simple ‘thank you’. Recognition shows employees that their hard work is noticed and appreciated, encouraging them to continue performing well.
  • Healthy work environment: A positive work environment fosters collaboration, creativity, and productivity. This includes physical aspects like a clean and comfortable workspace, as well as psychological aspects like a culture of respect and support.
  • Work-life balance: Overworking can lead to burnout, which can drastically affect performance. Encouraging a healthy work-life balance helps employees stay healthy, happy, and productive. This could be through flexible working hours, encouraging regular breaks, or promoting wellness activities.

How is employee performance evaluated?

Employee performance is evaluated based on how effectively individuals fulfill their job duties, complete assigned tasks within deadlines, achieve set goals, and exhibit appropriate workplace behavior.

Leaders assess aspects such as the quality and quantity of work, as well as overall output efficiency when monitoring employee performance. This evaluation process helps gauge an employee's effectiveness in contributing to the organization's objectives.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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