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Measuring Key Performance Indicators


The Silent Struggle

I’ve had numerous conversations with business owners and managers that are in struggling situations. I’ll often ask, “What do you measure your employees on? What are their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?” More often than not, the answer is that the employees are only measured on one thing or nothing at all. Management is in peril if it thinks that managers should be measured but employees don’t need specific KPIs.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Everyone has measurables. Everyone needs an indicator of their success or failure. 

When an organization is struggling, KPIs help isolate what specifically is failing. 

The Importance of KPIs

Often one other reason KPIs aren’t used is because managers aren’t sure how to best calculate them and employees are not clearly given direction on the calculation either.

If you’re in that place, take a look at these 4 very simple examples that you could mold for your employees: 

  • Employee Productivity:
      • KPI: Output per hour
      • Formula: Total Output / Total Work Hours
  • Goal Attainment:
      • KPI: Goal Achievement Rate
      • Formula: Completed Goals / Total Goals Set
  • Quality of Work:
      • KPI: Error Rate
      • Formula: Errors / Total Tasks Completed
  • Time Management:
    • KPI: Time-to-Completion
    • Formula: Time Taken to Complete Task / Estimated Time

Naturally every department in an organization should have highly specific KPIs for them. It would be a disaster if your accounting department didn’t readily know the answer to “How profitable were we last quarter?” 

Knowing What’s Expected

By incorporating these KPIs into your performance measurement strategy, you not only set clear expectations but also provide a roadmap for improvement. Employees can see the tangible impact of their efforts, fostering a sense of purpose and direction.

Everything you do as a manager comes back to these measurables - promotions, coaching, disciplinary actions, and separations. 

As the adage from Peter Drucker goes, "What is measured, improves." 

If you’re not improving, odds are you’re not measuring the right things.


At UnisonWorx, we specialize in employee engagement and performance management. Our software solutions have helped companies save thousands by improving employee performance.

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