Monitoring Performance against Performance Objectives


monitoring performanceMonitoring Performance – It’s about ‘Effective Measures’

We know from research that clear objectives with effective measures can improve performance by over 30%. So that we can have ‘effective measures’ we need to monitor performance against the objectives

Monitoring Performance – Here’s how

The key to effective monitoring performance is to identify a range of methods – so you can then choose the method that’s easiest to apply and most effective. Let’s begin with the easy part – monitoring performance against quantifiable objectives. Here are some examples

Monitoring performance against quantifiable objectives


  • Sales reports
  • Deadlines met
  • Error reports
  • Accuracy reports
  • Documents
  • Proposals
  • Plans
  • Budget forecasts
  • Widgets produced

These tend to be the monitoring methods most managers are comfortable with because they’re about what the employee does. It’s easy to see if your employee is achieving a sales target or submitting accurate work and these are great monitoring methods for the quantity, quality and time elements of the job

The difficulty arises when these are the only monitoring methods a manager uses because most jobs aren’t just about the ‘what’, they’re also about ‘how’ your employee’s do their job. About:

  •  how they work as a team member
  •  how they work with customers
  •  how they deal with problems
  •  how they deal with change and so on

In short, their behaviours

If you only monitor the ‘what’ of the job you will only be monitoring half of the job. And if you only monitor half of the job then possibly that’s the only half that the employee will feel it’s worth focusing on!

Monitoring performance against behavioural objectives

Here are three ways to monitor behaviours

1. Observation

Observation is taking a planned approach to watching your employee ‘in action’. The idea is that you plan to observe the specific behaviours that you have described in your performance objectives. For example, if you have agreed that a performance objective for team work is ‘offering help to team members’ and ‘contributing to team meetings’ then those are the specific behaviours you plan to observe. So it’s about;

  • looking at the performance objectives you’ve agreed that relate to behavioural elements of the job and then
  • planning how you will observe those behaviours e.g. paying particular attention to the employee’s behaviour in the next team meeting

2. Report back

Report back is about your employee reporting back to you on their performance. This is a really useful technique where the employee is responsible for ‘evidencing ‘their performance against the objectives you’ve agreed

A good example would be if you had an agreed a performance objective from ‘effective time management’ which included ‘takes action to manage interruptions’. Then the employee would simply report back to you with some examples of when they had taken action to manage interruptions

3. Feedback

Feedback is about getting feedback from people on the employee’s performance. This could be from;

  • customers
  • suppliers
  • team members
  • other departments

It’s important that you only look for feedback;

a) As agreed between you and the employee and

b) Described in the performance objectives

For example, an objective related to ‘Client Servicing’ is ‘Client feedback reflects a high level of satisfaction ’. This is the feedback you and / or your employee would focus on collecting.

Monitoring Performance against Objectives – The Key Principle

The wider the range of methods you use, the more effective the monitoring will be because using a range of methods means you will gain a more balanced view of the employee’s performance

This means you can give the type of feedback that employee’s tell us they want more of, because they find it constructive and motivational, and which improves performance

And of course we know – ‘what get’s measured gets done’ and it’s impossible to measure without monitoring!

monitoring performanceIt’s also just about impossible to effectively monitor and measure performance without first agreeing performance objectives. Do you want to know how to use performance objectives – the easy way (and find out how you can get access to over 200 ‘ready to use’ performance objectives?). Then grab a copy of my FREE Special ReportPerformance Objectives Made Easy’ today!

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7 Responses to Monitoring Performance against Performance Objectives

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  2. Liz Weber says:

    Joan -Great info here! Thank you for sharing this and most especially for identifying the quantifiable as well as the observable. These two methods for monitoring performance are so often a difficult and confusing responsibility. Your information here is wonderfully helpful for several clients. Thanks again Joan.

    • Joan Henshaw says:

      Many thanks Liz – really appreciate your feedback. Yes it can be confusing but, as ever, much easier when someone shows you a method! Best wishes. Joan

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