Employee performance is often subjective with managers making up their minds about employee performance based on things they observe day to day. You may feel like you can tell how hard an employee is working, but unless you have some type of raw numbers and metrics, your decision is based on subjective factors like:
- Are they moving quickly?
- Do they seem to be turning in projects on time?
- How often do they ask questions?
- Are they smart?
- Have you caught them skipping out on work?
But while these can hint towards performance, they are not metrics. They are not provable, and they do not use hard data. Someone that can enter 1000 pieces of data in 20 minutes and then takes a 40 minute break is still more productive than someone that does 600 pieces of data in 60 minutes with no break. How you evaluate performance matters.
Interview Question: How do you evaluate performance?
The best forms of performance evaluation involve numbers of some kind because numbers make the process measurable and remove personal opinion as the main driver. Though there are ways to still use non-number based performance evaluation, any type of evaluation that involves numbers is going to be more objective and better at proving performance. For example, cashiers can be measured by items per minute. Call center staff can be measured by calls received and customer satisfaction.
If you have any examples of ways you’ve measured performance, or strategies you would like to use, definitely share those. If they are number based, even better. If you do not, however, just make sure that you have some type of plan in place that is more objective than it is subjective.
“Since this industry doesn’t have much data to work with, I try to remove biases from the equation by utilising a 360 degree feedback survey. Surveys with specific performance evaluation questions are sent out to anyone that has worked with the employee – coworkers, managers, and even clients and third parties. The feedback may be weighted, although usually I keep it as is, and it provides a more well-rounded degree of feedback on the employee’s performance that, while still subjective, at least ensures that no one individual’s opinion is the basis for the performance analysis.”
For those that work in industries where it is difficult to analyze performance with data, this is an example of a firm answer that shows you understand the biases that go into performance evaluation, and you look for ways to still analyze that performance objectively.