Measuring employee performance is one of the most important tasks you can do as a manager. Providing timely and accurate feedback to your employees is the best way to ensure that your employees understand what is expected of them. The most difficult part of tracking employee performance is that as a manager you cannot constantly watch your employees to track their performance.
The first step in tracking employee performance is to use your own observation skills. Observe how your employees handle their tasks. It sounds like an obvious step, but you would be surprised how many managers bury their heads in their own work and concerns and fail to simply observe their employees in their jobs. As you make your observations, you have the opportunity to provide feedback or to make notes for later. Be sure to capture your employees successfully doing their work as well as any opportunities for correction.
The second way you can track employees' performance is to get feedback from their co-workers. An employee may behave one way when he works directly for you and a completely different way when you are not directly involved. This can be very positive if your employee opens up and takes on leadership and teamwork qualities in your absence. This can also be an area of concern if your employee shows a need for constant supervision to get his work done. When you approach employees for feedback on their co-workers make sure that you convey that this information will be kept in confidence. Make sure that after you receive the information that its source is kept in confidence. This cannot be stressed enough. If an employee discovers you have not kept her information confidential, you will lose her respect and trust. It will make your work more difficult in the future.
Finally, your best information to help you track an employee's performance is by reviewing his work product. Does he meet the deadlines for his projects? Is his work product satisfactory, or does it often need to be redone? In addition to the work product, what is his work ethic? Does he arrive at work on time and ready to work? Does he take appropriate breaks within the expected times and return promptly ready to resume work? Pay attention to the basics, because they convey a lot of information about the person and if his work habits are poor, that attitude can be passed to other employees.