Getting the most out of your staff is important for any business. You need to be able to guarantee consistent levels of service and performance in order to help your business thrive, generate revenue and grow.
We explain what you should look at when tracking performance, how to set targets and how to assess performance to help maximise the potential of your staff.
What to track
Many businesses will chart their success based on key performance indicators (KPIs). This is a metric that applies to a variety of different areas, from total sales or sales of a specific product line, to the amount of sales, or even loyalty scheme sign-ups a business gets.
These KPIs are often defined as a total for the entire business, or for a specific branch. From there these targets can then be broken down and applied to individual members of staff.
KPIs are a great way to set out targets for your staff. However, you need to ensure that whatever target you set is both realistic and achievable.
Keep in mind the length of time a staff member is working, and what their role entails.
For example, in a retail environment, setting the same targets for someone that is in for eight hours and someone that only does four hours isn’t going to work. You run the risk of either failing to challenge one member of staff, or setting an unrealistic target for the other, depending on their length of shift.
You also need to think about the duties each staff member has and make adjustments accordingly. Your KPIs might not necessarily reflect the performance of staff who work in a warehouse, processing deliveries for example.
You can use the targets you set to gain a measure of how well a staff member is performing their job based on whether they meet, exceed, or fall below their targets.
There could be a range of factors that cause this apart from their performance, for example: you might set targets based on year on year performance. However, your previous year might have been bolstered by the launch of a new product or a big promotional push.
If there’s nothing similar the following year the targets for that period might be set unfeasibly high, meaning it is difficult for staff to meet the expectations you’ve defined.
Your targets should help you track performance, allowing you to identify who is performing well, and who, perhaps, requires some additional training.
Assessing performance can help you identify issues on an individual and team level. Perhaps you are finding that your staff struggle to sell an additional warranty on your products. This might be a KPI that struggles across your business. Identifying this can help you work out if the issue lies with how staff are trying to sell the product, which might facilitate additional sales training.
It could also reveal that the warranty itself isn’t an attractive prospect to customers, meaning that, instead of training, you need to reassess how the product is worded, presented, and deployed in order to make its sale easier for the staff in future.
Performance assessment also allows you to identify your highest performing staff. This is useful to help reward performance and maintain levels of loyalty and motivation. It also helps when looking at who to chart for progression within your business, or who you could have lower performing staff shadow to help them improve their skillset.
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