How to effectively measure non-desk employee’s performance

Below we give you key metrics which you should include in your non-desk employee performance reviews, these will give you a holistic overview of their performance and ensure they are working up to standard.

Performance Indicator #1: Efficiency

This is one of the most important markers because employees could be great at their work but if they are doing it in an untimely manner then it’s a huge problem.

  1. Before you do your performance review, evaluate times for which you think it should take to do the work that is required from the member of staff. This way you have standardised time frames to refer back to.
  2. If you are in the service industry look at your customer’s reactions to see if they are impressed or disappointed with the speed of their service.
  3. If they don’t work directly with customers ask their colleagues how they think their speed is, this will give you some background and context to refer to before you review their speed for yourself.
  4. Look to see if they are clocking large amounts of overtime each day, if they are you may need to have a chat with them about their time management.

Performance Indicator #2: Initiative

An important part of many non-desk worker’s roles is to take initiative because they haven’t always got the on-hand help of Google to assist them, and they are on their feet so they are required to think faster on the move. An employee with a great initiative is the key to a successful business because it means they get the job done without constantly needing to be handheld. It is difficult to measure so you should keep a tally of everytime each employee takes initiative then work out an average for all staff so you have a benchmark measurement to go by. So what should you look out for?

  1. Do they make important decisions by themselves, for instance, they make the decision then run it by you rather than always asking you for the answer?
  2. If a customer gives them a tricky question do they work it out themselves or give a reasonable answer, or do they run straight to their manager for the answer.
  3. If you ask them a tricky question do they respond with “I don’t know” or do they figure out the answer and then come back to you?

Performance Indicator #3: Effort

This is a big one as it can’t be taught unlike other tangible traits such as being efficient and using initiative, it will show you how much an employee cares about their role and it is a good indicator of how engaged they are with their job. If an employee does not put much effort in you can ask them why and understand if there is anything that is holding them back from getting fully involved in their role. If you can see they are putting in the effort but perhaps are struggling with efficiency you can always teach them how to work faster and smarter. So what should you look out for to measure effort in a role?

  1. Are they usually positive and upbeat, this is a great indicator that they put effort into their role and care about coming to work? If they are constantly moody or act like they don’t want to be there then this is a sure sign that they are not putting enough effort into their role.
  2. Do they regularly give you good input and provide useful feedback, this is a sign that they are constantly caring about the performance of the company and that they are putting in an effort to try and help with new ideas.
  3. Do they go above and beyond to try and help colleagues and customers? If they are putting in a discretionary effort this a sign that they really care about getting the job done and doing it the best way that they can.

Performance Indicator #4: Helpfulness

Do you notice that the employee is helpful? The traits of helpfulness which you should look out for will be tied into the points mentioned above. If they are unhelpful all the time, it can be a sign that they are completely disengaged at work. It shows you that they don’t really care about helping the company and are just there to receive their paycheck at the end of the month. If they are helpful most of the time it shows you that genuinely care about the quality of work produced and care about helping their colleagues which is a strong sign of engagement. What should you look out for in terms of helpfulness?

  1. Are they usually one of the first employees to answer a question when a colleague is stuck.
  2. If someone asks them a question and they are not aware of the answer do they go out of their way to try and find the answer out.
  3. Do they usually give detailed and helpful answers to your customers?
  4. Do they make suggestions which you hadn’t thought of, to improve performance?

Performance Indicator #5: Attendance and punctuality

The average amount of sick days taken a year by British employees is 4.1 days. Of course, your staff should respectfully be allowed to take sick days off when they are sick. However, if you notice a pattern and recognise that they are off ill very frequently then you have a problem because you can’t trust them to be reliable to show up to work when you need them. Problems with reliability and being able to count on them also occur when they continuously show up late, these are both important factors to assess when carrying out an employee performance review. When should you worry about punctuality and attendance?

  1. Do they have a pattern when they take time off, perhaps they are taking two sick days off a month, or sick days before or after their holiday? Two days a month might not seem like a high level of sickness but it equates to nearly five working weeks of the year! Look for patterns and assess.
  2. Do they have a pattern with lateness? Are they late every morning, or perhaps only late on certain days? If they are late on the odd occasion this is nothing to worry about. However, if they are late at least once a week then you need to address the problem.

Performance Indicator #6: Productiveness

This factor indicates an employee’s output in a specific amount of time. You should start by measuring how much they get done in the day, e.g. how many patients they saw in a day, or how many homes they visited to drop off parcels. These numbers will be a good starting point however they are not the whole story. Once you have your measurements it’s important to ask them how productive they think they are, they will then hopefully explain to you why they think are or are not, which will mean you will get the full story. Productiveness is dependent on which industry you work in, but here are some examples of what to look out for:

  1. How many sales do they make in a day?
  2. How often do you need to get another member of staff to help them because they are running behind?
  3. How many patients do they attend to?
  4. Are they continuously above or below their targets?

Performance Indicator #7: Quality of work

This one is a bit more open to interpretation. But an employee is only as good as the quality of the work which they produce. Below we have listed a few questions which should help you assess whether they are producing good quality work?

  1. You should be thinking about whether their work matches up to your expectations for what you pay them for?
  2. Take a look at their job description and assess whether you think they are living up to their responsibilities?
  3. A good question to ask yourself is have they made my life easier in the last year or have they made it more difficult? If they are producing good quality work then the simple answer as a manager, is that they should be relieving you of stress and taking the pressure off of your workload. If they have made your life more difficult because you are constantly having to fix their errors, or constantly tell them what to do then chances are that they are not producing good quality work.
  4. Is their work producing good results?
  5. Has their work made a significant impact on your business?

Performance Indicator #8: Communication

Communication is essential for effective teamwork, customer service and performance. It is especially important for non-desk employees because they are always on the move so it makes it harder for them to communicate. In order to measure communication you should look out for:

  1. Their ability to issue clear and concise directives.
  2. How responsive are they when colleagues ask them to complete a task?
  3. Do they complete tasks when asked by colleagues or do they leave them incomplete?
  4. How good are they at relaying messages back and forth between employees and customers?
  5. Do they give colleagues and customers regular updates on important tasks or responsibilities that they need to get done?

Performance Indicator #9: Are they consistent?

It is important that your employees are consistently performing well in their role rather than on the odd occasion. They should be providing excellent service on the majority of days which they are at work rather than just the days when they are in a good mood. Good performance only provides results when it is done consistently, for example, an employee may be incredibly efficient on Monday and Tuesday but when it gets to Wednesday, Thursday or Friday their performance slacks. Below we tell you key factors to look out for when measuring consistency:

  1. Are they consistently hitting their targets?
  2. Are they consistently on time?
  3. Are they consistently helpful?
  4. Are they consistently efficient?
  5. Are they consistently good at communicating?
  6. Do they consistently put in effort?
  7. Do they consistently use their initiative?


Other posts that may be of interest to you? 

6 things sensitive staff need for a better employee experience

How to tell if your employees are not developing at work? 

The real reason you hate your job

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 19th December 2018