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5 Min Read

5 Employee Performance Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Nicole Klemp

To successfully make the journey from administrative HR to strategic HR, organizations need a roadmap — better yet, a GPS. You need to know where you’re headed, what roads can get you their fastest (with the least amount of potholes), and when to reroute when you get off course. 

For Google Maps, information from satellites and users’ location data are used to triangulate your best route. For HR teams, employee performance metrics are the data you need to ensure your people strategy stays on track.

Collecting and analyzing employee performance metrics allows people leaders to make more informed talent decisions, improve processes, and create a better employee experience. This data-driven approach is also an HR leader’s golden ticket to a seat at the table, and can open the door to greater influence in the organization.

Keep reading for more on how to measure employee performance using key HR KPIs, and learn about five essential employee performance metrics that often go overlooked.

What are employee performance metrics?

Employee performance metrics are a set of measurements that can tell you how well your organization is doing in five key areas: 

  • Hiring and retention
  • Employee engagement
  • Performance management
  • Manager effectiveness
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, & belonging (DEIB) 

There are two types of employee performance metrics — quantitative and qualitative — and you need a combination of both to monitor the health of your organization. 

Quantitative metrics are cut-and-dry numbers and percentages commonly tracked in HRIS and performance management tools, like retention rate, goal attainment rate, and average engagement score. Qualitative metrics are more open to interpretation and include things like employees’ sense of belonging, open-ended responses on performance reviews, and post-hire feedback on candidate experience.

By looking at quantitative and qualitative employee performance metrics together, you can contextualize your data and paint a more colorful picture of your people that illustrates their true employee experience. 

Benefits of tracking employee performance metrics

The HR function has historically been seen as an administrative island, focused exclusively on hiring and onboarding employees, managing benefits and payroll, and handling compliance issues. But strategic people leaders know that HR can and should play a key role in driving the success of a business. 

Tracking critical employee performance metrics gives organizations the insights they need to:

  • Create a more engaging employee experience and high performance culture
  • Provide employees with the tools and development opportunities they need to do their best work
  • Track manager effectiveness and help managers become great leaders
  • Support employees in overcoming obstacles that are standing in their way
  • Identify threats and opportunities for organizational growth
  • Align HR efforts to company OKRs and goals
  • Improve performance across the organization and increase revenue

These are just a few of the many potential benefits organizations can realize when the right HR KPIs are tracked. But how do you know which ones to prioritize? Keep reading for five employee performance metrics that can guide your people strategy.

5 employee performance metrics to track

There are many employee performance metrics that are essential to a data-driven people strategy, but here are five must-track metrics to have on your HR KPI dashboard:

  1. Average time to hire

This metric captures the number of days between a candidate applying for a job and accepting a job offer. It provides insight into your candidate experience and how efficient your recruiting process is.   

  1. Employee engagement score

Employee engagement surveys generate data that reflects how engaged employees are. You can slice and dice these scores by factors like team, manager, and role type, to see how different groups of employees are doing. Over time, you can look at increases or decreases in the scores to gauge how different initiatives and changes in the organization impact engagement levels.

  1. Demonstration of competencies

Competencies are a measurable set of skills, attributes, characteristics, and knowledge that help an employee perform their job successfully. How well an employee demonstrates a specific competency can be measured by a question on their performance review. For example: “To what extent is the employee demonstrating the established competencies for their role?”

  1. Check-in completion rates

Regular one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports are essential to a strong employee-manager relationship. By looking at check-in completion rates, you can track the percentage of employees that complete their check-ins. The higher the number, the better that manager is at prioritizing these meetings and providing continuous support and feedback to their employees.

  1. Belonging

More and more companies are beginning to track diversity metrics, and some are even tracking metrics around equity and inclusion — all good moves in the right direction to creating more diverse, inclusive workplaces. But one lesser-known metric we track at 15Five (and want to encourage other organizations to look at) is belonging. 

Belonging is a mental and emotional state of feeling seen, valued, and supported for your uniqueness. It’s a qualitative metric that can be measured through sentiment surveys and other tools designed to capture how employees feel at a given time.

Get the complete list of employee performance metrics 

There are many more metrics that strategic HR teams can and should be tracking on the journey to creating more engaging, productive, and inclusive teams. We cover them all, along with actionable tips for using performance management software to track your metrics in our definitive guide: The Ultimate Glossary of Performance Management KPIs.