How to Master Employee Performance Tracking

by Alexandrea Davis on December 09, 2022

Learn how the public sector can leverage employee performance tracking to improve engagement and performance – and ultimately advance organizational goals.

Article Highlights: 

Employees are the wheels that keep every organization in motion. They’re essential to your service fulfillment and, through motivation and high performance, they’re the greatest enforcers of your mission. 

But this level of employee commitment isn’t found in every workplace. If you don’t have a strategy in place to support employee performance and ensure alignment with organizational objectives, you’re hindering the success of both your agency and your employees

For public sector agencies, effective systems for employee performance tracking can improve productivity and engagement among staff to drive your goals forward. Let's look at why employee performance tracking is so important in the public sector, how to effectively track employee performance at your agency, and how a local government performance management system can enhance your success.

Why Employee Performance Tracking is Important in the Public Sector

Public sector organizations need to meet their strategic goals in order to provide effective services to their communities and grow the agency’s success. Employees are a vital part of this, so they should be working strategically toward the organization’s objectives. And since government agencies have limited budgets and capacities, it's important to ensure that no time or investment is wasted.

Leaders need to ensure their employees' work not only progresses agency goals, but also sets employees up for long-term success in the organization. Performance tracking gives supervisors visibility to employee progress that informs what adjustments will help staff work more efficiently and productively. 

You can identify individual and team strengths and weaknesses and discover skill gaps that need to be filled so you stay on track with your goals. Giving your employees insight to their performance analytics and providing clear guidance on where they can improve also supports continued skill development

Agencies can also leverage employee performance tracking to align your staff’s work with the organization’s objectives. You can monitor progress to goals on the individual, team, and agency levels and share those insights with the entire team. This keeps employees engaged in the organization's mission and helps them understand their own contribution to achieving its goals.

How to Effectively Track Employee Performance at Your Agency

Unfortunately, public sector agencies usually don’t have a robust process for tracking and improving employee performance. But it's possible to develop that process through goal-setting, tracking KPIs, providing regular feedback, and using employee performance tracking software. 

Set measurable goals that align with the organization's goals 

To give your employees and your organization a unified direction and keep them on the right track, you need to set SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound – with clear expectations. This ensures your goals are strategically aligned to promote your mission and lets you quantify progress so you can see if these goals are being met.

Be sure to give employees at all levels ownership over their goals and progress. Have them keep track of their own goals so they can see whether they’re performing to the standards you (and they) set. This empowers them to continue performing at their best, and also enables them to identify areas where they might be falling behind so they can course-correct or ask for help before a problem arises.

Track KPIs with performance analytics and reports

Once you define your goals, identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can use to monitor how effectively you’re performing towards these goals. KPIs also need to be SMART, and they may vary for individual employees and across departments.

Tracking performance analytics will help you identify gaps in employee skills, tasks, or goal alignment and make necessary adjustments. Compiling these analytics into performance reports provides a clear picture of employee performance across your entire agency. These include visual reports, which allow you to quickly identify areas of improvement and success. 

Use analytics and reports to make more strategic decisions about improvement. You can learn about your employees’ strengths by locating areas where they’re performing well, and uncover their weaknesses where they’re struggling to make progress. This informs whether certain individuals need more support or training to develop their skills.

Hold regular employee check-ins 

Create frequent opportunities for continuous feedback by holding regular check-ins between supervisors and employees. Don't wait for annual performance appraisals, otherwise, you could miss signs that employees are struggling to achieve their goals.

Celebrate successes, talk through struggles, and discuss pathways toward improvement to ensure employees feel supported and recognized. Managers should make sure the conversation isn’t one-sided – give your employees the opportunity to provide feedback. Encourage them to share what challenges they're facing and where they feel confidently about their performance so you can build trust and understanding.

Additionally, regularly review progress to goals and create space for questions to keep employees informed and engaged in the value of their work. And don’t forget to reiterate how their efforts are helping the organization achieve its objectives – this reminds them how they're part of the bigger picture.

Invest in employee performance tracking software 

Rather than implementing all these practices using a paper-and-pen method, employee performance tracking software centralizes and streamlines performance management so you can easily monitor your agency’s work and increase employee productivity.

Automation is a central feature of employee performance tracking software, helping your employees save time by notifying staff when it’s time for performance reviews. These solutions make it easier to accommodate more frequent appraisals and automated reminders keep your entire team accountable for meeting their deadlines. 

What’s more, employees can see their progress to goals, review the organization’s objectives, and even keep track of other team members’ goal progress. This encourages better alignment across the agency, keeps staff unified and engaged, and ensures they’re aware of their expected outputs. Plus, since all your agency’s performance data is stored in one central hub, supervisors can quickly generate comprehensive reports and compare analytics without excessive manual effort. 

The software also provides tools for 360-degree feedback and goal management. Employees can receive regular feedback from their peers and managers, as well as provide constructive feedback to others.

Perform by NEOGOV

NEOGOV’s local government employee performance tracking system, Perform, is designed to help public sector agencies better manage employee performance metrics, hold ongoing performance appraisals, and give continuous feedback. Not only can you see the performance of individual employees or whole teams – you can give employees full ownership of their goal-setting and management within the system. 

Perform supports weekly, monthly, quarterly, and other frequencies for performance reviews, which you can adjust according to your varying needs. You can also set standards for employees’ SMART goals and KPIs, which tell you about areas of success and needs for improvement ahead of your performance evaluations. Plus, the system provides performance analytics that you can export into a variety of customized reports or monitor daily in easy-to-read dashboards.

To top it off, as a cloud-based system, Perform can be accessed from any device or operating system, which also makes it suitable for remote employee performance tracking.

Final Thoughts

Government agencies can ensure that employee goals are aligned with the organization's by redefining their approach to performance tracking. Doing so enables you to better support your employees so they can perform more productively and successfully – all while unifying them around your greater mission. 

And with performance tracking software, your agency can maximize efficiency and minimize manual effort throughout the entire process. NEOGOV's Perform solution helps your employees keep track of their goals and performance expectations, and collect valuable, continuous feedback to keep them engaged and committed to the organization’s success.

If you’re ready to start leveraging solutions to enhance your performance tracking processes, learn more about how Perform improves strategic alignment between your employees and the agency's goals.

Alexandrea Davis

Alexandrea Davis is a Content Marketing Specialist at NEOGOV, supporting content strategy and development. With a love for storytelling and commitment to making an impact, she aims to create meaningful content that builds trust and erodes challenges for public service professionals.

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