Employee Performance - Characteristics & Metrics


To identify and detail the most common metrics used to evaluate employee performance (in creative and/or consulting professions), and the most common characteristics of strong employees, to assist the client in evaluating and discussing performance in coworkers.

Early Findings


  • Measuring employee performance through key metrics involves measuring work quantity and productivity performance, work quality and efficiencies, and comparison on organizational-level points.


  • Work quantity / productivity metrics are outcome-based metrics, and are provable through specific tracked data. These are the “most common factors used in performance appraisals.”

Total Number of [X] Attained/Completed/Produced

  • The [X] will depend on the employee’s positions and job responsibilities, and will be different for different positions. Examples include: total number of sales, total number of active client leads, total number of projects finished, total number of keystrokes-per-minute, total number of units produced, and total number of bug-free lines of code written.

Metrics on Meeting Objectives

  • Most employees have task lists with deliverables, especially those in creative and consulting fields. Measuring multiple components of the employee’s abilities to reach said objectives can be both objective and subjective, though steering the measurements as close toward objectivity as possible is recommended. The objectives could be given specific weight (like a number of points, for example), and measures to assess success of the objectives could include a variety of factors, like time to completion, customer satisfaction ratings on completed deliverables, and issues presented / errors made in deliverables.


  • Work quality and efficiency metrics are more subjective (than objective), so building in the least amount of subjectivity into the metric and method of measurement is important. [1] It is important to note that an employee who is meeting work quantity metrics may not necessarily be meeting work quality or efficiency metrics, and therefore, the measurements should be kept separate.

Positive and Negative Quality Standards

  • Employees can be measured on their work quality in both positive and negative ways. Positive quality standards focus on “how effective each employee’s output is,” like total number of leads generated via blog posts and total number of customer complaints solved, as examples. Negative quality ratings could come from measuring things like total number of customer complaints (about employee) and total number of unsuccessful attempts at completing [X], as examples.

Employee Efficiency

  • Employee efficiency can be tough to measure, though experts have several recommendations on how to do this as objectively as possible. One of the best ways to measure efficiency (aside from objective data-driven measurements) is through a team assessment. This allows management to see which team members are producing the most work, the best quality of work, and doing so while utilizing the least amount of company resources, and to identify which team members may not be as efficient or effective as the others.


  • Organizational-level employee performance metrics include measures like revenue (or profit)-per-employee and absenteeism rates.

Revenue-Per-Employee & Profit-Per-Employee

  • One organizational-level performance metric for employees is how much revenue they earn for the company. This is calculated as revenue-per-FTE = Total revenue / FTE. A similar metric is profit-per-employee.

Absenteeism Rate Metrics

  • Another way to measure employee performance is via that employee’s absenteeism rate. The higher the rate, the less likely the employee is to be successfully fulfilling job requirements, whereas the lower the rate, the more engaged the employee is likely to be (and the more productive).

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