Characteristics of Effective Performance Metrics

As the boss, you want to set all your employees up for success. Part of this means creating effective performance metrics that push them do their very best work.

Knowing exactly what this is can be difficult, as everyone is driven by different motivators. However, the best goals are able to help everyone learn and grow because they share the features below.

5 Characteristics of Effective Performance Metrics


Vague metrics are meant to be broken, because there’s too much room for interpretation. To be effective, they need to be narrowed down to a singular action. This will ensure you and the employee are on the same page, so there’s no question you have the same goal in mind.


Metrics aren’t particularly useful if there’s no way to actually measure them. When setting goals, make it clear how you’ll gauge the progress made toward the goal. The next time you check in with the employee, this will help you determine if they’re on track to meet the goal.


Creating ambitious metrics is great, but there’s a difference between challenging employees and setting them up for failure. It’s important to make sure the goal is something they can realistically achieve, as anything else is unfair. When determining metrics, review them with the employee before making them official. This will allow them to weigh in on the feasibility, so you can make any necessary adjustments.


It’s hard for employees to get excited about metrics that seemingly have nothing to do with their job or career goals. Therefore, it’s important to carefully review goals for each person, instead of simply assigning the same objectives year after year. This benefits both the employee and the company, because people work harder when they’re accomplishing goals they’re excited about.


For many people, it’s hard to get motivated to complete a goal without a sense of urgency. Therefore, it’s important to attach a specific timeline to metrics, so employees don’t procrastinate. Knowing they’ll be evaluated on a set date or within a certain timeframe will inspire them to keep moving forward and making progress.

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