Employee Performance Definition

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Performance criteria are standards for employee behavior at work. This criteria contains much more than how an employee does the work. Employees are rated on how well they do their jobs compared with a set of standards determined by the employer.

Job Descriptions

The work done must be measured and evaluated.
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Job descriptions are the main part of the performance definition. What the employee is required to do dictates the way the work must be performed. Most of the time, quality and quantity are two measurements involved.

Establishing the Criteria

Just how much work an employee must do directly affects how well it is done. Employers demand high productivity and high quality. If employees have too much work, it can affect how well they perform. If they do not have enough work to do, the business suffers.

Task vs. Behavior

In addition to the various tasks that make up the work, there is also the behavior of the employee. Many times productivity is affected due to excessive absenteeism, poor attitude, lack of teamwork, and numerous errors.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal programs are used in many companies. Employees are provided job requirements, on-the-job training, performance goals, and company expectations. Employees are rated on the criteria established and if poor evaluations are not improved, the employee can actually be terminated. Many companies use the performance appraisals for raises, promotions, and awards.


There is no simple definition of Employee Performance. As discussed, there are multiple facets to performance and they must be clearly defined in fairness to the employee and the company. Whenever starting a new job, be certain to ask all of the who, what, when, where and why's.


About the Author

Based in Dallas, Texas, Marcia Moore has been writing business-related materials since 1974. She has enjoyed a 30-year career in the field of human resources and works as a HR consultant to small and medium businesses. Moore holds a Master of Science in social work from the University of Texas in Arlington.

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