Performance reports can vary from company to company. However, they all involve the same sort of data and data processes. A good performance report collects specific work performance data, analyzes that data and provides suggestions for how to improve moving forward.
How to Write Performance Reports
The best performance report provides information about goals that were set and outlines the employee’s strengths, successes, weaknesses and opportunities. It also discusses possible ways for the employee to move forward and work toward his goals. It’s best to set new goals each time a performance review is given.
There are hundreds of performance management tools online. Some of them allow for only certain metrics, while others are capable of many different data sets. There are a few very important things to remember when you are doing a performance report.
Engineer Productivity Example
Consider an engineer (Edgar) and his preventative maintenance duties for the year. As his manager, you already know what the average level of duties should look like. This means that you should have a perfect fit with which to gauge your report.
If you noticed that his productivity was greater than required for March, April and May but dips below the average in June before going back up in July, there may be something that your employee had to deal with outside of work, such as a family issue. Such a dip is not an overall trend and is not something about which you should worry. However, when you go to any shareholder meetings or speak with management, it is important that you know why there were any major shifts. This way, you can provide a solid overall picture.
Writing Your Own Review
To write your own review, you will need access to your productivity standards and personal productivity history. You should begin by comparing your productivity with the accepted average.
When writing your own review, you need to be detached and only focus on the data before you. Any major deviation from the average needs to be explained. Perhaps you had far more to do in one month than another. Using this data, you can suggest that adjustments be made to your workload to even it out.
When presenting your own review, you should focus on the data and highlight when you were a high performer. It is important that you advocate for your value but do not do so without backing it up with proven metrics. Your review will also need to have a plan and goals for the future.
Performance Reporting and Project Management
In the case of project management, performance reporting is much more involved than in the case of individual reporting. You will have to compare your team or company’s performance as a whole against the average metrics. From there, you should be able to dive deep into individual departments and projects.
When pulling performance reporting, you should do so at a high level at least quarterly. That way, you can adjust how your team is working or address any team issues. The other major thing on which you as a manager would focus are remaining tasks, the costs of those tasks, the hours needed to complete them and the expected budget at completion.
The major difference between an individual tracking her progress and a project manager assessing performance is that the latter is going to focus on costs far more than the individual unless that individual is a contractor dealing specifically with costs and hours. A project manager is also usually expected to present her report in a formal way so it can be shared with stakeholders. It is best to use simple visual aids such as graphs, pie charts and Gantt charts.
Performance Reports and Stakeholders
Performance reports should be official documents that you can provide to shareholders, a CEO or managers on demand to prove that you and your staff are meeting or exceeding performance metrics. Stakeholders like these often provide you with goals for which to strive. A performance report can help illustrate that you and your team are reaching those goals.
- Develop an outline before sitting down to write a performance report.
- Determine metrics with management and track these items throughout the year to simplify reporting.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She has been writing on business-related topics for nearly 10 years. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com) and she works with a number of small businesses to develop B2B content for their websites, social media accounts, and marketing materials. In addition to this content, she has written business-related articles for sites like Sweet Frivolity, Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group, Bloom Co and Spent.