Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be used across all levels of an organization to measure productivity, performance, and efficiency. They are especially useful for members of remote field teams as a means of tracking their own performance and self-motivation. Furthermore, well-designed KPIs allow employees to see how their accomplishments affect the overall success of the organization.

Effective KPI

What does an effective KPI look like?

KPIs that are established for measuring employee performance should align with the overarching goals of an organization. It is senseless to assess employees against metrics that do not directly impact your organization’s prosperity. When creating any KPI, make sure that it encompasses the following seven characteristics: simplicity, alignment with organizational goals, relevance, measurability, achievability, timeliness, and visibility. Simple KPIs are easy to both comprehend and assess, as it will be useless to establish metrics that your team does not understand or that managers cannot effectively measure. KPIs should be relevant in the sense that appropriate decision makers are in control of specific KPIs. KPIs should also be achievable because employees will become frustrated and disengaged if they are working towards goals that are simply unattainable. Timeliness refers to the frequency of KPI data reporting analysis. Finally, KPIs should be visible across the entire organization so that all employees are engaged with its goals. It will be difficult to grade employees and make adjustments based on the results of KPIs if they do not include all of these components.

It is essential that performance KPIs are clearly defined and dictated to remote employees. Managers must train employees on how to interpret their respective KPIs. If employees do not know what factors they are being evaluated on, then they cannot work to improve those aspects of their daily performance. KPIs have the ability to optimize field operations in a powerful way if they are used correctly.

Accountability & Motivation

Productivity increases when employees are engaged with individual and organizational objectives. There is a heightened sense of responsibility for goal achievement when employees are able to realize how their personal efforts impact the prosperity of the organization that they work for. Additionally, employees are more likely to work to their fullest potential if they are held accountable for attaining expected results.

Performance-oriented KPIs that coincide with employees’ primary job functions can be very effective at raising motivation levels. Employees will be eager to complete their daily tasks in the most efficient manner possible if they know that certain aspects of their performance have a direct bearing on how they are being evaluated by management. Moreover, remote employees are likely to experience burnout if they are working just for the sake of working. However, if there is a goal associated with their on-the-job performance, employees will be driven to meet the expectations that have been established for them.

There are numerous mobile tools that organizations have at their disposal for improving remote employee efficiency. For example, the data collection functions available with certain Field Activity Management software solutions allow field reps to capture, store, and share valuable information about specific clients. If an organization has an established KPI of “improve client acquisition count”, reps can present potential new clients with sales data of other retail locations directly from their mobile phones as proof of success. For example, a beverage rep could be having a hard time convincing convenience store X to carry his company’s product. In response, the rep can present the store manager with sales data from his phone to prove that product sales have been booming for the past six months. The store manager is more easily suaded because of the hard data that is presented. Having immediate access to this data saves time and is less cumbersome than dealing with paper forms. Thus, reps are able to increase efficiency, as well as gain new clients, by having real-time access to data.

Bottom Line

KPIs boost productivity and employee morale because they attach daily job functions to a larger goal. Organizational leaders should be conscious about altering KPIs periodically as their companies grow and change. By doing so, employees will be constantly challenged to reach new goals. Since KPIs inspire employees to improve how they get work done, they can be equally important to a business’s bottom line as financials.