How do you know if an employee is making a difference?

By Anita Jaynes on 1 April, 2018

The bigger you grow as a company, the more staff you will take on but in some businesses, it’s hard to quantify what the difference they make to the company is. So how do you tell if someone is really making a difference to your company growth and bottom line? Dan Barfoot, operations manager for CMD Recruitment shares some insights for employers.  

When building a company, the equation for your return on investment per head is one of those officious sums you are required to make but it’s not always obvious how to quantify an employee’s worth to a business – so how can you find ways to gauge the value of someone’s work? 

KPS – Key Performance Indicators

Now a staple part of a lot of appraisal measurements, having performance indicators gives everyone a clear idea of expectations, goals and what’s important against what is not. Sales offices are transparent with their Return on Investment for staff because the numbers are there in plain sight to analyse. Whether the performance is measured in reviews, bookings, time put in or markers in quality, develop a way to understand what good work looks like for your operation to run well.

What others see

One way to get to grips with how an employee is doing is to understand how people within and outside the business judge the employee. This exercise can include your clients, customers, third parties and those in other departments. Add the snapshot impressions up and you may get a view of how someone is representing the brand. You may find that there is more to someone than meets the eye, or alternatively, your view of someone being amazing may be ‘smoke and mirrors’. There is a useful and increasingly popular tool called 360 degrees appraisal that’s used, which gathers together and presents everyone’s opinions involved with an employee, to demonstrate the difference between what an individual believes, compared to what everyone sees. This can help in highlighting areas of performance to improve.  

Keeping the team going

An employee who boosts office productivity can be invaluable to your business. This can be taken for granted but the people who make other people enjoy their daily work and prosper in their tasks, are key players in your team. It may not be a manager either, it might be someone who keeps everyone smiling, acknowledges colleagues for doing a great job – but someone who drives everyone’s positivity and a person that people connect to, look up to and respect. These individuals keep morale and motivation high.

Being a brand ambassador

Everyone in your company IS your brand. They tell other people about it, they have opinions they share. If you have people in your company that say openly to anyone, what a great company it is, you are doing well but more than that, the people who champion your business from within, they do you a great service. Someone who is on your team and always championing your brand speaks volumes to anyone who is listening. Word of mouth is a powerful referral method.

The problem solver 

Often in a business, there will be someone who’s very slick at getting to the bottom of how to solve issues – cutting through the noise. A problem solver can be a huge asset. This is the person who is assertive rather than someone who sits at their desk counting the minutes till 5pm. A problem solver in this respect, is the kind of person who does not always pull your sleeve and ask you a question every other minute when there are problems that they could easily sort out themselves with a bit of initiative. The problem solver will be working through the challenges methodically and get back to you when they’re solved, rather than flapping about, passing the buck or ignoring the problems when they occur. 

The backbone of the company

Not all the jobs in a company can be said to be exciting, cash generating, go-getter roles. Some are critical for administration, take away pain from the go-getters or simply free up time for the company to get on with business development. Every business needs roles in the workforce which help keep ‘the machine’ running. Don’t overlook people who are effective at the maintenance side of your business. Those staff, working away in the background, getting on with it, are often the foundations for your growth you can not do without. 

CMD Recruitment has three offices in Wiltshire, based in Melksham, Calne and Devizes. They specialise in Commercial and Industrial recruitment. Visit them online at: