Key Performance Indicators are a tool to measure performance. This may be the performance of an organisation or an individual. In the case of an individual’s performance, KPI’s consist of, “a list of characteristics associated with effective or superior performance in a particular job role” (smallPRINT Australia Pty Ltd, 2010, 20). KPI’s clearly specify to employees what they are required to accomplish and how success will be measured.
KPI’s will vary according to the specific roles and responsibilities of a position and the goals and objectives of an organisation. They are generally long-term with few changes made over an extended period of time (Reh, 2013).
When writing KPI’s a range of key factors or competences considered essential to job performance should be taken into account. They should clearly explain what is to be done and how it will be quantifiably measured. In this way, an employee has something specific to aim for and is able to track progress and monitor performance (smallPRINT Australia Pty Ltd, 2010).
KPI’s should be:
S – specific and concise
M – measureable
A – ambitious (achievable yet challenging)
R – related to overall department and enterprise goals
T – time framed
T – trackable or easily monitored
KPI’s enable individuals to determine how well they are performing and identify areas in need of improvement. This fosters individual accountability for performance and results. Overall, use of KPI’s ensures alignment between employees’ work and the goals and objectives of an organisation (Performance Management and KPIs, 2013).