In our professional lives it can be very easy to get caught up in the success or failure of particular projects or the organizations we work for, rather than taking note of how well we are keeping to our own personal goals. Just because a project you are working on is performing badly doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing poorly in your work and likewise if your organization is hitting all its targets, maybe it’s not all down to you (though it’s possible).
To measure how you are progressing or otherwise it’s important to create and track your own Personal Performance Indicators. These are metrics, like KPIs for projects and organizations, which show you how well you are performing compared to the goals you have set yourself. Every individual will have their own unique goals that are relevant to them, their profession and their situation. If you’re looking for an overview of how to use personal performance indicators that help you achieve your own objectives, here are some ways to set them.
How to Use Personal Performance Indicators
Organize your goals along separate categories so that you can see where things are going well and what you need to work on. Some examples of categories are:
Work performance: This can either be given by a personal estimation or by asking superiors or colleagues for how you are doing. These views will be subjective though, so it is useful to include data-driven metrics, such as production/hour or percentage of deadlines made to measure how your judgement is stacking up against the facts.
Professional development: Many organizations will have a CPD requirement for the amount of professional development education someone should be completing every year, often linked to salary and promotion opportunities. On a personal level however, it is also important to set and hold yourself to goals connected to your long-term ambitions. The metrics used can be anything from PD hours completed, books read or skills mastered, but the most important thing is to align these annual goals with your own professional objectives and use these personal performance indicators as milestones.
It is a two-way street however, as, with growing skills shortages and the likely exodus of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens employed by UK business and public service, the country is likely to face huge labor shortages in the near future which threaten to derail its current high economic performance.
Income: Rightly or wrongly, a person’s salary is one of the most common metrics for measuring how well they are performing professionally. It can be very useful to have a goal in mind for how much you believe you should be earning and to benchmark that against similar roles in your sector. If reality is not aligning with your projections, talk to your employer about why that might be and build a plan of what needs to be done to get you there.
Networks: It can be hard to quantify the value of connections to your professional life but doing so can greatly assist your career development. You can start to do this by drawing up a list of connections and rating their quality. This will give you a benchmark on which to judge either an increase in total amount or overall quality of your network.
Health: While not strictly a professional sphere, your health contributes to every facet of your life, such as your ability to perform at the peak of your abilities, engage in further learning outside of work hours and even to attend networking or professional functions. As such it is an important personal performance indicator to track and constantly try to keep in balance, if you’re satisfied, or improve if you’re not.