Everything You Need to Know to Measure Success at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 11, 2021 | Published December 12, 2019

Updated February 11, 2021

Published December 12, 2019

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

How you measure your workplace success largely depends on what your career goals are. While employers or supervisors might use regular performance reviews or metrics to analyze employee success, tracking your own progress involves identifying what you consider success to be and how you will achieve it. In this article, we’ll explain several strategies for how you can measure your success at work. 

Related: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

What is a measure of success at work?

Success is the achievement of desired visions and the goals you set to reach that vision. 

When you first begin a job, you should have a clear idea of what your position entails and what you need to accomplish to improve the performance of your department and company. When it comes to defining your own personal performance, figure out what you’re trying to achieve in your career. For example, If you want to change careers from marketing to accounting, set attainable milestones to develop your skills to bridge any gaps in the case of interviewing for an accounting position in the future. 

Here are a few other examples of how you can measure and track your personal success at work:

Discover your core values

Core values are a set of fundamental beliefs, ideals and practices that inform how you conduct your life. They can be applied on a personal and a professional level and can help you find out the best ways to grow and make other important decisions throughout your career that will define your success.

Once you identify your core values, you can communicate them to prospective employers during interviews, add them to your resume when job searching or use them to advance at your current role. Success is considered a core value, but others you may want to consider to reach success are happiness, work-life balance, team management and acceptance. 

Related: Core Values: Overview and Examples

Ask yourself key questions

If you have difficulty determining your core values, ask these key questions to prioritize your personal and professional goals: What kind of culture would you like to work in? What resources are essential to maximizing your performance at work? What motivates you? What qualities are helpful for you to develop long-lasting relationships in the workplace? 

Outline a strategy

When you prioritize what is essential to your development, come up with a series of objectives and a strategic plan to help you create a timeline for how and when to achieve the goals you set out to complete. If you allocate the proper time and resources to a project, it gives you focus, sets priorities and increases collaboration when necessary. Your strategic plan should involve outlining detailed steps to reach your goals.

Strategies to measure your workplace success

You can measure your workplace success by defining how you’re achieving success. Achieving your milestones requires a level of critical awareness about where you want to be years from now. As important as your overall career success is, you likely want to succeed in your current position to position yourself for future opportunities. In the case of measuring your current job performance, you can conduct a wholesale evaluation to see if the systems you put into place effectively advance your skills and performance on the job.

Here are strategies to keep in mind when you evaluate your own performance:

  • Manage your calendar.

  • Prioritize the importance of tasks and track digital trails.

  • Utilize peer reviews.

  • Keep regularly scheduled performance evaluations with your manager.

  • Send feedback forms to clients.

Manage your calendar

Use your calendar regularly to block out chunks of time to work on tasks relevant to the goals you’re trying to accomplish. If there are meetings that are optional, decide what you can do instead of attending the meeting to reach success. It’s advisable to send a message via email about the meeting and be clear with your manager about how and why you’re missing it.

Prioritize the importance of tasks and track digital trails

Making to-do lists within a project management system or scheduling system is ideal to keep track of what you’re working on and the importance of it. A digital system makes it easier to color code or tailor your prioritization techniques to your habits. It also helps you understand how each task affects your success; get the urgent tasks completed as soon as possible. Other software techniques allow managers to track their employees’ work through keystrokes made, percentage of tasks completed and time spent on a certain software application. Therefore, tracking digital trails gives you and management metrics that will help you stay abreast of your success at work.

Utilize peer reviews

Gather feedback from your team members as to how they’re measuring their success. You may be able to gain helpful insight depending on their feedback. You may also find out how your measurements are consistent with those of the rest of your team.

Related: What Are the Different Types of Workplace Training?

Keep regularly scheduled performance evaluations with your manager

Keep track of how often your performance reviews are with your manager and follow through in attending them to receive feedback about how you’re measuring your success. Your manager can introduce the techniques they’re working on to ensure you’re on task. If you need clarity on how to measure success then be sure to ask your manager as soon as possible to establish clarity.

Send feedback forms to clients 

If you’re working with clients directly, send out feedback forms to them to measure your success in your interactions with them. Limit the forms to only a couple of questions, and you should be getting quick and concise replies of your relationship with them. Depending on the length and depth of their responses, they can provide useful insight.

Examples of how to measure your workplace success

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are usually set out by your manager to help measure your success. To help you manage your time on specific tasks, review these KPIs to see how you can measure success in the workplace: 

Comparing yourself to yesterday’s self

Improvement can be overlooked by perfection in the workplace, but take time each day to measure where you were yesterday in comparison to today. You can be in a different state when it comes to how you view your work and others you work it. This daily check-in helps you review your viewpoint and to measure where you would like to be. 

Percent of time you spent on three important daily tasks

If you feel like you’re spending too much time on one client’s workload, identify the most important tasks you’re working on and evaluate the time it takes to complete them. Compile a list and separate it into two columns: your most important daily tasks and performance-influencing priorities as to why you want to complete them. This could consist of trying to win over a client or trying to upsell them on their campaign. Yet, this approach gives you a structure to set realistic targets in measuring your success and avoid being overwhelmed in the process. 

Percent of time you spent on three important annual tasks

Expand on your list with performance-influencing priorities to help measure your long-term goals. Speak to your manager if they haven’t been clearly communicated to you yet. You should be able to tie your measurable daily goals into the success of your annual targets to ensure work is getting done in a timely fashion.

Percentage of communication geared to the listener

Consider your delivery in the conversations you have with your coworkers and managers. The success of a conversation is dependent on how well you listen, not just what you say. Thus, measure your conversation’s success by monitoring the reception of the dialogue and vibe of the conversation, in addition to what you’re saying. This way, you can see if the person you’re talking to is receiving your comments well and makes relevant points that address the answers you’re trying to get. 

Actions completed to build and sustain workplace relationships

Once you have consistent conversations with your team, see if there is a pattern between what you say in the dialogue and if it translates into results at work as well as a personal relationship with them. A wholesome workplace relationship with your coworkers makes it easier to know where you stand with them. If you build a steady relationship, it may be due to your aptitude in working in scenarios of conflict resolution to solve workplace problems. Overall, monitoring your relationships and your diction in conversations are intangible to measuring your workplace success.

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