Buzzwords: ‘KPIs’

Posted January 10, 2014, by Julia Watters

The first time someone mentioned KPIs to me, I stared vacantly, nodded and promptly turned to my good friend Google. It is, as I discovered, an acronym for ‘key performance indicators’ and is a widely recognised performance review tool in the business world. 

Dilbert comic

While KPIs can be used to benchmark the achievements of entire organisations, they can also represent a mutual agreement between a manager and an employee and be used to track individual performance. Establishing KPIs with your manager is a great opportunity to nut out what you both believe your role demands and what goals you need to be achieving throughout the work year. For example, you could have sales targets to aim for, efficiency goals to work towards, or perhaps you are expected to have progressed to a certain point in particular projects. The agreed indicators should provide an overview of your performance but still allow for the variables that will inevitably crop up during the year.

Dilbert comic

Another benefit of having predetermined performance indicators with your boss is the ability to push back when you feel your workload is getting to be too much. It should also provide your manager, and others in your organisation, with a broad yet useful idea of what your role involves and how it needs to develop from year to year. 

Dilbert comic

Regular reviews of your KPIs will also give you the opportunity to present your case for increased responsibilities or promotion. But if you don’t have KPIs or you’ve never been through a review process or goal planning, don’t worry. Suggesting that you set some goals with your boss will generally be welcomed and it can definitely work in your favour. Unless, of course, you’ve been getting away with doing nothing for the last year…then maybe it’s time to answer some emails. 

If you are keen to update your skills, there are plenty of online courses to help you boost your knowledge – and earn you some boss brownie points as well.

Julia Watters

AIM Business School
All Health Training
Australasian College of Health and Wellness
Australian College of Physical Education
Australian Institute of Business
Australian Institute of ICT
Australian Institute of Management Education and Training
Australian Institute of Personal Trainers
Builders Academy Australia
Building and Construction Training Australia
College for Adult Learning
Deakin University
Ducere Global Business School
Edith Cowan University Online
Endeavour College of Natural Health
Foundation Education
General Assembly
Hammond Institute
Industry Skills Training
James Cook University Online
La Trobe University
La Trobe University Online (Delivered by Didasko)
MCI Institute
Mentor Education
Monarch Institute
Nepean Industry Edge Training
Onfit Training College
Open Colleges
RMIT Online
The Hotel School
TrainSmart Australia
UNE Partnerships
University of Adelaide
UNSW Online
UTS Online
Victoria University Online
Torrens University
University of East London
University of Mauritius
University of New England
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Open Colleges School of Health
HTMi Australia
Southern Cross University