Measuring Your Employee's Performance

The following is from a recently received email sent to Curt Barry...

Dear Curt -

We met briefly at the NCOF conference in Vegas, and I wanted to reach out  to you regarding performance errors.  I was hoping you could provide  me with some insight into how other 3 PL fulfillment companies manage employee errors.  Currently, we don't have a strong policy in place to  deal with these issues.

Some questions that arise in my mind are:

1.  How many mistakes is too many?

2.  Should the consequence be different in receiving than picking or packing?

3.  If there is a larger mistake that causes our company should there be a more severe consequence?

I understand that everyone makes mistakes and I would like to allow  for learning and coaching, but I also want to make sure that our  employees have a formalized consequence to ongoing errors, and they  know what to expect.  If you have any feedback on this I would really  appreciate it.  Or, if you know any warehouse managers I could speak with to get ideas on what they do that would be great!

Thank you so much for your time!

Sharon, VP of Client Services, 3PL Company

Dear Sharon -

In my opinion, there are a couple levels of issues:

  1. Weekly productivity reporting by person through out the call center and fulfillment.  Our clients display these by department and person on white boards, reports and monitors throughout the facilities.

  2. Contact center monitoring should be in place.  There should be a form for evaluating the calls and a weighting system for the responses.  What are your standards for monitoring experienced core employees versus new hires?  Companies have developed coaching approaches to improve employees, get them to accept responsibility for improvement or a basis for asking them to leave the company.

  3. Personnel policy that deals with severe HR issues.  These include theft, embezzlement, sexual harassment, etc.  These should have clear documented policies which employees understand.


In terms of error rates, we would expect that controllable error rates would be only 0.5%. Meaning, 99.5% of all major transactions are error free.  In bar coded systems it will be much higher.

In a speech a number of years ago when I made the statement about error rates of 0.5%, a national FedEx manager pointed out that meant 73,000 of their customers would not get their package on time in any given day. What is your management's attitude about errors?  And you are in a 3 PL service so what guarantees are you making to clients?  Hope this helps.  Call me if I can further explain.

Curt Barry

Hey, blog readers, what's your company's approach?
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