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How to manage, measure and improve performanc

Measuring and managing the performance of individual services and the overall local employability service - and the transparency with which this is done - is essential to promote improvement and efficiency. It will help individual providers and partnerships to identify, examine and respond to performance issues and ensure that clients and employers get the best possible service.


The clarity of the objectives of an employability project will be central to its effective management. For many projects or programmes these will include:

  • Geographical area of coverage
  • Priority client groups
  • Function (ie  role on the supply chain) and required partnerships
  • Expected outcomes

Measuring performance

Employability services may measure their performance in terms of (click for more information)

Managing performance

The ability to collect and analyse information on performance will provide employability services with the ability to manage and improve their performance. The basic information needed is likely to include:

  • Client profile. Who are our clients (eg ward/postcode sector; client group; initial strengths and development needs)? How does this compare with our intended target?

  • Client progress. What progress have clients made while engaged with us? How can we improve thisω

  • Client outcomes. What have our clients achieved? How can we improve this?

  • Market penetration. To what extent is the service reaching the clients and areas it was designed (and funded) for? Do we need to do something about our relationships and marketing?

  • Client feedback. What do our clients think about the relevance, quality and value of our service? Is this improving or decliningω What do we need to do about this?

  • Employer feedback. What do employers think about the skills and attitudes of the people they have recruited from us? Is our reputation with local employers improving or declining? What do we need to do about this?

  • Partners and stakeholder feedback. What do our partners and stakeholders think about our service quality and performance? Do they think we are good partners? What do they see as our strengths and weaknesses? What can we do to strengthen our reputation?

Measuring Performance

Appropriate outcomes for individuals may include:

  • Proportion of clients making progress to next stage of their development
  • Proportion of clients gaining sustainable work
  • Difference made to clients. This can be hard to assess but a number of different approaches have been adopted (see EQUAL Access Development Partnership  website, for example)
  • Proportion of clients expressing high satisfaction with quality, relevance and impact of service (see Case Study on Hong Kong commissioning approach)

Appropriate outcomes for employers may include:

  • Proportion of employers who recruit clients expressing high satisfaction with skills and attitudes of recruits 
  • Repeat business from employers

Appropriate outcomes in terms of area and priority clients may include:

  • Proportion of clients falling within target geographical area(s)
  • Proportion of clients falling within priority areas

Some projects chose to collect regular insights into the views of partners and stakeholders. These may cover their perspectives on:

  • Effectiveness as partners
  • Referral procedures and practices
  • Quality and relevance of service
  • Local reputation of service
  • Value for money
  • Performance