Every executive wonders at some point whether particular employees are excelling or slacking. Often this question arises around the time that bonuses are given out.

A recent article on the KelloggInsight website explains that there is a way to elegantly collect data and find out. Simply put, observe and collect data, but only up to a point.

Step one: Observe and assess whether the employee worked hard on a particular task. Step two: Do it again regarding another task. Repeat the cycle a few more times, and then stop.

A few of these exercises will give executives all the data needed to decide whether an employee is excelling and deserves a bonus or not.

“At some point, I’m going to say ‘enough,'” George Georgiadis, associate professor of Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, is quoted as saying. (The posting is based on his work.)

Constant employee scrutiny and data collection would be overkill, he said, leading to higher costs and excessive use of resources that can eventually outweigh the benefits of having heavily detailed employee performance data, the article argues.

You can access the full piece – “Worried Your Employees Are Slacking? Rethink How You Pay them – at this link.