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11 Simple Steps To Improve Employee Performance

. 5 min read

The sustained success of an organisation greatly depends on many factors, one of which is employee performance. It is critical for your employees to be working at their best to ensure the longevity of your business operations. While employees have their personal motivation for performing well, it is beneficial for the organisation to also contribute to improving their performance. This means taking deliberate steps and making decisions that have the employees’ best interest at heart. In most cases, the best approach to get employees to perform is to go back to excellent people management, and that is where leadership and management styles come in. Are you interested in boosting employee performance? Here are eleven ways to do so.

1. Establish values

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The core values of your organisation are the guidelines by which you operate. It defines who you hire, how you employ, and what business you intend to engage in. Your values also provide an idea of what your business is expected to do. Beyond all that, your values should be clear and concise and should be able to be translated into actions. They will also determine what good performance is. After all, values should provide a measure of what productivity is. Though different roles will require different applications of core values, all employees should endeavour to follow them.

2. Delegate

It sounds quite easy to delegate, but in practical terms, delegation can be very difficult. It is not easy relinquishing your oversight to an employee as you may feel they may not do things as you would. However, sometimes execution demands that someone else handles certain aspects. Though there may be perceived issues with quality, it is better if you delegate such aspects to qualified employees with a proven track record of diligence. This not only shows the employees that you trust them, but it also allows them to grow, develop new skills and gives them an experience that will be beneficial in the long run to your organisation.

3. Do not put square pegs in round holes

A major reason for the underperformance of employees is their inability to match tasks to their skills. This is one issue that has to be addressed by both HR and management to find optimal solutions. The best way is to find the best balance between expertise, skills, experience, and resources for each role or task to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity.

4. Effective communication

All organisations are run via communication within and without. If communication is done effectively, everything runs smoothly; issues can be addressed in time, and deadlines can be met. So, employ innovative ways to ensure that communication within the organisation is effective and details what is needed to be done. This may mean increasing the communication channels which work best for your company. Take advantage of technology to streamline communication between management and employees and amongst teams.

5. Focus on clear goals

Setting clear goals comes with its advantages, including allowing prioritisation of tasks, effective decision-making and teamwork, and proper time management. In general, your employees’ performance is also likely to rise once they know what they are working towards. Therefore, focus on making your goals clear to employees and encouraging them to set some for themselves. Using the SMART model is a great way to go about this. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Ensure that all tasks that are given to employees fit this model for maximum results.

6. Reward deserving employees

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Though certain schools of thought argue against it, rewarding deserving employees is a great way to increase employee performance. Even though it is their job, outstanding employees who contribute immensely to achieving goals should be rewarded and made a shining example that others should emulate.

Rewarding employees based on merit should be the norm in your organisation. Such public appreciation of their efforts will spur others on to also endeavour to increase their efforts to achieve team goals. Rewarding deserving employees can take many forms. Some of these are simple words of gratitude and appreciation, additional paid time from work, or even a company-sponsored family meal.

7. Assess accountability and authority

Accountability simply refers to establishing expectations and their clear significant consequences of meeting them or otherwise. These consequences can be either positive or negative. Positive consequences include increased responsibility and constructive feedback. Negative consequences include not earning a bonus or working late. Ensure that accountability and authority are well balanced, and adequate resources are provided to the team. Also, give them ample room to make decisions and execute their strategy while making sure that they have direct access to superiors for input and guidance.

8. Listen

You must learn to listen if you want to increase employee performance. As stated earlier, effective communication is a vital cog in running an organisation. Communication is a two-way street, and information flow goes both ways. Listening to employees about everything will keep you informed about progress or the lack of it. Your employees are responsible for executing your vision. But while you may be fixated on the bigger picture, they come directly into contact with the realities on the ground. Therefore, paying attention to them will greatly increase your chances of attaining your vision. Listening also encourages employee engagement.

9. Training and development

Training and developing employees are a great way to increase employee performance, but despite that, do not focus solely on what your organisation needs now. Instead, try to anticipate what the organisation will need in the next few years as well. This will help you foster loyalty amongst your employees and make sure you have a solid team going into the future. Additionally, be mindful of what your employees need as their careers progress. Identify those that want a promotion, those that want to move into management, or those that want to switch departments.

Beyond their initial training, find ways to persuade employees to learn and develop in their respective fields. Encourage them to expand their skill sets through seminars, professional courses, mentorship or coaching, and increased responsibilities. Fashion an employee development plan that provides a sort of roadmap of how the employees will acquire further skills and test them with situations that will require the use of the newly acquired skills.

10. Manage growth

The parameters of measuring performance should change as the organisation grows. Managing growth is a key aspect of running a company, and it determines the organisation’s trajectory. Smaller companies tend to have people in constant communication, as most departments are made up of just a few people. However, as the company grows, there is a need for more people with specific expertise, and each department becomes a silo, limiting the communication between them.

Ensure that such a situation does not occur, as this may lead to unhealthy competition between departments. So, although you may have individual departments doing very well, the lack of communication and not working together will mean the organisation will suffer in the long term.

11. Look at the big picture

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Looking at the big picture and far into the future is one way to stay ahead of the competition. As much as possible, make realistic projections about your company and industry and find ways to adapt and take advantage of possible futures. This should also translate into how you run the organisation, especially your employees, to increase their performance. One way to go about this is by investing heavily in HR software. This will save you countless working hours in the long run and will improve efficiency. Increase employee performance and invariably help your business grow.

Ayla Anderson

Ayla Anderson is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger who writes articles on home improvement, small business advice, Family and beauty. She is also an MBA student.