The success or failure of your Organization comes down to individual employee contributions. The goal of your company should be to improve the quality and efficiency of your workplace continuously. However, we think that without a clear understanding of which factors might influence employee performance, it might be challenging to maintain your success.
Let’s discuss how to improve employee performance by determining which factors leaders should pay attention to and what you can do to empower your employees to succeed.
Before we dive into improving employee performance, let’s first describe what employee performance means and how it can be measured.
What Does Employee Performance Mean?
Most industries define employee performance as how employees fulfill their job duties and execute all tasks required of them. The qualifying factors that make up their performance is the effectiveness, quality, and efficiency of their output. Employee performance also relates to how valuable an employee is to the organization. Each employee is an investment to the company, so the return that they provide must be significant.
Below is a chart that Visual Capitalist put together after investigating how much revenue top tech companies make per employee. A high-performing employee is extremely valuable to any company that wants to be successful. Top talent is one of the best assets an enterprise can accrue.
Credit: Visual Capitalist
How Can You Measure Employee Performance?
Though measuring employee performance differs across roles and departments in every industry, it can generally be measured in the following ways:
Quality and Depth
Measure the quality of the employee’s work compared to colleagues and other employees in the same role or industry. Decide if that employee is contributing unique ideas to their position that adds value to the company.
Speed and Efficiency
Try to ascertain how much the employee is accomplishing in an average day, month, or even quarter. Address impediments or possible resources that could empower them for higher productivity.
Consistency and Trust
Do you trust this employee to make good decisions and execute their assigned duties on time, every time? A top-performing employee doesn’t need to be meticulously managed, and they will demonstrate the potential to grow within the enterprise.
Of course, the specifics of these measurable qualities will vary depending on specific job functions. Both employees and their supervisors should have the same goals and expectations in regards to the above metrics. When the company establishes clear objectives and provides a reasonable timeline for achieving those objectives, the employee can meet expectations.
Practical Employee Performance Review Tips
One idea on how to improve employee performance is to provide periodic performance reviews. There are several efficient ways to create a performance review. You’ll need to choose an approach that will best assess your employee and effectively relay information for how they can improve their performance.
The first way is to schedule one-on-one brainstorming meetings between employees and their direct supervisors. If your employees like immediate feedback and feel comfortable expressing their experiences and opinions, this is a great tactic. It creates an opportunity for engaging communication and ensures transparency between both the employee and their leadership. A few questions you can use in these individual feedback meetings are:
- What long-term goals are we striving towards?
- Since the last time we spoke, how have things been going?
- What are your short term goals we can meet before the next meeting?
- Are there any obstacles standing in your way?
- As your supervisor, what can I do to help?
- Do you feel like you’re growing in the direction you want to go in?
- What can we do to make this be your dream job?
- What actions can you take before our next meeting?
- What actions can I take as your supervisor before our meeting?
Using Metrics In The Review
Another way to conduct an employee performance review is to use a number scale rating chart. This option is great because it provides concrete metrics to compare what your employee thinks of his performance vs. what you as the supervisor think of his performance. Plus, it’s fast and easy to fill out, which means you can do it often. A number scale rating chart usually has a list of performance requirements and then has a rating system before 1 to 5, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. Having both the employee and the supervisor fill out the same chart will allow you to see where there is room for improvement and greater communication.
You could also have your entire team fill out anonymous peer reviews of one another. Especially with large enterprises, a manager doesn’t always see what the other team members see. Peer reviews allow leadership to gather valuable data on their employees from a different perspective. Peer reviews should be completely anonymous so that employees feel safe to give honest feedback and impressions.
Ways To Improve Employee Performance
Regardless of whether you’re the team leader or an employee yourself, you can’t see where there might be room for improvement until you’ve assessed employee performance. We think that it’s essential for both leadership and employees to know how well they are performing. When it’s time for a boost in overall company performance, you can implement a few best practices to improve both the quality and the productivity of work.
Here are a few ideas we have on how to improve employee performance:
Encourage Open Communication
The key to improving employee performance is clear and effective communication. Though receiving negative feedback can often be challenging and uncomfortable, it’s vital to foster a transparent environment that encourages open communication.
You can’t expect employees to change and improve without giving them feedback and action points to work on. Team members should be encouraged to communicate their perspectives regarding their progress, deadlines, expectations, and even available resources.
We think that a culture that rewards this kind of collaboration and idea-sharing can improve your team’s energy and improve everyone’s performance levels. At the end of the day, you can lay the foundation for employee performance when you encourage communication and have a system for conveying feedback and expectations.
Get To The Root Of Underperformance
Before you can improve employee performance, it’s essential to clearly understand why an employee might be underperforming. Don’t make assumptions, but instead gather data and information and address the person directly.
A few reasons an employee might be underperforming is the lack of proper resources, inadequate training, outside influences, and more. It might be possible that the employee lacks clarity about your company’s goals or perhaps doesn’t feel valued in their current role. To tackle these issues, it’s important to understand the root of the problem with your employee and, more importantly, give them a chance to improve. Quick-fix solutions won’t help you in the long-run, so get to the root of the problem first.
Create A Positive Work Environment
Employees that feel happy at their workplace perform better, which comes as no surprise to anyone. Think about how you feel when you’re in an environment that is motivating, positive, and gives you a sense of purpose. When you encourage your employees to personalize their space and keep it neat and organized, you’re promoting a more productive environment.
Another way to encourage happiness at the workplace is to boost team morale as often as possible and ensure ongoing positive communication within the team. It is important that everyone feels valued on the team and have non-work related activities and events planned.
Training Is On-Going
During onboarding, new employees are given a lot of attention and direction. However, we believe that the training process shouldn’t end here. Ongoing training is crucial in keeping your employees engaged and motivated to think and work in new ways. Plus, it’s hard to retain all the new information during the onboarding process, so offering continuous training with contextual learning opportunities will allow employees to follow up on anything that might have been missed when they were first hired.
Ongoing training can go a long way in allowing employees to develop their skills and improve their performances, and also increase productivity and improve morale. Studies show that proper training programs can positively affect an employee’s career. 74.8% reported increased productivity and 64.9% reported increased employee morale.
Utilize Digital platforms and Data
In this digital age that we live in, measuring an employee’s performance can be data-driven. From measuring time management, quality of tasks accomplished, and even the impact of work can be measured. You can utilize HR analytics and other platforms to see the analysis of employee performance so you can identify areas for improvement.
When employees know the specific metrics that are being measured and analyzed, they can monitor their own performance and self-manage their task load. Giving them this information can empower employees, promoting motivation and productivity while also giving them practical tools for improving their performance. Support your employees and provide them with data analyzing their strengths and weaknesses so that they know precisely how to improve.
The Bottom Line When Improving Employee Performance
When you break it down, your people will work harder and perform better when they feel supported, valued, and are given the resources they need to complete their tasks. You can manage your employees’ performance when you understand their needs and give them opportunities for growth and development.
When you try to implement employee performance improvements, we think that improvements should be concrete and goal-oriented and centered around encouraging employees to do their very best. When looking for how to improve employee performance, it’s important to cultivate healthy and open communication, provide ongoing training, and empower your employees to achieve, grow, and succeed.
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