There is no such company in the entire world that wouldn’t want to be successful in its respective field. As you could see from such amazing success examples as Google, Facebook, SpaceX, Tesla and other companies that are seemingly directing entire market directions, it’s not something a single person could achieve.
At the root of each great business story lies a team – it could change over time, but it’s a team nonetheless. And for a team to be successful, bosses or managers have to make sure that employee performance is always at the top levels.
Many business owners confuse employee performance with productivity. But, these are two very different concepts that should be addressed within a company, but in a different way each.
As of employee productivity, you can say that this is the efficiency of a worker (or a group, for that matter). It can be evaluated on the basis of an employee’s output during a particular timeframe.
Usually, an employee’s productivity is assessed according to average metrics displayed by other workers doing the same or similar thing. It is a significant part of any business, because most of an organization’s success relies on its employees’ productivity.
Employee performance refers to job-related activities and quality level of their execution. Many bosses and managers assess employee performance of each team member on either a quarterly or annual basis.
This helps them determine the areas that should be looked into and improved. And this is exactly what this article is focused on – practical ways of improving employee performance. It is directly related to employee engagement about which you can learn in this article.
So, you have this mythic employee performance that your company depends on. Don’t worry, you’re not the first to wonder how to sort it out and make a plan for its improvement.
Initially, you may be really confused by your company’s situation, especially during the periods of morale drop and peak turnover levels. The truth is, you might need to come up with a handful of solutions to change such dynamics.
But, before you start developing your solutions, you should do your research to comprehend why your employees don’t perform at the highest levels. This is priceless data that will help you develop solutions to solve your employee performance issues.
Why Don’t Your Employees Perform Well?
The first thing you should focus on, if you want to improve your employee performance, is to understand them. Workers don’t perform at an optimal level for a reason, always. Some of those reasons could help you determine and fix the problem without looking for and recruiting new employees.
Try keeping your mind’s eye open and don’t jump to conclusions. Make certain to always be open for communication, because you will have to discuss your subordinates’ concerns and talk to them in person.
For example, while reading the latest attendance report, you could notice that one employee is consistently late at work. You should ask them, why they have been arriving so late during the past several weeks.
When you need to find a solution to an employee performance issue, you may find out that it is associated with some domestic or personal problems, which cause them to be late, as in our example above. Look into your company’s and team’s situation – maybe you could simply adjust the standards, while the worker solves their problem.
Make certain, however, that other employees know of this adjustment without disclosing any personal or sensitive information. You don’t need your subordinates to think that your favoring someone over everyone else, as this may seriously harm the overall morale and performance of your workers.
There could also be cases, when some of your employees simply don’t have the needed experience or proper skills to successfully fulfill their duties. If an employee doesn’t have any of these or related factors at the needed level, you may expect that their performance will suffer.
Obscure Objectives and Responsibilities
You have to provide your employees with very clear instructions concerning their responsibilities and what you expect from them in terms of their achievement. Direction changes could negatively affect daily work schedules that include one’s job priorities. But, if you keep all the objectives and accountabilities in place, you can avoid unnecessary conflict and confusion that can damage employee performance.
So, How Do You Improve Employee Performance?
While all of the above is extremely valuable, when it comes to reviewing your employees’ performance, it doesn’t actually provide any solution as to what you can do to boost employee performance in your team.
However, all of that had to be reviewed, since you can’t know what direction you should look in, if you don’t know what to look for and vice versa. Now that we have defined some of the crucial employee performance factors, we can look into the things you can do to make things right, improve the performance and, thus, boost your team’s productivity.
So, once you finally get around with the reasons that cause your employees to underperform, you can decide on what you can do about it. We have made a list of six ideas that will help you take employee performance under control and then improve it.
1. Be Clear in Communicating Your Expectations
The only way to make certain employees clearly understand their work assignments is communicating your expectation perfectly well. Depending on the task’s difficulty, you can continue communicating with an employee – or team – to make sure they’re moving in the right direction.
Try to get to a point of communication, where an employee can easily explain their objectives in their own words. When you have such understanding with your employees, it means they know what they should do and how to accomplish their tasks.
2. Performance Appraisals Should Be Consistent
Timely and regular appraisals provide employees with a clear understanding of where they stand in terms of their duties, task progress and other factors related to their work at pretty much any moment. Moreover, regular appraisals will help you make certain that the principal goals are always at the center of everyday assignments.
3. Focus on Employee Development
One of the common questions that candidates during interviews is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Now, take a look at your company or team. Have your employees’ five-year career goals been achieved? Are they still trying to reach their full potential within your company?
In case they still haven’t achieved their goals, it could be the right time to reconsider the objectives and restructure the plan. There ways to define any skill gaps and help employees make up for them, which will help them achieve those long-dated goals, at the same time providing your company with an additional asset in the face of an advanced employee. You can find out more about ways of building an employee development plan in this article.
4. Boost Your Team’s Morale
Employees display better performance, when they like their job or even are satisfied with it. How can you know if someone is satisfied with their job? Well, take the following factors into consideration:
- Work environment
- Salary level
- Work benefits
- Understanding of the company’s vision and mission
If at least these four factors are in place in an employee’s mind and they comprehend the importance of their role for the company’s success, they will be more willing to put effort into their work.
5. Empower Workers to Do Their Jobs Properly
Employee empowerment can manifest in many different ways. In a nutshell, this means providing your workers with the authority to participate in making decisions that have a serious impact on their particular success.
Whether you’re providing employees with access to their data without having to visit the HR or giving them input on company objectives, they will be progressing at a steady pace. While being accountable for their work, they now will have all the required resources to do the best job possible.
6. Use the Right Tech
Today, technology is a necessity, when it comes to work, especially if your staff is scattered around the city, country or the world. You need to invest in and use the technology that will drive your company’s performance and will help your employees to engage with each other, thus prompting a more productive, more work-friendly environment.
Wherever your employees might be, they will still be part of your team via stable communication channels, staying on the same page with everyone.
Employee Performance Improvement with Vectorly
Speaking of technology, today there are tools that will help you to monitor and work with several points from the list above at the same time. One of such tools is Vectorly (you can check it at Vectorly.team). It allows you to create skillboards for your team, no matter how large or small it is, and monitor task completion, skill levels, training progression, individual successes and many other factors that are so important for a company to move towards its goals.
You can use Vectorly for performance appraisals, employee development and morale boost at the very least. Moreover, using data collected through the tool, you can develop a very deep understanding of your team, its preferences, strongest and weakest points and, thus, be able to manage it in a more effective manner.
This is still a new product and its developers are constantly improving it. So, for example, you can now integrate it with at least two task management platforms – Trello and Jira. But, the plan is to make Vectorly the tool that can be used across all major platforms. And you can still use it independently.
Take a look around the tool and try it for free today to see what advantages it provides to you and your company. Vectorly will help you achieve your current goals and develop new skills to reach up to new heights.