Employee performance is the most important metric in any business. If your employees aren’t doing their jobs, your business won’t survive. However, many businesses end up becoming tyrants to force performance to improve. They end up alienating their staff and end up with poor-quality workers instead. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help improve employee performance without resorting to corporate tyranny. Here are eight things that will improve employee performance:
Measure Output and Outcomes, Not Time Spent
You need to measure outcomes. Time spent is not as relevant as long as work is being done by the deadline and up to the standards you’ve set. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. When you measure output and outcomes from various staff, you can start to learn about their individual habits that make the process go more smoothly. Ask for input and ideas. Are there parts of their work that take them a lot of time or are cumbersome? Maybe there’s a software solution that they could use to improve outcomes more efficiently. For instance, using a room scheduling app could save an administrative assistant hours’ worth of work per week in managing desk space for hybrid and remote workers.
Clearly Communicate, People Aren’t Mind Readers
If you want your employees to perform better, it’s important to have clear communication. This means that people need to know what they are supposed to do. It’s your job to provide adequate training and a place for questions if issues arise on the job. While you can’t train for every scenario, you want to create a place for open communication so that employees can easily get the help they need. If a person doesn’t know how they are doing or what is expected of them, then they cannot improve their performance.
Employees should receive regular feedback on their work. This includes the good as well as the areas that need improvement. Performance reviews should not be the first time an employee hears about an issue with their performance.
Offer Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Offering opportunities for growth and learning is an important part of employee retention, engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. If you aren’t giving people space to learn and grow, they will eventually feel stagnant in their roles and look for new work elsewhere. Offering growth and learning opportunities lead to more engagement from employees and better performance overall when they are working.
Give Clear Feedback by Being Honest, Objective, and Respectful
Giving feedback is an important part of managing employees. However, it’s also one of the most difficult tasks to do well. Feedback should be honest, objective, and respectful of your employee’s feelings. You should provide specific examples of what you want to see changed and make sure that any negative feedback you give comes with suggestions for improvement. Feedback should always be given privately so as not to embarrass or humiliate your employee in front of other people. Negative feedback should be given calmly and not to berate your staff, but instead to help them see room for improvement.
Build Trust by Being Consistent and Transparent
Don’t lie or keep secrets at work. If you have a secret agenda and are trying to hide it from others, your employees will pick up on it. Be consistent in the way you treat people, both good and bad. This goes for avoiding favoritism and other negative habits at work. The best way for employees to trust their manager is when they know exactly what’s expected of them, how well they’re doing at meeting those expectations, and what consequences are associated with poor performance.
Create an Encouraging Environment Instead of a Competitive One
In a competitive environment, employees are encouraged to compete with each other for rewards and recognition. This can lead to feelings of resentment and animosity among workers. Instead of encouraging this kind of behavior, you should create an encouraging environment where your employees feel comfortable helping one another out. By rewarding employees who help others with positive feedback or increased responsibility, you’ll breed a better work environment and improve employee performance.
Provide Tools to Help Employees Succeed
The right tools can make all the difference in the world. If you’re a manager, it’s important to provide your employees with whatever they need to get their jobs done well. This might mean providing them with technology that makes their work easier or offering training so they can improve their skills.
Give Recognition and Bonuses When It’s Warranted
Recognition is important to employees. Don’t embarrass them, but be quick to tell your employees when they’ve done a good job, and give them bonuses whenever possible. This can be an excellent motivator for people who have been working hard but may not get noticed otherwise.