Typically in organizations, work performance is measured at the end of a quarter or year. But that approach is redundant. Why? Because frequent feedback is the key to sustaining high performance, not a yearly or quarterly review.
Research proves it too! 65% of employees desire more feedback.
By connecting these dots, it’s clear that organizations can increase work performance if we can figure out strategies to manage performance and give feedback regularly.
Moreover, it will increase employee engagement, morale, and profitability.
So, how can you go about this, how can you increase work performance? In this article, we discuss 10 strategies to increase work performance.
- Introduce a performance management system
In the last few years, there’s been a transition from organization-first to people-first. That’s when a performance management system comes into the picture.
But you may think, what is a performance management system, exactly? A performance management system simplifies and automates the people management process for companies and managers.
With a performance management system in place, organizations can;
- Run steady performance reviews to track and boost employee growth.
- Keep all employees in sync with company goals and OKRs.
- Use the data to establish a culture of consistent feedback and praise.
- Communicate company milestones and individual expectations
After you’ve introduced a performance management system, the next step is to break down and communicate company objectives and individual expectations as precisely as possible.
Remember, when company objectives are unclear, employees are likely to get confused and de-motivated. Nobody wants to run around in circles cluelessly.
The company’s milestones could be anything from launching a new product or service to plans to expand overseas. When communicating these milestones to employees, it’s important to make them feel included, as if they have a role to play in achieving the company’s objectives.
For example, you could request their suggestions on how to approach the project, invite them to be a part of the planning process, or just communicate how their daily tasks will contribute to the company’s success.
Similarly, when communicating individual expectations, ensure they understand how their daily tasks and responsibilities contribute to the company’s success.
- Recognize employee efforts, and give feedback
69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognized through feedback
Employees are likelier to give their best when they know their efforts are appreciated and rewarded.
A ‘thank you’ note or a verbal acknowledgment of a well-done job can enhance motivation and productivity. Moreover, when giving feedback, start with positive feedback and then proceed to anything construed as negative.
When employees feel appreciated, it benefits not just them but also the company; gratitude makes people feel happier and more fulfilled, which, in turn, improves focus, encourages risk-taking, and leads to more productive employees.
- Encourage collaboration
Working in silos is so last decade.
Employees must collaborate and communicate with each other, especially when they’re working on the same project. If employees work together to solve a problem, they can brainstorm and come up with innovative and out-of-the-box solutions.
Also, when employees feel like they’re a part of a team, it improves their sense of ownership and responsibility. As a result, they’re more likely to work harder and be more productive.
- Understand employee productivity
An average employee is productive for 60% of their workday.
If you want to manage employee productivity better, you need to understand employee productivity.
Identify low-performing employees and try to understand the reasons behind them. Is it because they’re overwhelmed with their workload, or is it because they don’t have the right skills? Once you’ve understood the reasons, you can take steps to improve their productivity.
Furthermore, don’t compare employees with each other. Every employee has their work style and pace, so what works for one employee might not work for another.
Introduce the 70% rule of productivity — “According to the 70 percent rule, which has its roots in athletics, employees are most productive when most of their time is spent working at a less intense pace. That way, when work demands increase temporarily, employees have the reserve strength to meet those demands.”
Moreover, it is important to understand that productivity is not about working all the time; productivity is about working smart. To enhance productivity, you need to focus on workflow optimization and systems.
- Be inclusive, and encourage diversity.
Research shows that “leaders who prioritize inclusivity on average see a 17% increase in team performance, demonstrating a need to assess these skills to build the strongest, most resilient teams.”
Furthermore, “Companies with below-average diversity scores found that only 26% of their revenue came directly from innovation. Whereas companies with above-average diversity scores found that 45% of their revenue came directly from innovation.” It is important to sideline personal biases, diversify and be inclusive because nothing comes above. To encourage diversity and inclusion, you can;
- Set diversity and inclusion goals for every department and manager, and
- Encourage everyone to share their opinions and perspectives to improve diversity and inclusion.
When employees feel valued and respected regardless of their position in the organization, it automatically makes them want to do better.
- Offer development opportunities, and encourage learning.
According to the monster job index, 80% of professionals don’t think their current employer provides growth opportunities.
It’s clear: If you want to retain your employees and enhance their productivity, you must offer them development opportunities and encourage learning.
One way you can do this is by offering them training and development programs. Training programs will help employees improve their skills and prepare them for future roles. You can also offer them mentorship programs, where they can learn from the best in the industry.
- Avoid micromanagement at all costs.
If there’s one thing that can kill productivity and motivation, it’s micromanagement.
Employees need to feel empowered and trusted to make their own decisions. When you micromanage them, you’re not just destroying their motivation, you’re also destroying their self-confidence.
The key to successful performance management is focusing on results, not the process. Set goals and objectives, and then trust your employees to find the best way to achieve them.
Finally, avoid setting unrealistic deadlines; this will only lead to unnecessary stress and pressure.
- Foster work-life balance
77% of surveyed employees say they’ve experienced burnout at their current job, which is not a piece of good news.
Some tips to foster work-life balance as an organization;
- Encourage employees to disconnect from work when they’re not at work,
- Encourage employees to take regular breaks and take some time out to relax now and then.
- Encourage prioritizing good health, both physical and mental. For example, organize regular sessions on mental health or weekly treks.
- Encourage employees to work on the task or project they’re most passionate about,
- Encourage flexible working hours, and say ‘no’ to overtime and working on weekends.
- Encourage employees to take vacations whenever they can.
When you promote a work-life balance, it’ll enhance employee productivity, creativity, and innovation. Moreover, it’ll also reduce sick days and employee turnover.
- Healthy workplace culture
Companies with engaged employees outperform the competition by 147%
If you want to improve work performance, you need to focus on creating and maintaining a healthy workplace culture. To create a company culture, you can;
- Conduct regular pulse surveys to find out what employees think about your company culture,
- Build on the values of transparency and empathy
- Encourage employees to take ownership of their work.
Better work performance is the key to any organization’s success.
Employees are an organization’s most important asset, but at the same time, employee work performance management is an intricate job. It calls for knowledge, insight, and experience.
Work performance can’t be enhanced overnight, and definitely not by giving annual reviews.
It’s a cycle that should never stop. To improve work performance, you need to make critical changes in your organization and how you manage and motivate employees.
To recap: Introduce automated performance management systems, understand employee productivity, promote collaboration, refrain from micromanaging, be inclusive and encourage diversity, offer employees to take up learning opportunities, and lastly — recognize employee efforts and give regular feedback.