6 Ways to Improve Employees’ Performance
Posted on August 9, 2018 by Danny Leffel
Just as each company and its culture is unique, so is each employee of the company. As such, there’s no single bucket strategy that can be applied to everyone across the board in order to improve employee performance. However, a good leader knows how to keep in touch with the ebb and flow of his individual employees’ workloads. Here are a few approaches to increasing employee productivity and making sure your company’s quality standards are met, if not exceeded, on a consistent basis.
1. Keep Interpersonal Communication a Priority
In recent years, new types of human resources technology have emerged that allow for much more fluid communication in almost any type of work environment. Whatever business you’re in and whatever the company’s culture is like, make sure you’re incorporating apps like Crew in your day-to-day workflow. With Crew, team management, team communication, and team scheduling all become a fluid infrastructure, accessible from the convenience of your mobile device.
2. Communicate to Engage
In many business cultures, employees receive a yearly review, and that’s all the feedback they get. Don’t be that guy. Communicate with your employees about their performance as often as is feasible. Engage them by asking how their day is going, or ask about their family, hobbies, and interests. Employee engagement is more than making small talk. Let them know that you appreciate who they are as an individual before giving either positive or negative reviews. Remember, feedback is a two-way communications loop. When an employee knows they are valued, they are more likely to deliver increased value in return.
3. Set Clear Goals and Know When to Check In
Depending on the services you provide, you may have a single team of employees, each working with different skill sets on a variety of tasks. Set clear goals and checkpoints for team leaders and team members, but remember that everyone works at their own pace.
For example, if a struggling employee is having problems with a particular task, check in with them regularly to make sure they have all the proper resources they need and to see if there’s any other help you can provide. But if a veteran employee who you trust to provide consistent quality work is assigned to his/her normal category of tasks, then it’s probably not necessary to check in that often. Know your employees, and know what they need from you.
4. Reward Improvement
The bottom line here is that if employee productivity is high, then company productivity is high. Make sure you notice when employees are going the extra mile.
Performance rewards can be as simple as verbal praise or a small gift. They can also be as lavish as a bonus or the promise of career advancement if the quality of work produced continues. If Linda likes to knit, buy her some knitting needles and yarn. If Roger, director of company culture, uses K-cups every day to help fuel his production of employee motivation, buy him a case of his favorite flavor of K-cups. Use your judgment as a management employee and try to match the reward with what’s being rewarded.
5. No Improvement Is the Same as Decline
Once you have set clear goals and expectations, don’t wait to act if your team members aren’t keeping up with what you expect of them. It the same employee fails to meet the same goals repeatedly, even after multiple face-to-face discussions, you may find it necessary to issue a written or verbal warning. With luck, a formal reprimand can be enough to demonstrate to an employee that the goals you and your team leaders set for them are more important than they may have previously imagined.
Make sure to keep open communication during a performance review. Make sure that the employee knows exactly where they can get better, and why it is important to the company that their standards improve in the future.
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6. Know When to Make the Hard Decisions
Finally, if you’ve spent weeks or even months working with an employee on improving certain aspects of their work and they’re showing little sign of progress or attempt at improvement, it may be time to take the final step and inform them that you no longer believe they’re compatible with the company.
As any experienced manager knows, it’s never an easy decision to fire an employee. But if the weakest link is holding your company back, a good manager should know when to sever that link. As odious as it is, sometimes it’s best to part ways with a given employee — but only after doing your due diligence, spending an appropriate amount of time and effort in attempts to resolve these issues before it comes to that.
In the end, it’s the employees who make any company work. As a team leader, you should do everything in your power to make sure that your employees are satisfied, happy, and productive.