A company is indeed only as good as its employees. Your company's growth depends on how diligently and efficiently your employees work. This is why high work performance is a critical element to your company's success.
Hiring the most skilled candidates to work with you is not enough. The motivation, passion, and drive to do the extraordinary expedite a company's growth and revenue. A source reveals that an average employee is only 2 hours and 53 minutes or less productive every day. And that's undoubtedly a massive chunk of your time and money as an employer wasted.
But, how do you exactly instil that motivation in your employees? By telling them to work hard and perform well? No.
It is hard to achieve directly. It must be passed on from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom indirectly to create a ripple effect. For instance, the directors keep the managers motivated and happy so that they are inspired enough to pass the motivation to their teams.
The environment should be such that employees work on their productivity on autopilot. But, before that, let's first understand what the term means and how it impacts your business.
What does Work Performance Mean?
As the word suggests, work performance is a term that defines how productively an individual is working in his job role. It is estimated based on tangible and intangible metrics like revenue and communication.
Depending on how crucial the tasks assigned or the job role of an individual is, their work performance impacts the business bottom line. The companies who have invested in improving the work performance of employees and keeping them motivated have seen viable growth in their bottom line.
For instance, a study conducted by Standard Chartered found 16% higher profit margin growth than branches where employee engagement was low.
How to Improve Work Performance in Your Employees?
Many factors come into play when the work performance of any employee is not satisfactory. For example, it could be inadequate growth opportunities, employee recognition and collaboration, etc.
Managers can improve work performance by listening to their team, recognising their efforts, and mainly working on engagement efforts. So, here in this blog, we share the 16 ways that will help you to improve the work performance of your employees so that you can implement them in your company efficiently.
1. Embrace flexibility
Especially after the Covid, employees have accustomed themselves to working as per their own time, managing their personal and professional tasks every day. In addition, companies now allow employers to work in rotational shifts, making it easier for them to manage their work-life balance. Being flexible with work hours is a great way to encourage employees to be productive and not let them switch from your company anytime.
A report by Owl Labs has also revealed how even a day of work from home in a month can increase employees' job satisfaction by 24%.
It's simple when you care for your employees, they care for your company too. So start trusting your employees with their work and let them do it at their pace and the work model they like.
2. Effective communication
Often, one employee's or department's tasks are closely linked to the other. So, communicating clearly in time is crucial for effective collaboration. As a manager, you must train your team on how to communicate better and review your communication strategies.
Ask the team to set a timeline for every task and share the feedback continuously. Then, communicate even more when they need help, feel overburdened or can't deliver work in the desired time. All these will help you plan and delegate the tasks accordingly so that no employee will have to sit ideally and in return, they will get overwhelmed having a list of tasks for another day.
3. Time management
Train your employees on how they can better manage their time. It is ideal to do it before starting your new project. Tell them how you don't want them to work beyond work hours. Giving good work performance is faster with time management.
Managers can ask their team members to create task labels based on the importance and urgency of the day. This is how they can schedule their tasks and go further accordingly.
4. Limit distractions
Social media has made it easier for employees to get distracted. But it is important to limit the distractions, or they will take a toll on your productivity. Try to avoid engaging with certain devices like your personal mobile phone. It is surprising how quickly they catch your attention. Even the news playing in the background can easily distract you for a while.
By limiting distractions, you and your team will witness a substantial change in your productivity levels. A survey by the American Institute of Stress has mentioned that distractions lead to a lack of control over one's work and attributes to significant reasons for work stress.
To ensure that you and your team are not getting distracted, you can ask them to mute their mobile phone notifications and take a small break after completing a particular task where they can use their mobile phones.
5. Organise, plan and prioritise
When we don't organise and plan our priorities, it gets challenging to optimise our work performance. It helps if you consider such things while organising business, like encouraging people in the team to plan tasks based on priorities and not to procrastinate them by delaying them from getting completed.
Typically, employees work 8 hours a day for five days a week. But, a significant chunk of these hours gets wasted in the chitter-chatter and worrying about how to accomplish all the tasks. In addition, when there is so much going on already, the frequent meetings add up to the delay.
The Washington Post mentions Research by the University of California on how every 3 minutes, employees are interrupted and how it takes up to 23 minutes to resume the work they left in between.
Indeed, some meetings aren't as relevant. So avoid organising impromptu meetings and always send an email stating the agenda of meetings so everyone can be better prepared with their inputs.
6. Set clear goals
If employees have a clear idea of what is expected from them, they will focus their efforts on achieving their goals. Otherwise, it's like asking them to drive mindlessly with no defined path or destination.
To avoid confusion, you sit with each team member individually while setting goals and objectives. Then, use the time to discuss the plans and put them once agreed upon mutually. With this, you and your employees would be able to better track productivity and create a mindmap of how each goal can be accomplished.
7. Stay healthy
As long as you are physically fit, you will get able to do anything that you want. But when you or any of your team members are not healthy, it is likely happen that your team will fail to achieve targeted results. So, ask the company to appoint a Zumba instructor online or get a gym membership for your employees.
To begin with, they can even pledge to make a little movement a part of their daily routine before or after the office, like walking, dancing, and practising mindful eating.
8. Minimise stress
Stress can put employees at a higher risk of committing errors, burning out, having conflicts, and ultimately leading to poor work performance. Pressure might also occur not because of being burdened but procrastination, self-doubt, poor time management, or not trusting others enough with the work.
As a manager, to improve work performance, you must try to inculcate the habit of collaborating and delegating. Tell them no one can be a master of all skills required to complete a project. Therefore, it's important to set up a project timeline. This will help your team to recognize what role they play in the overall success of a project. If this goes unnoticed or ignored, the company will witness high turnover, absenteeism, and disengagement.
9. Hire the right people
When filling an open position, it is essential to hire top talent in the budget for the job. But, to find the top talent, you need to be at the same place your candidates are. You can get creative and keep the candidates' interests in the focus with some excellent recruitment practices. This will help in ensuring good work performance from the start.
Also, the most important things to look for in a candidate are passion and, of course, skills. If the company succeeds in keeping them motivated as they work, their work performance is sure to go beyond or as expected.
10. Disconnect from work
It gets monotonous to have a fixed routine and work 5-6 days a week. As a manager, if you notice a team member finding it hard to better or keep their work performance at par, you must have a one-to-one talk with them. You would get surprised to know how many employees need a break.
Your company can introduce a paid time off policy that encourages employees to enjoy vacation or personal days beyond work in good faith of employees and businesses. Then, when they join work after their little break, they would be back on track with the same or even better energy at work.
11. Take accountability for the tasks
Lead by example, avoid being the manager that procrastinates and doesn't take accountability for any work. Instead, put effort and vision into whatever you do. You might think people barely know your work style and what you are working on, but they do.
When your team has a leader who pushes their boundaries to get things done, they would also try to do the same. Another trick to increase productivity is defining who is accountable for getting a specific task done in the desired timeline. For instance, if there is a task to write X blogs in Y days by three content team members, you can assign and hold one person from these to ensure the work is on track.
12. Encourage feedback
Keep giving and receiving feedback irrespective of your seniority. Develop a culture where employees' constructive feedback is appreciated. When you share your feedback, make sure you don't just highlight what's wrong but also what went well.
For instance, as you share your feedback on the tasks that each team member is working on, you can also ask what they dislike in your management style. Take improvement suggestions and work on what's legit. This would show how much you value your employees and believe in their potential.
13. Offer incentives
Sometimes waiting for the appraisal cycle, mostly twice or once a year, to applaud reasonable work delays can make employees feel unrecognised for their work and demotivate them.
Companies must launch incentive programs and reward for the job that gets done well to avoid such instances. It could be a bonus, shopping or dining vouchers, upskilling program, etc. Appreciating good work with monetary benefits is one of the best ways to skyrocket work performance and create healthy competition.
14. Train and develop
All employees' primary goal is to get promoted that pays them more than they deserve. However, after promoting them to the new role, how about giving them the required training to complete the job role they have transitioned to? For instance, if someone in a department is promoted to a managerial position, it would be good to train them to manage a team well. At the right time, proper training and development set your people up for success in the job role.
Moreover, when you invest in employees' growth, it reflects in their work performance which will help reduce employee turnover.
15. Build a great culture
Wherever employees are highly valued and cared for, they feel satisfied with their job roles in the company. This is why it is quintessential to set up an exemplary work culture that promotes employees' health and supports their individual goals.
Competitive salary, best benefits, perks and upskilling courses are some of the ways to demonstrate a great culture, engage employees and enjoy improved work performance.
16. Celebrate wins
As much as monetary appreciation matters, it stands incomplete without words of appreciation from peers and management. So, as a manager, you should never miss highlighting the individual and team who are star performers. Even a gesture like a small team dinner when possible or at least once a month or two matters.
Other ways to celebrate wins are by mentioning a team member in a company-wide meeting, a handwritten note, or even an email. No matter how you choose to appreciate it, it would encourage employees to do their best.
It is essential for HRs to hire top talent, managers to appreciate and guide them well, and companies to make policies that favour their employees. Cultivating an environment where everyone is respected, learning new things continuously, and values talent result in better work performance.
Since, as per the above-noted ways will definitely help you with providing ideas for the further steps towards the betterment of your organisation.