How to Improve Employee Performance

Sun, Feb 19, 2012


Managers often face an uphill battle when it comes to ensuring top-notch (and consistent) performance from employees. While you should expect that nearly everyone is going to have an off day here and there, you’re going to have a major problem if your operation has more bad days than good in terms of employee output and overall office functionality. Remember that you are part of a team and you’re only as strong as your weakest link. So while you can work around one or two under-performing individuals for a short time, eventually the dynamic is going to start to bring everyone down. This means you need every employee performing at their peak in order to attain maximum success (and quell rumblings of unfair treatment). But how can you improve performance across the board? Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Communicate effectively. This is number one on your list. When your employees know what is expected of them, in addition to the rewards they will get for success and the consequences they will face for failure, there is a much better chance that they will function in a manner that ensures they get the job done (and done right). Being clear and concise with directives is essential to running a smooth operation. However, a good manager must also listen to employees; communication, after all, implies interaction. So give your employees ample opportunity to voice opinions, raise concerns, and share ideas. Keeping the lines of communication open is paramount to improving the performance of your employees.
  2. Offer helpful critique. Employees don’t always know when they’re doing poorly (or alternately, when they’re doing well). But management can easily rectify this situation by offering pointed (but diplomatic) critique. You might think that a yearly review is sufficient, but in truth it is not very helpful at all from the employee perspective. So be sure to take the time to tell each of your employees how they can improve their performance as well as giving them praise for the things they’re doing well. This will boost morale and help your staff to operate more efficiently.
  3. Avoid micromanagement. You might be tempted to hover over your employees and watch their every move like a hawk to ensure that nothing goes amiss. You must resist this urge at all costs as it can seriously undermine your goals as a manager. Don’t forget that each employee was hired to a particular position because they were the best choice. Their knowledge, skills, and experience led them to where they are now and they got there without your help. So tracking their every move is not only offensive, it is also a hindrance. Let them do the job they were hired for with minimal oversight and you’ll make everyone’s job a lot easier.
  4. Offer extended training. Improving employee performance sometimes requires additional education, so be sure to provide this if you want your staff to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends in order to help your company remain competitive.
  5. Celebrate diversity. You don’t have to hire a short-order cook, a relief pitcher, or a magician Birmingham based in order to round out your roster of employees. But you should support a diverse staff if you want to ensure a group dynamic designed for success. A variety of ages, races, genders, nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds will provide for a wealth of divergent viewpoints that can only help to expand the horizons of all and create an environment where each employee is encouraged to perform at the highest level.
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