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How To Improve Employee Performance In 10 Steps

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

6 June 2024

8 min read

The success of any organization lies in the performance of its employees. All organizations across the world are concerned about Employee Performance. They are the cornerstone of your organization and are crucial to an organization’s productivity. So it goes without saying that Stellar Employee Performance is the enabling factor that keeps your business moving forward.

Having the best talent is the secret to success. Knowing how to improve employee performance may seem challenging, but it is very well within your reach with a step-by-step plan. Empower your employees to succeed.

10 Steps To Improve Employee Performance

1. Communication

Time and time again, we hear how communication is the cornerstone of the perfect workplace.

Proper communication is the building block of an effective workplace. It helps convey ideas clearly so that employees can understand expectations. Communication is a two-way process. Just as how you communicate to your employees, they should have the avenue to do the same.

(a) Set Clear Goals

Employees can be efficient only when they have clear goals to hit. Always let them know of their expectations and what impact the goals will have. Assign goals that are SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Each goal should fit these requirements. Involve team members in their goal-setting process to give them autonomy. Such a process would improve employee performance and engagement for the better.

(b) Improve Employee Performance With Better Communication Tools

Coupled with the latest technology and communication tools, indeed employees would have efficient communication. Not exactly. A research study points out that emails take up 28% of an employee’s time. Research suggests that email is the most time-intensive activity for office workers. Social networking tools (like Slack) are a quicker alternative to emails and used in tandem.

Perhaps even a sprint meeting can settle issues quickly, those that might have taken multiple to and fro emails. Effective communication frees up their time to focus more on their work to improve employee performance.

2. Incentivize and Reward outstanding performance

Organizations spend so much time recruiting new talent and improving employee performance that they forget to recognize high performers. In hindsight, these high performers would feel overworked and underappreciated. Sometimes you may even lose them to your competitors. Regret is stronger than gratitude. But it’s not too late to thank your employees for a job well done.

Rewards and Recognition is the best way to encourage employees to be more efficient. Such rewards will provide enough encouragement to keep increasing their productivity. On deciding to reward your employees, always consider individual preferences. One employee would enjoy a recognition that is public, whereas another would like a silent thank you.

For starters, you could invest in,

  • Paid Time Off: Allow employees to have a PTO for work well done. This way, they won’t need to use up their vacation days.
  • Wellness Program: Workplace Wellness Programs ensure a sense of well-being at the workplace, reducing the number of sick days.
  • If you email a team member, appreciate them for work well done, don’t forget to cc your boss on that email. Let everyone know the hard work put in by your team members.

When employees witness the upside of being dedicated to their work, it would be bound to improve employee performance.

3. Employee Development

Have your employee goals been achieved? Have they reached their peak potential within the organization? If you feel that a skills gap persists, bring this to their attention and plan accordingly. By doing so, you can help them achieve their goals and increase employee retention. Besides, highly skilled employees can work better to fulfil the team objectives.

Training to do their daily tasks might have been implemented at the onboarding stage, but we all know that learning doesn’t stop there! Always encourage continual employee learning. Workshops, Webinars, Mentoring, coaching, or online courses can equip your company to improve employee performance.

Encourage employees to stay ahead of the curve by reading every relevant piece of information in their field.

Remember, training never ends at onboarding. It seems to be a short-term solution to improve employee performance. On the other hand, development is a long-term solution—training and development work in tandem to improve employee performance. There is a clear connection between employee performance and employee development. It gives them a framework of the benchmark to be reached and how they can go about achieving it.

4. Performance Review 

There is no hope to improve employee performance if your employees are unaware that they are unproductive in the first place. If an employee is underperforming, you need to get to the bottom of it. Investigate these underperformance issues. The first point to be noted is that you don’t make assumptions.

Gather the necessary data and analyze it before directly addressing the person. Perhaps they are facing a shortage of adequate resources or encountered an inadequate training and onboarding program. Avoid quick-fix solutions and work towards a sustainable plan to improve employee performance.

This is where performance appraisal and reviews come in. Most organizations hold Performance reviews only once a year but try to incorporate them daily. Measure your employee’s performance with the Employee 360 Performance management tool and hold meetings to let them know the areas in which they excel. Please take this as the opportunity to reveal the places they could improve in as well. Have an open discussion about what you can do to improve employee performance.

Perhaps they might require guidance on specific tasks or need a little space for artistic expression. Feedback can improve employee performance by showing ways to help your employees. Among the various types of feedback, employee 360 takes input from multiple sources like peers, coworkers, customers, and their supervisor.

To start creating employee surveys you can signup now with SurveySparrow for FREE!

5. Foster A Good Workplace Culture

It is a well-known fact that happy employees are the most productive and engaged team members. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, so ensure your employees can have fun. Host a trivia event at work or plan team-building activities once a week so that team members can develop a rapport with each other.

Encourage such a workplace culture, where each person can voice their opinions. When they feel that the ideas they pitch in are valued, they would be more likely to stick on. Follow these steps to improve employee performance with a positive workplace culture:

(a) Avoid Idle Chit-Chat And Gossip

Being the social creatures that we are, drama and gossip in the office seem to be unavoidable. This can seriously affect work performance, especially if it happens frequently. Communication with colleagues is crucial but try not to be a part of ongoing drama within the office. It often distracts you along with the people around you.

(b) Morale

Take baby steps to uplift your team morale. Ensure a good work environment and employee benefits. A proper understanding of the vision and mission of the company they work for helps improve employee performance.

Employees who feel satisfied with their workplace perform significantly better than their peers. Personalizing and ensuring a decluttered workspace can do wonders for raising productivity levels.

(c) On Creating An Engaging Workplace Culture

When employees receive regular feedback, get recognized for their achievements, and build on their strengths, they are bound to be more engaged. And engaged employees perform the best. You can foster a culture of engagement by

  • Ensuring Active collaboration among different teams
  • Routine and helpful feedback
  • A clear understanding of the company vision

6. Act On Employee Feedback 

Take criticism well, incredibly constructive feedback from your team members.

Lend an open ear to criticism or suggestions from your team members. Work towards a standard solution. Feedback tools work perfectly in such scenarios. As we all know, engaged employees become top performers, and other employees consider them to be their role models. But disengaged employees affect overall productivity.

To address the concerns of employee engagement, invite input from employees through employee engagement surveys. Measure employee engagement with Surveysparrow’s employee pulse surveys. What is it about your organization that drives employees to work? Management must have an idea about what employees feel about the workplace. Get precise results on their opinion on:

  • Work-life Balance
  • Career Advancement
  • Rewards and Recognition
  • Employment Benefits

The feedback from the employee engagement surveys provides you with crucial data. Data that gives insights on issues you are not aware of before. 

Every organization is unique in its way. But certain aspects of employee satisfaction are shared among all of these workplaces. An employee satisfaction survey can help you with that by measuring the key indicators of employee satisfaction. It is advisable to run timely surveys to measure employee satisfaction.

Employees wish to work in a workplace where they feel content. With the feedback received from surveys, Organizations can put in their best efforts to create an optimal work environment. This is yet another way to improve employee performance.

7. Time Management:

Time and Tide wait for none. Management of time has a direct impact on Employee Performance. The first step towards Time Management would be to record your time and how long it takes to complete tasks. Managing time helps to reduce overall working hours and improve productivity.

(a) Break Down Big Tasks

When starting new work, do you often feel that it is enormous and looming above you? It’s natural to feel the jitters when working on a big new project. Try breaking it down into do-able tasks with milestones in a particular time frame. Focussing on the most basic task and completing it on time helps you finish the overall project within the deadline.

(b) Reduce Multitasking

Many people multitask at work. They believe that it is the only way to get more job done. While working, you may get bombarded with different types of work-all with varying deadlines. Multitasking reduces productivity and the quality of your overall output—up to 40%, to be exact.

Among all the tasks that you have to accomplish, prioritize the essential task. This way, you can provide the best quality of work. Moreover, communicate this to your manager and adjust your work accordingly. If your team members reduce multitasking, it can improve overall employee efficiency.

8. Delegation

Delegating tasks is easier said than done. As a manager, you need to delegate tasks to your employees as you would not handle everything by yourself. As much as you would want your mark to be there in all the activities, checking every detail can be a tremendous waste of time. Delegate these tasks to other qualified employees. Let them gain leadership skills and experience that will ultimately pay off for your company.

First off, start by providing clear instructions– Elucidate what you expect them to achieve and provide the means to do so.

Keep track of the progress: Keeping track of the progress of the delegated work will help in reviewing their overall performance.

9. Match Skills To Tasks

Jack of all trades, Master of none. Encourage employees to hone their skills and master a particular skill to the zenith. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you to match their skills to appropriate tasks. If someone is highly creative or extroverted, they would be perfect for pitching ideas to clients.

On the other hand, they may not attune well to tasks that are rules-based and detail-oriented. Before assigning tasks, always choose those employees who would be best suited to perform that task. No one can be a master of all trades. So it is essential to develop specialized skills.

10. Employee Health And Wellness

We can only do our best at work when we are healthy. It is critical to take care of your health. A long day at work causes everyone to get tired. But do ensure to make time for some form of exercise throughout the day-be it walking, cycling, or moving around your desk. Try to limit the number of unhealthy snacks during the day and look out for healthier alternatives instead.

Promote cleanliness in the workplace as well as equality and harmony. Apart from physical health, mental health is a crucial aspect of the overall health of an individual. Organizations should shed light on the importance of health and organize wellness programs to encourage healthy habits.

Wrapping it Up…

Your organization can thrive if your employees are performing their best. The key to ensuring consistent performance is to set up your employees for success. Organizations may take the above steps to improve employee performance and a well-balanced workplace. This way, they get to know that the organization cares about their growth. Employee performance is a continual process, and regular performance feedback further improves it. A clear understanding of the factors that influence employee performance will help sustain it.

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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