Improving Employee Performance
If you’re struggling with unproductive employees in your business, it’s worth looking for ways to motivate them and improve employee performance before taking drastic action.
In most cases, employees want to be more effective and are willing to improve their skills and habits to meet your expectations, but they may lack the necessary resources or feel unsure about where to start. Here are five actionable strategies to help you improve employee performance and ensure your workforce has the support they need to meet organizational goals.
1. Identify what’s causing low performance
Before you can solve any problem, you must first define the source of the issue. Ask your employee to identify specific challenges they’re facing and offer support. For example, an employee may be dealing with something in their personal life that’s affecting their ability to focus on their work or struggling to adjust to a new set of responsibilities. Before reprimanding an employee for not meeting performance goals, set aside some time to speak with them and offer support.
Many employees are aware of their low performance, but aren’t comfortable asking for help. In some cases, team members may feel admitting they don’t know how to do something will make them look unprepared or incompetent. It’s up to you to help them recognize what’s affecting their performance and develop the skills to perform their jobs more effectively.
2. Review expectations and goals
Low performance could also be a result of unclear expectations. Ideally, managers should check in with employees monthly or quarterly to conduct a performance review, discuss opportunities for improvement and set new goals.
When employees don’t have a specific performance benchmark or goal in mind, they may become disengaged. That’s why it’s critical you ensure all managers are meeting with team members to set expectations and motivate them to improve. Once employees understand their goals and what’s expected of them, they’ll be better prepared to excel in their roles.
3. Provide feedback
Constructive feedback is one of the best tools for improving employee performance. When an employee is unsure whether they’re doing well, they may become less engaged in their work. By offering positive feedback to employees who are doing well and constructive criticism to team members who are underperforming, you can boost their confidence, engagement and drive employees to become more productive.
4. Offer additional training
Low productivity could also be a sign employees need additional training or education. This is especially true for people in roles that rely on new technology. Offering employee development programs can reinforce your team members’ knowledge of specific processes, tools or applications and help them acquire new skills. Additionally, training sessions offer employees an opportunity to ask questions about aspects of their job where they’re struggling.
5. Develop a performance improvement plan
If you have an employee who is consistently underperforming, it may be time to implement an employee Performance Improve Plan (PIP). PIPs are one of the most effective methods for improving employee performance.
A PIP outlines specific goals an employee must meet before a mutually agreed upon deadline. It also details steps an employee can take to meet their goals. After administering a PIP, managers should closely monitor performance and meet with the employee regularly to discuss their progress. If an employee fails to meet their goals, they may face disciplinary action. However, the goal of a PIP is to help employees improve and begin meeting expectations.
Keep in mind, improving employee performance requires commitment and effort. By applying these five strategies, you can help employees become more effective, reach their full potential and become more engaged in their role and the company overall.