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How to Manage Performance to Skyrocket Employee Productivity

Businessman flying on rocket. How to manage performance.

Updat­ed May 2020

Dis­cov­er how to man­age per­for­mance and our top tips to help you pro­pel your busi­ness through an increase in employ­ee productivity.

The sub­ject of British pro­duc­tiv­i­ty (or lack there­of) is not a new top­ic. Lat­est research pub­lished in the Nation­al Insti­tute Eco­nom­ic Review, claims that there has­n’t been a big­ger slow down in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty growth since the begin­ning of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion. Accord­ing to some sources, the aver­age Briton works five days to achieve what a French work­er pro­duces in four — even though Brits work the longest hours in Europe.

This will cause con­cern for busi­ness own­ers around the coun­try, espe­cial­ly when con­sid­er­ing the uncer­tain eco­nom­ic time we are in. Thank­ful­ly, pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is not a lost cause, there are a lot of effec­tive per­for­mance man­age­ment tips and tricks to get your employ­ees and man­agers per­form­ing beyond your expec­ta­tions. Teach­ing how to man­age per­for­mance well requires patience but it can improve over­all prof­itabil­i­ty by as much as 20%.

Sim­ple, mean­ing­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the most effec­tive employ­ee per­for­mance man­age­ment tool

Do you make time to talk to each of your employ­ees in depth? Do you know how each employ­ee is doing, where they are strug­gling and how you can help them improve? You might be a busy man­ag­er who is rushed off your feet, but you should not let this become an excuse. Reg­u­lar per­for­mance and devel­op­ment dis­cus­sions are a neces­si­ty if you want to achieve opti­mal per­for­mance and great pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. We rec­om­mend con­duct­ing them at least once a month. You’ll be impressed with how much more effi­cient fre­quent one-on-ones or check-ins’ are when com­pared to annu­al appraisals — and how much they inspire your employ­ees to greater heights.

As employ­ee per­for­mance man­age­ment tools go, the reg­u­lar one-on-one check-in is your key weapon. They have been shown to boost employ­ee engage­ment, reduce turnover and pro­vide clar­i­ty on goals and objec­tives. If you find your employ­ees are flag­ging, it could be that a move towards con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment is the answer you’ve been search­ing for.

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Let employ­ees work to their strengths

Dur­ing your per­for­mance reviews, are you con­stant­ly focused on the neg­a­tive? Are you ask­ing your employ­ees what areas they could stand to improve, rather than look­ing at areas they are cur­rent­ly excelling in, and mak­ing the most of these strengths? If so, you are miss­ing a trick that could be cost­ing you dear­ly in terms of productivity.

Employ­ers need to play to their employ­ee’s strengths. Accord­ing to Gallup, doing so can make your com­pa­ny stronger. In fact, it has been dis­cov­ered that those employ­ees who use their strengths every sin­gle day are six times more like­ly to be engaged. Dur­ing your one-on-ones, talk to your employ­ees about their strengths and what parts of their jobs they enjoy doing, and make the most of it. Remem­ber, giv­en a choice between a job that is well-paid or inter­est­ing, peo­ple gen­er­al­ly pick the inter­est­ing job.

Get employ­ees excit­ed about their work and their SMART objectives

You can’t expect pro­duc­tiv­i­ty to surge if your employees:

  1. Don’t know exact­ly what they’re doing at work and why
  2. Aren’t thrilled about their assigned SMART objec­tives

You need a goal-set­ting process that works in order to improve per­for­mance and boost pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and the first step is to aban­don the top-down approach to objec­tive set­ting. Rather than hav­ing man­agers cas­cad­ing goals down­wards, employ­ees should be shown the com­pa­ny or divi­sion­al goals and then be allowed to sug­gest their own objec­tives to sup­port the company’s. Objec­tives are much more like­ly to be achieved using this approach due to their increased own­er­ship of their job and their role.

Your employ­ees aren’t robots — show them appreciation

You could be for­giv­en for expect­ing your com­put­er or tablet to do exact­ly what is expect­ed of it every sin­gle day with­out fail. You’d even be for­giv­en for not thank­ing these elec­tri­cal appli­ances, but your employ­ees are human and, as such, they have an innate desire to be appre­ci­at­ed.

Employ­ee recog­ni­tion schemes have a huge impact on employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, but they don’t need to come at a high cost. Even the small­est of com­pa­nies can see great results in this area, by sim­ply remem­ber­ing to deliv­er a heart­felt thank you’.

There are oth­er ways of appre­ci­at­ing your employ­ees — you can intro­duce an employ­ee of the month’ pro­gramme, you can give indi­vid­u­als pub­lic call-outs on their achieve­ments and you can give spe­cial stand­outs an after­noon or a day off work as a reward. Employ­ees want to know they work for a com­pa­ny that gen­uine­ly appre­ci­ates their efforts, and this isn’t some­thing that is dif­fi­cult to demonstrate.

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Make use of sim­ple employ­ee appraisal software

Per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware is some­thing that can help com­pa­nies go from good to great. Using appro­pri­ate soft­ware, man­agers can keep track of their employ­ee one-on-ones, employ­ees can give and request real-time feed­back and HR can keep an eye on per­for­mance activ­i­ty and trends.

Vis­i­bil­i­ty is crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of a com­pa­ny, as is trans­paren­cy, and mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy can help in these areas. Remem­ber: not all soft­ware will pro­vide the same ben­e­fit — when decid­ing who to opt for, remem­ber to look for a provider who offers an intu­itive, user-friend­ly pack­age that does­n’t require train­ing. Spend­ing hours get­ting accus­tomed to a com­plex per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware is time that would be bet­ter spent doing pro­duc­tive work that will add to the company’s bot­tom line.

Clear Review is cre­at­ed by ded­i­cat­ed and expe­ri­enced HR pro­fes­sion­als who have helped com­pa­nies boost employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty for over 20 years. To find out how Clear Review can help you and your busi­ness, book a free per­for­mance appraisal soft­ware demo today.