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.
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:
- Don’t know exactly what they’re doing at work and why
- 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.
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.