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8 Factors to Consider When Managing Performance


There are a num­ber of fac­tors that impact employ­ee per­for­mance. Our pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and engage­ment can be affect­ed by a range of influ­encers, from our choice of drink to light­ing to what we choose to do on the week­end. There is even evi­dence now to sug­gest that con­tem­plat­ing your mor­tal­i­ty can affect work­place performance!

Of course, your organ­i­sa­tion can’t direct­ly influ­ence all of these fac­tors, but they are all worth con­sid­er­ing. Per­for­mance man­age­ment and the engage­ment of its employ­ees is — as ever — a top pri­or­i­ty for for­ward-think­ing, agile busi­ness­es. In fact, 89% of employ­ees believe their per­for­mance would sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve with changes imposed by per­for­mance man­age­ment.

With this in mind, we have com­piled a list of fac­tors to con­sid­er when man­ag­ing performance.

1. Where Your Employ­ees Sit (and Who They Sit Next to) Dur­ing Office Hours

Some­thing as sim­ple as where your employ­ees sit and how often they are moved can have a direct impact on per­for­mance. Accord­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle, employ­ees shift­ing from desk to desk every few months can increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and col­lab­o­ra­tion. This is because employ­ees are exposed to co-work­ers in oth­er depart­ments and are there­fore able to pick up new infor­ma­tion, input and skills. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, they can get to know more peo­ple with­in the com­pa­ny, which is pos­i­tive for morale.

Fur­ther to this, a study con­duct­ed by Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty found that employ­ees seat­ed by a win­dow saw a drop in eye­strain and headaches along with a 2% boost in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. This improve­ment is large­ly down to the effects of nat­ur­al light — so if you find a par­tic­u­lar employ­ee lag­ging, it might be best to ask them to switch seats.

The notable ben­e­fit of this approach is it costs lit­tle to noth­ing to imple­ment — an impor­tant fac­tor to grow­ing busi­ness­es. Giv­en the pos­si­bil­i­ty that this small action might make a big dif­fer­ence to your organisation’s per­for­mance, it is cer­tain­ly worth test­ing with­in your per­for­mance man­age­ment system.

2. Offer­ing Com­pli­men­ta­ry Cof­fee Might Boost Performance

An exam­ple of anoth­er low-cost fac­tor that impacts employ­ee per­for­mance is the addi­tion of com­pli­men­ta­ry cof­fee at the office.

Research con­duct­ed by the Lon­don School of Hygiene and Trop­i­cal Med­i­cine has found caf­feine improves work­ers’ mem­o­ry and con­cen­tra­tion, boost­ing cog­ni­tive per­for­mance and reduc­ing error rates. It was also found to have a sim­i­lar effect to tak­ing a quick nap, mak­ing employ­ees more alert and engaged. Anoth­er source backs up this asser­tion, claim­ing 46% of employ­ees feel they are less pro­duc­tive with­out cof­fee.

3. Var­ied Week­end Activities

There is evi­dence to sug­gest a cor­re­la­tion between week­end activ­i­ties and work­place pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. A study by Kevin Eschle­man of San Fran­cis­co State Uni­ver­si­ty deter­mined when an employ­ee doesn’t have a cre­ative out­let at work, intro­duc­ing one dur­ing their down­time boosts pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and employ­ee per­for­mance. Eschle­man says extra-cur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties should not be tax­ing in the same way your job is. In a sim­i­lar vein, if you have a cre­ative job, more prac­ti­cal or phys­i­cal­ly demand­ing hob­bies can have a per­­for­­mance-enhanc­ing impact on work.

4. The Dai­ly Com­mute to the Office

One impor­tant fac­tor to con­sid­er when man­ag­ing per­for­mance is the length of the dai­ly com­mute. Stud­ies have shown that long com­mutes have a huge impact on work­place pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. One source sug­gests those tired from a long com­mute to work are more like­ly to be dis­tract­ed in the morn­ing and wary in the after­noon, as they antic­i­pate (or dread) the return jour­ney ahead. As a result of this stress, they tend to have a high­er rate of error than those with lit­tle or no com­mut­ing to make. This inevitably has an impact on their gen­er­al productivity.

Anoth­er source shows employ­ees with long com­mutes to work tend to have more stress-relat­ed work issues that result from height­ened blood pres­sure, increased anger and a gen­er­al resent­ment at hav­ing to spend so long in morn­ing traf­fic. Employ­ees with long com­mut­ing hours are also more like­ly to be late or call in sick.

To resolve this issue, com­pa­nies should con­sid­er exper­i­ment­ing with flex­i­ble work­ing, such as telecom­mut­ing. If their phys­i­cal pres­ence in the office isn’t a neces­si­ty, a work-from-home alter­na­tive demon­strates a high degree of trust. It also acts as a huge com­pa­ny perk that would attract promis­ing new tal­ent. As long as employ­ee per­for­mance is mon­i­tored and tracked using per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware, stan­dards will be main­tained and you might wit­ness a pro­duc­tiv­i­ty surge.

5. Reg­u­lar Man­age­r­i­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Coach­ing Conversations

You’re prob­a­bly aware that man­agers impact employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance, but you may not realise to what degree. A good man­ag­er-employ­ee rela­tion­ship is the most impor­tant per­for­mance fac­tor direct­ly in your con­trol. Man­agers account for up to 70% of vari­ance in employ­ee engage­ment, so it makes sense that if you are eager to improve lev­els of per­for­mance with­in your com­pa­ny, this is the place you should start.

Reg­u­lar per­for­mance coach­ing con­ver­sa­tions allow man­agers to give employ­ees reward or recog­ni­tion for efforts and accom­plish­ments. They also enable man­agers to deliv­er guid­ance and feed­back so employ­ees can course-cor­rect when nec­es­sary. Fur­ther to this, these reg­u­lar one-on-ones allow employ­ees and man­agers to dis­cuss SMART objec­tives and train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Com­pa­nies all over the world are replac­ing annu­al per­for­mance reviews with reg­u­lar coach­ing con­ver­sa­tions and are notic­ing a huge dif­fer­ence in terms of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and performance.

6. Pre­sen­teeism (Com­ing to Work While Ill)

Com­pa­nies may be con­cerned with absen­teeism, but the annu­al cost of pre­sen­teeism (com­ing to work while ill) is actu­al­ly dou­ble that of absen­teeism. A remark­able 90% of British work­ers come into work while unwell, which has a seri­ous impact on per­for­mance lev­els. Peo­ple are sig­nif­i­cant­ly less pro­duc­tive when they are sick. They make more mis­takes and their pres­ence in the office risks oth­ers get­ting ill.

To stop pre­sen­teeism becom­ing an ongo­ing prob­lem in your organ­i­sa­tion, address the under­ly­ing cause of why employ­ees feel the need to turn up while they’re not fit for work. Are employ­ees con­cerned an absence might result in a lost pro­mo­tion? Are they over­ly stressed about their work­load? Do they feel there is nobody at work who can fill in dur­ing their time away? HR should address all these con­cerns and make it clear to employ­ees that if they are ill, it is bet­ter to stay home and recuperate.

7. Poor Soft­ware Can Neg­a­tive­ly Affect Employ­ee Performance

Busi­ness­es invest in soft­ware with the hopes of improv­ing employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance, but some­times this tech­nol­o­gy can have the oppo­site effect. This often hap­pens when the soft­ware pro­vid­ed is over­ly com­pli­cat­ed. When there are too many bells and whis­tles, employ­ees become over­whelmed and frustrated. 

The best soft­ware should be intu­itive and user-friend­ly, requir­ing lit­tle to no train­ing. At Clear Review, we pride our­selves on pro­vid­ing a sim­ple, clear and pleas­ant user expe­ri­ence. We’re always there to answer ques­tions about our soft­ware, but we have designed our per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware to be so intu­itive that users rarely encounter the prob­lems they do with more com­plex tools.

8. Cre­ate Clear SMART Objec­tives with Employees

Did you know that employ­ees are far more like­ly to under­stand and accom­plish their goals when they have cre­at­ed the objec­tive them­selves? Give your employ­ees own­er­ship over their tar­gets and make objec­tive set­ting a col­lab­o­ra­tive process. Pro­vide your employ­ees with infor­ma­tion regard­ing com­pa­ny objec­tives and direc­tion and allow them to align their goals upwards. The result will be employ­ees who are more pas­sion­ate about their day-to-day roles, which will have a direct impact on per­for­mance lev­els.

To find out how Clear Review con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware can dra­mat­i­cal­ly improve your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty lev­els with­in your organ­i­sa­tion, book a free per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware demo today.

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