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Did You Know These Factors Impact Employee Performance?

Front-facing group of people with crossed arms and smiling.

For organ­i­sa­tions who pri­ori­tise moti­va­tion and per­for­mance, here are some less­er-known tips to keep employ­ees productive

Per­for­mance is always a top pri­or­i­ty for for­ward-think­ing organ­i­sa­tions — and HR is in the prime posi­tion to dri­ve changes to process­es that will max­imise pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, par­tic­u­lar­ly when it comes to per­for­mance man­age­ment. In fact, 89% of employ­ees believe their per­for­mance would sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve with changes imposed by per­for­mance man­age­ment.

With this in mind, we should con­sid­er the more sub­tle, less­er-known aspects that are known to impact pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance. These range from choice of drink, to light­ing, to con­tem­plat­ing your own mor­tal­i­ty. Of course, only some of these fac­tors can be influ­enced by the organ­i­sa­tion, but they all play a small part.

Where your employ­ees sit dur­ing office hours

Your organ­i­sa­tion may not have con­sid­ered this, but some­thing as sim­ple as where your employ­ees sit and how often they are moved can have an impact on per­for­mance. Accord­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle, employ­ees shift­ing from desk to desk every few months can increase pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Employ­ees are exposed to co-work­ers in oth­er depart­ments and there­fore pick up new infor­ma­tion, input and skills. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, they are able to get to know more peo­ple with­in the com­pa­ny, which is pos­i­tive for morale.

The notable ben­e­fit of this approach is it costs lit­tle to noth­ing — 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.

Offer­ing com­pli­men­ta­ry coffee

For anoth­er low-cost and effec­tive means of boost­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, it might be worth con­sid­er­ing com­pli­men­ta­ry cof­fee in 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. Anoth­er source backs up this asser­tion, claim­ing 46% of employ­ees feel they are less pro­duc­tive with­out cof­fee.

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. 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.

The dai­ly com­mute to the office

One aspect of per­for­mance rarely con­sid­ered is the dai­ly com­mute. Some con­sid­er it an inevitable part of work­ing life, but in real­i­ty, it has 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 the return jour­ney. 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.

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.

Reg­u­lar man­age­r­i­al communication

You’re prob­a­bly aware that man­agers impact employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance, but you may not realise to what degree. Man­agers account for up to 70% of vari­ance in employ­ee engage­ment, so employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is huge­ly depen­dent on the rela­tion­ship with their man­ag­er. Employ­ees should be giv­en reward or recog­ni­tion for a job well done. They also need reg­u­lar guid­ance and feed­back in order to per­form effectively.

To coun­ter­act the impact of poor man­age­r­i­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion, your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem should enforce reg­u­lar employ­ee check-ins and feed­back. Employ­ees and man­agers can then dis­cuss short-term and long-term goals, career devel­op­ment plans and any rel­e­vant issues that might be imped­ing performance.

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.

Next Steps

Learn how mov­ing from an annu­al-based per­for­mance man­age­ment process to a con­tin­u­ous approach can dra­mat­i­cal­ly improve the per­for­mance and engage­ment of your employ­ees. Book a demo of our Clear Review soft­ware now and we’ll show you how.