In our last article, we talked predominately on ways that managers can inadvertently cause employee's to have low morale, and we also briefly discussed ways to solve those issues. In today’s article we are going to expand a bit more on proper management skills and talk about how to improve employee performance (in ways that don’t’ involve nap times, free massages, and donuts for breakfast everyday).
In a survey conducted by Deloitte, it was brought to my attention that companies are beginning to shift importance and resources towards performance management. Apparently last year, only 8 percent of their survey respondents believed their performance management process drove business value. “This year, the importance of performance management rose significantly, with 75 percent of respondents rating it an 'important' or 'very important' issue, up from 68 percent last year.”
With that being said, performance management is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. So, we’ve compiled a list of methods that can help improve efficiency, engagement, and also employee morale which leads to a better working environment and increased ROI.
1) Take away some Internet restrictions
It is not uncommon for companies to put restrictions on the Internet. It is also not uncommon for employers to overly restrict Internet usage. This is understandable to one degree since companies sometimes fear that it may be misused, which can lead to wasted time and even potentially malware and viruses.
On the other hand, it’s important to note that most tasks can be completed more efficiently if employees are allowed to explore the web more freely. This is true especially in companies that heavily rely on marketing by social media.
It’s also important to note that just because someone uses Facebook doesn’t mean they are going to be more unproductive. Even in companies where Internet regulations are enforced heavily, there are still employees that have zero productivity.
2) Don’t fail to measure consistently
There are a bunch of ways to do this, but they key is that the employer should be open about undergoing employee monitoring. This creates a more transparent environment. When managers go into performance measuring with a “Gotcha!” attitude, employees will feel more on edge and this will result in lower employee morale.
It’s also important to create a measuring routine, so that you always statistics to compare. That way, managers can ask, “how are we doing in this April in comparison to April 2014 when we worked from different office?” Or “How many productive hours per day does the financial team have now, compared to last month when we had less on the payroll?”
3) You can’t help your employees grow without goals and results
It’s important to set guidelines for your company’s standards on productivity, otherwise you and your employees will not know what is considered productive or not. It’s kind of hard to improve your employees when there is no scale to gauge them on.
When deciding these guidelines, you should also make sure to not be too harsh and have standards that unreasonable to meet.
Once you have a proper guideline set in, you should make sure to have regular check-ins about goals and progress, just like you would for any other KPI. You should map their progress to their productivity; there is almost a correlation.
When looking at their progress, there should be a plan for the situation in when an employee struggles with productivity. By identifying the key areas where an employee has a hard time remaining productive, you can work to help the individual reach their full potential and grow as a professional rather than firing them.
Another interesting approach to take is to allow employees to track their own individual performance and hold themselves accountable for fixing any problems. I used to have to do this when I was working at the bank and it allowed me excel as an employee with my own problem solving methods.
4) Make sure employees are receiving the appropriate amount of breaks
You need to realize that all your employees are human too. If you look at France, which has one of the best economies in the world, they provide at least 4 weeks of paid vacations and only 35 hour work weeks.
You need to keep in mind that everyone can burn out at one point, so make sure you offer reasonable hours and comfortable resting space to your employees so they can rejuvenate when they need to.