Managing Performance  

A company’s success ultimately depends on the performance of each member of the Team! Many organizations have difficulty in finding the balance between maximum employee performance, maintaining morale, and minimizing turnover.Techniques to Manage and Improve Employee PerformanceWe will review the steps you can take to ensure that you are successful in finding that balance 

The following are keys to achieving the optimum performance by your employee:

Communication 

This begins from Day one. Set clear expectations and communicate them well, then continue to manage expectations. Ongoing communication is critical. Ensure employees understand their objectives by asking them to explain them in their own words.

How are things going?

  • Communication – Should be a two-way. Open door policy. 
  • Positive Reinforcement – Every job is important in achieving company goals.  
  • Pro-Active vs. Re-Active – Do not assume that everything is going fine! Touch base frequently with employee.
  • Culture Shock – Be prepared to explain the thought behind your policies, procedures, and processes. 
  • Customer Feedback (If Applicable) – Can be a valuable source of information concerning performance.

When an employee does well, provide recognition. If appropriate, consider giving a reward for employee service that exceeds expectations. When an employee’s performance is off course, discuss the required action. Best to do sooner rather than later. We will discuss further regarding addressing performance issues. Be open to receiving feedback. Communication should be a two-way street.

Performance Issues

Follow your company’s employee discipline policy to ensure consistency and fair treatment of employees. Doing so ensures that everyone is held accountable for their actions and as a by-product morale is kept high. 

Keys to addressing performance issues:

  • Communication – Do not wait to address less than desired performance. Provide details of what must be improved and discuss what is going well (Sandwich your assessment).  
  • Back to Basics –Take a step back and review expectations and job duties.
  • Review Your Methods – No two employees are the same! Find what works with each.  
  • Document Plan for Improvement – Have employee put in writing their plan for meeting expectations for areas of performance that are lacking.  

Counseling, Disciplining, and Coaching

Understanding the difference these actions will assist in determining the correct course of action in order to reach the ultimate goal: raising performance.

Counseling is…

  • The process of helping employees to solve a performance or conduct problems by working through the issue with the employee.

Disciplining is…

  • Following specific policy and procedures when unacceptable behavior persists which may result in termination if not corrected.

Coaching is …

  • The process of helping employees sharpen their skills, add to their knowledge, or shape their attitudes. 

Your company policy regarding progressive discipline should provide leeway as to what method and what steps can be used by management to address less than desirable performance. 

 Overall Evaluations

Providing feedback on a regular basis is an effective way to ensure that employees have a clear understanding of the goals and expectations of their position.  Important for employees to understand the “big picture” and how their contributions help move the company forward. 

Whether after the first 90 days or annually, important to do the following:

  • Communicate overall performance in writing and discuss strengths and opportunities for improvement.  
  • Set a game plan to improve areas of performance that are not meeting expectations. Stress the importance of maintaining those areas of strength. 
  • Review accomplishments and achievements. Areas of improvement since the last conversation.
  •  Discuss areas of performance needing improvement. Reference factual events and have supporting documentation.
  • Evaluate areas such as quality and quantity of work, interpersonal skills, initiative, and attendance.
  • Review improvement or decline is these areas.
  • Propose goals.
  • Receive employee’s comments and feedback.  

The time invested in meeting with each employee and reviewing their performance will ultimately assist in achieving optimum performance from your entire Team.

Motivation & Morale

A motivated workforce is a key to achieving high morale. Give employees the power to do their jobs well. Empowering employees is critical. Doing so allows them to not get absorbed by minor roadblocks. Empowering employees can include ensuring they have the authority to make decisions critical to their success—and the ability to delegate if necessary to get the job done. Employees should know and have input into their goals and objectives. They should help to decide goals, deadlines, and more. Give them the resources they need, and hold them accountable without micromanaging. Encourage employees to find solutions to problems.

Steps to keep them motivated:

  • Communication – Constant reminder of the company’s goals and objectives. Be aware of individual differences; what motivates one person may not motivate all!
  • Share the Success – Reward individuals or entire departments for meeting or exceeding expectations or goals. 
  • Recognition – Put emphasis on a job well done.
  • Promote from Within – Demonstrating the path to promotion can alleviate turnover due to dissatisfaction with the job or company. 

  Focus on Morale

  Take steps to ensure that employees are satisfied with their jobs. Here are some ways:

  • Review benefits, work environment, salary levels, and more. Ensure the benefits offered are benefits that your employees value. Remember that employee benefits that help employees—even if they are not high-value items—can improve morale.
  • Ensure employees understand the organization’s mission and vision; giving employees something to get behind can help them understand their purpose and role in helping the organization succeed.
  • Consider ways to improve team cohesiveness.
  • Asking employees what they need can also alleviate turnover due to dissatisfaction with the company culture. 

Understand the Role of Management  

By implementing some if not all of these steps, you can take measures to increase the performance of your employees. As you can see, there is a common ingredient in many of these steps: Communication. 

Communication is a key ingredient in achieving the desired level of performance from all of your employees. So, take the time to ensure their success and yours.