At the end of the day when we go for a performance appraisal, we become comparative. Three basic things lie in any appraisal- first how we have fared, second what falls short and number three what are the ways to improve our work performance. Although performance improvement strategies are driven by the outcomes (mostly negative), they are indispensable for both positive and negative job performances. As a team leader when you would be held accountable to improve efficiency, you need to know the things to improve at work and the core areas of improvement for employees.
Ways to Improve Work Performance
While start reading this article I would suggest to my beloved readers to definitely go through these two articles-
Well, the first one is a methodical approach and the second one is all about the cause-remedial recipe. And in this blog, I will try to accumulate the tips and tricks to improve the work performance. My efforts would be to point out the things that you need to instill for self-improvement as well as getting the works done by others (employees). Here we will find out the things to improve at work and the specific areas of improvement for employees.
1. Clear About Goals and Vision
The first thing to improve efficiency or job performance is to have a clear vision of your goals. You must have to foresee your position after a certain period of time. If you are working as a team leader you must convey the same to your employees or subordinates. Along with goals, set the deadlines too. You should communicate with your employees on clear terms about achieving the goals and what is expected out of them.
While setting goals, you must consider a few points like the achievability of the target, your resources, manpower, level of competition etc. Though there are multiple factors behind the success or failure of achieving the goals, the involvement of the workforce is pivotal. It matters how your employees agree with your vision and how they have owned it.
It all depends on the employer-employee relationship. Modern managerial approach bats for employee involvement in the target setting process. The positive outcome is that a feeling of solidarity grows among the employees and they work for accomplishing a bigger organisational goal rather than the individual one.
2. Prioritise and Planning
As we know, there is no alternative to planning. Whatever be the purpose is, a well-thought plan of activities brings you closer to the target. Planning gives you the opportunity to organise your works based on priority. It’s equally important that your workforce is also well informed about your plan of action. Naturally, the segregation of tasks becomes easier and delegation of duties is more convenient.
By planning and prioritising your works, you can prepare a daily routine. You can schedule works for yourself and your team. With the prioritisation of the works, you can identify the critical tasks and deploy resources for timely completion. A daily routine helps you in preparing a roadmap for completing such tasks for achieving a bigger organisational goal.
Performance improvements, planning and daily routine are vertically inter-dependent. Improving efficiency largely depends on planning; while the ground level implementation of a plan rests on the daily routine. The effectiveness of a routine counts on regularity and consistency.
3. Stay Focused
A vital ingredient for work performance improvement is, staying focused on your work. For that stop multi-tasking. I often find many people indulge themselves in multi-tasking in order to achieve high performance both in their personal and professional life. Though on a few occasions they may get success, the chances of failure are more prominent. Research shows that multitasking can, in fact, impact your job performance negatively. It might slow you down significantly on the one hand and drastically increases the number of mistakes by you on the other.
Keeping yourself as well as your team focused requires behavioural and environmental changes. Behavioural changes include self-improvements and motivation, whereas environmental changes depict personalisation of the working space.
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To keep yourself focused and motivated you should feel about the job purpose from the core of your heart. For that, you may practice a few things like, keep the finishing deadline in mind, do not procrastinate, avoid leisurely internet browsing and social media during working hours etc. For environmental changes to stay focused, personalise the space where you work for the whole day long as per your convenience. If you are working with your employees try to make arrangements at their working space to minimise interruptions and deviations.
4. Do Not Hustle
I often noticed a tendency among the team managers to instruct their subordinates to finish the target as fast as possible. Well, finishing works before the deadline is a credit to everybody, but there are possibilities that the whole efforts become counter-productive. Always pushing your employees for a state of urgency might impact their job performance negatively. Especially, if you are in a factory or workshop where men and machines work in an integrated manner, such a hurry may bring dire consequences.
While evaluating performance improvements of your employees, there are a number of things to improve at work. One of the ways to improve work performance is by allowing considerable breaks between two working sessions both to yourself and your employees. If you keep on working at a stretch for a longer period of time initially you might find some positive results, but in the long run, you will be defeated.
Always working in a hurried situation without any sizeable break would certainly result in diminishing productivity. This is because such a work schedule for an employee soon becomes monotonous and he loses his interest in the job due to fatigue. So while making a job schedule, keep sufficient room for an employee to take rests between jobs so that he can rejuvenate his energy for performance improvements.
5. Be A Good Finisher, Not A Mere Perfectionist
This is one of the major areas of improvement for employees. They should know when to finish the job and be in a position to accomplish the job within the stipulated deadline. It’s the responsibility of the team manager to motivate his subordinates for completing their allotted tasks within time.
It’s often noticed among the freshers, that they are quite obsessed with perfection in their works. Well, this is a very positive sign, but their over perfectionist attitude may result in missing the deadline. An inexperienced worker or a team leader often finds himself in a situation where it’s utterly confusing, where completion of the job is the priority than mere perfection or vice-versa.
Job experience empowers you to decide the nature of the job and how’s to be treated. Every worker should have the minimum experience to work in a situation or should undergo rigorous training sessions from experienced managers. And it would be an icing on the cake if you develop skills of timely completion of jobs maintaining necessary standards of perfection.
6. Set Internal Targets
A perfect instance of achieving your goals is to break them up into smaller internal targets. Well, that doesn’t miniaturise your target but helps you in focusing on smaller tasks achievable within a shorter span of time. Most of the big projects are the aggregation of smaller tasks. So, as a project coordinator or team manager, it is vital that you allocate the tasks in such a way that the strings of tasks can be managed and completed within time.
The best way to achieve those internal targets is to reward yourself. The same thing can be applied to your employees too. Before starting a task create a virtual environment that instigates you and your team to finish independent tasks within the stipulated time. Make arrangements in such a way that reward or appreciate the employees for the interim tasks they complete. Certainly, these things will multiply their enthusiasm many a time.
Simultaneously, a mechanism to hold the employees accountable for non-performance or short-performance creates a perfectly conducive atmosphere to improve efficiency. A reward-accountability arrangement pushes for a healthy competitive attitude among the workers required for performance improvements.
7. Open To Learning
One of the primary ways to improve work performance is learning. Every day new and latest technologies and methodologies are evolved to ease out the working process. But initially, it affects job performance significantly because of a lack of knowledge. Due to such a reason, many firms hesitate to implement new processes into their ongoing businesses.
But remember, if you are averse to change means you are dead. In fact, if you are not open to learning new processes, then time will come when your existing work processes would be obsolete. To keep your workforce up to date, you need to arrange for employee training and evaluation after every scheduled change and up-gradations.
Moreover, you should make arrangements for critical appraisal of your work performance. This will help you to sort out the lacunas and deficiencies lying in your style of work and performance level. As a result of such an evaluation, you will be in a position to identify the areas of improvement for employees.
8. Encourage Open Communication
One of the effective ways to improve the work performance of your employees is the sharing of information and numbers regarding production and performance, with them. This will encourage their involvement in the business and grows solidarity with the employer. Precisely, the employees will be in a position to evaluate their performance and its effect on the overall profitability of the Company.
Another important aspect is to encourage the employees to communicate with the management regarding their performance, amenities required for augmenting job performance, measures to improve efficiency and all other things to improve at work. Such open communication enables the management to take stock of the things for performance improvements.
If the management is serious to improve efficiency and job performance of the employees, it should proactively involve in addressing the grievances of the employees. A sign of efficient management is to respond to the employees’ grievances at the earliest and take the necessary measures required.
9. Felicitate Employees
“Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.”– William Makepeace Thackeray.
If you want your employees to excel in their performance then appreciate the good they have done. While achieving a bigger target, appreciate your employees for each smaller task they complete successfully. Your appreciation would be an added fillip to their performance.
Big commercial houses often arrange ceremonies to felicitate their workers. This proves a good gesture towards the employees who work hard and contributed positively to the Companies performance. This would certainly rejuvenate the felicitated workers for better performance in the future and thrust the other employees to accomplish the unearned title.
In simple words, appreciation and felicitation stimulate healthy competition among the workers. In turn, this improves efficiency as well as the job performance of the entire community.
10. Encourage Innovation
There are a number of ways to improve the work performance of your employees. Though I have listed it in the last, this is vital, that you offer a conducive atmosphere to your employees to expose their creativity. This is the major difference between conventional companies and the new age enterprises. Working innovation plays a pivotal role in performance improvements, as the worker or employee finds out the best possible way to accomplish his jobs with lesser resources and time.
In many cases where job processes are still not settled or optimised, it’s a good practice to give the employees a freehand in solving the queries or completing the processes. The management of the company should define the practices to the employees where it seeks creativity in accomplishing jobs or targets.
While evaluating ways to improve the work performance of your employees, you as a team leader or employer should identify the areas of improvement for employees, over and above the list cited above. Job performance improvement is a continuous process. It’s all about the right knowledge and practice. We often go by trial and error method to improve the efficiency of our workforce. This proves out to be a much time-consuming process. But our close observation on the work process as well as employee behaviour helps us contemplating the things to improve at work.