5 Ways to Improve Employee Performance

A business is only as successful as its employees. It is vital that employee performance enhances the company’s potential and opportunities and that tasks are performed efficiently. It can, however, be difficult to get everyone to perform adequately or optimally, and improving employees’ performance can be a huge challenge. Employees may underperform for a variety of reasons, and these include:

  • Incapable of doing the job.
  • Unsuitable personality traits hampering performance.
  • Unclear objectives.
  • Low morale.
  • Insufficient training or development.
  • Vaguely defined accountability.
  • Physical conditions (illness, injury, etc.).
  • Mental and emotional factors (stress, family, personality disorders, etc.).

It is vital that the organisation establishes why certain employees do not perform according to expectations, and employee performance reviews can be used to do this. But it is not just an employee performance review – it could be a lot more complicated. For instance, an employee review will usually consist of an evaluation of whether KPIs were met or objectives achieved. Feedback from employees during these sessions may be vague, especially because performance reviews can be intimidating, and the employee may be inhibited and not provide feedback on issues holding them back. Often employee performance is low for reasons unknown to the employee – all they know is that they are underperforming, but they are not quite sure why. Here are some ways in which employee performance can be improved:

  1. Conduct personality testing: Sometimes, employees do not know themselves why they are underperforming. This is common when they have started in one position and then migrated to another. All they know is that they are not comfortable in the position or with the tasks required, but cannot identify an underlying reason for this. Personality testing can provide great insights into why employee performance suffers and how it can be improved. If a person’s characteristics and mental or physical traits are not suited to the job, they will underperform. Personality tests can be set against the position profile to identify shortcomings.
  2. Additional training and development: Employee performance might be vastly improved by coaching or training. Some employees do not have the knowledge or skills to perform certain tasks and providing coaching, mentoring, or training can help them acquire the new skills.
  3. Setting clear objectives: Often, business goals are vague, and employees do not know what should be achieved or how to get there. Short-, medium-, and long-term goals with clear objectives must be defined to provide them with a roadmap. This will help them improve their performance, because they know what needs to be done, and how.
  4. Improve morale: One of the biggest factors in underperformance – especially if it is a company-wide problem – is low morale. Improve morale by investing in the employees. For instance, improve their work environment, arrange team-building activities, increase salaries, or add benefits. Listening to employee feedback is very important to determine which factors weigh on the morale most.

If you are having problems with employee performance in your organisation, contact our team at FWA Organisational Development. We have been in the industry for 30 years and specialise in finding innovative ways to improve employee performance.

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