If employee performance optimization was not one of your biggest priorities in business, the past year has ensured that it is now. With the covid-19 disrupting lives for more than a year, work-from-home zoom calls and long working hours are way past being fun.
The dominant global workforce faces the major challenges of productivity loss, fatigue, health problems, and more. This makes employee performance optimization programs the need of the hour.
This post breaks down the top seven ways that can help you get your employees back in the game. Let’s begin.
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Top 7 strategies that can improve your employee performance and productivity
The foundation of a high-performance employee lies in two pillars — productivity, and efficiency. Focusing on these two elements alone can ensure you are on your way to building your ‘dream team’. But often, developing methods proven to bring results is challenging and takes a lot of hard work.
Making this process smoother, we have created a list of the top 7 strategies to help you unleash your employee’s true potential in 2021.
1. Promote growth aggressively
Modern employees need more than a fat paycheck at the end of the month. They look for work that gives meaning and job satisfaction. They need job roles that let them achieve their creative best.
This means, if you as an employer can’t support your employee’s professional growth targets, there are high chances that you would create unmotivated and passionless employees. The worst part is you may end up losing your best employees.
You wouldn’t want that. Would you? Here are a few ways to ensure that you end up on the other side.
a) Create a sense of purpose: Give your employees a ‘why.’ Above all, your employees are human beings with primal requirements. You can utilize Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to devise programs to satisfy those emotional needs that they have from their jobs.
Creating a sense of significance in their work ensures you fill that need. If your team feels their work will make a significant difference, it shows in their productivity and efficiency consistently.
b) Integrate a learning culture: In an interesting report published by Udemy, it states, “ 70% agree that training can help people get better at blocking out distractions and achieving focus.”
Fostering a ‘learn it all’ culture ensures you have the right mindset integrated into your employees. You spark their natural curiosity that drives creative thinking in the workplace. Having learning programs for employees will keep their skills sharp and ensure you have a motivated team.
c) Create a T-shaped employee: The dream team is complementary, not supplementary in skillsets. They build on each other’s ideas. This makes building a T-shaped employee critical. If your employees are specialists in one discipline but have some level of knowledge in other related domains, powering innovative products is smoother and efficient.
2. Initiate employee wellbeing initiatives
One of the critical elements that build a high-performance employee is ensuring that they know you care. Employee wellbeing programs are the perfect tool to demonstrate this. This program can improve the overall health of your employees with more productive hours, lowering sick leaves, which translates into reduced employee insurance costs. However, you need to align your employee wellness initiatives with your company’s vision.
Following are a few well-being initiatives that you should consider today.
a) Invest in personal growth: Personal growth is one of the most neglected areas when it comes to an employee’s wellbeing. However, this domain has a pervasive impact on the overall productivity and efficiency of your employees. It ensures continuous development in terms of mindset and lifestyle habits that can create compounding effects over a more extended period.
b) Invest in health insurance: No matter how fit and healthy a man is, health breakouts are part and parcel of life. This makes health insurance coverage essential for your employees. Ensuring emergency finances for your employee’s health is one of the most thoughtful programs you can create for your team.
c) Invest in family assistance: If there is one thing that your employees care about more than themselves, it is their families. This makes family insurances one of the best programs where you can invest your employee wellness funds on. There are a variety of elements that you can experiment with. From children’s education programs to health packages, many meaningful areas can bring value to your team’s lives.
3. Integrate healthy pay ethics
No matter how much potential your employees have or how much charged up they are at work; if you fail to pay what they deserve, the motivation will die soon. Prioritizing healthy pay ethics is thus one of the foundational pillars of making a superstar team. Following are a few ways you can achieve this.
- Ensure timely salary: To keep your employee-focused, the first thing you need to consider is timely salary credit, consistently. If your employees have to worry about their salary credits each month, it will start showing on their quality of work.
- Incentives and rewards: One of the core reasons a modern employee joins a company is finding a sense of purpose and significance in life. This means, paying handsomely is just the first step. You need to go one step more. Incentivizing and appreciation rewards will motivate your employees to bring more to your organization and operations. This investment has exponential returns in the long term. It creates a healthy competition between team-mates and brings out the best in each other.
- Create pay parity: One of the key performance deterrents that your workspace can have is compensation disparity. If you start differentiating based on gender, color, and other racial factors, it creates a sense of disintegration and affects productivity and motivation in the long run.
4. Never fail to communicate
In business, communication is key to everything. Be it understanding your target market or building your dream team. If you do not understand your employees well enough, improving their efficiency is almost impossible. Coming closer to their lives, aspirations, and motivations is what ensures you know precisely the areas where you can optimize and drive positive change. Following are a few ways you can ensure you are always connected with your employee.
- Have difficult conversations: No matter how efficient your employees are when working solo, your business cannot scale smoothly if they are not team players. This makes inter-team engagement so critical. Having difficult conversations about the soft problems ensures your employees are prepared as a team and have a unified mission to achieve.
- Create transparency: If there is one thing that humans love the most, it is transparency. Keeping everything under the light for all employees unless confidential provides that everyone feels that your business operations are healthy. What’s more, is a transparent process promotes practicing transparency amongst employees while working.
- Stay inside the feedback loop: Asking for honest feedback from employees not only helps you to create a more open and free work culture but ensures you have a fresh pair of eyes to review your business operations. Asking for help from your employees to make life at work better for them presents you as both thoughtful and an action taker. This can make things more creative and integrate an inclusive way of working in your company, reducing per capita workload, inducing creativity.
5. Build a company culture
Building a cohesive company culture has its perks and benefits. It ensures that you attract the right kind of talent and people into your company and aligns their motivations with the company. This creates a positive energy shift facilitating the most supportive and productive modern teams that today’s companies need.
The following are a few ways you can achieve this.
- Define your mission and vision: Setting company mission and vision statements can create a unified sense of purpose and culture from the very starting day of work. Whether it’s the 1st employee you are recruiting or the 100th, everyone will have the same mindset and goals as their inspiration board. This will create lesser friction during work and build cohesion and productivity.
- Create a more inclusive culture: Having team members from all walks of life creates more room for creativity and innovation. Learning from each other’s experiences, your team not only can be more productive and unified but can feel more connected to each other.
- Develop an open culture: An open culture promotes free thinking. Integrating this can ensure your employee feels comfortable enough to express their genuine thoughts without feeling the pressure of being judged. This often leads to a positive work atmosphere and higher productivity and employee retention.
6. Consider process automation
Automation is a boon for your workforce when used wisely. Decluttering the workspace, automating processes can create room for more creative and valuable work. The best part is your employees can now do more in less time.
- Invest in automation tools: Investing in saas-based automation tools is a great way to kickstart your automation journey. You can develop automation tools in-house in the later stage for a more personalized experience.
- Train employees in automation technologies: Automation tools training is a vital part of every team member’s curriculum. A little bit of training saves hours of work in the long term.
- Be open to collaborations: One of the best ways to take off the workload is to ensure your business is open for collaborations. Be it another company or freelancers; they can be a massive asset to your business.
7. Create a healthy work-life balance
Ensuring your employees do not face burnout is critical for consistent performance. But securing a healthy work-life balance is more than annual holidays and paid leaves. Here’s what you can do.
- Track working hours: Tracking daily working hours is an excellent way of improving the work-life balance. Running analytics on how your employees spend an average working day can help you optimize the most unproductive areas.
- Optimize meeting hours: Meetings can potentially eat up a lot of productive hours. This makes planning and reducing meeting hours to the optimal level can significantly improve productive work daily. This can directly mean balanced working hours for your employees.
- Create a unichannel communication system: Ensuring the least friction in communications between team members and other operation stakeholders can ensure your teams do not face long hours of rework.
Your employees are human and are thus prone to natural human flaws.
This means integrating the above strategies into your employee management program can bring you rapid results, but your team will still have their rough days. This is the time when you can support them to get them back in their game.
A little empathy and connection go a long way here. You can also improve employee retention and loyalty by paying attention to your employees.
When your employees stay happy, they grow, and when they grow in their personal lives, your company experiences exponential growth.
So, it’s action time. Let us know in the Comments section below which of the abovementioned strategies did you implement to enhance your team’s performance and productivity.
Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as a Learning Experience Designer and is passionate about writing. She has helped many small and medium-scale businesses achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted content that is both informative and engaging. She lives in Bangalore, India with her husband. She loves to read, experiment with different cuisines, travel, and explore the latest content marketing and L&D trends in her free time. You can reach her on Linkedin or write to her at [email protected].