How to Proactively Improve Employee Performance

The goal of virtually every company is to provide products or services that make money. To meet this goal, you mainly need great, in-demand products or services and employees who do their jobs well. Excellent employee performance can truly make or break a company, but getting there isn’t always easy. It takes several strategies and approaches, and one of the best approaches is a proactive one.

It’s important to remember what you put in, you get out. Ensuring employees are well-equipped, motivated, and recognized for their contributions goes a long way in fostering a productive and loyal workforce. Treating employees well, offering benefits and recognition, not only boosts morale but also enhances overall company performance and success.

Fully Utilize Your Human Resources Department

The human resources department in any business can be a tremendous asset. With up-to-date insights into your market, your KPIs, and your profits and losses, human resources can help you recruit, train, and retain high-quality staff. That way, you don’t hire people uninterested in the work they’ll be doing or ready to jump ship at the first opportunity. You want to recruit and hire staff who will work hard to grow with your company and meet your vision.

Once hired, human resources can help you train and retain great employees. The HR department can utilize tools like employee journey mapping that keep management abreast of important moments in the careers of your staff. HR executives can also track employees’ advancements throughout their time with your company, alerting management to important dates for training, promotions, and raises.

Remember that Attitude Reflects Leadership

Managers and supervisors are necessarily busy. They have a lot to do and a lot to manage, which is why highly functioning HR departments are so essential. But it is critical to remember that if your employees seem bitter, resentful, or unwilling to work hard, it may be because of management. After all, the people with the most power often set the tone for the rest of your staff.

If you want high-performing employees, make sure their managers and supervisors are well-trained to be supportive and encouraging. While criticism, correction, and disciplinary action are necessary at times, most people respond better to positivity. Ensure your managers are acting more as guides and uplifters than as dictators or authoritarians. Employees who feel appreciated are more engaged.

Offer Incentives for Employee Engagement  

One of the hardest things to deal with as an employee is feeling like you’re going nowhere with your company. Every day begins to feel the same, and you start to wonder what you’re doing there anyway. This pointlessness can lead to inactivity and disengagement at work. Employees just show up and “phone it in,” punching the clock until it’s time to go home. You can combat this inevitability by giving your employees incentives to keep their performance up.

Have a policy to recruit and promote from within. You want your staff to know they can grow with the company so they always feel like they’re learning and making progress. Also, empower HR to offer employee cross training and certifications that allow your people to stay educated on company-related subject matter. The more equipped your staff is, the better they are likely to perform at work. As a bonus, these policies and training will make your employees feel valued.

Trust Your Employees and Avoid Micromanaging

Once you implement policies that include training, promoting, and empowering your staff, you must let them do their jobs. There are few things worse at work than micromanaging, and, sadly, many companies today still do it. It can be challenging for grown adults to feel engaged and perform well at work when they are treated like toddlers in need of constant supervision. Instead, give your staff a job and trust them to do it.

You can implement regular meetings, performance reviews, and check-ins that allow your staff to report to management as tasks progress. This way, instead of having someone constantly looking over their shoulders, employees are emboldened to do the work and report on it promptly. This shift helps make your staff feel more engaged and responsible for their duties, which in turn can proactively improve employee performance.

Encourage Feedback and Communication

Finally, ask your staff for their feedback. Have an open-door policy, and listen to what they say. Often, employees feel like their managers and top executives are out of touch with the reality of the everyday worker. Unfortunately, their feelings are probably valid. It can be difficult for an executive responsible for reporting to boards and CEOs to stay grounded with employee issues. However, you can combat this norm by communicating openly with staff.

Hold meetings in person with your people regularly, and work hard to be open and approachable. Reward your staff for coming forward with real issues and constructive criticism of the company and its policies. Show your staff that you empathize with their struggles and that you want them to be happy at work by implementing their good ideas. These approaches to management are more likely to see a staff eager to achieve company goals and vision.

In the end, improving your employees’ performance on a proactive level will come down to how you guide and manage their journey. A strong, empowered HR department is the first step, and everything else can flow naturally from there. The key is to create a company culture that is open, flexible, appreciative of its employees’ hard work, and invested in the growth and satisfaction of staff. With this kind of work environment, who wouldn’t want to perform well?

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