Employee performance is a key factor in every company’s success. It directly affects efficiency and determines the level at which revenue and business objectives can be achieved. An engaged, high-performing employee is usually one of your organization’s greatest assets. A practical, comprehensive performance management solution that delivers tangible results is a critical piece of any HCM suite for a growing organization.
As employers navigate the transformative changes and challenges COVID has posed, companies must adapt to the “new normals” that employees face. As the future of work changes, performance management will need to evolve with it. Here we propose three proven methods to boost employee performance.
Set Up Performance Management Rules and Policies
The work model shifted significantly during the COVID pandemic. Even in the post-COVID era, many companies are facing a different reality than before the pandemic. Many companies are converting to a hybrid work model or even a fully-remote model. This transition is creating challenges in performance management for managers, from time tracking to productivity tracking. It’s more crucial than ever that organizations are prepared with clear rules and policies easily accessible by employees and managers alike from within their HCM software suite.
- Define performance measurement metrics. Many factors determine an employee's overall performance: productivity, efficiency, quality of work, prior knowledge and training, and time management, among others. Developing consistent, measurable metrics that teams and managers can use to measure against is the first step in defining performance, which is often different for each team and division within an organization. This makes a flexible system key to deploying and measuring these metrics effectively.
- Effective goal setting. Traditional performance management methods almost always include some form of quantitative and qualitative goal setting, typically conducted annually. To get a better handle on performance, it may be more effective and efficient - especially in a hybrid or remote environment - to set goals quarterly and measure monthly or even in real-time when possible. Some of the more widely used goal-setting frameworks are SMART Goals and OKRs, which can accommodate frequent measurement
- Ensure efficient communication & tracking. Open, timely, and effective communication is the bedrock of long-term organizational success. Companies who want to thrive in the post-COVID environment - especially those with remote workers - need to set up regular meetings and other communication routines to ensure employees and those they report to are always on the same page. Many companies are setting up advanced time and attendance tracking software as a key complementary piece to performance measurement and management.
Balance is everything. A good performance tracking system helps drive results through effective measurement, but organizations must also use discretion. If not utilized properly, these systems can easily lead to micromanagement and limit employees from optimizing their potential. Building a positive work environment will ultimately benefit your company in the long term and improve employee performance significantly.
- Provide autonomy. Employees need autonomy to perform their duties in a tried-and-true manner. Providing room for independence shows a company's respect toward diverse talent. People are the core of performance management, that is to say, rules and policies should work around employees' various traits and needs in order to optimize performance. Give people the tools and support to grow, and let individuals thrive differently.
- Improve delegation. To boost employee performance, it’s necessary for leaders to know how to distribute the workload to the right team members to achieve the best outcome. Having a deep understanding of a company's assets - its people - and knowing their skills and personalities will help companies make informed decisions when assigning duties to employees.
- Encourage open communication. Communication is a key to efficiency. It’s not just about being on the same page - encouraging employees to speak up, express creative ideas and be open to different opinions provides the forum and outlet people need to grow and develop. Employees perform at their best when open dialogue is encouraged and recognized.
- Value employees' work. Encouragement goes a long way. By recognizing contributions, and results alike, employees can better understand how their own work contributes to the greater whole. Team members who feel recognized and valued perform better. It’s as simple as that.
Offer Incentives for Better Performance
Strong incentives and compelling benefits are directly tied to increased employee and organizational performance. Applying the existing automation software will lift a lot of weight off employees’ shoulders and free them from repetitive and non-revenue-driving work. A ton of time will be saved from administrative work and your employees will be able to focus on more imperative work. Common incentives examples are rewards, referral programs, professional development, profit sharing, health and wellness, bonuses and raises, etc. Two methods that have been shown to directly impact performance within small and mid-size businesses are:
- Comprehensive Benefits Plan. In order to boost employee productivity, companies need to provide a sense of security for people’s lives outside of the work environment. As an employer, it’s crucial to try to understand employees’ different situations and make accommodations accordingly. Updating and expanding company benefits is an effective approach. Consider core benefits like healthcare, dental and vision plans, as well employee bonuses, retirement packages, support for further education both in time and money, equal-paid parental leave, and flexible work schedules. Offering a combination of core and supplemental benefits will ensure you remain competitive as an employer and allow your employees to have peace of mind that they’re covered. Be a partner to your employees, looking for additional opportunities for them to take advantage of state-funded benefits such as the Connecticut 'Hero Pay' program.
- Reward System. Incentivizing employees with rewards, be it with things like PTO, money, peer recognition or otherwise is another way to positively impact performance. Setting up metrics and incentives on a division and team basis, focused on each group’s functional roles, is crucial to offering the right incentives to motivate employees while ensuring the business continues to function as needed. For instance, you won’t likely want to incentivize part-time shift workers with rewards of paid time off, whereas that may be very effective for salaried employees who often work greater than 40 hours per week.
Organizational Performance is Based on Employee Performance
Motivating each employee to perform at his or her best is vital for achieving business long-term organizational success. Boosting employee performance requires employers to deeply consider both the personnel and company structure, and starts by asking key questions like “Did we hire the right people?” “Do we have the right structure and policies in place to incentivize employees?” If you’re having challenges attracting, retaining and motivating team members, you should strongly consider engaging an HR Consulting Company for professional guidance.