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25 Ways to Improve Work Performance for your Survival

25 Ways to Improve Work Performance for your Survival

Work performance is how effectively and efficiently an individual performs their assigned task using all the essential technical and non-technical traits.

Your employees are always trying to perform better to match the set expectations.

Some are efficient throughout the year, while others are only partially productive. Chances are, even the best employee is unable to give their best. The reason could be many, but it is the job of a leader to identify it and make them achieve their full potential.

Being skillful is one thing and being efficient and productive is another. While most of your employees could have an incredible skill set, this doesn't translate to being highly efficient and productive.

Inculcating efficiency among the ranks will take time but definitely will help you reap the rewards in the long run. It will not only help you but will also help your team to achieve success in both their personal and professional life.

What is Work Performance?

Work performance is how well your employees perform their tasks, and it is critical for an organization’s growth and success. This can include the quality & quantity of work, employees’ job knowledge, ability to work with others, and communication skills.

Here are 25 Ways to Improve the Work Performance of your Employees:

1. Set the Right Expectations:

Often employees are confused about what needs to be done in their new job and what is expected of them. To avoid this, you must make sure your employees realize why you hired them in the first place and set clear expectations for them.

If you think that your team member or subordinate is looking confused, then reach out to them and define what is expected of them.

Benefits:- Doing so will increase the productivity of your employees as they will be more focused.

2. Set Milestones and Goals:

Shooting in the dark could be detrimental to your efforts as you may miss the mark or, worse, hit the wrong target. So, it is always better to have well-defined goals in place, no matter how ambitious they seem.

But it doesn't mean you should create any unrealistic goals as it could discourage your employees. Create goals that are difficult to attain but not impossible.

Then break these goals into small milestones to have a better picture. Having attainable milestones in place will help your employees to:

  • Meet deadlines
  • Be organized and structured
  • Manage time effectively
  • Enhance project management and change management skills
  • Learn from each milestone

Benefits:- Having structured milestones or plans in place helps employees be more effective with their time.

3. Organize, Plan and Prioritize:

Having an objective is important, but the workplace and life, in general, are full of uncertainty. You or your employees may be asked to do urgent tasks while working on something else and be forced to pick which task to prioritize.

But there is no need to be torn between different tasks and projects if you know how to master the prioritization process efficiently.

Well, becoming more efficient and better at managing your to-do list and calendar can help create time to deal with spur-of-the-moment urgent tasks. Many project management tools help you even manage your day-to-day tasks and your employees' tasks.

Tools like Jira and Trello help you to manage minor to major tasks efficiently and help you to improve employee performance. Here are a few things that you must consider while using these tools:

  • Align your priorities to that of your team.
  • Always add the urgent task to the list and finish it off.
  • Utilize the tool to check your bandwidth, and don't load yourself with too many tasks.
  • Set the tasks based on priority from Highest to Lowest.
  • The tool is most effective when following the priorities and lists you set.

Benefits:-Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing are the 3 ways to improve work performance in a business that strives to grow. Not doing so will create a chaotic atmosphere.

Delve More:- A Complete Guide to your Employee Performance Plan

4. Ask for feedback: 

"We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve" – Bill gates.

Constructive feedback is essential for employees' sustainable progress. Feedback explains objectives, helps people learn from their mistakes, and enhances their self-esteem. 

Frequently asking a specific set of questions will help you understand where you stand and the areas that need improvement. This eliminates the risk of receiving negative feedback in the longer run. 

Benefits: An employee who receives positive feedback will feel appreciated and more motivated, increasing their performance and boosting employee productivity.

5. Avoid Distractions:

Humans are social beings, and getting socialized is a natural trait. But doing so while being on the job could have a lethal impact on your employee's performance.

Some of your employees might like to use social media or interact with your colleagues. Social engagement, either in-person or online, should only occur during the break.

Otherwise, what could have been achieved in a couple of hours could now take a whole day just because of social distractions.

As a leader, being too strict could hurt morale. You must instill an atmosphere where each of your employees understands the value of time and its implications on the business.

So, how can you improve employee performance by minimizing distraction? Well, follow these steps to set a good example:

  • Turn off social media notifications during work hours.
  • A small break after every 2 hours for refreshment will be helpful where employees can engage with each other.
  • Assign time to read all your emails at once and stop the notification till the end of the day.
  • Assign time for small meetings and do not engage with anyone at your desk.
  • You can use noise-canceling earphones to avoid any kind of atmospheric distractions.
  • Use apps like Focus me to block any website or apps based on your daily routine.

Benefits:- Avoiding distractions will enhance the focus of your employees, and they will accomplish more in less time. But this will only work if you allow them breaks at regular intervals.

6. Do one thing at a Time:

Since we are already talking about focus, let us discuss why doing one thing at a time is essential.

Most employers think their employees can do multiple activities at a time. While they might be able, they won't always deliver the best results.

When employees jump from one task to another without even finishing the previous task, It breaks their workflow. It demands a shift in the approach and state of mind. As a result, adopting a new task takes time.

It is always better to encourage employees to finish the task at hand to get better results. It benefits not only the company but also the employee as they need not bother about the other task while performing the current one.

Benefits:- Being focused on a single task ensures you don't waste time.

7. Don't leave things Unfinished:

"Starting something can be easy; it is finishing it that is the highest hurdle." - Isabella Poretsis

Sometimes employees jump from one task to the other and, in the process, forget about the old tasks, which eventually come back to haunt us. It is always an ideal practice to finish the job rather than start a new one.

It is easier to initiate a new task than to finish it. Organizations must prioritize achieving a finished state among their employees and reward them for successful completion.

Benefits:- Having a laser-like focus on a single task and not doing multiple tasks will help you concentrate on your job better rather than worrying about a task that was initiated but not finished.

8. Read Something New Everyday:

Every day things around us are changing and upgraded; with every new invention, innovation, and approach, we see the world changing for the good.

In this rapidly changing world, you must stay updated with your industry news and hacks. It is ideal for reading at least one relevant article per day.

Such a habit will keep you in line with current trends and changes.

Benefits:- Self-improvement in work is only possible when you read regularly, and doing so will keep you ahead of your peers.

9. Volunteer to do more:

"Volunteering is at the top of Millennials' minds," - AnnaMarie Dunn

Volunteer and collaborate with your teammates to achieve remarkable results. Volunteering in any kind of project increases team productivity.

Employees have a new perspective on productive engagement when they work together in the community; this rejuvenation frequently extends to the workplace.

10. Communicate Effectively:

Better communication across the board is key to success and one of the few ways a business can improve its employees' performance.

Surprised?

Well, proper communication boosts efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, and eventually, overall work performance.

According to HBR, 30% of leaders cite a failure in coordination as the single biggest hurdle in executing the company's strategy.

Because of COVID-19, it has become increasingly difficult to communicate with teams and other stakeholders.

But even in this situation, many companies have overcome this hurdle by being prepared. They have utilized tools like ZoomMicrosoft Teams, and Slack for communicating via video conference or chat rooms. These tools also help you to exchange files which again is a part of exchanging information.

How can you establish the ideal communication channel? Here are a few tips that you can use to figure that out:

  • Understand requirements by consulting internal stakeholders and designing a strategy that fits your bill.
  • Acquire a tool that will serve your business goals.
  • Have a long-term vision in place before finalizing anything.

Benefits:- Having proper communication among employees could help each of them to learn from one another and achieve better results.

11. Acknowledge Weak Spots and Improve:

Leaders have to help their employees identify their weak spots and grow in their jobs. Appreciating them and shying away from pointing out their weakness will not do any good to you and your employees.

But how can you achieve that? Well, follow these steps:

  • Constructively convey to your employees where they lack so that they can improve.
  • Analyze in what situation they thrive and in what situation they collapse. Understanding so will help you draft feedback that could help your employees to improve.
  • Provide opportunities for them to take ownership. Mentor them and provide them with resources that could help them succeed.
  • Create an open dialogue where you can provide feedback to employees, and they can provide feedback to you.

Benefits:- Identifying weaknesses will help your employee to learn and grow.

12. Learn to say no:

Saying no is a difficult task for most of us. Most of the time, when you have too many things on your plates or if you are simply not interested in taking up that task. It's also possible that you didn't have a say in the matter.

The problem is that taking on too many responsibilities and contributing to too many projects makes you overworked and anxious. Saying no is critical to your very own and your organization's success.

13. Knowledge Sharing:

Each of your employees comes from different background. Most of them have different levels of expertise, passion, and experience.

Whether your employee is a top-level professional or an intern, each person brings something of value to the table, and yet they also have something they can learn.

Sharing knowledge on a regular basis with your team members and other similar groups within the organization on a weekly basis enhances the work performance of employees. Sharing knowledge is also a part of the collaboration and effective communication, which helps you and your employees grow in your respective jobs.

Benefits:- Sharing knowledge ensures you and your employees learn new things or validate what you already know.

14. Take Breaks:

At the end of the day, we all are human beings and not machines; even machines need a short break to recover.

Short-break like this helps to regain the concentration and interest of your employees in their job, and they can complete their expected job in a much more efficient manner.

Benefits:- Taking a regular break and utilizing it for having coffee, walking or meditation will help you concentrate better.

15. Take care of your health: 

Staying healthy and fit will help you stay at the top of your game for a long time. It's critical to put your emotional and physical wellness first. Recharge when you can, take regular intervals, set limits, and stay hydrated.

If we want to perform to the best of our ability. We must take care of and maintain ourselves.

16. Reward Punctuality:

Every employee in the organization must be punctual and disciplined, but unfortunately, some of your employees might not be punctual.

Employees can use tools like Calendly to schedule a meeting and link it with their email id to get the notification. This will help employees to be on time.

Further, you can consider offering perks for those who come on time and finish their project or assigned tasks before the deadline.

Benefits:- Being punctual with your task will help businesses achieve their goal in time.

17. Remove the Roadblocks and Bottlenecks:

Before committing to a task, always analyze what you need to do to finish it. List all the possible resources and knowledge your team might require to accomplish the goal.

In consultation with your team, identify the hiccups and roadblocks that you might face, including dependencies on another person or team.

This can be avoided by asking experts in your team to draft a business process chart. Use the chart to identify any gaps in the system and strategize accordingly to overcome them.

Benefits:- Removing the bottlenecks upfront will enable a smooth process.

18. Use right tools:   

"You're only as good as the tools you use." - Emmert Wolf.

Having the right set of tools at the workplace is a standard nowadays, especially when there are many things on your plate. However, many businesses and workplaces fail to do so. 

Many tools are available that can benefit your business; however, choosing the right set of tools, even if it means spending a little more than you'd like, is critical.

Benefits - Using the right set of tools improves things like -

  • Making employee jobs easier
  • Having better training options
  • Creating a productive employee culture 

19. Avoid Personal Conflicts:

If two employees are not comfortable in the presence of each other, then make sure that they sort it out immediately. Internal politics or conflicts could hurt the overall performance of your team.

Encourage meditation and exercise at your workplace to make your employees calm and composed. Avoiding major rifts is beneficial for your employees in personal and professional life. An agitated and depressed mind can never be productive.

Benefits:- Avoiding conflicts is necessary to avoid any kind of negativity in the workplace and helps the companies to keep the energy level high.

20. Build Workplace relations & Connection: 

When you need it the most, collaboration with a team is built on the foundation of relationships and connections made in the workplace. To achieve this, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses, listen to what others have to say, ask questions, keep up with your commitments, connect outside of the workplace if possible, and appreciate each role. 

Benefits: You will notice a boost in productivity and general job satisfaction when you create relationships in the workplace. It is beneficial at your workplace and helps in Professional growth in the longer run. Positive workplace connections are critical to professional success.

21. Promote New Skills:

As we discussed earlier, reading and knowledge sharing are beneficial. But regularly updating skillsets via any course or program would boost the knowledge and career of your employees.

It is essential to acquire new skills and upgrade old ones to stay relevant and ahead of ever-changing technology.

You can use platforms like Linkedin LearningUdemy, and Coursera for personal development.

Benefits:- Your employees need new skills to improve job performance. Helping them learn a skill will make them capable, which is beneficial for the organization.

22. Make Employees see through Leaders' Lens:

Most of the time, leaders like you tend not to share the pressure you are going through. As management expects better results and ROI, you need to share your team's expectations and why producing results is necessary.

This will motivate and trigger your employees to boost their efforts, which eventually makes them productive and help you achieve your goals.

Benefits:- Sometimes, understanding executive expectations is important for employees to convert their capabilities into actions. And when employees start to see things from the lens of leadership, their efforts get maximized.

23. Train your employees Regularly:

You must train your employees on any newly rolled out application to make them comfortable and confident.

To do that, you use mediums like Digital Adoption Solution, which helps you create customized walkthroughs for your employees based on their job roles. It also houses all the necessary documents, links, & videos that one might need to complete their job, and it sits right inside your application.

Benefits:- See an ROI of your investment in an enterprise application as your employees become capable enough to use it from the moment the new software is launched - a win-win situation for both the employee and the employer.

24. Automate tasks:

Your employees' time is valuable and wasting it on a mundane task simply doesn't make any sense.

Automate the tasks wherever you can. You can use tools like Apty to automate mundane tasks on any web-based application.

The employee can simply use the chat interface and complete their work without opening your application. In the absence of this tool, employees need to open the application and then execute the procedures. Doing these repetitive tasks consumes a lot of time and costs dearly to any organization.

Benefits:- Save time and effort by automating your tasks. It creates opportunities for your employees to work on projects that add value.

25. Utilize data to understand employees:

In today's digital age, most things are driven by data. To measure the impact of the application utilized by your employees, it is necessary for you to analyze the pros and cons.

Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) like Apty sit on top of any application and provide you Application Insights such as:

  • How is the employee using the product?
  • Where are they dropping off?
  • What hiccups are they facing?
  • How engaged are they within the application?
  • At which point are they facing the problem?

Based on these analyses, Apty guides you through creating Walkthroughs and will help you create training to match your employees' needs.

Benefits:- The employees can get personalized training, and an organization can understand the effectiveness of their software utilization. Based on these, organizations can improve the business process and training methods. All of these act as ROI boosters.

Wrapping it Up!

If you follow all these 19 ways, it will contribute to improvement in your employees' work performance.

One important aspect of all is to analyze where your employees face problems. Once you identify that, you will be able to guide them properly.

How can you measure employee performance?

You can measure your employee's performance based on their accomplishments. Set a baseline and check whether your employees can reach the goal within a particular time frame. Once an employee completes a job, you can gather their feedback on the job done. This will help you understand where they are lagging and help them.

With a tool like Apty, you can monitor employees in real-time and boost their performance with in-app interactive walkthroughs. Apty Analytics understands employee's behavior and helps you find where they face challenges. Now, you can create customized content to address those challenges.

Consult our experts to know how to enhance productivity with a DAP

Originally posted on July 20, 2020

Krishnan Kaushik
Written by Krishnan Kaushik

Krishnan is a Marketer and Content Crafter. He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Adoption, Transformation, and Enterprise applications that helps business to generate business outcomes. In his former life, he was an IIoT & Automation engineer. You can find him trying new recipes, riding a bike, and wondering about the most complex object on the face of the earth i.e Human Brain.

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