19 Ways to Improve Work Performance for your Survival


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

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

Some of them 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 skillset but this doesn’t translate to being highly efficient and productive.

Inculcating efficiency among the ranks will take time but definitely will help you reap 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.

Here are 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 a 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 to 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 to even manage your day-to-day tasks and the tasks of your employees.


Tools like Jira and Trello help you to manage minor to major tasks efficiently and help you to boost work 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 you follow the priorities and lists you set.

Benefits:- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritising 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. Avoid Distractions

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

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

Otherwise, what could have been achieved in a matter of a couple of hours, now could 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 one of your employees understands the value of time and its implications on the business.

So, how can you improve work 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 a 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 employee's and they will accomplish more in less time. But this will only work if you allow them breaks at regular intervals.

5. 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 flow of work. 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 out of them. It not only benefits 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.

6. 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 comes back to haunt us. It is always an ideal practice to finish the job at hand rather than starting 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 to concentrate on your job better rather than worrying about a task that was initiated but not finished.


7. Read Something New Everyday

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

In this rapidly changing world, you must stay up to date with your industry news and hacks. It is ideal to read 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.

8. Communicate Effectively

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


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

According to HBR, 30% of leaders cite a failure in coordination as a 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 Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack to communicate via video conference or chat rooms. These tools also help you to exchange files which again is a part of exchanging information.

How you can 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.

9. Acknowledge Weak Spots and Improve

Leaders have to step in to help their employees to 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.

10. 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 collaboration and effective communication which helps you and your employees to grow in your respective jobs.

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

11. 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 efficient manner.

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

12. 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 to achieve their goal in time.

13. 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 all the hiccups and roadblocks that you might face, including any 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 strategize accordingly to overcome them.

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


14. 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 both 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.

15. Promote New Skills

As we discussed earlier, reading and knowledge sharing are beneficial. But regularly updating skillsets via any course or program would definitely give a boost to 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 Learning, Udemy, and Coursera for personal development.

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

16. Make Employees see through Leaders Lens

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

This will motivate and trigger your employees to boost their efforts in this direction 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.

17. 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 to create customized walkthroughs for your employees based on their job role. 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 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.

18. 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 even 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.

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

Based on these analyses, Apty guides you to create Walkthroughs and also will help you to 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 these acts as ROI boosters.

Wrapping it Up!

If you follow all these 19 ways then it will definitely contribute towards improvement in the work performance of your employees.

One important aspect of all is to analyze where your employees face problems. Once you identify that then you would be in a position to guide them properly. And the other 18 suggestions will help you to enhance the efforts in this direction.


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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