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Top Tips for Top Performance

Employees are one of an organisation’s greatest assets so it’s important to ensure you get the most out of them. Below are some top tips for steps that can improve employee performance.

1. Reward 

It will come as no surprise that if employees are highly motivated they are more likely to perform better. Whilst the word ‘reward’ in a performance context is often linked with financial rewards such as salary increases or bonuses, it’s important to remember that there are many different ways to reward employees. As different people are motivated by different things, a good place to start when considering rewards is to think about what will motivate employees in your organisation. Carrying out a staff survey could be a good way of finding out what your employees would really value.

Even small things such as giving positive feedback where it is due or thanking an employee who has gone above and beyond what was expected of them can make a big difference to how motivated and engaged an employee feels.

2. Leadership

The leadership styles and energy of managers and directors can have a significant impact on employee performance. After all it’s these leaders that influence workplace culture and the day to day experience employees have of working in an organisation. If the right leadership style is used at the right time it can have a positive impact on employees, motivating them in a sustainable way and supporting them to reach their full potential in their role. It’s important to bear in mind that not everyone is conscious of their leadership style or are aware of the different leadership models and the impact these can have, so don’t overlook the importance of management training when it comes to thinking about employee performance.

3. Targets

Setting clear and realistic targets is a key part of improving and maintaining employee performance. When employees know what the standards are and what is expected of them it is more likely that they will perform well. The use of targets will allow you to monitor performance and identify at an early stage whether there are any performance issues you may need to address.

4. Management of poor performance

Unfortunately, most managers will need to deal with a poorly performing employee at some point. Whilst this can seem daunting it’s important not to shy away from the matter as in most cases the situation doesn’t improve on its own. If it’s not tackled early and appropriately not only can poor performance get worse, but managers can be left feeling frustrated with the situation and that’s often when mistakes in handling the matter are made.

The first step in dealing with poor performance will usually be to meet with the employee on an informal basis to discuss the situation. This will involve explaining to the employee the concerns the organisation has regarding their performance and finding out if there is a good explanation for it. If there isn’t, then appropriate targets will need to be set, and the employee given a reasonable timescale to improve. They need to be warned that if they don’t improve or improve sufficiently, the matter will be formally addressed via your performance management processes.

If you are concerned about an employee’s performance, it’s important to take advice on your case before taking steps to address the matter. Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd can support you with advice on the informal stage of performance management right through to the end of any formal process if needed. It’s worth bearing in mind that if an employee has less than two years’ service, it may be possible to terminate their employment without the need to first go through a poor performance process. However, the safety of that course of action will depend on the individual facts of the case so you should always seek advice before taking any action.