7 Things Managers Can Do to Improve Employee Performance

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Jul 4, 2013

When spring came around, I was very proud of myself for getting a gym membership. It was about time to get rid of those holiday pounds if I was trying to impress anyone at the pool this summer.

The first two months were great. I worked out consistently and felt better. Then summer has rolled around and I haven’t been to the gym in weeks. Just too busy.

And if I do have free time, I’d rather enjoy the summer. Who would not choose a great BBQ and a cool beer with some friends over throwing around those dumbbells?

The key reasons your employees aren’t performing well

By the end of the summer, I will probably have gained enough weight so that my work out pants don’t fit me anymore. At least I have a reason not to go then.

Helping your employees perform to their highest ability is like going to the gym. It can have really great benefits for you if you’re willing to put in the hard work. So while we put our shoes on for the next gym visit, let’s take a look at the most important reasons your employees are not performing well.

  1. You don’t make enough time for performance evaluations. Seriously, if you only have a 15-minute time slot you cannot get results (gym dilemma!). Organize your calendar and reserve enough time for performance evaluations. They are a great tool for assessing why your employees are not performing well.
  2. You don’t prepare yourself. If you go to the gym without proper shoes, it’s going to be even harder for you to burn those calories. Inform yourself and do your research on your employees in advance. Collect feedback from peers, ask for 360 degree feedback and use tools to assess the employees’ strengths and weaknesses. It is important to get a well-rounded picture of your employees’ performance so you can cater to their individual needs.
  3. You have no idea what your employees are passionate aboutAngela Duckworth gives a breathtaking speech about the key to success. She names “grit” as the decisive factor that makes some people achieve greatness and others fail terribly. It is passion, perseverance and motivation that will give your employees a solid work ethic and will help them achieve their performance goals. Understanding their passions allows you, as a manager, to provide them with opportunities they can get excited about.
  4. You don’t challenge your employees. It is scientifically proven that the brain changes in response to challenge. Setting the right challenges will help your employees develop a “growth mindset” and enlarge their ability to learn. Develop the challenges together and find out the most important objectives for your employees. Just like in the gym, you should try to run a little further every time you get on that treadmill so you can one day reach an ultimate goal.
  5. You fail to measure. If you never weighed yourself before you started working out, you’ll never be able to reward yourself once you reach your workout goals. It is important to identify your employees’ starting points and determine strengths and weaknesses. If you then give your employees clear goals and a “true north”, you will be able to clearly measure achievements.
  6. You fail to follow up. If you want to permanently succeed, you need to create and instill a routine. One workout is not going to make you look like Arnold. Schedule regular appointments and follow up with your employees’ performance. With your analytics in place, you can track the achievements and react accordingly.
  7. You fail to reward. Reward and recognition is necessary to keep your employees engaged. Just like rewarding yourself with ice cream after losing the first five pounds, make your employees feel good when they reach performance goals.

After all, success is contagious.

Did someone ever make you shine? What was your worst job evaluation experience?

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