How To Improve Employee Performance

Intelogos Team
June 28, 2024

Discover effective strategies to boost employee performance, enhance productivity, and create a motivated workplace environment

Employee performance affects the company’s overall productivity, growth, and success.

There’s a clear difference between a high-performing employee and a low-performing one. The high–performing employee is a problem solver, accountable, punctual, and improves the company’s value. 

The low-performing employee is less concerned about how his/her action influences the company or the team. This means you may get to see your clients walk out in frustration or anger. 

The Importance of Improving Employee Performance

Maximizing team performance boosts organizational efficiency, helping achieve goals promptly and cost-effectively. 

Here are several key reasons highlighting the importance of improving employee performance:

1. Increased Productivity: Enhancing employee performance directly leads to higher productivity levels. When employees are efficient in their roles, they contribute more to the organization’s goals and objectives.

2. Enhanced Quality of Work: High-performing employees tend to produce better-quality work. This not only reduces errors and the need for rework but also enhances the overall reputation of the company.

3. Better Customer Service: Excellent customer service improves customer loyalty, which is critical for the long-term success of the business.

4. Innovation and Growth: High-performing employees are often more innovative and willing to take initiative. Their contributions can lead to new ideas, improved processes leading to business growth.

5. Cost Efficiency: High-performing employees make better use of time and resources, thus optimizing resource utilization and leading to cost savings for the organization.

6. Competitive Advantage: A workforce that consistently performs well allows the company to outperform its competitors, capturing more market share, and achieving better financial results.

7. Employee Retention: Employees appreciate opportunities for professional development and career growth, which enhances their loyalty to the company. Organizations that invest in improving employee performance are likely to have lower turnover rates. 

14 Ways to Improve Employee Performance

As a leader looking for how to improve employee performance at work, here are 14 best strategies.

1. Set Clear Communication

The Problem: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and inefficiencies. It’s responsible for 70% of corporate errors -  US firm Gartner.

Why it works: Effective communication breeds proper coordination between the manager and the employee. It also enhances collaboration and teamwork, boosts productivity, and enhances customer relations. 

How to Implement: 

  1. Regularly assess your employee's work and set up one-on-one conversations, encouraging open dialogue and active listening
  2. ​​Give constructive feedback on performance deficits during the private meetings
  3. Offer direct guidelines to aid efficiency in the workplace

2. Detect Underperformance Issues

Problem: Unaddressed underperformance can drag down overall team productivity.

Why it works: Identifying and resolving performance issues helps improve individual and team efficiency, and helps employees understand their weak points.

How to Implement:

  1. Conduct regular performance evaluations to identify underperforming employees
  2. Use one-on-one meetings to discuss potential issues and provide support
  3. Implement performance improvement plans with clear, actionable steps
  4. Offer additional training or resources to address specific performance gaps

3. Praise Good Work

Problem: Lack of recognition can lead to demotivation and disengagement.

Why it works: Many employees feel valued and appreciated when their employers value their efforts. It also sets the tone for a positive work environment and gives room for constructive feedback in the future.

How to Implement:

  1. Implement an employee recognition program
  2. Offer rewards like bonuses, coupons, gift cards or promotions
  3. Use public acknowledgment, such as shout-outs in team meetings or newsletters
  4. Organize ceremonies to award the employee of the month/year

Pro tip: Make sure to select what works best for your organization and don’t give out praises too frequently so it doesn't lose its value. Your praise should be something your employees should always look up to.

4. Set Realistic Goals and Expectations

Problem: Unclear goals and unachievable expectations can lead to confusion and lack of direction.

Why it works: Clear goals provide direction and measurable outcomes for both managers and employees.

How to Implement:

  1. Conduct goal-setting sessions with individual employees and teams. Regularly review and adjust them to stay aligned with organizational objectives
  2. Help your employees see the priorities. This will enable them to understand how to label their workload to suit the organization’s goal
  3. Use the ‘SMART’ goal model. This means every objective must be; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. If the goal doesn't meet this rule, adjust it to fit

5. Keep Realistic Deadlines

Problem: Tight deadlines make the goals unachievable and decrease employee morale and motivation.

Why it works: Deadlines keep the organization running and also keep your employees on their toes. However, when used harshly, it may lead to burnout, disengagement, and bad quality of work.

How to Implement: 

  1. When assigning tasks to your employees, give them enough time to complete the task before following up with others
  2. Balance the sense of urgency in every project
  3. Do not issue all the tasks to just one person. When possible, break it into several milestones and distribute it to other employees to complete the task quickly and efficiently

6. Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork

Problem: Lack of collaboration can stifle creativity and problem-solving.

Why it works: Collaboration fosters brainstorming sessions and ideation and employees may come up with quicker, smarter and more innovative solutions.

How to Implement:

  1. Use collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, or Microsoft Teams
  2. Organize cross-departmental projects and brainstorming sessions
  3. Set up shared goals and team-based incentives
  4. Create collaborative workspaces, both physical and virtual

7. Avoid Micromanagement

Problem: Micromanagement is excessively supervising and controlling your employees, creating an environment of mistrust and fear. It doesn’t allow the employees to make decisions or act according to their skill/knowledge reducing the motivation and willingness to take initiative. 

Of the people who reported working for a micromanager, 68% said it had decreased their morale, and 55% claimed it had hurt their productivity. - Accountemps 

Why it works: Avoiding micromanagement fosters employee autonomy and trust, leading to increased job satisfaction, creativity, and productivity.

How to Implement: 

  1. Manage your employee based on their outcomes and milestones
  2. Use a non-invasive performance review tool like Intelogos to get a clear metric for each employee

8. Provide Effective Training and Development 

The Problem: Employees that lack updated skills or knowledge, lead to inefficiencies and errors.

Why it works: Employee training helps build the number of top talents in the company, and as such gets work done swiftly and efficiently. 

How to Implement: 

  1. Organize workshops and seminars
  2. Recommend online courses or other learning and development resources for your employees. You can also set a learning milestone to measure each person’s progress
  3. Encourage employees to pursue certifications and further education
  4. Offer job rotation programs to expose employees to different roles
  5. Link and incentive to the learning objective in order to boost morale

92% of workers think workplace training positively impacts their job engagement - Axonify 

9. Offer Constructive Feedback

Problem: Without feedback, employees may not know how to improve.

Why it works: Feedback helps employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement.

How to Implement:

  1. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings for feedback
  2. Use the "sandwich method" – positive feedback, constructive criticism, positive feedback
  3. Provide written feedback summaries after meetings
  4. Encourage peer feedback through 360-degree reviews

10. Provide Up-to-date Technology Solutions

The Problem: Insufficient resources hinder task completion and efficiency.

Why it works: Ensure that your organization has the right tools. These should assist your employees in working faster, smoothly, and efficiently. 

How to Implement: 

  1. Regularly assess and upgrade tools and technology to ensure a well-stocked and organized work environment
  2. Keep an eye out for updated technological solutions that match the company’s needs
  3. Implement resource management software to track needs
  4. Provide training on the effective use of new tools and technologies

11. Implement Performance Management Systems

Problem: Inconsistent performance tracking can result in overlooked issues.

Why it works: These systems provide data-driven insights for performance improvement.

How Implement:

  1. Use tools like Intelogos for tracking and analyzing performance metrics
  2. Regularly review system data to make informed decisions
  3. Set up dashboards for real-time performance tracking
  4. Integrate performance management software with existing HR systems

12. Encourage Employee Engagement

Problem: Disengaged employees are less productive and more likely to leave.

Why it works: Employee engagement Boosts motivation, commitment, and performance, driving overall organizational success and employee well-being.

How to Implement:

  1. Conduct surveys to gauge engagement levels and gather feedback
  2. Organize team-building activities and social events
  3. Create opportunities for employees to contribute to decision-making
  4. Promote a healthy work-life balance with flexible scheduling option

13. Promote Work-Life Balance

Problem: Poor work-life balance can lead to burnout and decreased performance.

Why it works: Balanced employees are less stressed are comparatively motivated.

How to Implement:

  1. Offer flexible working hours and remote work options
  2. Encourage taking regular breaks and vacations
  3. Provide wellness programs, such as gym memberships or mental health support
  4. Foster a culture that respects personal time and discourages after-hours work

14. Create a Positive Company Culture

The Problem: Negative company culture leads to low employee morale, high turnover rates, and decreased productivity.

Why it works: Enhancing a positive culture in the workplace helps create a conducive and engaging environment for your employees. A place where they can work steadfastly according to the company’s goal, improving the overall wellness and morale of your team. 

How to Implement: 

  1. Offeri a competitive salary that aligns/exceeds their worth
  2. Consider health and wellness programs plus a flexible work arrangement
  3. Encourage teamwork and collaboration between departments and colleagues;
  4. Respect each employee's boundaries and encouraging them to take breaks when necessary
  5. Ensure the workspace is clean, tidy, appropriately furnished, and adequately spacious
  6. Encourage social interactions to create a fun and more enjoyable work environment

How to Measure Employee Performance

After implementing employee performance improvement strategies, you must validate the results.

You’ll need to track their quality of work, speed, ability to meet deadlines, communication skills, and more to be able to identify areas for further improvement. 

Here are the following ways to measure an employee's performance:

1. Set Performance Metrics

Performance Metrics offer an objective view of the performance level of the employee against the company’s aim. 

Once the goal is determined, you can identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are the quantifiable metrics that are relevant to a specific role or task. 

For example, the number of lead sales generated within the last quarter, the increase in client rating in July, etc. 

These KPIs can allow managers to effectively collect data. It also tracks each employee's progress towards achieving the tasks. 

A 9-Box Grid method can also be used to measure an employee's current performance level and their potential future progression. It is usually between a (high, medium, or low) performer and a (high, medium, or low) potential. 

2. Surveys

Surveys can be used to identify areas of improvement, request feedback on workload and deadline, attain employee’s perception of the company’s practices, recognize skill gaps and training needs, and more.  

However, your employees may feel reluctant to provide an honest review. This may be because of the fear of being dismissed or reprimanded. To avoid this, ensure confidentiality and anonymity.

3. Perform Weekly/Monthly Analysis 

To understand how to measure employee performance with periodic analysis, you’ll need to identify key points/areas that reflect progression to the company’s objective.

For example, a weekly analysis of sales figures can be used to identify top performers. Likewise, a monthly report can be done to track the completion of milestones. 

This strategy particularly accurate when used in combination with other methods. It can also be used to discover areas that need change or employees that require more training.

4. Use the Direct Managers' Feedback 

Direct manager feedback is accurate since managers have a close-up view of the employee's work traits and skill set. 

A manager's constructive feedback highlights the employee’s performance at work and identifies areas where the employee faces challenges, and further training is required. 

This method may not be suitable for all employees, especially in a large company sector as it will be time-consuming. Also, there may be a risk of bias or influence from interpersonal relationships. 

For better results, you can incorporate a 360-degree feedback system. Here, feedback may be obtained from other colleagues and leaders. 

5. Use The Employee Performance Monitoring Tool

You can use Employee Performance Monitoring tools to track your employee's usual activities at work like computer activity, keystrokes, usage of time, work rate, etc.

It’s also a non-invasive way to supervise remote employees. It ensures that they are logged in and actively working during designated hours. 

With software like Intelogos, you can identify top and low performers with ease. It highlights the strengths and weaknesses of your employees based on AI-driven data. Plus, it offers effective recommendations that can boost the company’s productivity. 

How to Tell That You Suceeded to Improve Employee Performance

You can tell that you’ve improved your employee performance when:

  1. Employee turnover rates decrease
  2. Sales targets or goals are consistently met
  3. Customer satisfaction ratings are on the rise
  4. Collaboration and teamwork become the norm
  5. Things are done before you even request it
  6. Workers are looking up to you for more tasks
  7. Positive feedback from surveys, performance reviews, and more.

There’s no one-way solution to improving employee performance. If you’re looking at how to improve employee performance, you can implement the 14 strategies highlighted above.