Keys to Improving Work Performance

An efficient team can produce great results. Whatever the size of your team, their productivity will determine the success of your business.

Concepts such as productivity, efficiency, performance improvement, management, and profitability have always been very present in the workplace. However, the number of unfilled positions around the country has increased, causing companies to reexamine their processes. Companies are finding they need to improve in numerous areas, be more efficient, and productive with less to maintain or grow competitive advantages. Achieving these objectives is no longer just a desirable goal, but often a must-do.

To be more productive and profitable, companies have had to take a close look at their internal processes to determine what can be done to remove human error, increase customer satisfaction, and provide all the vital information for a project to its team without sacrificing timelines. To do this, more and more teams are relying on technology (such as custom software applications) and automated systems (accounts receivable, payroll, and reporting are all examples of areas that can be automated) to make the most of their team’s limited working hours.

Why is monitoring employee productivity crucial?

Ideally, evaluating performance benefits the organization and the people who work there. One should be looking for opportunities to allow your team members to be more responsive to client needs, spending less time on menial tasks, and focused on delivering the best service possible.

With many offices switching to hybrid work environments, the need to monitor workflows has actually increased, as has the risk of potential consequences for pitfalls. Regular check-ins and audits via performance management software have allowed companies to assess the long term results of their team’s efforts and found opportunities to decrease the time it takes them to achieve goals.

Leaders and managers should work with the team members to determine the causes behind low productivity, operational bottlenecks, and propose solutions based upon the results of their reviews. Workflow inefficiency can lead to various problems that are not only felt by the team members, but passed to the customers. Finding and addressing such problems requires a dedication to operational excellence and honesty up and down the company structure.

Ensure Workplace Productivity with Performance Management

1. Set expectations, early

Since preliminary results do not measure a company’s long term performance, vague or poorly communicated expectations cannot measure an employee’s performance. Setting clear short-term and long-term team goals can help employees stay productive and deliver timely, consistent results.

2. Count tasks, not minutes

Measure the amount of work done by an employee, not the time spent sitting in front of a screen. Some people may take a few hours to complete a task, while others may spread it out throughout the day. The most important factor is the work is completed with respect to the timeline agreed to and up to company standards.

3. Give constructive feedback

Most employees care about how their work is received or interpreted by not only clients, but management. Their time and energy should be valued as they are the largest differentiator for a business. With that in mind, when there is an opportunity to improve performance, giving and receiving specific, actionable, constructive criticism is vital to improving everyone’s outcomes. You should create a culture that encourages everyone to strive for operational excellence, not just task completion.

4. Time tracking

Yes, deadlines still exist and cannot be ignored. Thus, we have to keep a watchful eye over the agreed upon schedule. The goal of timeline management is to develop a deeper understanding of how much time is wasted on tasks that are not vital to the success of the project, but instead distract from it. When we identify areas that can be automated or improved, we are to do so when the following criteria are met:
The Customer will have a better experience
The Team Member can become more efficient
The results of the change are repeatable or consistent

5. Eliminating distractions

There are countless opportunities for procrastination, escapism, and avoidance in our lives. You can never eliminate all of them. However, a great leader finds ways to motivate their team despite these challenges. Ongoing check-ins and conversations to establish what team members are experiencing and finding opportunities to remove roadblocks to achieve goals should be a weekly conversation.

6. Focus on quality

Quality work is rewarded with more opportunity, always. You should be empowering team members to find areas of improvement with every interaction with your clients or processes. The best organizations are ones that have built a meritocracy, whereby the best ideas for the business and individuals they serve wins.

7. Update when needed

The best systems are ones that innovate until the cost of innovation exceeds the perceived reward. Create a system of regular reviews or audits that ensure changes to processes are having the desired effect of eliminating errors and improving service. Encourage team members to be critical of not just the work environment, but themselves as their unique experience is eventually passed onto the customers.

8. Document everything

Have an agreed upon methodology for cataloging results that is followed by all. Benchmarking is crucial to understanding where a company is in relation to its’ goals. Track deliverables and timelines for each task and project to better understand where bottlenecks tend to be within your organization. Consistent reviews and discussions of these metrics make operational obstacles more apparent than waiting for quarterly or annual audits.

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