Finding the right people for your business is only the first step. To keep good people and maintain your business productivity, helping improve employee performance should be your next move.

Here are 18 ways to do so.

1. Set SMART goals

Goals allow everyone to strive toward the same thing. But not every goal works. Without clear goals, your staff may move forward in blindness. 

To provide a clear direction, goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. You can create a goal-setting framework and use it to set goals for employees.

2. Prioritize effective communication

Effective communication is one of the best ways to improve work performance because nothing is left unsaid or misunderstood.

What should be included in effective conversations?

  • Problems staff are facing
  • Solutions to the problems
  • What should be changed in the workplace
  • What hinders the workflow
  • Conflicts in the workplace that you’re not aware of

To encourage honest and effective conversations, you need to establish trust and a friendly atmosphere first.

3. Provide the right tools

In this modern time, the right tools can streamline tedious tasks and make staff’s workflow easier, hence improving their efficiency.

Some tools you can consider using for your business:

You can type “your purpose + software/app” anytime and thousands of Google results will show you the solutions to your problems. The rest is more about deciding on the best ones through experimenting.

Tip: If your business runs on shift, (okay, you know this is coming) Camelo provides tools for scheduling shifts, assigning tasks, keeping track of staff time, and communication. Try it out (for free) and see if it works!


4. Provide constructive feedback

Knowing about strengths and weaknesses, as well as what should be worked on, helps improve employee performance. Constructive feedback should be specific and come with actionable tasks, rather than vague comments.

5. Talk about productivity practices

The smallest things your staff do every day can have a huge impact on their productivity and performance.

You can inform and discuss these productivity practices with your staff:

  • Deep work and shallow work
  • Do challenging tasks first and tedious tasks later
  • Best practices for enhancing productivity
  • Which workflow is the best and fastest
  • What may distract staff during work hours and how to avoid them

Of course, each person is different. Some may believe in upgrading their practices, others may just say “Eh, I’ll just take it easy.” But these things are worth talking about if you and your staff want to improve performance.

6. Help minimize distractions

We can’t say enough about the negative effects of distractions in this day and age. Whatever industry your business is in, if your staff constantly lose their focus, their performance will surely decrease.

Distractions come in different forms—from social media sites to the sound of coworkers’ chats. Observe and spot distractions, then talk to your employees and together find ways to minimize them.

Although you can’t always talk to your staff about the smallest things, you can suggest ways to limit distractions. Give a list of tools and resources to block online sites, for example.

Adjusting your business activities—such as rearranging meetings and phone calls away from your staff’s most productive time—is also a good way to help.

7. Encourage single-tasking instead of multitasking

Doing multiple tasks at the same time seems productive, but actually, is harmful to performance. Since human brains switch between tasks rather than working on all of them at the same time, your staff may never fully focus on anything even though they seem to.

If the nature of your business allows, you should always encourage single-tasking—doing one thing at a time, fully focused. Multitasking is inevitable sometimes, but it shouldn’t be the main theme in your business.

8. Schedule and encourage breaks

Overworking is not good for anyone. It’s exhausting and stressful, which is the fastest way to get burnout. Taking breaks helps staff gain back their clarity and productivity during and after long shifts.

Although employees can do whatever they want during breaks, you can give them some suggestions on the best activities for breaks:

  • Take a walk around the block
  • Do physical activities: stretches, push-ups, etc.
  • Socialize with colleagues
  • Snack healthily
  • Nap for 15-20 minutes

9. Be clear in assigning tasks

Every staff member should thoroughly understand their tasks and how to complete tasks properly. Every time you assign tasks to your staff, include these pieces of information:

  • Instructions to do the tasks right
  • What tasks should be prioritized
  • Your expectations
  • How you track progress of each task

Some businesses request confirmations that employees have received their task lists. You can do so if your staff often forget their tasks.

10. Allow room for mistakes

Instead of criticizing and blaming someone (the fastest way to drive your staff away from your business), you should allow room for mistakes. No one is perfect and right the whole time.

Think of mistakes as learning opportunities. Encourage people to find out how to avoid those mistakes and how to correct them.

11. Provide snacks and beverages

Snacks and beverages give your staff energy to breeze through the workday. Stock your pantry with healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, veggies, and drinks such as tea and water.

A small act that everyone will appreciate: Ask your staff what types of snacks they like and buy those snacks! This way everyone can have the opportunity to munch on what they enjoy.

12. Organize effective team building activities

Many business owners ignore team building because it seems like a waste of time and many staff don’t participate at all. Does team building really work, after all?

But the right activities can truly get everyone closer together. A close-knit team cooperates more effectively and improves each member’s morale. So, building and strengthening team bonds should be something you do every day.

Some team building activities you can consider organizing at your workplace, including options for remote teams:

10 Quick Team Building Activities to Bring Your Team Closer Together

10 Remote Team Building Activities You Can Try

13. Give staff the autonomy and flexibility to complete tasks

When staff have more control over their tasks, they feel a sense of ownership and responsibility rather than something they have to do for someone else.

The important thing is to find a balance. Too much autonomy can make staff feel lost, while too little creates a sense of being trapped. You should talk to each staff member and decide the level of autonomy that is acceptable for both sides.

14. Improve the workplace

Besides software and tools, you should also focus on improving the infrastructure of your workplace. Some ideas could be:

  • Stock the pantry with healthy snacks and drinks
  • Sofas & sleeping bags
  • Coffee machine & coffee packs
  • Faster internet speed

Depending on your business, you can decide which equipment should be upgraded for supporting staff performance.

15. Recognize and reward employees decently

Acts of recognition show that you appreciate your staff’s contribution. They not only help improve employee performance, but also boost employee morale.

Showing recognition and giving rewards don’t have to be expensive. The simplest and most affordable things can go a long way:

16. Provide training and learning opportunities

Of course, training and learning opportunities are the quickest ways to improve work performance of employees. Depending on your budget and needs, you can offer:

  • Online courses
  • Workshops
  • Hiring coaches and experts
  • Mentoring

Besides training sessions on technical skills, soft skills such as how to use tools, how to stay organized, conflict resolution, effective communication, and beyond, should also be trained.

17. Upgrade your management style

Even though this may sound like improving your performance, how you manage staff can influence their work results. 

To deal with different situations and help employees reach their full potential, you need to adopt different management styles depending on each situation.

For example, you can be a supportive leader when your team member is down, or a firm one when your team member starts to behave irrationally.

18. Conduct performance reviews periodically

Periodic performance reviews are perfect times to exchange ideas and perspectives on how to improve employee performance. To conduct effective review sessions, you can:

  • Give constructive feedback
  • Reset or adjust goals
  • Create or adjust personalized development plans
  • Discuss challenges and how staff can improve their work performance
  • Discuss what you can do to support staff

Related Posts:

340 Performance Appraisal Phrases For Effective Employee Performance Reviews

Performance Review Examples That All Managers Should Refer to

6 Performance Review Tips for Managers

Be ready to improve employee work performance

Employee performance directly impacts your business performance. To improve the work performance of each employee, gradually implement the above tips in your business and see what works best.

What if you notice someone’s performance doesn’t match your expectations lately? Check out our tips on how to deal with employee poor performance.

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