Employee performance is one of the key aspects of running a profitable and successful business. It enables you to achieve more with less, lowers operational costs, and fosters a positive work environment in the company. But optimal team performance does not happen on its own as employees need encouragement and motivation to give their best. It requires a contribution by leaders and managers as they spearhead teams and drive them ahead in their respective roles.
But most leaders fail to recognize their role in pushing the teams to reach the next level with their performance. The good thing is that driving your team toward its goals is easier than you imagine. You only need to play your role well and ensure that your team followers your directions. An empathic approach does the rest because people perform far better when you connect with them at a personal level. Here are a few tried and tested strategies successful leaders swear by.
Establish clear objectives
As a business leader, you need to do more than manage the overall strategy and operations of your organization. You must establish clear objectives for every unit and team so that employees have a clear picture of expectations. Statistics indicate that not knowing expectations is one of the main reasons for efficiency gaps. Create realistic goals, timelines, and milestones for people, and communicate them effectively to everyone on board. The strategy exerts subtle pressure on employees as they do their best to fulfill the objectives and expectations.
Align objectives across the company
Aligning objectives across your company is the key to improving performance, productivity, and efficiency for individuals and teams. Failing to do it elevates the risk of employees rowing in opposite directions, which does more harm than good to your business. Also, ensure everyone knows what the others are doing so that there is no replication of work as it leads to wastage. Keeping all employees on the same page also prevents a conflict in the long run. If company goals change down the line, ensuring buy-in is a part of your role as a business leader.
Invest in employee development
Employee development is one of the significant aspects of the leadership role. Successful managers and leaders keep an eye on their teams and identify skill gaps sooner than later. Expanding your team to address these gaps is not a feasible approach, but you can fill them by investing in employee development. Consider your budget and timeline to create viable training programs to enhance employee performance. The benefits of ongoing development initiatives extend beyond productivity and performance. They also enhance engagement, boost loyalty, and empower your company with retention.
Build networks rather than hierarchies
Hierarchies are outdated as no employee wants to be over-managed and under-led. Great leaders skip the top-down hierarchical approach and focus on building robust internal networks in their companies. In fact, collaboration is the mainstay of corporate success in the new normal. You can derive immense benefits by creating cross-functional teams for implementing new initiatives. These include higher productivity of employees and teams, greater accountability, and innovative elements of creativity. Good networking also strengthens the bond between managers and team members, and it goes a long way toward enhancing performance.
Implement 1-on-1 meetings
While business leaders may not meet every employee on board, they can implement a system for 1-on-1 meetings between managers and team members. In-person interactions take managers a long way in managing employee performance as they get a view of individual obstacles. Knowing the challenges that impede progress can help you address them before they become big problems. The sooner you resolve concerns, the fewer performance lags you deal with. Everything boils down to clear communication with your team members. As a leader, you must remember that no issue is insignificant, and every voice should be heard.
Successful business leaders go the extra mile with performance management by leveraging data and analytics. They utilize data-driven insights to eliminate guesswork from the process and use facts and figures to fine-tune people’s performance effectively. Thankfully, there are several data tools that empower organizations with valuable insights from raw data on employee activities. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make for your team. Another benefit of using data for performance management is that it curbs bias in the process.
Recognize good work
Acknowledging good work and rewarding the employees who perform well is also an effective leadership strategy. It can help an organization achieve its productivity and efficiency expectations. Moreover, employees go the extra mile with the motivation that comes inherently with rewards. Even other team members give their best because they want to get the same incentives by completing tasks on time and with efficiency. Think of a creative employee recognition program that ensures employee satisfaction without breaking the bank. Making them a part of your corporate culture strengthens your employer’s brand and enhances retention rates.
Take a continuous approach
Continuous Performance Management (CPM) entails following up on employees on an ongoing basis instead of annual or biannual appraisals. Business leaders embracing this approach are more likely to get more from their team members by suggesting real-time improvements. The good thing is that CPM does not have to be time-intensive. You can get weekly reports from managers and review them to pinpoint gaps and address them with quick solutions like training and education. Consistency is the key as you cannot let loose ends cause major problems in the long run.
A high-performing team can take your business on the road to success, so you must do your bit to build it. The top tier has a key role to play in this context because it has the power and position to control the processes at the grassroots. Business leaders should not blame time constraints for missing out on this front as performance management deserves all the attention you can give. Moreover, it need not be a taxing task as you can follow these simple steps to achieve performance goals and go beyond.
About the Author
Lizzie is a professional content writer and has been working with Outreach monks for the past three years. Lizzie loves to share her knowledge of the tech and business sector in a unique way that makes reading enjoyable for her readers. Other than typing, she loves playing the piano.