No matter what industry you operate in, what political or socio-economic leaning you have, or what resources you possess; employee performance is crucial. For any business, employee performance always has been and always will be the undeniable key to success. Employees who are performing at a higher and more productive rate will create a business with a naturally higher capacity. For a business to operate seamlessly in this way, every single employee must work towards the business’ mission and goal.

Although this is a personal matter, which will vary and differ from employee to employee; it rests on the organisation’s shoulders to cultivate, motivate, and drive these actions in each of their employees individually. No matter which industry your company operates in, the equation is the same. A business’ culture plus its employee’s engagement will equate to overall employee performance. However, studies have shown that an overwhelming majority of personnel often do not connect strongly with their corporation's philosophy or its mission. So, businesses ought to discover methods to boost worker engagement, in order to keep employee performance at an acceptable rate. 6 major influencers on overall employee performance are:

  • Overall Job Satisfaction
  • Employee Training & Future Prospects of Growth
  • Employee Engagement
  • Individual Goals & Company Expectations
  • Equipment Provided
  • Overall Morale & Company Culture

Unfortunately for the more analytical of us reading this, employees do not operate in a test tube environment. There are more factors contributing to individual employee performance than simply what the business can control. Certain factors such as mood, personal issues, preferences, temperament, and disposition can have a substantial impact on employee accomplishment. And though the employer can mitigate, be aware of, and work around these factors; they cannot control them. In this article, we will analyse the factors that can be directly affected by companies, and what can be done to control them.  Let’s examine the three main factors of employee performance: training and development, employee engagement, and company culture.

1. Training and Development

Now, an important distinction to be aware of is the difference between training and development. Training is the direct emphasis on education necessary for an employee’s role currently. For example, a simulation of new software that they will need to get used to in their current job role. However, development is the education and progression of knowledge and skills in an operative during their tenure in the firm to encourage growth and hopefully contribute to a step up the corporate food chain. In short, training is short term and development is long term. Employee accomplishment will only be as good as the training that they receive from within. Some companies accidentally cap their member's potential because of their limited training investment. Oftentimes, new hires in remote teams feel like they're left to themselves. To fix this, you should touch base through a video call or use employee tracking software to make sure they're on the right track.

2. Individual Employee Engagement

The Workplace Research Foundation conducted a new study that revealed a mere 10% boost in employee engagement caused revenue per employee to increase by at least $2,400 per financial term.

Employee Engagement = Greater Productivity = Better Retention = Higher Profitability.

On the other side of things, there are actively disconnected workers. These company detractors are known to cause a ballpark figure of between $450 billion to $550 billion every single year in lost revenue, simply down to this lost productivity. This figure alone should highlight the significance and value of employee engagement. To pin down exactly what employee engagement truly is, and how it can be achieved, let’s break it down even further into four simple subtopics:

  1. Clarify Goals
  2. Providing Correct Equipment
  3. Listening
  4. Gratitude

I. Clarify Goals

The greatest mistake a firm can make is to simply treat their personnel as income generating machines. Every employee is unique and must have separate and individually tailored objectives set out and plans of ways to accomplish said targets. A target without a strategy to achieve it is fruitless, and a corporation should not expect their personnel to lay all the groundwork for the firm’s success. In laying out this groundwork it is important to keep the following potential employee queries in mind:

  • What is my goal?
  • What is the conclusion expected by my company?
  • What does my manager think about my work?
  • Will I be compensated if I excel in my role?
  • How can I grow and develop in this company?

II. Providing Correct Equipment

It is crucial to equip your employees correctly, if you do not do so, they will simply be unable to succeed. If you send a knight into a jousting match with no lance, they will have no chance at defeating their opponent. The same principle applies in the business world. An employee without the correct tools with have no chance to even attempt at productivity. Whether it is knowledge, equipment, training courses, or other pieces of equipment; a business must provide its employees with the necessary tools to complete their day to day tasks if they want them to be productive.

III. Listening

People who feel listened to will always be happier, and happier employees will always produce better quality work more productively. Think about a person in your life that talks all the time and never listens; they most likely do not create an atmosphere where you feel heard. Employees who feel listened to are more likely to produce better work. Listening promotes equality in the workplace, as well as encouraging a steady flow and exchange of ideas in the office. Good leaders promote 2-way street communication, and steer away from the ‘top-down’ dictatorial approach. It shows mutual respect and appreciation between the firm and its workers.

IV. Gratitude

Our last key to unlocking worker engagement is almost too simple to be true. A simple ‘thank you’, ‘you are doing really well at ‘x’’, or a nod of encouragement during a presentation does more than you will ever realise; thus, employee awards recognition is an integral part of encouragement and motivation boost. An appreciated member of staff is more likely to be committed to business culture, boost morale in other workers, and push productivity in the people around them. As I have mentioned earlier, happy workers are productive workers.

3. Company Culture

Employee engagement cannot simply be pulled out of thin air, and it certainly does not happen all of a sudden; a firm must build their business culture around an emphasis on ‘people over profits’, employee value, and common culture. The business should then continue to drive this ‘strong culture’ as it operates. You might be wondering how company culture directly affects employee performance. Companies that have solid cultures have seen their direct revenue become four times as high as companies who do not.  

Employee performance is a beast of a subject to wrap your head around and is ever-changing. Employees are a living organism, and the lifeblood of a business. Humans are unpredictable, and employee productivity is certainly not a test tube subject. Company culture, fellow employees, individual life, specific managers, and personal mental health are just a few of the factors which may affect employee happiness and in turn operative productivity. 21st century businesses must take active steps in their day-to-day operation to supervise and scutinize employee happiness and productivity. Hopefully, the aforementioned tips and tricks will allow you to better shape your business around the needs of its vital members.

George J. Newton
Business Development Manager
Academic Brits
George J. Newton is an online article writer and business development manager for Academic Brits. He loves writing about the latest business and technology trends

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How to Improve Employee Performance, Happiness, and Productivity