Employee performance management can be a tough gig. When workplace productivity is down, it’s not always possible to offer incentive-based motivations. But, employee productivity isn’t strictly a financial issue. Believe it or not, a little happiness can go a long way.
According to economists at the University of Warwick, testing in laboratory settings has shown that happy employees are around 12 percent more productive. Want a real world example? Google’s investments in employee support and satisfaction initiatives have seen employee productivity rise by 37 percent.
Even a few minor tweaks to your employee performance management strategy can help boost workplace morale. If your team has been dragging their feet as of late, ask yourself the following questions. With a few honest answers, you may be able to put the pep back in their collective step.
Are You Making Your Expectations Clear?
How chaotic would a football game be if you removed the goal posts and end zones from the field? With no clear direction, these professional players wouldn’t know which way to run. How do you think these highly-skilled athletes would feel, foolishly running around while their coaches yell and wave their arms on the sidelines?
Well, that’s exactly how your employees feel when you don’t communicate your expectations clearly. Remember, clearly defined goals provide direction – and drive workplace productivity.
Are You Providing Ample Feedback?
Regular performance reviews aren’t just a necessary evil; they’re a means of communicating valuable feedback to your employees. But, feedback shouldn’t just be an annual affair. To keep your team on the straight and narrow, and to ensure their actions are aligned with your strategic plan, you have to provide continuous -- and often immediate -- feedback. This ensures that both you and your employee have a clear recollection of the situation you’re discussing, which allows for a more specific and productive meeting of the minds.
Are You Praising And/Or Correcting Their Work?
Everyone likes to feel appreciated and valued, not only by their superiors, but also by their peers. When employees do something right, let them know -- and let them know in front of the entire team. That way, the team can share in the celebration, the employee will feel appreciated, and everyone will be motivated to accomplish even more.
On the flip side, mistakes shouldn’t be up for public discussion. If an employee makes a mistake, correct it privately. Try to create a teachable moment. Let them know you understand why the mistake was made, and offer an actionable solution for future reference.
Do Your Employees Feel Valued By You?
Whether you’re praising employees or helping them learn from past mistakes, it’s important that you always show you care. Valued employees are motivated employees. They don’t want to let you down.
Are You Offering Incentives That Are Both Desirable And Achievable?
In addition to creating a positive, nurturing environment, you can also offer small, motivational incentives throughout the year. This can be as simple as naming an employee of the month, or handing out gift cards for local department stores, restaurants, or coffee shops. It’s the little things that make your team feel appreciated.
If you do choose to go big, remember -- rewards are only motivational if they’re actually achievable. Even a free round-trip to Paris will fail to motivate if everyone knows only a select few will be realistically eligible.
Now ask yourself, how happy and productive are your employees? What can you do to boost morale and employee productivity?