Imagine that illusive mentor character that comes in at the right moment and says that little line, that's kind of cliche, but also totally drives the point across.
It might be your grandma. It might be Dumbledore. Either way. Get their voice in your head.
"A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link."
"Great leaders don't blame the tools they are given. They sharpen them." -Simon Sinek
"The only thing worse than training employees and losing them, is to not train them and keep them." - Zig Ziglar
"Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to." - Richard Brown
Your Business is Only as Good as Your Employees
Unsuccessful businesses undervalue employee abilities. Successful businesses value employee potential. It's kind of insane to not be investing in your employees. They're truly what makes your business what it is.
It starts by recognizing that if someone you hired is underperforming, you can't immediately jump to it being their fault.
Of course, every individual is in charge of their own actions, work ethic, etc. However, even the best worker with the highest potential will wilt away in ineffectual work environments.
Hiring someone awesome and then investing no energy in them or only coming around when they've messed something up, is like buying a houseplant, not watering it, denying it sunlight, and then wondering why it died.
Employee Performance Improves the Second You Give it Sunlight
There're a lot of simple actions you can take as an employer that will almost instantly start improving employee performance.
For starters, take a look at the physical work environment.
- Does your office design correlate with the way you need your employees to be able to work together?
- Are there too many distractions for when employees need to work independently?
Office design has a huge impact on how your employees will engage with one another and view the work that needs to be done. Find the sweet spot for your business and you'll see an employee performance improvement.
Establish Real Purpose
Just like it's important to develop a brand for your customers that creates a sense of purpose, the same goes for your employees.
Employees that feel connected to what they're doing, and know that they're making a difference, are more likely to work harder and be creative.
You can help give employees this sense of purpose by investing in training.
Offering and assigning training tells your employee that you value them enough to want them to be able to do more. Plus, they'll be gaining the skills to actually be better at the job you hired them for.
In terms of improving employee performance, employee training is a double whammy of recognition and skill improvement; both of which give them greater purpose.
If You Love Them, Let Them Grow
Furthermore, it's important to remember that employees are looking for professional development opportunities and career growth. It's a rarity that an employee will want to stay exactly where they're forever. If you help your employees progress, their performance will improve and they'll actually be more likely to stick with you longer.
Measure Employee Performance
As you measure your employee's performance, looking for how to improve and where to give positive reinforcement, remember one thing: Keep it simple.
With your employee, set quantifiable goals and make a plan on how those goals may be accomplished and tracked. Then, track the progress towards the goal. If needed, adjust the plan.
You can always have employee performance reviews as well. These should have a bit of a rubric that both you and your employee would fill out, evaluating their work. Then you can meet and discuss the evaluation and plans for how to improve weak areas.
Whatever you do, make sure your work performance expectations are clear and then provide the support they need to meet those expectations.
Improving employee performance isn't complicated, but it does take effort.