New Approach to Improving Staff Performance
20 December 2013 at 10:20 am
Help staff to be proud of their job and more committed to their workplace by improving employee engagement, writes consultant Ruth Knight.
If employees are unhappy, careless, lethargic, in conflict or have poor communication, they could be costing an organisation thousands of dollars in missed deadlines, poor outcomes and customer service. To help staff become productive, efficient and motivated at work, they may need more engagement.
Employee engagement has been linked to improved performance and staff retention, with research suggesting improving engagement can boost productivity by up by 21 per cent, and decrease safety incidents by 48 per cent and absenteeism by 37 per cent.
That’s because engaged employees have their hearts and minds aligned with both the job that they do and the organisation that they work for.
They are proud of their job and are committed to making it and the organisation successful. Engaged staff are known to be more energetic, creative, innovative and committed to their work and organisation. Most importantly, engaged employees get on with the job, so that managers can concentrate on building and growing the organisation.
If finding ways to engage staff is important to and organisation, there are many strategies that can be effective. One such strategy is to develop a performance management policy and procedure. Performance management is one of the key ways of engaging and motivating staff, even though many managers find it challenging to implement.
Blessing White’s study Employee Engagement Report Research Update 2013 surveyed over 7,000 individuals from around the world and asked them, “What would most improve your performance?” .
The answers that Australian employees most selected were “development opportunities and training”, “more resources” and “regular, specific feedback about how I’m doing”.
The report states that this indicates managers can increase engagement by recognising employees’ attitude, effort, and results, and aligning long-term employee aspirations with the organisation’s talent needs of tomorrow.
To do this, organisations need to have an effective performance management process that gives employees timely and constructive feedback, asks for their opinions and ideas, and asks each employee to think about and develop strategies to improve their performance.
A new book written by Dr Tim Baker called The End of the Performance Review suggests that organisations try a new approach called the “Five Conversations Framework”.
He suggests that rather than an annual performance review, managers prioritise a regular conversation with their employees every month about one of five topics: climate, strengths and talents, opportunities for growth, learning and development, and innovation and continuous improvement.
These conversations are basically a series of mini-appraisals that help a manager and employee have an ongoing discussion about strengths, achievements, goals and aspirations.
It can help managers develop a performance management process that motivates staff to be engaged and committed to the success of the organisation.
About the Author: Ruth Knight is a trainer, consultant and business advisor. She is director of Zark Consultancy helping organisations develop their organisational and workforce performance.