Is Your Workforce Performance Faltering? How to Turn it Around

September 16th, 2013

Is your organization suffering from performance failure? Think about your favorite TV medical drama. The patient’s heart monitor shows a faltering pattern, which rapidly deteriorates into cardiac arrest unless the surgical team takes effective action.

To avoid the need for CPR to avoid a performance flat line, it’s critical to make your employees feel that they’re part of something important and that their contributions are appreciated.

Much like you want to feel when you go to work each day.                                               

Know the Issues

Why is performance faltering? Chances are, you can draw a direct correlation to recent organizational or operational changes and related feelings of insecurity, fear or disillusionment. But you won’t know for sure unless you ask.

  • Conduct a survey. Ask your employees about their level of job satisfaction, their supervisor, top leadership, and the company as a whole. Encourage comments so you can more clearly identify problem areas.
  • Communicate survey results. Go a step further by holding focus groups to dig deeper and then involving employees in formulating solutions.

The Power of Ownership

Your survey is a great first step to enhance employees’ sense of ownership in your organization. Continue the momentum by:

  • Turing individuals into teams. After getting their opinions, encourage employee involvement in developing plans, goals, priorities and performance measures. Assemble teams of workers from different departments and have them focus on specific challenges. Teams elect their own leaders, define their own roles, and report back to management with their suggestions.

Recognize and Reward

One of the leading complaints of employees across all industries is a feeling that their work is not appreciated. Recognition doesn’t have to be expensive, yet it works wonders in terms of morale and ultimately, productivity.

  • Practice equal opportunity recognition. It’s easy – and absolutely right – to praise your superstar performers. But don’t overlook the average worker who may never reach that level. He or she is the backbone of your organization. Recognition can be something as simple as a verbal “thank you,” free coffee in the cafeteria, or the chance to leave early on a Friday.

Growth and Advancement, Variety and Balance

In another study, 67 percent of workers said they would stay at a company where they had the right work/life balance. Job growth, career advancement and variety during the workday also ranked high.

  • Meet individual needs. Whether an employee wants to move up the company job ladder or is content to stay on their current rung, it’s essential to provide robust training, orientation and mentorship.
  • Cross train and rotate tasks. Boredom on the job can siphon away enthusiasm and lead to mediocrity or in worse cases, dissatisfaction, flight risk or injury. Rotating tasks is beneficial for workers and gives your organization a better-rounded team.
  • Remember, employees have a life, too. One more “survey says” comment: Workers noted that they would “give up chocolate, shopping and their smartphone” in exchange for the option to work from home. This sounds amusing, but it’s a very real indication of the need for ongoing work/life balance. Be as creative as possible in implementing telecommuting, job sharing and flexible time options.

It all boils down to a simple yet powerful premise: People like to work for companies that care. So, be that company.

For further guidance on developing your workforce and its productivity, contact the experts at Select Group, Inc. today!

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