Employee performance is a huge factor that influences the growth of an organization. If the employees are unmotivated and underperforming, it will soon reflect in the company's overall functioning.

After all, employees are the biggest asset of an organization.

Companies that focus on employee performance more than anything else have seen tremendous changes in the levels of output they receive.

If you are struggling with low employee performance, keep reading to learn more about the 11 best strategies to improve employee performance.

What Is Employee Performance?

Employee performance is a critical metric used to gauge an employee's ability to meet objectives and complete tasks within a specified timeframe. The quality and punctuality of their work determine whether employees are considered high or low performers.

Why Is Employee Performance So Important?

Every organization has a vision, mission, and set of objectives it wishes to achieve.

If employee performance is not at par with the expectations of the organization, it can lead to missing important deadlines and the inability to complete projects on time. This in turn could affect profits, and possibly have an adverse effect on the brand's image, that may bring down the morale of the entire workforce. 

Employee performance is essential for the overall health of an organization for several reasons:

  • Helps Establish Team Trends: Understanding performance patterns within teams can highlight strengths and pinpoint areas needing improvement.
  • Creates a Productive and Positive Work Environment: High performance fosters a positive atmosphere that can increase job satisfaction and motivation among team members.
  • Excellent Way to Measure the Growth of Employees: Regular assessments of employee performance help track progress and identify opportunities for professional development.
  • Makes Achieving Company Goals Easier: A workforce performing at its best is instrumental in pushing the company towards its strategic objectives efficiently and effectively.

Key Performance Metrics to Measure

Measuring employee performance should begin by first identifying a few key performance metrics that will help you evaluate and measure how effectively your employees are working to achieve their goals.

Here are a few metrics you can take note of, to more or less have a fair assumption of how well your employees are performing, as there is no such right way to measure performance.

Examples of Performance Measurement Metrics
  1. Levels of Engagement - The more engaged an employee is, the more likely are they to perform better.
  2. Work Efficiency - The amount of work an employee can do in a given amount of time.
  3. Absenteeism - A high absenteeism rate could signal a number of problems like low motivation or poor engagement. A low absenteeism rate however, says more about an employee - they're more happy at work and are motivated. All these are underlying factors that contribute to an employees' performance.
  4. Time Management - Employees with good time management skills can get things done quickly and meet their goals on time.
  5. Teamwork - An effective team player communicates well, collaborated effectively, and commits to achieving team goals. These are all signs of a high-performer.
  6. Quality of Work - The quality of work can be measures by its correctness, usefulness, and by accurate it is. Some of the key attributes of quality work are attention to detail, adherence to regulations, and customer satisfaction.

Once you've determined what you want to set as performance metrics, you can proceed to a few performance evaluation methods of your choice.

Here's some of the main ones you can use.

1. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs): Set clear goals and key metrics to track progress. Regularly review OKRs to ensure they remain aligned with business objectives. This method clarifies roles, enhances accountability, and promotes collaboration.

2. Skill Gap Analysis: Assess your team's current skills against required competencies and identify gaps using skill assessments and performance reviews. Develop targeted training programs to bridge these gaps and align workforce capabilities with organizational goals.

3. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): Measure employee satisfaction and loyalty by asking how likely they are to recommend their workplace to others. Analyze eNPS to gauge internal morale and engagement, and identify areas needing improvement.

eNPS concept

4. Feedback from Customers and Co-Workers: Collect anonymous feedback from clients and peers to get a comprehensive view of an employee’s performance. This approach helps pinpoint strengths and improvement areas, supporting transparent evaluations.

5. 9-Box Grid: Place employees on a grid based on their current performance and potential for growth. This tool helps identify high performers, those excelling in current roles, and those needing development, aiding in succession planning and leadership training.

6. 360 Performance Reviews: Gather feedback from multiple sources around the employee for a holistic view of their strengths, weaknesses, and leadership qualities. This method provides a well-rounded perspective on performance and areas for growth.

360-Performance Review Concept.

How to Improve Employee Performance: Step-By-Step

Improving employee performance is not just about identifying areas for improvement but also about actively engaging with your team to boost productivity and satisfaction.

Here’s a detailed step-by-step method to effectively enhance employee performance in your organization.

Step 1: Define Performance Standards and Expectations

Start by clearly defining what successful performance looks like for each role within your organization.

Create goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) for all your employees.

SMART Goals concept

As managers, in terms of performance - you can plan and communicate a few performance goals to your employees.

Communicate these standards and goals to your employees clearly and effectively. Ensure each team member understands their individual objectives and how these contribute to the organization's overall goals.

Step 2: Provide Necessary Tools and Resources

Assess and ensure that all employees have the necessary tools, technology, and resources to perform their tasks efficiently. This might involve upgrading software, providing access to new tools, or simplifying processes that hinder productivity.

Step 3: Conduct Skills Assessment

Perform a skills assessment for each employee to identify any gaps between their current capabilities and the skills required to achieve their goals. This assessment will guide your training and development plans.

Step 4: Develop and Implement Training Programs

Based on the skills gap analysis, develop targeted training programs to address deficiencies. These programs should be designed to help employees enhance their skills and competencies in a way that aligns with their roles.

Step 5: Schedule Regular Feedback Sessions

Implement a regular schedule of feedback that includes both formal reviews and informal check-ins. Use these sessions to discuss performance, provide constructive criticism, celebrate achievements, and adjust goals as necessary.

Step 6: Monitor and Evaluate Progress

Regularly monitor the progress of each employee against their set goals and the training they have received.

Use performance metrics like the ones we discussed earlier to evaluate performance, measure progress, and identify any ongoing issues or additional support needed.

Step 7: Review and Refine Performance Strategies

Continuously review the effectiveness of your performance improvement strategies and make adjustments based on employee feedback, new business goals, or changes in the market environment. This ongoing review will help you maintain a flexible and adaptive approach to employee performance management.

Additional Step: Recognize and Reward Achievements

Develop a recognition and rewards system to acknowledge and celebrate employees who meet or exceed their performance targets. This could include bonuses, public recognition, career advancement opportunities, or other incentives.

By following these steps, you provide a structured approach to enhancing employee performance that not only clarifies expectations but also actively supports your team in achieving their best work. This process not only boosts productivity but also enhances employee engagement and retention.

11 Other Ways to Skyrocket Employee Performance

Every organization is unique, just like its workforce. However, one common challenge that unites all managers across industries and sectors is addressing poor employee performance. Here's a strategy that can significantly enhance your organization's performance.

#1 Implement a Mentorship Program

Consider starting a mentorship program. Such a program pairs experienced professionals with less experienced ones, fostering professional growth.

Mentors support mentees in solving problems and acquiring new skills, which can boost job satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Through regular chats and feedback, mentees can identify their strengths and areas for improvement, while mentors benefit from honing their coaching skills.

This collaboration enhances individual performance and also strengthens company camaraderie and teamwork. The program can be tailored by matching mentors and mentees based on their shared goals and interests, ensuring relevant and impactful learning experiences.

#2 Utilize Performance Management Tools

Performance management tools are invaluable in streamlining the goal-setting process, tracking progress, and facilitating feedback. These tools help managers set clear goals, measure achievements, and gather input from all involved parties during performance reviews, giving an all around picture of an individual's strengths and areas of improvement.

Overview of 360 Performance Review

Using these tools allows managers to thoroughly analyze their employees' performance data and make data-driven personal development plans.

Furthermore, the data generated by these tools can inform strategic decisions and resource allocation, highlighting the transparency and accountability of your performance management process.

Regular training and support can maximize the benefits of these tools for both employees and the organization, helping to drive overall success.

#3 Promote Health and Wellness Initiatives

Prioritizing employee well-being is crucial. Supporting health and wellness significantly enhances organizational culture and performance.

Initiatives such as mental health support, work-life balance programs, and general wellness efforts contribute substantially. Encouraging healthy habits and effective stress management helps employees thrive.

Offering benefits like gym memberships, therapy sessions, and relaxation programs demonstrates your commitment to employee wellness.

Implementing flexible work arrangements or work-from-home options can reduce burnout and increase productivity. Furthermore, wellness programs not only boost employee confidence and satisfaction but also improve retention rates. Consider using awards to motivate participation in these programs.

Overall, promoting wellness directly contributes to enhanced employee performance, higher job satisfaction, and greater success for the company.

#4 Facilitate Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Encouraging employees to acknowledge each other’s efforts is a powerful way to strengthen team bonds and collaboration. Recognizing hardworking colleagues not only motivates the entire team but also enhances the workplace atmosphere.

Peer recognition is often seen as more authentic and meaningful compared to top-down accolades.

Implementing a systematic peer recognition program can ensure fairness, standardization, and accessibility. Furthermore, sharing team members' achievements during meetings or on digital platforms promotes a culture of gratitude and continual feedback, fostering an environment where employees feel valued and motivated.

By celebrating each other's successes, peer recognition naturally boosts collaboration and contributes to enhanced organizational performance.

#5 Provide Opportunities for Creative Expression

Encouraging creative expression in the workplace can significantly enhance problem-solving capabilities, drive innovation, and boost employee engagement. Creative employees bring a wealth of new ideas and approaches to the table. Initiatives like design thinking workshops, brainstorming sessions, and innovation challenges can motivate your staff by providing the freedom to explore and create.

Work environments that promote experimentation and risk-taking are crucial for fostering creativity. Leveraging employees' unique skills enables organizations to stay competitive and adapt effectively to changing market conditions.

#6 Implement Flexible Work Arrangements

Offering your employees flexibility in work arrangements, helps them balance their work and personal life effectively. This flexibility leads to improved productivity, happiness, and job satisfaction.

Employees highly value the ability to manage their hours and feel secure in their roles.

Moreover, flexible schedules allow for better professional and personal management, reducing stress and enhancing overall health.

Additionally, flexible work options are crucial in helping companies attract and retain talent. These practices can also make the workplace more diverse and welcoming by accommodating different lifestyles and preferences.

Ultimately, adopting flexible work arrangements demonstrates your organization's commitment to valuing employee satisfaction and performance.

#7 Encourage Continuing Education

Encouraging continuing education shows your team that you value their professional development. By facilitating access to courses and certifications related to their careers, employees can enhance their skills and stay ahead in their fields. Investing in employee growth prepares your staff for industry changes and contributes to the overall improvement of the company.

By prioritizing ongoing education, your organization builds a skilled and adaptable workforce ready to innovate and perform effectively.

#8 Conduct Stay Interviews

Conducting stay interviews allows managers to understand their employees' motivations, challenges, and aspirations.

Unlike exit interviews, stay interviews proactively address issues before employees decide to leave. These discussions provide valuable feedback on job satisfaction, workplace environment, and opportunities for growth, enabling companies to make necessary improvements.

Additionally, these interviews illuminate the reasons employees choose to remain with the company and help align individual goals with the organization’s objectives, thereby increasing engagement.

Overall, stay interviews demonstrate a commitment to effective talent management and retention, which may not seem like much, but contributes highly to employee performance.

#9 Establish Performance Improvement Plans

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are structured approaches to address performance concerns and maximize employee potential. These plans typically outline specific goals, expected outcomes, and timelines. By being transparent about performance issues and providing necessary resources, companies demonstrate their commitment to helping employees thrive.

Implementing PIPs shows that you are invested in helping your team members resolve issues and advance professionally. Regular check-ins and feedback during the PIP process allow managers to offer targeted advice and support.

PIPs facilitate straightforward discussions about performance issues, reducing potential conflicts and enhancing workplace relations. Effective PIPs boost confidence, foster skill development, and improve overall job performance.

Moreover, PIPs hold employees accountable and promote continuous improvement within the workplace, reflecting a proactive approach to talent management and performance enhancement.

#10 Celebrate Milestones and Achievements

Celebrating individual and team achievements is crucial for boosting morale, inspiration, and overall organizational success. Acknowledging positive behaviors and outcomes—whether it's meeting sales targets, completing projects ahead of schedule, or achieving personal milestones—increases the likelihood of these successes recurring.

Celebrating milestones enhances team bonding and makes employees feel appreciated and valued, which in turn strengthens their loyalty to the company. Participating in these celebrations shows that you value their contributions, promoting a healthy sense of competition and teamwork.

Moreover, celebrations provide a moment for everyone to reflect on their achievements and set new goals. Establishing a culture of recognition leads to happier, more engaged, and more productive employees.

#11 Training and Development Initiatives

Training and development programs equip employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to excel in their roles and advance their careers. These initiatives can range from workshops and seminars to online courses and on-the-job training.

These programs not only make employees happier and more engaged by supporting their professional growth but also foster continuous learning, which enhances creativity and adaptability in a rapidly evolving work environment. Programs that align with both corporate and individual goals tend to be more effective.

Additionally, opportunities for mentoring and cross-departmental learning enhance corporate collaboration and knowledge sharing. Overall, training and development initiatives not only improve employee skills but also make the company more competitive and benefit the entire workforce.

How ThriveSparrow Can Be a Solution

In the quest to enhance organizational performance, having a robust tool that streamlines and strengthens various performance management strategies is crucial.

ThriveSparrow can serve as a solution to improving your employees' performance the data-driven way.

Individual Performance Review Reports: ThriveSparrow collates feedback from 360-reviews and organizes the responses into an easy-to-visualize reports. It generates reports on various performance metrics to analyze patterns and outcomes.

GAP Analysis: Get a detailed analysis of employee skill gaps explained well on a radar chart.

ThriveSparrow's GAP Analysis

AI-based PDPs: Create personal development plans for multiple employees with ease and instantly with the help of AI, saving you both time and effort.

ThriveSparrow's AI-Based Personal Development Plans

Experience all this in a free trial. Try ThriveSparrow for free today.

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