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employee performanceMany managers find themselves tearing out their hair, trying to figure out how to improve employee performance. They understand that their staff are people with their own quirks and issues and some managers even want to create an environment that their employees will enjoy. Here are ten ways to improve employee performance without resorting to psychological tricks or bribery.

1. Express praise: It might seem obvious, but many managers need a reminder. We expect our employees to do their job well, but that can seem like taking them for granted. After all, not everyone really does do their job well, and it only takes a second to let someone know that you noticed their effort and the quality of their work.

2. Set concrete goals: If an employee doesn’t understand the point of their work, they might feel disinclined to really throw themselves into it. If you have a vision, you know how this tedious or difficult task fits into the big picture, but they don’t. Letting your staff share in the target helps them to feel important and necessary to a group effort, rather than seeing themselves as a cog in the machine.

3. Educate and train: Many jobs fail to adequately train their employees, especially on an ongoing basis. Sometimes it seems too costly or time-consuming to present an in-depth training program every time something changes, but the payoff will be worth it. In the end, you will see productivity rise because your employees won’t be confused and annoyed but what look like random changes.

4. Have degrees of rewards: For the type of effort and performance that you want to see, create a clear incentive plan. Praise is only the first rung on a ladder of rewards that can have your employees vying with each other to be the best at the job.

5. Have degrees of corrective measures: Although praise is the first step in rewards, criticism is essentially pointless unless properly delivered. ¬†Instead, coaching, shadowing, and extra training are good options if an employee doesn’t seem to be performing well. They might just need some encouragement or a little bit more experience.

6. Lay down clear rules: It can go from something as simple as posting a notice on the board to having a different employee do a presentation each week on some aspect of the regulations. Job expectations are not always as clear as we like to think and sometimes rules are worded in ambiguous ways. Multiple-choice surveys on different scenarios can show what your staff think is the right way to deal with specific situations.

7. Maintain a positive atmosphere: Related to some of the above tips, this one focuses on the general work environment. Praise doesn’t only need to come from the top, but you can also set up a system where employees can contribute to each other’s recognition. This creates a strong feeling of being a team striving for the top, instead of individuals in competition.

8. Observe safety procedures: From keeping your equipment up to date to always having someone working who knows first aid, safety is important in any workplace. Of course, it can make things a little more complicated and incur some extra costs, but just imagine the costs you are saving by not paying out worker’s compensation. Plus the staff’s awareness that their manager cares about their safety will improve loyalty and performance.

9. Keep your door open: Mingle among your staff and really get to know them. This will improve morale, both theirs and yours. If you can create a real sense of trust, then your employees will come to you when something isn’t going right. This will save time and money. If your staff is too afraid to admit a problem to you, then they might spend the whole day or more avoiding the task, putting everything behind schedule.

10. Organize efficiently: Some managers try to save time by cutting corners, but simple tools like KeyRocket’s shortcuts for Microsoft Office will cut down on the amount of time spent on tasks without reducing the quality of output.

You can find out even more about employee improvement through this 10 tips to boost productivity.

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