How to Increase Employee Performance

Demon Roller Coaster

Most of us have been there. Coasting in a job where we weren’t really firing on all cylinders. Perhaps it was the task at hand, the manager, or the never-ending avalanche of work. Or perhaps, how you could have improved your work performance was an intangible you never really understood.

However, when you’re the one in the manager’s seat, lackluster employee performance is suddenly something you *need* to understand. Increasing performance becomes your top priority. When you are in charge, unleashing your employees’ potential is critical. How do you achieve this? Consider aligning yourself with like-minded HR services, seek tips online, or outsource to HR consulting professionals such as For more ideas on how to increase workplace performance and productivity, read on.

Motivation and perseverance

What truly motivates your employees? Look for ways to align their passions with the job role. Provide opportunities they will go the extra mile for. Genuine passion is a powerful factor in the corporate world.

Job clarity

This is critical. What does success look like in this role? Provide not only a job description, but a clear list of the weekly outcomes that are expected. These need to be measured to be effective; accountability is often a greater motivator than threats of poor reviews.


This is an important motivator that is assessed in performance evaluations. Interestingly, one of the highest indicators of success in weight loss programs is accountability; that is, the dieter’s knowledge that they will face up to a weigh-in next week by a third party, such as a dietician or Weight Watchers, keeps them adhering to the program.


Outline goals clearly and measure results. Set the bar high and have consequences, even if this is in terms of feedback. Follow through. If an employee continually fails to measure up, dig deeper. Do they have valuable skills in other areas? Rotate mundane tasks or help employees find challenges within them. For example, if faced with writing a seemingly tedious report each week, look at it as an opportunity to perfect grammar, or learn to write succinctly, or to engage readers.

Performance evaluations

The value in measuring a task is in the feedback; this is fundamental to an employee’s motivation. Many workers feel as though they are being sent to the principal’s office when the door closes for a performance review, so moving off-premises can help relax the meeting. Find a quiet coffee shop or book a meeting room. Go prepared. Gather feedback from colleagues and clients so that you may paint a full, detailed picture of the employee’s performance.


If there is criticism to deliver, deliver it in a positive manner. The old “dirt sandwich” is a great device. If there is something unpleasant to communicate, sandwich it between two positive points. For example, Sam, you have an engaging writing style, last month’s report was superb. But, Sam, your desk is messy. It looks unprofessional. Can you clean it by Friday? Thanks. That’s another reason I value you on the team, Sam, you do things without fuss.

Remember, when people commit to a job, they are generally excited about the possibilities on offer. That’s why they accepted the role. Tap into those expectations, help them harness their dreams, and they will deliver their best; which enables you to, as well.

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