Thank you for sending us your questions and doubts about how to reach the maximum performance of your employees.
You are aware that the success of the company is extensively based on them – high engagement of employees will boost high business performance. This means high profitability, productivity, customer metrics and other.You are also aware that you have the best quality employees around you.
But there is still an empty space, up to the top level. Why not to reach their highest potential of performance by learning necessary skills?
In order to help you we need to understand what is the high performance and what does it depend on? How to maintain sustained peak performance? As we do not want just to reach the peak and leave…
What high performance people do in any area? Does the same apply to the whole teams? And finally how to transmit the knowledge to your employees?
Here is something on what high performance truly is all about:
Good news is people are not born high performers, but rather made. By exercising these five skills, we can all shine:
- Clarity and focus
- High levels of energy – mental and physical
For more details, there is the book from the same author Brendon Burchard – #1 New York Times Bestselling Author on High performance habits. He is also the founder of the High Performance academy.
How does this match with team performance and how do you as a leader engage more with your personnel? Leaders of today have to diverse away from traditional ways of leading and at the same time keep up themselves more closely to their employees and their perspective.
This is not easy. New approach asks for more intuition, individual approach to employees by earning TRUST. Therefore, there is no single and unique approach to boosting the performance, but rather mixture of multiple possibilities.
Here are seven tricks on how to use some of those parts for your own puzzle image:
1. Remember the Vision, always
From the moment when you were establishing your project or the company, vision was leading you. When you were hiring your first employees, you were transferring to them that same vision. Over time, we forget why are we doing what we are doing? What is the purpose?
The same thing happens to our employees. It is constant work for you as a leader and manager to see the bigger picture and understand how our work of today is making our tomorrow and tomorrow of other people better.
The employees have to know and see for themselves the larger goals of the organization, project or company. They are inspired when they know the value of their work beyond their salary.
The great example of this is Swedish home furniture and accessories company – IKEA. In 1995, the IKEA team realized that one of the furniture producers was not following the core beliefs of the organization by exploiting the child labor. They took action and even collaborated with UNICEF in a project that prevents child labor, serving around 500 villages in India only.
2. Use your communication skills
Yes, communicate: the vision, the goals, the expectations in the most effective, meaningful and transparent way possible.
Employees need to be motivated. In order to do that, the leader has to be skilled communicator for transferring that knowledge and motivation.
This means you are almost obliged to update your employees on the progress you have made together, share the numbers, share the results.
This is even more true when those results and numbers are not flattering. It is even more important to share the news during the trying times. People tend to make up stories when they don’t have the correct information. This can be far worse than the real story.
Be honest. Give your employees the clear picture on how their job contributes. Give constant and immediate feedback on the positive and negative achievements. It is important that negative comments are communicated privately with specific corrections on the side, without blame.
The communication should be bilateral. Give them an opportunity to express themselves and their opinions and ideas, without criticism. This can be easily achieved through:
- Suggestion boxes
- Team meetings.
This means you have to be good listener too, not just good teacher. 🙂
3. Ensure high levels of energy – physical and mental
In order to achieve maximum of physical and mental abilities in the workplace, ten environmental design best practices have been suggested. They can impact the quality of work being done:
- Thermal comfort and temperature
- Access to nature, views and daylight
- Sensory change and variability are important in order to keep the workers alert. This is usually achieved by introducing art, graphics, patterns, natural materials etc.
- Noise control
- Crowding may cause stress for some people followed by dissatisfaction with the workplace.
- Human factors and Ergonomics
- Indoor Air quality
- Choise – well designed work spaces can provide a choice of when and how the workers will use them
- Employee engagement.
Aside from the static work environment, the recreation at work can provide satisfying environment by making it healthy, happy and more productive. Many studies have proven better mental performance after regular breaks and exercise.
Recreation is good for the body and for the soul, even at work. This does not have to include expensive gym, but at least coffee break rooms or nearby park for a short break walk. Stimulative environment for meditation, affirmation and culture of avoiding negative self-talk is a plus.
New trends include changing places at the office among colleagues, stand-up desks, even treadmill desks. Water and snacks can boost brain power and should be used regularly.
4. Promote effectiveness, encourage achievements
Is this possible without giving a raise?
Every employee wants to feel good about its organization, work, their managers, products and overall reputation of the company they work for. On the other side employers should know the values of their employees. It is very important for the employees to feel valued and recognized for their efforts. This shows appreciation.
Even simple tip like sending birthday cards or gifts for celebrating their weddings or their babies can make a difference. Employees want to feel valued not only as workers but as human beings as well.
The recognized effort will motivate for extra effort, above and beyond. In some companies this is done in the form of the ’’spot bonuses’’. Many companies give health benefits like free, monthly massages and of course healthy snacks for every meeting. 🙂
There are opinion on the other hand that these extras are not the prime source of inspiration, motivation and performance. They do help, but not as much you may think.
Company should be dedicated of cultivating its culture and work ethics and transferring it to its employees. Non-working activities additionally give their employees the sense of belonging. Company that plays together, stays together. This may include:
- Winter and summer retreats and spas
- Summer parties
- Holiday parties
- Sleep in days
- House cleaning or laundry service.
This is also a great opportunity for the leader to meet his employees better. Not only that you can learn the ’puzzles’ better and in that sense how to assemble them for the success of the ’final image’, but also to motivate them, inspire them and transfer your knowledge and insights overall.
Promote from within – is one of Incorporate Massage’s moto. It sets a good example for other companies to foster advancing their employees’ careers within the company. Professional growth means so much more. The desire for challenge and stretching is what drives people to grow and even perform better.
5.Set team environment
Trust is the key word for teamwork. Employees need to trust to each other as well as to their employers.
There are many ways to stimulate strong team environment and culture including team building events. The employees will interact better, tackle problems together, be more involved, have higher sense of belonging and get along.
Team problem solving is crucial. It is common that managers take over problems and take away the sense of empowerment of their employees. This decreases engagement over time. Delegation the complex work is a good way to achieve this by increasing the ownership of the task.
Maybe you and your team could test your levels of connection and togetherness in this simple, yet unusual team-building exercise – Build a tower, build a team:
It also provides a preview of few important take-home messages for managers.
Try it out!
Another form of collaboration is among senior and junior co-workers in the form of the mentorship. This is useful not only to mentees but also to mentors and the whole organization. It represents positive socialization and job satisfaction among other benefits.
6.Provide culture open to innovation
When people are happy with their work, they are always finding a better way to do it as part of their own incentives. In parallel they are inspired to present company they work for in their own unique way.
Other side of innovation and incentives carries the risk of failure. Many employees would not go into the direction of trying out new ways or approaches just from the fear of punishment in case of failure. Fear is not the best way to manage. Culture of failing should be strongly promoted.
This entails trust and giving ownership to your employees. You are allowing them to make their own chances at the same time trusting that they will decide the best decision possible for the specific project and company in general. The only limits should be the end-results, while monitoring the progress along the way. This was shown to be one of the best ways to inspire performance long-term throughout history.
Even though, managers have used increased responsibility to boost performance, todays mantras support the views that the highest peaks of performance are happening when leaders are fostering their employees professional growth and development. This can be in the form of:
- Books/Literature on how to become better teammate, decision maker etc.
- Networking opportunities
- Performance development forums.
On the other hand, if people keep doing the same work over and over again, may make them feel bored or even burned out. By giving them new responsibilities, you will ensure trust in them, motivate them, teach them something new for everyone’s benefit. Not giving them a chance may be the bigger risk.
Before any changes be sure the right people are at the right positions. They should work on things they are really good at. Changes and flips are reserved as an upgrade of already mastered role.
It is important to know and understand what is your employee passionate about. Even without experience they can grow much faster and more in the new area when genuinely passionate about the work.
Being supportive to your employees does not cost much, but it brings many fruitful positives. By enabling your employees resources for building themselves up in multiple skills can make them more innovative but also more engaged for for their own work. When they elevate their individual value, they will serve the company with even more will.
7. Create Evaluation and Self-evaluation interest
Evaluation is important, but self-evaluation even more. People who are aware of their shortcomings will be more prone to change, progress and improvement. By adopting a culture of constant feedback and analysis allows us to grow. Both short-term and long-term goals can be measured.
As goes with the old saying:
’’What gets measured, gets done!’’
Many of the measuring approaches have pros and cons like Employee Monitoring systems, which tracks your employees emails, phones, logins on social networks. Employees are so much more than data and there are differences in what can and should be measured.
There are many software that can measure employees actual working progress. Just to name few.
But even so it is good to check in personally and talk to the employees directly.
One trick to measure success is to measure its significance. In other words do not focus on working hours but rather on executed tasks and their end results.
Thank you once again for your letter!
We look forward to hearing from you and your results.
Your Teodesk team 🙂