Is it safe to say that every organization knows that employee performance directly affects success? Still, if you have run into trouble with this aspect of your organization, you wouldn’t be the first to have trouble with employee experience, and you will not be the last! Even when there is low morale and high turnover, understanding how to maximize employee potential might seem equally hazy. However, there are ways to reverse those dynamics. Before attempting to do so however, you must make sure you fully understand why employees are underperforming. Arming yourself with this knowledge is important for ensuring that the solutions you choose can actually address the issue.
It’s like two sides of a shiny, valuable coin. On one side, productivity is the head of the coin. Businesses strive to boost output, meet their unique targets, and achieve measurable results. The focus is placed squarely on driving efficiency, optimizing processes, and achieving high levels of performance. You will find employee engagement on the other side, as the tail. Recognizing how important a motivated and committed workforce is, businesses set their sights on creating a positive work environment, fostering strong relationships, and promoting the overall well-being of their employees. The emphasis lies in cultivating a sense of purpose, providing growth opportunities, and nurturing a supportive workplace culture.
Just like it takes skill for a coin balancer to defy gravity and keep a coin standing tall, it takes a special skill to be able to strike a balance between driving initiatives and raising employee engagement. So, with employee performance being critical to the success of your business – and the challenges of creating a positive employee experience staring in your face – how can you balance the two?
What Is Employee Experience?
Before we get into how an organization can increase employee performance without compromising employee experience, it’s important to understand what employee engagement is and all that it entails. The employee experience is like a precious coin with great value. According to TechTarget, employee experience is, “a worker’s perceptions about his or her journey through all the touchpoints at a particular company, starting with job candidacy through to the exit from the company.” Employee experience influences recruiting, retention, and turnover. The best businesses make special efforts to gauge and raise employee satisfaction and engagement levels. In today’s modern workplaces, the employee experience can be boiled down to three core elements: culture, technology, and physical surroundings.
Many of today’s businesses have been known to focus heavily on the cultural aspect of workplace change. Whether you realize this or not, your employees experience your culture, structure, and style of leadership in the same way – so, while the cultural aspect is an important piece of the employee experience, it is not the only piece. The type of equipment (mobile devices, desktop computers, user interfaces) you arm your employees with are all key parts of the technological environment that an employee needs to be placed in the best position to be successful at their duties. An organization should give employees the best tools so they can do their jobs properly. From their desks and chairs to the drinks and snacks you provide in the breakroom, these are all a part of their physical environment. The type of physical environment you implement is so vital because this is the space your employees will spend the majority of their time.
Even after you have taken the necessary steps to improve the employee experience, it is still subject to change. The strategy you choose to guide the employee experience must allow for flexibility in response to organizational factors under your control and those you are not able to control. Adopting a growth mindset and focusing on the overall employee experience will provide your organization with a long-term solution that consistently puts your employees at the center of a high-performing workplace. After all, high-performing workplaces create high-performing teams!
What Metrics Define a High-Performing Team?
A high-performance workplace is defined as “a physical or virtual environment designed to make workers as effective as possible in supporting business goals and providing value.” When an organization invests in its employees, processes, physical surroundings, and technology equally and appropriately, it creates an environment where workers can be as effective as possible in supporting business goals and providing value – leading to high-performing teams.
High-performing teams typically are made up of individuals who have continuously showcased outstanding skills and knowledge and who are laser-sharp focused on achieving their individual and team goals. Anyone who is part of a high-performing team likely shines when it comes to collaboration and innovation – while producing work at the highest levels.
While every high-performing team will be different in terms of the way they operate, there are some metrics that most high-performing teams have in common:
Meeting or Exceeding Goals: High-performing teams meet or exceed goals by relentlessly pursuing greatness – not just meeting, but surpassing every goal. These teams have unwavering determination and an unyielding spirit, illuminating a path of inspiration and achievement.
High Levels of Employee Engagement: Employee engagement is a measure of how committed employees are to their work and the organization. High-performing teams have the levels of employee engagement that other teams strive for because they understand how to create an environment where no one has to doubt their value or worth.
Knowledge of The Importance of Customer Satisfaction: High-performing teams know how to deliver high-quality products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations because they have gained the experience needed to anticipate customer needs and give them an experience that sticks with them.
Innovation and Creativity In Complex Situations: High-performing teams are experts at innovating and being creative because they know how to combine their unique talents. This is important because it helps organizations stay competitive in a business environment that stops for no one.
Understanding What They Bring To The Table: When employees understand how their duties contribute to the overall purpose of the organization, they are more likely to be actively engaged and committed to their work.
Effective Communication: Effective communication is important for high-performing teams because it helps to fill any holes or gaps in the team’s knowledge and understanding. Teams that have effective communication can share information and ideas clearly and concisely, and this helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page of the same book.
Trust and Respect: High-performing teams can work so well together because of the high level of trust and respect they have for one another.
Continuous Learning and Development: The employees who make up a high-performing team have a firm commitment to continuous learning and development.
Tips to Strategize Performance Goals
Goals are an important piece of the puzzle for inspiring employees and helping them on their journey to make steady progress toward their goals – this is part of the reason why more managers and leaders should make an effort to assist each team member in defining their objectives. This will be a significant piece in improving work performance without compromising the experience.
Here are a few tips that your organization can use to strategize performance goals in order to get the best outcomes.
Set Goals That Are Clear and Specific: Performance goals should be clear, specific, and measurable. Goals that are too vague can be confusing, which can unfortunately lead to a lack of focus.
Align Goals with Company Objectives: Make sure that each person’s performance goals are in line with the organization’s overall goals. Team members who are aware of how their unique duties contribute to the larger organizational goals are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and direction.
Give Employees A Say: Effective goal setting requires collaboration. Include team members in the process of defining the objectives. Encourage them to express their viewpoints, insights and concepts regarding what they think they can accomplish.
Make Goals Challenging but Attainable: Employees should be challenged to perform at their highest level, but goals also need to be attainable. Set objectives that are challenging, but not so challenging that they begin to lose their interest or motivation.
Provide Timely and Regular Feedback: Feedback is a component your organization must have if you want to effectively monitor development and make the necessary changes. A feedback system that puts your managers and staff in a position to discuss and review goal progress on a regular basis will present opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, pinpoint potential problems, and implement the necessary courses of correction to keep teams on track.
Employee Feedback Surveys: You can ask employees in surveys about their current performance goals, how well they think those goals align with the organization’s objectives, and what needs to be improved. This offers perceptions into the viewpoints of the employees and aids in locating any areas that might require adjustments.
Tips to Improve Employee Experience
Providing opportunities for learning, development, recognition, and reward is a key component of improving the employee experience. Improving the employee experience also calls for prioritizing the areas that require more focus and mapping the entire employee experience from beginning to end. Here are five tips to help you improve employee experience:
1. Foster a Positive Work Culture: Foster a positive work culture by promoting open communication, collaboration, and respect. Encourage teamwork, recognize achievements, and create a supportive and inclusive environment where employees feel valued and appreciated.
2. Understand Work-Life Balance: Support work-life balance by implementing policies and practices that enable employees to manage their personal and professional responsibilities effectively. Encourage flexible work arrangements, promote a healthy work-life balance, and discourage overwork or burnout.
3. Empower Employees: Give employees some decision-making authority whenever possible. Empower them to take ownership of their work and give them opportunities to share their ideas and opinions. Recognize and appreciate their contributions, and make sure they are armed with the necessary resources and support to succeed.
4. Foster a Meaningful Connection to the Organization’s Purpose: Help employees understand the organization’s mission, values, and goals. Communicate how their everyday work contributes to the overall purpose and impact of the organization.
5. Provide Opportunities for Growth: Offer opportunities that will allow employees to grow not only in their professional lives but in their personal lives as well. Set up training opportunities and other resources designed to help employees sharpen their skills and advance in their chosen careers. Encourage continuous learning and create a culture that openly supports professional development. Implementing mentorship opportunities is another great step toward increasing employee performance.
It’s becoming even more necessary to prioritize and enhance the employee experience. It’s no longer a one-time effort – organizations must embrace a dynamic and agile approach to continuously improve the employee experience. Utilizing cutting-edge HR solutions that can improve workforce management is key when looking for ways to boost employee performance without sacrificing employee experience. So, are you ready to flip the coin of employee experience and productivity? Take a tour of our HCM platform, isolved, to optimize your HR/Payroll so you can foster employee growth and engagement while taking productivity and performance to new heights!
ABOUT PLATINUM GROUP
Platinum Group is a human capital management resource with solutions to help you streamline operations so you’ll have time to manage your business. No matter which division you work with: Payroll/HR or Accounting, our team is built upon a foundation of support, service, camaraderie and collaboration that we share both in-house and with our wonderful clients. For more information about Platinum Group, or to schedule a demo of iSolved, please visit our website.