According to 2020 statistics, Australia fares impressively well with “employee engagement” on a global scale, returning a score of 53% alongside France (55%), USA (55%), and Canada (54%). Our nation’s workers are thus (largely) confident in their leaders’ decision-making, conflict resolution, and overall managerial abilities – boosting their productivity and workplace performance, while business owners enjoy 2.5 times more revenue growth for less strenuous labour.
Despite this positive data, managers can still do more to improve the employee experience. In a multigenerational workforce of growing diversity, new approaches are needed to help workers meet their full potential.
We explore the best ways to achieve this below, and how Upskilled can help build one’s leadership skills.
How to improve employee performance
- Foster a positive, openly communicative workplace.
- Provide flexible working opportunities.
- Encourage training and professional development.
- Give "rewards" where they're due.
1. Foster a positive, openly communicative workplace.
Open, honest communication is key to a happy, innovative work environment. Be sure to foster a comfortable relationship with employees, where each feel safe enough to contribute their ideas, concerns, and feedback on specific projects or workplace practices.
On the flipside, be sure to offer your workers regular, timely feedback; highlighting the ways they can improve, and rewarding them in areas of progress or quality performance.
This cultivates a workplace of highly-engaged, loyal staff – reducing turnover (and boosting productivity) as a result. You’ll also gain further insight into how your business is running, and areas that may need improvement.
Effective communication can also eliminate confusion within one’s role, providing them with the clarity they need to carry out their tasks and responsibilities with confidence. This creates accountability and incentivizes workers to perform at their best.
Fostering a communicative workplace can be as simple as having frequent interactions with your team members. Also known as an “open door policy”, this helps employees feel comfortable with approaching you for advice or feedback.
Additionally, having multiple channels for communication – such as e-mail, social media, group chats, and one-on-one meetings – further encourages this and makes such engagement more accessible.
2. Provide flexible working opportunities.
Though having risen in demand since COVID-19, flexible work had been growing in practice pre-pandemic, with 68% of employers providing the option in 2019. The perk was also sought after by 40% of employees, with programs such as ABS Flex Works aiming to “normalise” such arrangements.
Its ability to boost company loyalty, worker engagement, and overall performance has led to its widespread adoption, as employees reportedly experience greater productivity, improved morale, and a better work-life balance. If your business has yet to provide these “remote work” arrangements, it’s a policy worth establishing and culture worth fostering.
In making the shift from traditional working practices, it helps to consider your tools and technology for establishing flexible work. How will remote employees collaborate on new projects? Should daily (or weekly) online meetings be put in place? Perhaps cybersecurity policies will need further review and revision, to ensure remote workers remain safe and secure in their online activities.
Redefining workplace goals and objectives is another step – as productivity may no longer be measured according to one’s present, on-site working hours, but their ability to deliver quality results within a schedule.
Of course, open, active communication between you and your workers can help spotlight both the challenges and benefits of having flexible work in the company.
3. Encourage training and professional development.
Continuous learning is a top priority among Australian workers; an opportunity often boasted by most of LinkedIn’s Top 25 companies. The ability to further one’s skills and knowledge is not only stimulating, but a crucial factor in building one’s purpose, drive, and engagement in their role. In turn, employees can feel more confident, productive, and deliver bigger, better results.
Such needs are most prevalent among the millennial and Gen Z generations, both currently set to make up 75% of the Australian workforce by 2025. Managers must thus tailor their leadership approach to new workplace demands, and according to recent statistics – “career trajectory” leads the rest among the top work priorities of Gen Z. Simply put, the new generation is unlikely to stick around if their aspirations aren’t being met, or they feel unable to help grow your business.
To counter this, be sure to pay attention to your employees’ career goals, helping them map out pathways to advancement and connecting them to the right opportunities. This could include recommending conferences, workshops, or online courses to help build their skills.
By prioritising your workers’ development, you help improve their ability to help you and your business – boosting both performance and company loyalty.
4. Give “rewards” where they’re due.
As mentioned, it’s important to reward your employees when appropriate, helping further encourage productivity and quality performance.
At its simplest, this can come in the form of appreciation and recognition – or even benefits and compensation. These will depend on the specific behaviours you wish to reward, so it firstly helps to determine the actions, behaviours, and contributions you deem important to the company.
Once you do, establishing a strategic rewards system (that links incentives to specific goals achieved) can paint a clear picture of the standards, expectations, and objectives of your business – and how they’ll benefit employees, too.
When providing new benefits, it’s worth looking into those offered by your competitors, and aim to exceed or (at the very least) match them. Having competitive benefits will not only push workers to perform at their best, but can also help in retaining your company’s top talent.
However, as attractive as compensation and tangible benefits are, it’s important to continue fostering a workplace of recognition and appreciation. This is the easiest way to help workers feel valued, seen, and heard for their contributions, and can boost company loyalty and morale for the long-term.
Looking to boost your skills as a manager?
Helping workers achieve their best starts with an effective leadership style.
Upskilled currently offers a myriad of courses under business and management
, equipping professionals with fundamental skills in team leadership, effective communication, and fostering a productive workplace
of continuous learning and development. All programs are delivered online, helping you build your skills according to personal needs and schedule.