What action could be taken to improve your performance?

What action could be taken to improve your performance?


According to research conducted by VoucherCloud a typical office worker is productive for less than three hours a day!


It is generally accepted that the workforce is an organisation’s greatest asset. It is therefore crucial that the value of this asset is not lost. It may seem shocking that people are productive for less than three hours of a working day, but the research also represents a great opportunity to do things differently and outperform competitors.


If you are reading this as an employee wondering what more you could do, here are 5 actions that you can take to improve your performance:


  1. Be motivated


Motivation is central. Most people, regardless of the work they do, want to make a positive contribution to the organisation that they are a part of. Yes, distractions are always present, but the key issue is not how damaging distractions are, but instead why the distraction won in the first place. There are many reasons for lack of motivation but here are some of them:


  • Employees feeling as though what they say and do does not matter


This could manifest itself in frustration due to not being listened to, or a sense that things will never change, and they simply have to get used to it.


  • Feeling a lack of control


Depending on the job, workers may feel as though they have little or no control over how things are done. This situation can cause people to become disillusioned and indifferent about the work they do.


  • A sense that pay is inadequate


Discontent can cause workers to feel that they will do the minimum required to reflect the pay that they receive. It is common for people to think that they should be paid more, but when that resentment impacts on productivity it can be very damaging.


There are many actions that an employer could take to improve performance, which will be referred to later, but it is also important that staff take steps to maintain motivation, such as remaining committed to wanting to do a good job, otherwise whatever steps an employer takes to improve performance, there will be only limited success.



  1. Take regular breaks


This may seem contradictory but breaks away from a computer screen, for example, are likely to raise levels of concentration, focus and therefore performance.




  1. Avoid distractions


We touched on the link between motivation and distractions earlier. That said, it is so easy to become distracted. Temptation is everywhere from checking social media to responding to phone calls or texts. However tempting those things are, and however much we may think that they do not make any difference to our productivity, they do have an adverse impact, as the work is not getting the attention it needs.


  1. Follow procedures


There can sometimes be a temptation to ignore the rules. However, this is likely to lower productivity rather than increase it. Procedures improve consistency, thus ensuring that things are done in the way that is needed by the organisation. Disregarding procedures not only impacts on performance but is also potentially harmful, such as in the context of health and safety issues.


  1. Stay organised


Everyone has a different approach to organisation. For some it is physical to do lists with pad and paper, others are fond of sticky labels of various colours, others rely on technology while there will be some who have no system at all.


Organisations often have requirements about how work is logged and organised, such as a requirement to place appointments on a calendar which is shared with colleagues. Some may feel that basic routine is enough, but what happens if the appointment never finds its way to the calendar? 


Staying organised is essential to remaining focused and productive. Putting measures in place, such as logging meetings at the right time, will help things to stay on track.


The above points related to workers, but it is also important to consider what organisations can do. Below are 5 actions that an organisation could take to improve the performance of the workforce:


  1. Develop a culture with a shared purpose


Whether an organisation is large or small, it is the case that those working in the organisation should have a shared purpose, which is to help make the organisation as effective as possible in terms of achieving its desired goals, whether that is generating sales, securing clients or engaging in activities for a charitable cause.


Whatever the nature of your organisation, it is crucial that a shared purpose is present. This is achieved by creating an environment where everyone can see how what they are doing is contributing to the success of the organisation, there is no ‘us and them’ there is ‘we and us’. This culture takes time to develop and commitment to maintain. Training in this area can help to ensure that any action taken supports, rather than undermines, organisational objectives.


  1. Listen to employees


Feedback and suggestions from the workforce can be an invaluable source of information and organisations should take steps to listen and take account of those feelings. This outlook helps to show that those working at the place concerned are not just aware of the grand plans of what the future will look like but are also in a position to shape it.


  1. Provide training


Whether that training is for managers to help them to perform their role, or it is for staff engaging in a new role as part of their career development. Investment in training is likely to increase the skills of the organisation, raise performance levels as well as increasing staff retention rates.


  1. Have robust policies and procedures in place


It is important that everyone is treated fairly and consistently. Robust procedures are a way of achieving that. Without such procedures, individuals may feel that they have been treated differently from others. That perception of unfairness is likely to adversely affect motivation and performance.


  1. Create an environment of continuous improvement    


Just because an organisation is performing in a certain way today, whether well or badly, that does not tell us what tomorrow will be like. Striving for continual improvement, and having everything that is done support that aim, is an effective way to ensure that high performance is maintained.


Plotkin & Chandler works exclusively in the areas of HR and employment law. Whether you would like to develop a positive workplace culture, assistance to implement measures which support continuous improvement, you would like advice on how to create feedback material or you would like training on how to mange poor performance in the workplace, we can help. Call us on 020 3923 8616 to discuss your requirements or email us on info@plotkinandchandler.com










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