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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Employees

If you’re a business owner or manager, one of your key duties is to oversee employees and ensure their performance rises to their potential.

Actually doing this, however, is easier said than done.

Why Employee Performance is Such a Big Deal.

Employee performance sounds like a buzz phrase these days, but there’s more to it than a term you use in meetings with your HR department. Getting the most out of your staff should be a major priority for your company as it scales.

Here’s why:

– When you’re a young company or startup, you don’t enjoy the margin of error that well-established firms have. Your resources are limited, and any investment you make in an employee must produce a positive return. A worker on your payroll who fails to meet expectations can set you back years. 

– Brand reputation. An employee directly represents your business. To people on the outside, you are the sum of the individuals who work for you. If your team fails to perform well, you risk damaging the reputation of your brand.

– When a subordinate is living up to his or her potential and maximizing performance, that frees you to focus on what you do best: innovate and grow. When a worker doesn’t perform, you have to expend energy and focus on correcting the shortcomings.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Team .

If you want to maximize business performance, you must make the most of individual employee performance. Here are some simple, effective ways to get the most out of your team members: 

1. Be Credible.

“If you promise you’re going to do something, do it,” says entrepreneur Briella Arion. “If you promise you are going to be somewhere, be there. Be authentic and transparent — that’s what you would expect and frankly your employees expect nothing less.”

When you’re credible, your employees respect you and will go to greater lengths to satisfy you. Everything is built on a foundation of trust, so don’t mess this up.

2. Listen to Them.

If there’s one thing that frustrates staffers more than anything else, it’s feeling like they’re invisible or mute. In order to get the most out of your employees, try listening to them genuinely.

If you’re worried that you may not do a good job of listening, reevaluate your methods for collecting, analyzing, and responding to feedback. An effective employee feedback system is integral to showing your team members they matter.

3. Encourage Healthy Behaviors. 

On an individual basis, employee performance is directly affected by personal choices and behaviors (both inside and outside of work). Since that’s the case, it’s a smart move to encourage healthy behaviors, and curb the ones that don’t contribute positively to workplace performance.

For example, you could encourage employees to get more sleep. According to a study by Amerisleep, 40 percent of employees say that getting a good night’s rest is the most important factor in their ability to perform their best at work.

You might also encourage regular physical activity – during lunch breaks, for example – because this has been shown to increase productivity. These are small details that can have a major impact. 

4. Show Your Appreciation.

Research shows that as much as 80 percent of the U.S. workforce is dissatisfied with their jobs. One of the major sources of dissatisfaction is a lack of appreciation: 34 percent of outgoing employees admit to quitting as a result of limited appreciation of their contributions.

You don’t need a cheesy employee-of-the-month award to show your employees you appreciate them, but make it a point to provide positive feedback, offer thanks, and provide perks (both monetary and non-monetary). 

Become a People Builder. 

If you believe your objective is to be a people manager, that’s a less than ideal approach. A successful business owner is a people builder.

At times, this can seem laborious and futile, but the long-term benefits will be clear: when you maximize employee performance, you maximize business performance.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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