Employees are the most significant resources for a company. While many sectors of the economy have numerous qualified people, there are others that are short of these because of the struggle for talent within the industry. Hence, without prudent employee performance improvement strategies, business leaders may find it challenging to draw and retain high-performing employees. Employee retention and recruitment depend on a positive work environment wherein employers acknowledge and reward employees for good performance and hence can better accomplish organizational goals.
The absence of performance-improvement strategies in any company leads to deficient employee performance, reduced efficiency, and possible failure of the business. The major reason for the failure of several businesses is an unengaged and apathetic workforce. Employees build the work culture and creating a memorable employee experience is the key to drive innovation, commitment and mutual involvement. Since the pandemic has disrupted businesses, we are all struggling hard to overcome the challenges posed. It is imperative, now more than ever, to help employees gain a sense of control and elevate productivity, considering the newfound distractions which make it difficult to focus. The idea is to focus on why the employee experience is most important right now and how just facilitating with technology is not enough.
With the Work From Home policy coming into full force, there has been a drastic change in working patterns. But what is imperative is that lockdown or no lockdown, trust, motivation and teamwork are the foundation of a strong workforce. Some small steps are what lead towards developing stronger employee-leader relationship. For instance, leaders must follow trust rather than tracking login and logout time. Trust is something that will bind the team together in these difficult times. Furthermore, one must pick up functionalities that ensure smooth business run like encouraging more time for people to think and be creative. This will bring greater efficiency in the product and in the system in the long run.
Leaders need to constantly improvise on their employee relationship strategies based on the changing work environment. While today we all live in different cities away from our near and dear ones, as a business leader, one must encourage teams to have virtual social time on the weekends through video calls. It is always important to aid an employee’s work-life balance as the quality time that employees spend with each other and with their families, will ultimately lead to positive work patterns at the workplace as well.
Similarly, virtual drinking/break sessions with family or loved ones can be a great way of relieving one’s stress and feeling optimistic towards life and work both. Owing to the lockdown, one only gets to be virtually together, and it is a great opportunity to fine-tune communication skills, project management skills which are of immense importance for people managers. As team leaders/managers it is very important that you streamline the entire thinking process of the team without creating a communication gap. Hence, the better the communication skills, the lesser the ad hoc calls, chats, etc.
Additionally, it is very important that once in a week a team bonding exercise is carried out. These can be as simple as creating a quiz, an entertainment session, a group movie watching, etc. These help the team to bond beyond work and develop a sense of togetherness which is reflected during crisis situations when the team needs to work together to achieve a certain outcome. Leaders should personally plan on meeting each one of the employees may be in groups to develop a connect sharing the plans, vision, experiences of Work From Home/lockdown, etc. This is a way to make employees feel comfortable and to make them believe that we are all in this together. The most important principle that one must follow is to be non-intrusive, and not to micromanage people.
Apart from these, there are other strategies like job recognitions, paid time offs, allowing employees to own their job, and take part in decision making that are vital in inspiring and engaging employees to enhance performance. Leadership is a skill to dedicate time and develop strategies towards the benefit of the employees and at the same time understanding and fulfilling the business needs. Hence, the job of a leader is critical and highly important, especially during times like these.