After a challenging couple of years for companies across the UK, many business owners will be focusing on day-to-day survival instead of the bigger picture.
Paul Lewis, the MD of Pitman Training, believes that by investing in employee training, recognising hard work and improving the work environment, employees will feel valued and appreciated, which in turn will drastically improve their performance. In this article, he gives his advice on how you can improve your employees’ performance.
Now more than ever, business owners need employees that can get the job done. So, ensuring you get the best out of your workforce in 2022 should be the number one priority. In fact, by creating a work environment where your employees feel happy, motivated and eager to help your business grow, the likelihood of being successful post-pandemic increases drastically. However, this is far easier said than done. So, here are my five top tips on how to improve your employees’ performance in 2022.
1. Invest in the company workplace
It is important to remember that no two workplaces are the same. However, no matter if your office is located halfway up the Shard in London or on a business park in Slough, making sure it is comfortable, clean and suited to the employees who occupy it regularly is essential. In fact, a study by the Staples Corporation found that 94 per cent of workers reported feeling more productive in a clean workspace, while 77 per cent said they felt they produced a higher quality of work in a cleaner environment*1. Why? Because maintaining a great work environment will make your employees feel valued and more inclined to work that bit harder for your business.
Of course, different businesses will have different budgets available, but investing in your workplace does not necessarily need to come at a huge cost. For example, making sure the lighting is good, the temperature is comfortable and the room is well-ventilated is a great place to start. You could also decorate the office with plants, art on the walls or company colours to brighten the place up. Investing in a quality hand soap in the toilets and providing access to free tea and coffee goes a long way too! While these are only small steps, they can considerably impact your employees’ performance in 2022.
2. Understand your employees’ mental health
Mental and physical health issues are enormous blocks on employee productivity so, as an employer, it is your job to recognise these issues and tackle them head-on. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to people’s mental health. So, be empathetic that no two people have the same home environment, pressures, sleeping patterns and general needs. For example, anxiety can cause an employee to lose concentration, making it difficult to multi-task and carry out day-to-day work activities. It could also affect an employee’s mental stamina, making task deadlines challenging to meet.
To combat these issues, an employer could offer flexible working hours or a work-from-home policy. They could also end the day 30 minutes early on a Friday to promote a feel-good factor within the team. However, perhaps the most important thing to do when looking to improve someone’s mental health is ensuring they know they have someone to talk to. Taking the time to check up on employees can go a very long way in improving their mental health and, in turn, their work and productivity.
3. Installing an open-door policy and open channel of communication
An open-door policy is not just an approach that allows employees to communicate personal issues with senior executives when they are uncomfortable discussing those issues with their immediate superiors. Businesses use open-door policies to encourage freedom of expression, respect and cooperation between management and employees. By having an open-door policy, you will increase the productivity of your staff by allowing employees to discuss their concerns with their superiors at any time.
4. Find a tailor-made training programme for your employees
If you want to get the most out of your employees and unlock their full potential, training is the way to go. Training not only helps people develop new skills, but it can also enhance their existing skills and support them in taking the next step in their career. It will also help them be more motivated, add value and ultimately contribute to the success of your team and the growth of your organisation. Unfortunately, training is generally given the most attention when employees are first onboarded, but it should not stop there. Ongoing training is essential in keeping employees engaged and motivated, allowing them to develop and improve performance over time.
Statistics show that 74 per cent of employees who have not received any reskilling or upskilling training say they would prefer to work for a company that provides learning opportunities*2. And 80 per cent of employees that had taken training courses said that training increased their confidence at work. So, to help your employees become more productive, finding a training provider that suits your business’ needs is essential. At Pitman, we understand the pressures and time restrictions on businesses. Therefore, we specialise in providing individual, group or corporate flexible training sessions that can either be completed at your offices or we can host training sessions at one of our centres at a time that suits you.
5. Recognise your top performers and reward them
Finally, a great way to incentivise your staff is to reward them for all their hard work. Especially after all the hard work done throughout the pandemic, rewarding your top-performing employees is not just a good idea; it is a no-brainer. Incentivising performance entices people to be at their best and helps to create a culture of friendly competition in which each employee encourages their colleagues to maximise their performance. A few creative ways to reward your top employees for their hard work include personalised gifts, giving them time off and giving bonuses.