David Rockefeller said, “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” That’s as true today as it was when Rockefeller spoke the words. What you might not realize is that training, disciple and hard work are not only necessary for you, the creative business leader, to have; it’s also important that each of your employees is adequately trained, disciplined and committed.
Ways to Positively Influence Employee Performance
The first step toward building a workforce of adequately trained, disciplined and committed workers is to hire talent acquisition specialists or recruiters who know the qualities and behaviors to look for in prospective employees. After recruiters and managers vet out top candidates, selecting the best workers for open jobs, managers need to start influencing employee performance to positively impact your creative business profits.
Your company can do this by:
- Conducting firm-wide performance reviews (quarterly, bi-annually or annually)
- Documenting employee performance issues (include dates, times and frequency that issues occur)
- Establishing oral and written employee warning policies and procedures
- Encouraging open communication between employees, managers and direct-line supervisors
- Creating written performance reviews that require employees and managers to provide feedback on individual employee performance
Train Managers to Influence Employee Performance
It’s true that conducting performance reviews is the least favorite job responsibility for many managers, causing some managers to put off conducting performance reviews for weeks, perhaps months. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. If managers meet with and hold lengthy discussions with job candidates during the interview process, they can learn how to conduct effective performance review discussions with these same professionals.
Employee performance review discussions are made easier when managers:
- Regularly meet with employees to let them know how they are performing (these can be brief one to two minute discussions, commending employees for “good work” or offering suggestions for improvement)
- Treat employees equitably (the human conscience might create walls during the performance review process for managers who clearly know that they have treated employees unfairly, perhaps favoring one employee over another, during the performance review cycle)
- Take the time to listen to employees’ questions, concerns and ideas (it’s easier to hold discussions, including performance review discussions, with employees managers have been talking and listening to throughout the year)
When you think about it, a lot of the steps involved in influencing employee performance to positively impact creative business profits are the same steps involved in creating any rewarding relationship. Because every manager may not have strong communication, including active listening skills, it’s important that members of your company’s Learning and Development department create and present manager training sessions before the launch of employee performance review cycles.
For example, before a mid-year performance review, you could require managers to complete one half-hour training session one to two weeks before the employee performance review process kicks off. Offer refresher training courses to seasoned managers.
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