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Steps to Improve Employee Performance

When it comes to improving employee performance evaluations, you must start at the very beginning of the appraisal process - Goal Setting.

Step One

Define what organizational success looks like for your organization. Is it the mission statement? Is it a set of key performance indicators (KPIs)? Is it a set of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)? It is impossible to create employee performance goals without first understanding the basic premise for success and what is to be achieved by the organization as a whole. There can be short and long-term corporate goals, each of which comes with its own set of metrics.

Step Two

Define and develop department and team goals that are tied to achieving your organization’s definition of success. This is an important part of the process.

Step Three

Develop performance goals and objectives for individual employees that tie to the team, department, and organization’s definition of success. Sounds easy, but it is common to find department and team strategies and individual tasks that do not align with corporate objectives. It is recommended to annually review and adjust corporate goals to ensure they are matched to employee performance and team goals.

Challenge managers to create objectives to keep team and individual goals on course with the “big picture” corporate goals.

Step Four

People create the elements of high-performing companies. To achieve increased and sustainable results, organizations must execute strategies and engage employees. When employees achieve success, they become more engaged, and engaged employees tend to be more successful.

So, how to tap into that concept and make it work? It begins with developing an environment where employees are actively focused on their work and are interested in their work. Interestingly enough, studies are now showing that engagement does not require that the work is fascinating, sometimes work is just work; however, employees need to feel as if their presences and contributions are valued and a part of a bigger plan. That is why organizational goals filtering down to team and individual goals are key to the process.

Employee engagement matters to performance. Motivating managers and creating expectations of improved employee engagement can become an important organizational goal for just about any company. Why? Because increased engagement equals increased productivity. According to a 2017 Gallup Report, managers are responsible for at least 70 percent of the variance in their employees’ engagement. Employees whose managers regularly communicate with them are three times more engaged than those with managers who don’t regularly reach out. How often should feedback be provided? That same report shows that 43 percent of highly-engaged employees receive feedback from managers at least once a week. In other words, employee feedback and reviews should be happening more often, while taking less time to complete. The report outlines the benefits of frequent performance reviews: increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and increased company productivity.

Tracking feedback and keeping up with performance conversations can be done through an employee management solution such as LightWork® Performance Management. Ensure your company’s success by organizing and documenting corporate goals and employee objectives. For more information about LightWork Performance Management, visit


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