There are a variety of factors that can contribute to performance problems in the workplace. Some common ones include lost time, inadequate knowledge, interpersonal conflicts, low morale and inappropriate work behaviors – all of which can hurt your productivity and have an adverse affect on overall operations. Before you can resolve performance problems, you must first have an effective system for identifying them. Here are the steps you should take to pinpoint problem areas.
First of all, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what’s expected of employees throughout each workday. Otherwise, it’s almost impossible to determine whether their performance is good, average or poor. In a manufacturing setting, this might mean producing X number of products per shift, maintaining certain safety standards, following company policies, etc. You should also explain to your employees exactly what’s expected of them, so there won’t be any confusion on their end.
Utilize Metrics for Measuring Performance
Once you and your employees are on the same page in terms of expectations, you’ll need to measure production and other areas of performance. Here are some examples:
- Count the quantity of products made at the end of each shift or day.
- Measure the quality of an average product. Looking at the percentage of products that have flaws can accomplish this.
- Look at your absenteeism rate.
- See how many instances there are of deviation from company policy.
- Have routine team appraisals where employees appraise each other’s performance.
The specific areas of performance that are measured will depend on your company’s goals — and it’s best to prioritize them so you’ll know which areas are of the utmost importance and which aren’t as critical. By analyzing performance in key areas, it should become obvious what your company’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Addressing Performance Problems
Once you’re aware of where the problems lie, you should first discuss the matter with company leaders to get their feedback. This should help everyone gain a clear understanding of what needs to change, and you can brainstorm some potential solutions. Next, you’ll need to go over performance problems with your employees to get their input, and explain what needs improvement.
As a general rule, it is always beneficial to discuss the performance itself as opposed to positioning it in terms of the individual person. This helps to lighten a sometimes unconformable situation while still allowing you to make your point clearly.
No matter how well run your company is, you’re bound to experience a performance issue at some point. But with the right approach, can quickly identify and diagnose any problems and take measures to find a viable solution. In time, you can learn from your mistakes and operate with a greater level of efficiency and effectiveness.