All employees want to know three things: What do you expect from me? How am I doing? And, what’s in it for me? In other words, they want clear expectations, consistent feedback and a reward system. Communicating clearly about all three factors is key to maximizing employee performance.
Answering the first question (What do you expect from me?) requires setting and communicating clear expectations. There are many ways to do this. My company uses what we call “The 5 Main Things”:
- Daily Quality Results (DQR)
- Customer Service
- Personal Growth
Communication is consistent throughout the company. The main message is that our company wants to eliminate surprises. We must communicate within our company, with the customer and with our vendors in a way that we may not possibly be misunderstood.
The other four topics are personalized. For example, the Production Manager’s DQR involves how many dollars of work to complete in a day, how far in advance to commit to a customer, who to include in the scheduling process, and teaching the installation crews how to improve their efficiency. DQRs will differ depending upon a person’s job function. This is also true for Customer Service, Teamwork, and Personal Growth.
Once the expectations are clearly defined, the next step to maximize performance is to give your employees consistent feedback. New employees need more frequent feedback than others. Regardless, all employees need feedback on a regular consistent schedule. Feedback should focus on accomplishments and areas to improve.
Rewards involve several areas. Recognition, feeling appreciated, knowing their opinion matters, a birthday card, and increased pay are several, but not all, ways we can reward employees. The things that get rewarded get done.
In summary, to increase performance, look at how well you are doing in these areas. Do your people have clear expectations, get consistent feedback and understand the reward system?