How do we lower Employee Performance ?

I feel several companies can do a lot more than what they are doing now to avoid lower employee performance and to avoid ‘burn-outs’ among its top performers. The simple task they should do first is – identify and analyse costs of such burn-outs. The costs of burn-outs are much higher than the benefits gained through employee over-workload, job cutbacks, and rampant shuffling of work assignments. Let us try to understand what are the many ways organizations demoralize or demotivate good consistent performers ?

1. Work Overload – Too much work to do, with too little time and support. In times of economic recession like it is now, Job cutbacks lead to handling more workload – sales manager is asked to supervise more sales personnel, teachers to handle more students, bank tellers to transact/ count more transactions, sales personnel asked to make more number of cold calls, more suspecting and more prospecting. I understand the times are tough now and there are no easy approvals to add manpower. But, what does this overload lead to ? People feel overwhelmed with added tempo, complexity, and work demands. Escalating work requirements lead to exhaustion and work suffers due to inconsistent performance.

2. Less Autonomy – Fear of losses lead to micro-management. This is true in organizations which are closely managed by the top management. Micro-management leads to frustration among performers. There are moments where they can do better than what they are doing ; but, they are afraid to take decisions. They become irresponsible, less innovative and are helpless in such work situations.

3. Rewards are too little – Sure. The times are not so good to expand, add product lines, or hold weekend celebration get together. But, when we give too little rewards, the performers feel slighted, demotivated and are quite resigned to their fate. In such work conditions, it is essential to reward well and create an environment wherein job security is assured and employee initiatives are appreciated in public.

4. Loss of connection among employees – Employee isolation is always damaging employee’s morale. Personal relationships are the human glue that holds team together. Too many job rotations or shuffling assignments among different employees lead to less commitment, lack of understanding and relationships fragment or break. These management decisions are generally done to save on costs not realizing the overall effect of such decisions.

5. Unfairness in decision-making – While making decisions it is essential to consider human emotions. Shuffling assignments may be profitable or even the right step to take, but there are employees who have put in long hours to build the assignments to bring it to where it is now and they feel it is unfair take away certain assignments from them so abruptly. It has to be well explained to them in most honest way possible otherwise resentment develops causing a rift in employee relations.

6. Conflict of Employee Values – Each individual is different from the other; so are their values. If there is a mismatch between the person’s principles and the demands of the job – it leads to poor performance. Jobs that are in conflict with the values of the employee lead to demoralization of the employees and the employee starts doubting the worth of the work he is doing. A person who cannot ever tell a lie will find it difficult to make a sale. Same is the case with lofty Mission Statements of any organization, if the day-to-day organizational practices do not reflect the essence of mission stated by the management.

At Rambuna Consultants, we involve ourselves through corporate interventions to build employee morale, train and enable effective decision-making. We conduct corporate training seminars to augment employee as well as organizational growth during difficult economic times. I strongly believe that employee performance can be managed well and employee talent can be built well, leading to lesser employee attrition. We are just a telephone call away. Call us today !

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