Improving Team performance

Improve Employee Performance by Focusing on What Employees Dislike

Barbara Brown, PhD asked:


As humans, we try to avoid what we dislike. As managers, you can use your knowledge of what employees dislike to encourage improved performance. How? By explaining to employees how doing a better job could help them avoid the things they dislike. 

The good news is that you will know what employees dislike because they will tell you directly with body language or comments. Or they will show you indirectly with unsatisfactory performance; or in more extreme cases with non-performance. Consider these four possibilities for linking what employees dislike to improved performance:

1. Working alone: Some employees dislike working alone. They want to interact with other people. But perhaps their performance has relegated them to solitary assignments. If that’s the case, connect improved performance to increased interactions.

2. Working with other employees: Sometimes employees want to work alone. They cringe at working in teams or partnering with others. Maybe their lackluster performance has created a situation where they have to work with someone else. In these instances, describe how a change in performance could lead to a change in working assignments.

3. Working at specific locations: If there are opportunities for employees to work in different locations, some locations will be more desirable than others. However, poor performers might find themselves relegated to offices, departments, or staffs they deplore. In these circumstances, link performance improvement to location improvement.

4. Working particular hours: Sometimes low performers do not get the prime choices when it comes to work schedules, overtime hours, or number of hours. If that’s the case in your organization, use this to encourage improved performance. Connect desirable performance to desirable work hours.

”Employee Dislikes”  Is A Useful Performance Improvement Option

As a manager, you can’t overlook any option for improving employee performance. That’s because employees are different and situations are different. What works for one employee might not work for another. Additionally, what works for one employee at one time, or in one instance, might not work at another time or another instance. So the more options you have the better.

Focusing on employee dislikes is an option you can use to connect a change in performance to a change in the disliked situation. You just have to explain to employees how improved performance might lead to them having to do fewer of those things. So the next time you are looking for a way to encourage employees to do a better job, make the connection between increased positive performance and decreased disliked experiences.


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