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Improving Team performance

Improve Employee Performance by “linking” Performance to the Achievement of Organizational Goals

Barbara Brown, PhD asked:

Do your employees know how their specific performance contributes to the achievement of your organization’s goals? If not, you may be missing a great opportunity to improve performance. Employees want to see the BIG Picture and where they fit into that picture. They want to know “why” their performance matters. So when you link (directly or indirectly) employee performance to the achievement of organizational goals, you increase the likelihood of getting better performance.

To make these links, do three things. First, examine the goals in your organization’s strategic plan. If your organization does not have a strategic plan, identify the short-term or long-term goals where you work. Second, identify the areas where you want employees to improve performance. Third, explain to employees how improvement in these areas helps achieve organizational goals.

For example, suppose your organization wants to Increase Sales By 15%. Your employees’ might help your organization achieve this goal by doing the following things:

1. Increasing individual or team productivity

2. Improving individual or team quality

3. Solving customer problems faster

4. Cooperating with other departments

5. Mastering new electronic systems

6. Implementing new workload management procedures

As you can see, there are many ways to create these links. Consider projects, tasks, and activities. You can probably connect everything your employees do to the achievement of some organizational goal. You just want to encourage them to do those things faster, smarter, and better. 

And you don’t need 10 organizational goals. One or two can work just as well. If you think about the above example, there are probably dozens of ways to link performance improvement to Increased Sales.

When Performance Matters, Employees Perform

To motivate employees to improve performance, you must find a way to have meaningful discussions about performance.  Linking performance to the achievement of organizational goals is meaningful because it allows you to focus on a “common purpose.” It also gives you a way to let employees know that their performance is very important. And the more employees’ believe that their performance matters, the more likely you are to get the kind of performance you want.  

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