The 2 primary methods used for improving employee performance are the “Push” and the “Pull” method.
The “Push” method refers to activities where management sets or “pushes” their standards onto employees. To put it another way, YOU have to set the goals, not your staff. You give one way feedback to your employees. And you must manage your staff closely to make sure that they perform properly.
Using the PULL Method to Improve Employee Performance
By contrast, the “Pull” method is the opposite. It’s where management encourages EMPLOYEES to set their own performance standards. It’s a joint effort between management and employees. Management only does the guiding. They make sure that employees set the performance bar at the right height. As a result, EMPLOYEES end up checking up on their own performance. You need only to focus on making sure that they meet the targets.
Here’s the good news. This method doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to put in place. It’s mainly a change in attitudes.
How to Improve Employee Performance at Work
A few years ago, I worked with a company that mainly used the ‘push’ method. Management literally had to push people to work. They monitored employee performance all the time. And continuously pushed them to meet targets and objectives. Many employees made a lot of mistakes. Management could not trust most of the employees to work to the required standards. This often led to disciplinary action. Managers found the work to be extremely frustrating. Quite frankly, it wasn’t a very pleasant working environment.
After two years of loss-making, management decided that they had to do something. They needed to turn things around. They had to change the way the staff were working.
The Turn Around
They asked for my input and we decided to engage the employees. We got them involved in some of the basic decision making processes. This included individual and team objectives and performance standards. Employees’ performance objectives were set in line with company targets. We identified a number of key cultural values for the company. Behavioural standards for employees were then set around these values. As a consequence, things began to change. But I must be honest here, it took some time for this to happen.
Every single manager bought into the programme. They worked hard to create an environment that unlocked people’s inherent motivation. With the result, we found that employee motivation levels increased. They even started ‘pulling’ themselves to achieve. There was far more co-operation amoungst employees. More nurturing from management. Because of this work became energized and the company culture slowly began to change.
Best of all managers began to trust their staff members. And they in turn began to ‘pull’ from management the things they needed: advice, information and help. Management asked employees for their feedback in the setting of company goals and priorities. A lot of their feedback was valuable. Which was very rewarding
The turn around began. The company started showing profits again. The hard work they put in initially began to pay off.
Improved Employee Performance Levels
The company changed the way it managed its staff from a ‘PUSH’ to a ‘PULL’. It was something that took a lot of effort. More importantly, the change in employee performance levels was significant. And resulted in a huge increase in revenue for the business. Management conducted regular employee performance evaluations. Here they gave feedback to staff. Employees received recognition and reward for their efforts. The result was that close employee performance management was greatly reduced. Staff attended weekly meetings to discuss performance and targets. These turned out to be positive events that staff looked forward to. In conclusion, the business became a success story, due largely to the PUSH programme.
I’ll admit the programme is not for everyone. You and your managers will need to have a strong desire to get your employees involved. You have to be willing to change. And to implement a new style of management. But if you really want to, you can do it.
For my step by step guides on the most effective strategies to improve employee performance – check out the Achievers Club.