Undermining Your Workflow – Surefire Ways to Sabotage Productivity in the Workplace

If your workflow and the productivity of employees has you frustrated, you’re not alone. Employee performance management is a big part of productivity but there are far too many business owners and executives who feel like performance management is too time-consuming, to subjective or yesterday’s solution to improving productivity.

Paperless workflows can only take productivity so far.  At some point you have to start managing the performance of your staff.  In 2012, I4CP put out a report surveying the performance and productivity of companies in Russia, South America and the United States.  Measuring the success of performance management around productivity, they found that companies in the U.S. were falling behind.

That’s not where any business wants to be – especially not yours.  Here are five ways you could be sabotaging employee performance and productivity.

1. Excluding yourself from the process.

“There’s no reason the executives need to be bothered with this. They have more important things to do.”  This is a sure-fire way to kill productivity. While you’re at it, let all of upper management off the hook, too. The only ones whose performance needs to be examined under the microscope are the worker-bees. This is like making “It’s for your own good” the new company mantra, and it throws employee performance out the window.

2. Let supervisors figure it out for themselves.

First-level supervisors are busy people. They don’t have time for training programs on feel-good topics like how to set a goal or how to give feedback, right? They’ve been through performance appraisal meetings themselves. Just tell them to do it the same way it was done to them.

You might think this builds character, but what it’s really doing is setting them up for failure with each and every project.

3. Don’t waste time with the problem performers.

When an employee’s performance dips, you’ve got a tough decision to make. Get rid of him or her right away or spend a lot of time and effort talking about the issue, setting up developmental plans, monitoring progress.

What a lot of owners due when they’re under crunch time is let the issue go and hope it works itself out, but without direction that productivity and performance problem will never be corrected.

4. Bolster success measures with low-hanging fruit.

Incentive programs can be a good way to improve productivity, but not when they’re abuse. Let’s offer everyone $25 gift card to the local coffee shop if they hit their numbers.  Then we’ll do it so it’s a monthly thing.  That’s perfect.

Not really.  Incentives should come in the form of greater rewards, and they shouldn’t be low hanging fruit that comes regularly.  Otherwise your employees never strive to reach the great big fruit at the top.

5. Avoid the unknown territory called the future.

You can spend your time discussing pie-in-the-sky concepts like the future and how each employee’s work today can impact next year’s outcomes, or you can stick to your comfort zone: the past. All an employee really needs to know is did they do good or bad? If they did good, keep on doing it. Right?

If employees don’t recognize the impact they have on the business, then they’re not vested.  They feel underappreciated and they “clock watch” until it’s time to go.  In fact, they’ve likely already checked out mentally an hour before the day ends.

Improving productivity starts by understanding the talent base in your organization, and that your talent base is an investment that pays dividends when you nurture it appropriately.  Making effective employee performance a main part of your business strategy is key to improving and stabilizing productivity.


Categories: Workflow