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Employee performance goals: inspiring top performance from employees


Employee performance goals: inspiring top performance from employeesEmployee performance goals are one of the most important skills required of successful managers. Managing employee performance goals really depends on your ability to inspire team members. A great product, a solid benefits package and “bagel Monday” won’t mean a lot if your staff members aren’t challenged to do their best at work. Productivity and employee retention may be at stake.

While it’s not essential to conduct yourself like a championship basketball coach to inspire employees, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of successful employee motivation. Here are some suggestions for improving employee performance:

  • Understand your company’s vision.If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there — and effectively communicate the path to others? To inspire your team, it’s essential that you comprehend your company’s “big picture.” Discussions with senior management about the firm’s vision can be extremely helpful. If this isn’t possible, discuss goals with your immediate supervisor.
  • Establish roles and responsibilities. Unclear roles can lead to frustration, especially in busy, stressful times. Make clear what’s required of each staff member prior to beginning a new project. Remember to keep the lines of communication open. A confused colleague’s efforts can result in poor performance, wasted time and missed deadlines. Here are some other considerations:
  • Job descriptions. Make sure each employee has a detailed description of his or her position. When certain projects require you to place staff members in new roles, explain the reasoning behind your actions and express your confidence in their ability to meet fresh challenges. This will boost morale and encourage individual growth as well.
  • Conflicts. When a colleague strays out of his or her assigned task area and into a co-worker’s territory, tensions and resentment can arise. If this happens, you should act swiftly before a small problem turns into a big one. Sit down with all parties involved to discuss the situation. Reiterate what you expect of each person and how he or she can most effectively interact with the team. In addition, discuss ways any of the individuals’ roles might be changing.

  • Tap your staff’s creativity. Look for ways to provide individuals with decision-making authority. By allowing them to act independently and use their discretion in making choices, you display confidence in their abilities and inspire them to better trust their own judgment.

Even with decisions you feel you must make yourself, proceeding without your staff’s input can have negative consequences on employee performance if the results directly affect them and their ways of working. Particularly when faced with an unexpected problem, you should involve your team in seeking the best answer. This not only demonstrates your respect for their opinions, it also opens the door to innovative solutions you may not have considered. If you disagree with certain suggestions, explain your rationale openly.

  • Focus on your team’s strengths. Consider carefully how you can best utilize your staff’s talents. Let people do what they do best. If certain employees work better together, let them collaborate on projects. Often, one person’s strengths can counteract another’s weaknesses, making them and the team stronger. Shortcomings left unattended can hinder both your effectiveness as a manager and overall productivity. Take the time to praise your staff via e-mail or during meetings, giving specific examples of how individual strengths and efforts collectively contribute to the success of your business.

Successfully managing and motivating a staff, no matter what size, can be a Herculean task at times. Keeping employees inspired is a juggling act in itself, and it’s essential to stay on your toes at all times. Bear in mind that the confidence you place in others is often greater than the levels they place within themselves. That means it’s an inherent part of your job as a manager to not only understand your company’s vision, but also to convey it and motivate your staff to achieve it, as well. By doing so, you’ll help release the full potential of every team member and ensure that your firm’s goals are consistently met.

OfficeTeam is the world’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. For more information on OfficeTeam or Administrative Professional’s Week, please visit the website at

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