There is probably no Manager who is not struggling with the improvement of Employees performance and productivity. This is a crucial issue and relevant daily topic. But how successful do you feel about it as a Manager in everyday practice?The following article has outlined six principles which provide the foundation for both the Employee attitudes and performance.

1. Start with a vision!

Employees who believe in a Company, its necessity and established value, are considerably more committed, loyal and responsible. Therefore, it is indispensable to involve your people and let them have their say, creating together the Vision of the Company.

A vision statement should not be rewritten each year. Important is that common understanding of it is updated regularly, once or twice a year. This can also be for example done within the framework of a simple workshop, instead of a habitual meeting.

2. Plan and target!

Sit down with all your team members individually and create a personal annual objectives plan. The plan should involve 3-5 most important goals.

Describe the objectives:

-> Field/topic

-> What results are expected

-> What are the result indicators (qualitative and quantitative)

-> What is the deadline

-> Define how this goal helps to achieve the Company’s strategic challenges?

For longer and more comprehensive goals we suggest to set interim term(s) and describe results up to the terms.

 3. Agree on individual feedback form and times

The feedback and the fulfillment of the objectives can be discussed on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. This largely depends on the area of work and how independent the work/Employee is. The frequency of feedback can also depend on how critical the area and objectives are for the company. The more strategic the area, the more regularity in feedback to be considered. Feedback can be given as a conversation, F2F meeting or combined with electronic tools (email, files, software, etc.).

Feedback is not when the Manager says to Employee: ”Well done!” This is praising.

Feedback should be given on specific activity or results. In particular, the emphasis is on what went well and what worked out, then feedback on what was missing and what could be done better, more, or faster. During the feedback sessions, parties should definitely talk about mutual expectations and provide guidelines for the future.

Take your calendars out and schedule feedback sessions right away.

Continuity ensures success!

4. Give to Employee an opportunity to think!

Instead of giving all the answers yourself, ask questions. “But how would YOU do that?” or “What could be the solutions to this problem?” or simply “With the thoughts in your head, what moves will you make?” People like to think and they like to have their views taken into account. People like to be heard.

In order not to get stuck in problems only, ask for ideas, innovative ideas. Enquire for ideas at meetings, interviews, during luncheon. Stimulate and encourage people to share their thoughts and ideas constantly.

 5. Stand for fair remuneration!

Yes, it is quite normal that different people understand “fair remuneration” differently. Usually, their understanding is from their own point of view. As a Manager, you shall always be ready to communicate openly the principles of remuneration, in particular from the Company’s perspective. Be prepared to talk about wage because this issue pops out in most unexpected moments.

When talking about fair remuneration, the most important principle is to avoid a situation where an Employee is experiencing an apparent and severe injustice against oneself. It is an emotion that can crack his or her whole future attitude towards the Company as Employer. To avoid untrue perceptions, you need a thorough and clear communication directly from the Line Manager.

Injustice is usually generated by:

– Unpaid overtime hours or refusal to compensate them with free time

– Extraordinary bonuses are paid subjectively and only to selected Employees

– Employee contribution to the final result is underestimated

– Unequal treatment of Employees in regards incentives and bonuses

Fair remuneration does not mean equal pay!

Fair remuneration is favored through:

– Clear grades of positions within job families

– The extent of responsibility and Employee’s personal contribution is considered

– Compliance with the local Labor Market offerings

– Understandable salary and additional pay calculation scheme

– Transparent decision-making process

 6. Recognition!

Differences between superficial praise ( “Quite good”) and recognition is concreteness. Being general in praise is very common. Nevertheless, recognition is aimed to be more personalized, specific.

A simple model for giving recognition is:

– What is the strength, skill, behavior you want to point out

– Give an example of where you’ve seen it (specific, details)

– Why is it valuable to the Company

– Why is it a valuable to the Employee

There is no rule for how often people should be recognized. But whenever giving recognition, ensure it has warmth, content, and value!