What are the biggest factors that affect employee performance?
Employee performance depends on a number of different factors, including:
- The effectiveness of management
- Tools and technology made available to workers
- The physical work environment
- The digital work environment
In this article, we will look at these factors – plus a few others – to determine which ones have the biggest effect on worker performance.
7 of the Biggest Factors that Influence Employee Performance
Worker performance doesn’t just depend on their skill levels – though proficiency does play a role.
The employee experience, the work environment, coworkers, managers, and other variables all interact to affect performance.
Employers that want to improve employee performance, therefore, should perform detailed assessments within their organization. Those assessments can help uncover problems, as well as solutions.
Here are a few factors to watch for when conducting those assessments:
1. Management Styles
Effective management helps improve motivation, engagement, and performance.
Poor management has the opposite effect – decreasing satisfaction, productivity, and performance.
A number of studies back up this claim and suggest that employee performance depends a great deal on management.
One way to improve performance, therefore, is to identify and fix problems in management.
Employee surveys can offer quick insight into the state of management within a company, pinpoint potential issues, then suggest avenues for fixing those problems.
2. The Corporate Culture
Organizational culture is composed of beliefs and assumptions that, in part, drive employee behavior.
Certain traits and behaviors have a positive impact on worker performance, while others have a negative impact.
For instance, these traits can help improve workforce performance:
- A culture built around continual learning and improvement
- A belief in the value of digital literacy and digital dexterity
- Openness to change and new ideas
There is no single trait or idea that can transform employee behavior overnight – in fact, cultural transformations are difficult and take time.
However, inculcating the right values into a workplace can help change the way employees think about work … and, more importantly, how they perform.
3. The Digital Work Environment
The digital workplace includes:
- The digital tools employees use
- How those digital tools are used
- Digital training and skills development
- Digital workflows
The digital work environment can be fluid, seamless, and user-friendly.
Or it can be fragmented and disjointed.
The more than an organization invests in its digital component, the happier employees will be, and the better they will perform.
4. The Physical Work Environment
The physical work environment also affects important employee metrics, such as engagement, satisfaction, and performance.
Good work environments should be tailored to the needs of the workplace culture and the workforce.
Fast-paced creative startups, for instance, tend to create work environments that reflect their culture, their values, and their mission. Many include stimulating décor, activity areas, games, and so forth.
The same work environment would not work, however, for a company with a different culture in a different industry.
However, regardless of industry or culture, the physical environment does play a role in performance.
Generally, the better the work environment – from desks to décor – the better employees will feel at their job.
5. Day-to-Day Job Duties and Workflows
The actual job duties also play a role in worker performance.
After all, employees will be more inclined to work hard if they find their jobs interesting, engaging, and meaningful.
When workers feel disengaged or bored, however, their performance can easily suffer.
In some cases, it is possible to make changes that can improve engagement, increase motivation, and make work more meaningful.
- Automation can remove tedious, boring tasks from a worker’s to-do list
- Showing how a worker’s duties positively impact the customers can help add meaning to daily work routines
- Offering skills training and career development options can help improve employees’ career prospects, increasing their engagement – and, at the same time, increasing their value for the organization
For employees who are disengaged and bored at their jobs, taking steps such as these can help enhance performance, as well as engagement, longevity, and other important metrics.
6. The Employee Experience
The employee experience includes every stage of the employee journey, including:
- Post-Exit Interactions
That experience depends on its own set of factors, some of which are covered in this list.
Creating a positive employee experience offers a number of benefits:
- Better performance
- More employee engagement and motivation
- Increased engagement
- Less friction
Today, many companies are realizing that the employee experience is not just “icing on the cake” – it plays a direct role in how much value employees contribute to the organization.
7. Employee Onboarding
Onboarding, an important step in the employee journey, defines how employees perceive and interact with a company.
First impressions, after all, are the most important.
To get the best results from an onboarding program, organizations should follow a checklist that covers all the bases:
- Operational integration, which provides employees with the right tools, skills, and resources they need to succeed at their jobs
- Social integration with coworkers and managers
- Strategic integration, to ensure employees align with and support the company’s mission
The right onboarding approach can make a big difference in the bottom line.
Employees who integrate quickly and effectively, after all, will be more productive, engaged, and satisfied … and less likely to look for other jobs.