Think your staff might be at risk of “quiet quitting” due to low compensation? Think again. Recent research suggests that salary is one of the least-important facets of a role that drive employee performance, keeping your employees happy and motivated.

So, let’s take five to explore the real factors driving staff performance.

Why are my employees underperforming?

Poor performance at work is rarely down to incompetence. It’s much more likely that your team’s lack of effort is down to one of a myriad of business culture factors that can derail performance.

1. They don’t understand the WHY behind their role

Purpose is key to exceptional performance. How can you expect your employees to care about what they’re doing if they don’t understand WHY they’re doing it?

Having a purpose drives motivation and morale. If your employees lack any context in their actions, especially repetitive ones, then they’re going to burn out and lose focus.

2. They don’t understand the WHY behind their company

Showing up to work can’t simply be about a paycheck; we’ve already established, above, that salary isn’t a driving factor in work-related motivation.

Actually, sharing key strategic milestones and successes can directly improve your team’s motivation. Don’t withhold information from your employees; it could be harming your organizational success.

3. They feel like they’re working in isolation, not as part of a team

Nothing corrodes company performance faster than having your employees feel like they’re working in a silo.

Working in isolation and lacking team collaboration can quickly degrade your employees’ mental wellbeing. Positive wellbeing is linked to everything from engagement, to performance and productivity.

Focus on promoting team and cross-team collaboration and communication, and don’t treat your staff’s wellbeing as an afterthought.

4. They don’t realize how their actions impact customers, colleagues, and the company

Staff that aren’t pulling their weight often do so because they don’t see the impact. They don’t understand how their lack of performance is affecting colleagues, customers, and even the company itself.

But don’t focus on the negatives; highlighting employee failures is a good way to kill their job satisfaction and trust in management, which we know impacts on organizational performance.

Happy workers are around 13% more productive. Focus on the positive impact that their role and direct actions have on company performance, and reinforce this through performance reviews or by any other means you can.

5. They’re demotivated by toleration of poor performance

The real value driving your organization is your “A-Players.” The top talent that constantly seeks out new and innovative ways to improve your organizational performance and delight customers.

These people are excited by innovation and improving processes and products. They enjoy the thrill of rising to the top, and they like to keep score. They constantly want feedback on how they can improve, and most importantly, they motivate other team members.

As a CEO, your goal is to nurture this talent. And whoever isn’t an A-Player, whether you want to call them “B-Players,” or something else entirely – they require guidance to reach their full potential.

If you’re coddling B or C-Players and accepting sub-par performance, then you’re not only diluting your talent pool; you’re also demotivating your star performers.

6. They don’t feel empowered to make decisions

You’ll know when your employees lack empowerment, because they’ll be seeking your input on every minute detail.

Research highlights a strong link between empowerment and job performance. Ironically, by guiding every decision your team makes, they’re more than likely to deliver worse performance in the long run.

7. They feel micromanaged at every turn

Without trust, your organization will stall. Micromanagement will kill any motivation that your employees have to better themselves and drive your organization forward.

Trust has been closely linked to job satisfaction, which in turn drives productivity and thus organizational performance.

Similarly, micromanagement in the workplace has been found to:

  • Lead to lower employee morale
  • Reduce productivity
  • Increase staff turnover

All of these factors can hit your bottom line, hard.

Instead, you should be focusing on the goal; the output that you expect. Let your employees discover the path to that goal by themselves. They’ll learn more, learn to trust you, and their performance will naturally improve.

Get Actionable Insights in Your Inbox

If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your team, see how many of the above behaviors you can identify in your own team.

Curious about the best ways to improve staff performance and drive your company forward?

Discover a weekly list of short, actionable steps to get out of operational deadlock, build a self-managing team, grow strategically, and increase company value in the Boardroom Bulletin™.

Categories: Team