Understanding the factors that affect staff performance can be key to improving workplace productivity and employee morale. There are many factors that affect staff performance, both inside the workplace and in personal lives. It is important to keep an open dialogue between staff and management to prevent losing touch with issues that may be causing problems in the workplace.
Personal issues are a major factor that can hinder performance at work. Most people are not able to fully separate their work day from a serious personal crisis, such as a divorce, loss of a family member, or other traumatic emotional problem. While a manager or supervisor cannot solve this problem for the worker, a company creates loyalty by providing understanding and patience during an employee's serious personal crisis. Treating an employee like a person in a time of need, rather than a company asset, may be vital to restoring his or her performance to normal levels.
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Workplaces are often social places, and while a friendly workforce can be a great asset to a company, the ups and downs of workplace relationships can greatly affect staff performance. Whether coffee breaks are becoming extended conversations or the whole office is distracted by the front office manager begging one of the marketing people not to let their love slip away, it is important to clearly define the difference between a social and professional atmosphere in the workplace. Try encouraging employee friendships by setting up activities or evenings outside the workplace, but don't be afraid to insist on professional behavior during working hours.
On a technical level, one factor that can have an effect on staff performance is proper training and qualifications. In the first few weeks of employment, keep an eye on new employees to ensure that they are properly learning the job and that it is not beyond their capacity. Some corporations operate by hiring new employees into a general secretarial or assistant pool, then giving them additional opportunities and training in areas they show promise in or clearly enjoy, allowing them to grow into a personalized job. This program not only allows management a better chance to observe a worker's strengths and weaknesses than a simple interview, but also gives the employee some choice over his or her future at the company.
Though it may sound trivial, poor or faulty equipment may affect staff performance. If office workers are forced to use computers that are ten years out of date, not only will productivity slow down, but they may feel that their jobs are unimportant to the company. A construction worker forced to use beaten up tools and fraying safety ropes may feel that his or her safety is less important to employers than spending money to buy new equipment. To the best of financial ability, try to give staff the correct tools to do the job right and efficiently.