Do you feel like your performance at work is suddenly dwindling?
Whether you are working remotely or back at your office, there are a couple of reasons why this might actually happen, but today we will focus on what you can do to get out of that situation if you’re in or ever find yourself in it.
Most people only think about their work performance during an annual, biannual, or quarterly performance appraisal – which in most cases is way too late.
Improving work performance is not an overnight process. There is no secret hack, no plug and play button anywhere. Instead, it takes creating a system based on the mutual interaction of different strategies, tools, and of course, a lot of experimentation.
Quick tip: If you’re looking for tips to help you get settled back at the office, here’s an article by Page Financials that can help you get started
In this article, we share 3 simple but effective approaches to improve your performance. Let’s get to it.
Step 1. Review Yourself And Find What Can Be Improved
If you are reading this post then chances are that you have already identified that your performance might need improvement, or that it is simply below what it used to be.
The first step to improving anything is to identify what exactly needs to be improved. After all, it’s next to impossible to improve something without knowing what it is you want to improve.
Similarly, improving your performance at work is too vague a statement. It needs to be fine-tuned to optimize specific areas at work: Do you want to reduce work time? Then you most likely need to adopt time management practices.
Or maybe you fail to meet deadlines, which is probably due to lack of organization.
As you can see, there are many areas of improvement at work and each area requires a different strategy.
For this reason, it’s crucial to measure your current work performance to find areas that need to be improved.
Step 2. Adopt Strategies To Help You Achieve Your Goal
Now that you know exactly where you stand in terms of work performance, these insights will help you create relevant strategies to improve upon those areas that need improvement.
However, you should note that improving work performance can go on for weeks (if not months), and without the right set of goals and attitude, you’ll lack focus and direction to go on.
It is important to take time to set the right goal from the beginning.
For instance, you can’t simply say, “I want to reduce my work time,” and expect it to happen – even if it did happen you wouldn’t know it. Which is why you need to set smart goals.
Adopt S.M.A.R.T Goals.
S.M.A.R.T goals are a goal-setting framework that brings structure and trackability into your goals.
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for:
S = Specific: What exactly needs to be accomplished and what strategies will you implement?
M = Measurable: What data needs to be measured for the goal? What’s deemed success or failure?
A = Achievable: Is the goal doable? Do you have the skills and capabilities to achieve it? The fact that your colleague does something in a way doesn’t mean you should simply want that for yourself.
R = Relevant: How does the goal align your professional goals? Why is the result important to you or your organization?
T = Time-Bound: What is the deadline for the goal?
For example, let’s assume that I want to reduce the time it takes for me to write an article, having researched the current time I spend writing an article, I could simply say my goal is “to reduce the time I spend in writing an article.” But that is a very vague goal.
Instead, here is a SMART goal: “Reduce my article writing time by 3 hours by adopting a structured Pomodoro work style to free up time for other official tasks by 30th August 2020.”
With this, it’s clear what I want to do, how I’m going to measure result, it’s achievable, important to my organization and the deadline is clearly stated.
Step 3: Rinse And Repeat
Like we stated earlier, it’s not a set it and forget it vase. A huge part of improving work performance is ensuring you’re still on track by evaluating your performance regularly.
This is where a personal performance review comes in and helps you identify what’s working and more importantly, what’s not working for you.
There are no specific rules to carry out this self-appraisal, but you most definitely don’t have to keep it formal, like in a typical corporate review.
If things worked out, great! Set higher goals, if things didn’t work out, find out why and improve on them.
Remember, we’re all human, so don’t be surprised if you haven’t seen a considerable improvement. Instead, use this as an opportunity to fine-tune your strategy.
Your productivity level is important to keep your career growth in the progressive, if you notice that you are not achieving your goals or KPIs, it is time to evaluate yourself and take strategic actions towards improvement.