Faced with decreasing performance levels of employees, some questions that are likely to occupy a manager’s mind would be – What training can I give them to increase their productivity and performance? How can I motivate them so that they perform to the best of their abilities?
However, before deciding on a training program, the manager needs to identify the factors that affect the productivity and performance of employees. Unless you know the causes, you will not be able to find the solutions. The causes for dwindling productivity of employees could be any of the following factors:
Skills & knowledge: If employees do not have the necessary capability, skill or knowledge to do the job, their performance suffers.
Clarity about role: Employees need to know their responsibilities and have a clear understanding about what they need to accomplish at the end of the day. Ambiguity about roles could be another reason for a drop in their performance.
Work environment and culture: Unhealthy work environment is another factor that affects performance of employees. A positive workplace culture boosts employee morale, creates a work environment that is enjoyable and contributes to increased productivity.
Employee attitude: If employees do not have the enthusiasm to work and are disinterested in the job, it would have an impact on their performance.
Right tools and resources: You need to have right tools, equipment and resources in order to perform well. Absence of these resources also could contribute to a dip in performance level.
Once the manager identifies the reasons for reduced productivity in his organization, he can take corrective action. In cases where productivity suffers due to lack of right tools and resources, he will have to consider upgrading his set up.
Training will be an option when it has been firmly established that inadequate knowledge or skill set is impairing employees’ performance. In such a scenario, employees need to upgrade their skills or knowledge using either traditional instructor-led programs, blended learning or eLearning. eLearning programs have a quick development time and can be launched across the organization within a short duration. They can be customized to suit the specific requirements of their employees. eLearning courses also offer employees the flexibility to upgrade their knowledge and skills at a time that is convenient to them.
However, it is important to identify the factors that are affecting the performance of employees before choosing the best training options.
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Jim is a sales manager in a leading multinational company. His responsibilities include meeting sales targets, training and assessing the performance of new employees and reporting results to the senior management. Recently, he hired talented people from various prestigious institutions into his team. After providing 4 months of rigorous training, he expected them to perform well. But, after 3 months, Jim realized that his team is underperforming and are not reaching the sales targets. Productivity was taking a hit, and this worried Jim. He tried to find the reasons for the dismal performance of his team. After speaking to some colleagues, he understood what the problem was. Jim realized that his training was not very effective because it did not align with the profile of his sales people who belonged to Gen Y.