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Work performance is directly linked to a variety of workplace factors. If something’s amiss, it can have dramatic consequences for attitudes, efficiencies, and productivity. The good news is that leaders can (and should) manage workplace factors, so they work for employees, not against them.

Let’s talk about the essential factors that affect work performance, which three measurement methods to use, and how to take the next step in helping your employees achieve their performance goals.

What Is a Workplace Factor?

A workplace factor is anything that positively or negatively affects an employee’s ability to: (a) do their job well and (b) feel engaged in and fulfilled by their work.

Examples of workplace factors include:

  • Quantity and quality of workload
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Trust in leadership

When these factors are misaligned with employee expectations or values, the motivation, and ability to perform at a high level diminish. Fortunately, the opposite is true: performance increases when workplace factors and employees align with expectations and values.

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What Are the Factors That Affect Work Performance?

Many factors determine how well an employee can focus, complete tasks, provide good service, and be part of the office community. Here are some top factors that affect work performance.

Happy employees

1. Job Satisfaction

Sixty percent of employees consider the people they work with to be “very important to job satisfaction.” Here are a few other elements that contribute to job satisfaction:

Leadership is concerned with the needs of their team members

An employee’s knowledge and skillset match their job responsibilities

Compensation is fair and aligned with industry standards

2. Employee Engagement

Sixty-eight percent of employees worldwide feel engaged at work, which, regrettably, leaves 32 percent unengaged. Engagement is an important factor affecting productivity. Here are a few things that increase employee engagement:

  • Employees feel acknowledged and appreciated for their contributions.
  • Team members are committed to collaboration within and outside their department.
  • There is a sense of community among team members and the company as a whole.

3. Training and Development

U.S. companies have been increasing their training investments over the last few years. Large companies provide an average of 102.6 hours per employee annually, midsize companies provide 34.7 annual hours, and small companies provide 41.7.

Other than simply adding training hours, here are a few ways training and development factors can improve:

  • New hires are qualified and/or trained immediately to fulfill their job position.
  • Evolving company policies and compliance requirements are clearly communicated.
  • Incentives are used to drive training/developmental initiatives forward.

4. The Right Tools for the Job

Being provided with the proper tools helps employees perform not only better but faster. Ensure the following:

  • Office supplies are readily available.
  • Physical tools and machines are in good working condition.
  • Internet connection is fast and reliable.
  • Hardware and software are updated/upgraded as needed.

Additionally, the importance of technology is very high in performance and productivity—75% of global organizations are forecast to increase their use of technological productivity tools because they save a lot of time and money.

Good company culture

5. Company Culture and Work Environment

When it comes to the factors affecting job performance, few things are as important as company culture. Culture sets procedural and behavioral norms within an organization, including policies, goals, attitudes, and expectations. Organizational culture is a crucial factor for minority employees. For example, 35% of white male employees believe diversity and inclusion are essential to a supportive workplace culture. However, almost twice as many employees (65%) who identify as LGBTQ believe the same thing.

As a leader, it can be a bit difficult to decipher the culture and morale within your company or department without first taking a step back to observe and contemplate it. Here are a few clues that the culture is positive:

  • There isn’t constant whining or complaining.
  • Team members seem to have confidence and a sense of purpose.
  • Management’s conduct is encouraging, not punitive.
  • Employees feel safe in and around the property.
  • The level of turnover is lower compared to your competitors.

6. Work Environment

As far as the work environment goes, it’s often an overlooked factor of work performance. Nevertheless, how the office space looks and feels plays a big role in the comfort and productivity of employees. The following improves performance:

  • The space and furnishings are clean and tidy.
  • The temperature, air quality, lighting, and noise are at comfortable levels.
  • Employees can personalize their workspace.

7. Workload

Team members who are frequently overwhelmed by a large workload may experience stress, burnout, and decreased productivity. Alternatively, those with little to do may grow disengaged and less productive in their roles.

Striking the right workload balance helps individuals stay productive and engaged in their work. In addition, a balanced workload is essential to building a fulfilling career one will genuinely want to invest in for the long term.

Here are some ways to help assign the right workload amount:

  • Discuss with team members what a realistic and unrealistic workload looks like.
  • Prioritize responsibilities to help individuals stay focused on one task at a time.
  • Create an open feedback/communication channel; encourage professionals to reach out to you if they feel they need adjustments to their workload. As unexpected circumstances arise, it’s important to be open to feedback.

8. Communication

A business that executes effective communication strategies has a 3.5 times higher chance of outperforming its competitors.

Effective communication fosters trust by facilitating prompt and transparent resolution of issues. Additionally, it promotes teamwork and enhances problem-solving. When all individuals have the opportunity to voice their concerns, ideas, and opinions, this nurtures a healthy workplace environment.

Leaders can stay accountable for maintaining clear communication channels by:

  • Consistently encouraging team members to ask any questions or raise any concerns they have
  • Being aware of and respecting each person’s communication style
  • Participating in active listening and asking follow-up questions to ensure you are understanding the other party
  • Clearly communicating the purpose of a discussion

3 Methods for Measurement

Now that you know the most important factors that affect performance, you need to know how to measure employee performance. Three methods work well for gaining the necessary information. Each method should be reviewed before taking any further steps:

1) Employee Feedback: Asking an employee about how they view their performance can be as effective as it is insightful.
2) Peer Feedback: Colleagues can speak on their own experiences collaborating and working with fellow employees.
3) Manager Feedback: Performance reviews and ratings help demonstrate the quality of key performance indicators (KPIs).

The Next Steps to Achieve Higher Employee Performance

While knowing about and measuring these factors that affect work performance is a good first step, it’s not the only one to take to help employees reach peak performance. To do that, trust the experts at CMOE. We can help you drive organizational change and get the performance results you want.

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About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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