Insight Performance

How to maintain great employee performance (4 strategies)

If you’ve built a great team and worked to increase their performance, but now you’re wondering how to maintain employee performance at a sustainable level, then this post is for you.

If you’re not quite there yet, why not first take a look at our posts on auditing and improving your performance processes.

How to maintain team/employee performance

  1. Make performance reviews proactive
  2. Don’t rely on pay rises for motivation
  3. Set goals strategically
  4. Provide recognition

1. Make performance reviews proactive

Instead of annual performance reviews, we recommend continuous performance management. If you’re collecting continuous feedback in your regular 1:1s, and have the tools to draw all your performance data into an on-demand performance summary, the way performance reviews are conducted can be completely transformed.

No longer are your team waiting for a half year or annual review to get useful feedback and support from their leaders, they can get it progressively when they need it. This helps increase transparency and improves your culture immediately.

Not only does continuous feedback mean managers and their team members can be having bite-sized discussions on a regular basis, but when it does come time for a more formal review, all those involved will have access to the most relevant and up-to-date insights.

This means performance reviews can be turned into a proactive conversation, rather than a recap of what has happened in the past.

Use this as an opportunity to reflect on an individual’s role and reassess where their talents can best be applied in the future. For example, if you have two sales people in the same role, but one is excelling in lead generation, while the other gets less leads but has a better close rate – it might be worth redesigning their roles to cater to their unique skills.

These proactive conversations are vital to help keep your people performing over the long-term.

RELATED: How to measure employee performance (using quality metrics)

2. Don’t rely on pay rises to motivate people

While we’re on the topic of performance reviews, ensure these are not used as an opportunity to focus on salary increases. Directly linking performance discussions with salary reviews can place limitations on performance over time. There are a few reasons for this.

One, increasing an employee’s salary every time they achieve higher and higher levels of performance will eventually become unsustainable. And if they have learned to be motivated by these salary increases, what’s left to keep them improving after their salary reaches its limit?

Secondly, not all of your staff will be motivated by money. In most cases, performance at work is more intrinsically motivated, that is, feeling valued and accomplishing goals is a bigger performance driver than pay rises.

So what approaches can we use to keep our people motivated?

3. Set goals strategically

We’ve spoken before about the benefits of using goals management software. Now let’s explore how we can actually design goals to help motivate and maintain employee performance.

Having a sense of contribution or feeling like they play a valuable role within the organization is another key intrinsic motivator for your people. One way this can be leveraged is to set high-level organizational goals within the system, and then cascade these down into smaller goals for individual team members so everyone can see the role they play and how it fits into the bigger picture.

For high performing employees, you should also consider using OKRs or stretch goals, which can push their performance to new heights by getting them to find new approaches to their work.

READ NEXT

4. Provide recognition

When goals are achieved in intelliHR, relevant leaders in the business are notified, and can then give recognition on the spot, which is key for making the most impact.

When deciding on how recognition should be delivered, managers should consider how their individual direct reports like to be recognized, as everyone has different preferences for which forms of recognition will motivate them and which may actually have an adverse effect.

Through engaging in continuous feedback and having regular one-on-ones, managers are able to start understanding their team members needs and motivations better, which will be invaluable when it comes time to recognize them for their work, and will help to maintain employee performance over the long run!


intelliHR is a people management platform helping HR, leaders and managers enhance performance, culture, engagement and retention. With built-in HRIS and powerful real-time analytics, see how the platform works today.

You might also like

Performance

Improve employee feedback conversations with the Pendleton Feedback Model

Read insight
Performance

Feature update: Configuring and customizing your performance report

Read insight
Performance

9 Ways performance management empowers employees and leaders

Read insight
Performance

Performance review template: Effectively measure and evaluate employee performance

Read insight
HR analytics

How to measure employee performance (using quality metrics)

Read insight
Performance

Managing up: Why it matters and how to do it effectively

Read insight
Performance

The HR Manager’s guide to goal setting and tracking to empower your team

Read insight
Performance

The ultimate guide to continuous performance management

Read insight