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Enhancing Productivity Print
Here are a variety of tips from one of my recent seminars that will help you enhance your productivity. They’ve all been used by top managers with great results. Steer Clear Of These Appraisal Mistakes Don’t make common mistakes when rating your staff’s performance. Keep these tips in mind:


** Don’t grade on the curve.
It’s wrong to assume that only a few employees can receive outstanding evaluations. Base your appraisals on set criteria. Measure employees against expected performance, not each other.

** Don’t turn a customer-focused employee into a boss-focused employee.
Your staff shouldn’t worry more about what you think of them than what customers think of them. Solicit customer feedback when evaluating a staff member. You may find out that your customers love someone you consider a mediocre performer.

** Don’t focus on the short-term.
Like kids before the holidays, employees often improve their performance right before an evaluation, rather than thinking of their jobs as continuous, evolving endeavors. Don’t reward them for a burst of productivity. Emphasize the need for long-term growth and improvement.

** Offer Training – Even If They Don’t Ask
If you have a staff member who has trouble performing certain tasks, he/she may simply need more training. But don’t expect employees to ask for the training they need. Many hesitate to seek training because:
- They’re afraid to reveal deficiencies.
- They believe they should already possess the skills and knowledge to do their jobs.
- They don’t want to call attention to themselves by asking for approval to take a course.

So what can you do if you suspect an employee is afraid to bring his/her lack of skills to your attention?

Offer training in a way that allows him/her to maintain dignity but makes clear that poor performance can’t continue. Example: “John, I’ve noticed that you’re still doing your reports by hand. I’ve arranged for you to take a computer course, because I will require that all reports be computer-generated starting next quarter.”

** Encourage Employees To Expand Their Horizons.
Managers who help employees develop their careers are rewarded with satisfied, productive staff members who benefit the organization.

** Here are some ways to help people reach their potential:
- Encourage them to develop realistic career plans.
Meet with employees and tell them what opportunities and assistance your organization can offer.
- Practice job enrichment.
Not every employee can move up in an organization, so creative managers have to find ways to expand current positions.
- Offer career-planning workshops.
Use in-house specialists or call on outside consultants. Workshops should help employees clarify their goals, pinpoint their aptitudes and identify career development options.

Just small efforts on the part of a manager can bring big results when staff feels that they are respected and have a place within the organization.

Copyright 2003 O’Connor Success System, New York

Kathleen O’Connor is the owner of the O’Connor Success System which provides professional growth programs for managers and entrepreneurs. To access thier free resources, visit thier website.
You can sign up there for your free 4-part mini-course on communication skills and a free subscription to our monthly e-zine, “The Edge.”

O’Connor Success System
511 Avenue of the Americas, #276
New York NY 10011-8436
Phone: (212) 924-9339
Fax: (212) 924-3222

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