Improve Your Job Performance
You may simply want to improve yourself so that you can be the best employee possible or you may need to improve your job performance before you lose your job. You might wonder, however, what you can do to increase your productivity and become better at your job. You can improve your job performance if you begin making improvements today, evaluate your performance, and keep up your improvements over time.
Making Improvements Today
- Get organized. Being where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there, with the materials that you need is a large part of being a good employee. Getting yourself organized will help you a lot in improving your job performance.
- Use a calendar, agenda, planner, or some other system to keep track of meetings and other important dates. Refer to it often.
- Use containers, folders, dividers, and other organizational supplies to keep your files, supplies, and other materials organized.
- Improve your time management skills. Missing deadlines, being late to meetings, or late to work on a regular basis can have a negative impact on your job performance.
So improve your job performance by improving how you make use of your time.
- Give yourself enough time to get to work on time each day. Plan for traffic, accidents, getting gas, and other things that could make you late.
- Use timers, alerts, and alarms to remind yourself of time limits, deadlines, and important upcoming events.
- When you are completing reports and other deliverables, think about the time it will take to finish them. Allow for interruptions and small problems.
- Set deadlines. Giving yourself deadlines to meet will help you with your time management and organization. So improve your job performance by creating deadlines for tasks and deliverables.
- If the task has a real deadline, set one for yourself that is a day or so before the real deadline.
- This will give you time in case there are any last minute changes or corrections needed.
- Set reminders and check-ins for the deadlines so that you can stay on track with meeting them.
- Get control of your emails and messages. Responding to each message as it comes not only interrupts your work, but can also take up valuable time.
Instead, improve your job performance by organizing and prioritizing your messages.
- Schedule specific times to check your email and other messages. Respond to urgent messages during that time and prioritize the others for response later.
- For example, you might check your messages first thing in the morning, after lunch, and at the end of the day.
- You could respond to important emails when you do your first check and less urgent messages at lunch.
- Become a team player. You can improve your job performance if people feel that they can rely on and relate to you. It will make them more likely to support you and your efforts to improve your job performance.
- Form friendships with people outside of your immediate area. Having friends in various departments can come in handy.
- Be cooperative and dependable when you have to work as part of a team or group.Template:Expertgreenbox:161229
- Learn to actively listen. Paying attention to the details of instructions, directions, updates, etc. can help you improve your relationships at work and your job performance.
So learn to focus on understanding and processing what is being said.
- During meetings and briefings make an effort to focus on the topic at hand.
- Take notes and ask questions to make sure you understand everything.
- When it’s possible, remove any distractions so that you can focus on listening. Cut electronic devices off and give the speaker your full attention.
- Improve your posture. One quick way to improve your job performance is to simply sit up straight.
Some research suggests that improving your posture while you are sitting at your desk can improve your mood and heart rate.
- Every few minutes, check to see if you are slouching. If you are, then sit up straight.
- Elongate your spin, relax your shoulders, and hold your head up straight.
Evaluating Your Job Performance
- Conduct an honest self-evaluation. Review your job description and responsibilities and rate your performance in each area. Being honest about how you are doing will help you determine what areas you need to work on to improve your job performance.
- You can rate whether you are ‘exceeding expectations’, ‘meeting expectations’, or ‘need improvement’ in each area.
- Make a list of strengths and weaknesses in each area. For example, you might put that you’re good at writing reports, but don’t submit them on time.Template:Expertgreenbox:160997
- Ask co-workers to evaluate you. One way to get an idea of how you are performing on the job is to ask your co-workers. Their perceptions of your work can give you an idea of what areas you need to improve in and what areas you are doing well in.
- You could ask them to write a few words on a sticky note that describe your work performance and put it in an envelope for that purpose on your desk.
- For example, you could say, “Would you write a few words about my work on here and put it in the envelope hanging outside my cubicle?”
- You could also create a brief, anonymous online survey for them to complete.
- If you are comfortable with it, you could ask for feedback face to face. You might say, “Would you give me some feedback on my work performance?”
- Complete an evaluation with your supervisor. This might be the most important feedback you can receive. This will let you know how your supervisor thinks you are doing and how they think you can improve your job performance.
It will also give insight into what exactly your supervisor is looking for in a great employee.
- Most companies have specific times of the year when they evaluate employees. Check with your supervisor to see when your next evaluation is due.
- You could say, “How long after I have been employed will it be before I am evaluated?” Or, “When do we have our evaluations?”
- You can always ask your supervisor for informal feedback regarding your work performance or a specific task or assignment.
- For example, you might ask your boss, “Would you mind meeting with me about how I did on this last report?”
- Address a poor performance review. Talk to your supervisor about the review and what implications it may have. Use this review as a way to improve your job performance by showing you exactly what areas your supervisor feels you need work in.
- Ask your supervisor for specific examples of how you can improve your job performance.
- For example, you might say, “In my review it said I need to improve my leadership skills. Could you give me examples of how I can do this?”
- Focus on the lowest areas on your review. Although you want to improve overall, these are the areas critical to you maintaining employment.
- For instance, if you had negative remarks regarding your attendance, you should work on improving that before you work on your leadership skills.
- Compile a list of your strengths. Although you may be focused on your areas of improvement, taking a look at your strengths can help you improve your job performance.
When you know what your strengths are, you know what internal resources you have to support your improvements.
- Make a list of strengths that you, your co-workers, or your supervisor mentioned in your evaluations.
- Highlight those strengths that were mentioned by more than one person or more than once in general.
- For example, you might write ‘reliable’ and ‘dependable’ and also write and highlight ‘diligent’ because you and your supervisor mentioned it.
- Make a list of your areas for improvement. You will know exactly what you need to do to improve your job performance if you review the feedback from your evaluations. Look for things that you, your coworkers, and supervisor feel that you can do better.
- Look for keywords in your evaluations like: improve, increase, strengthen, expand, or develop.
- Look for reoccurring themes in your evaluations like being on time, checking your facts, or being a team player.
- Set performance goals for yourself. Once you know what areas you need to improve in and what strengths you have to make the improvements, you can set goals. Goal-setting will help make your improvements in your job performance concrete and hold you accountable.
- Set goals related to increasing your productivity. For example, you might set a goal to submit five additional applications a day.
- Break each goal down into doable action steps. For instance, in order to submit five more applications daily you might need to file and review them faster.Template:Expertgreenbox:161229
Sustaining Your Improvements
- Get active. Some studies indicate that regular physical activity can increase productivity at work.
Improve your job performance by working out or doing something active a few times a week.
- Take a brief walk during your lunch break or park further away from the entrance so that you have to walk a little further from the car each morning.
- Join a gym close to your job or use your company’s fitness center, if you have one.
- Do ten to twenty minutes of yoga or tai chi in the morning before work or go for a brisk jog or swim.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can impact your concentration, mood, energy, and, in turn, have a negative effect on your job performance.
Create a nightly routine that allows you to get plenty of rest.
- Start preparing for bed an hour or so in advance. Do things that calm and relax your body and mind like meditating, reading, or yoga.
- Avoid caffeine in the hour before you plan to go to sleep. Instead of coffee or caffeinated tea, go for decaf or a glass of water.
- Put your phone on silent or turn off non-essential notifications until the morning.
- Practice mindfulness. The practice of focusing only on the task at hand and focusing on that task with all of your senses can help improve your concentration.
Improving your concentration can help you be more productive and improve your job performance.
- Instead of multitasking, do one thing at a time. Focus all your attention on that one thing.
- For example, instead of checking your email while you complete your inventory sheet, focus only on the inventory.
- If you find your mind wandering or that you are daydreaming, gently bring your thoughts back to the task at hand.
- You might say to yourself, “I started thinking about the game. Let me focus on the inventory.”