10 Things You Can Do To Improve Work Performance and Develop Yourself

We will break down 10 actions you can take to improve your work performance and go from being a good employee to a great one.

April 22, 2022
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

Working smarter, not harder, is how the old saying goes. And while we'd like to think that's the case, most of us wind up working harder and harder to make headway at work.

You want to be better at your job, you want to make a positive difference, and you want to see results.

But what exactly does that look like? What does it mean to improve your work performance in a very practical sense?

In this article, we will break down 10 actions you can take to improve your work performance and go from being a good employee, manager, or leader to a great one.

How to improve work performance
  1. Clarify your goals

To improve performance at work, you need to set specific, manageable targets and then develop a strategy for achieving those goals. For example, if you are working on a deadline-driven project, set intermediate deadlines for yourself along the way.

You can repeat the same approach if you are managing a team.

Often-time, managers will try to figure out what each employee needs to get better and provide some sort of training. This can be difficult, especially if the manager has a full plate. 

Assembly's Goal Defining Flow can help employees set goals, define fears, and help managers structure ways to support their direct reports in achieving those goals.

Remember that an employee with clear goals is more efficient and motivated than someone confused about their responsibilities.

  1. Organize yourself

Most people are busy, but not all of them get much done.

If you want to do more of what's important, get more done, and increase your productivity, the best way is to get organized. There are so many options for daily/weekly planners out there, so why not try one?

If you don't know the answers to the questions below, you may benefit from a daily or weekly planner.

  • Do you know exactly what you need to accomplish every day?
  • Do you have your tasks prioritized?
  • Do you have a clear idea about which tasks will take up most of your time?

If you're looking for a new and better way to plan your day/week while retaining a clear sense of what needs to get done, you might find Assembly's Daily/Weekly Agenda Template helpful.

  1. Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It's hard to be productive if you don't know your strengths and weaknesses.

The first step to improving your work output is to be aware of what kind of work you do best, what work you enjoy doing and how you can improve in areas that are lacking.

Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, and think about how you can best use each one for the most productivity. 

If you're struggling in a particular area that needs improvement, look into ways to get better at it. In some cases, getting help is quicker than figuring it out independently. 

Check out the Self-evaluation Flow to help identify strengths and areas for improvement. 

  1. Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback can be intimidating, but it's a great way to learn about yourself and get new ideas for ways to improve. And if you ask the right questions, you'll get some great advice in the process.

When asking for feedback from colleagues and managers, try not to put them on the spot. 

Instead of demanding "Tell me how I'm doing!" try a more open-ended approach like: "I'm looking for ways to improve my performance here; do you have any suggestions?" or "How would you say I've been performing since I started?"

As a manager, you might find it challenging to receive honest feedback from your team. But if you don't know what's happening with your team or the organization, you might not be able to help the situation when trouble arises. 

Not knowing your staff is like driving a car at night without headlights on.

With Assembly's Manager Feedback Flow, you can get insights into your team quickly and easily. The feedback flow gives employees the freedom to provide anonymous feedback, and with that, you'll learn a lot more than if they keep their thoughts to themselves.

  1. Tone Down Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a major productivity killer.

Here's how it works: you're working on an important project, and you want to make sure it's perfect before turning it in. So you work on it a little more and then a little more after that, but it's still not just right. So you tinker with it some more.

At this point, let me ask you a question: how much time have you wasted?

Perfectionism is a well-known barrier to productivity. The problem with being a perfectionist is you're never done. If you're someone who has to make everything perfect before moving on, you're probably wasting a lot of time and losing sight of the real objective.

You might also be holding yourself back from taking risks that could lead to significant gains.

When it comes to performance, there's such a thing as "good enough," and often, it's wise to settle for it. You can always go back later if you need to refine the work further.

  1. Communicate Better With Others

Communication is a significant component of any job. If you're not communicating well, it's going to be tough for you to get your job done, whether in the form of communicating with customers or with fellow team members or managers.

And while we typically think of communication as articulating our thoughts and ideas to others, listening is just as important. 

You can improve your communication skills by assessing how you communicate in the workplace and by continually working on becoming a better listener and speaker.

Implementing a 1:1 with peer, manager, or direct report can be a huge help in making sure everything is being communicated. One-on-ones are a great way to stay connected and on top of tasks.

  1. Take initiative

Taking initiative isn't about being a go-getter or a self-promoter. It's about being responsible and accountable for the results of your work. 

When you take initiative, you don't wait for someone else to tell you what to do. You come up with ideas that benefit the team, and then you make them happen. If something goes wrong, you own it and figure out how to fix it. 

Taking initiative is an essential skill in its own right because it helps reduce stress in the workplace. When everyone on the team owns their work and their mistakes, there's less need for micromanagement.

  1. Stay Connected to Your Team

The more you stay connected to your team and the organization, the more likely it is that you will be able to maintain a good work performance. When you have regular updates and communication flows, you can prevent problems before they become too big. 

This can also help you get the support you need when things are tough and make sure that nothing gets overlooked.

But these days, teams are so busy with multiple projects and initiatives to execute that they start to lose focus, communications become scattered, and things just don't seem to move as quickly anymore.

As a manager, one thing is clear — your work will be less stressful and more efficient if you take advantage of Assembly's Standup Meeting Flow. This flow will help you stay connected and aligned with project teams, ensuring clarity in their work and how they continue to move forward on projects.

  1. Delegate tasks

If you want to get more done, you've got to stop doing all the work yourself. Delegating tasks is a great way to lighten your workload without compromising the quality of your output. 

Many people hesitate to do this because they think no one else can do the work as well as they can, but this isn't true. Give other people responsibilities and let them prove themselves. It is surprising how talented some people reveal themselves to be when given a chance.

  1. Track and analyze your projects

Keep track of the projects you've worked on and their results. Analyze what went right and wrong in each project, including how long it took you to complete each task or whether the results matched expectations. 

This will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses — as well as those of your team.

But collecting feedback from a cross-functional team to identify how the project went and which areas need improvement is difficult without a structure to guide the thinking and analysis. 

With Assembly's Team Retrospective Flow, you can get feedback from everyone on the team about their challenges and wins during a specific project and learn concretely what everyone's opinions are on what worked, what didn't work, what needs improvement, etc. 

Here's a template you can then use as you build your own retrospectives.

And that's all there is to it! 

While most of these tips may require little effort, they can make a huge difference in your performance at work and personal experiences. A lot of it involves setting goals for yourself and making sure you achieve them. We hope these tips help you stay motivated and on-track with your professional goals.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide
Employee recognition guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. These one-time services start at $5,000. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered