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
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Working smarter, not harder, is the core of achieving a healthy work life balance. Despite the ideal scenario, many employees find their work performance deteriorating due to multiple tasks.

You aspire to enhance your job performance, set clear and achievable goals, prioritize important tasks, and ultimately witness desired results. But what are the strategic steps to improve your work performance?

In this article, we will break down 10 steps to improve performance and go from being a good employee, manager, or leader to a great one in your professional life.

How to improve work performance

  1. Clarify your goals

To make improvements 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 and write up important tasks for yourself along the way.

Define clear objectives for yourself and your team to enhance both individual and employee performance. Avoid the pitfalls of task switching by focusing on one task at a time.

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

Remember that an employee with clear goals and a to do list 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 (or succeed at time management).

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?

Improve time management skills by getting organized. Using daily or weekly planners can help you batch similar tasks and prevent task switching. 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 a great starting point.

  1. Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It's hard to be productive or find opportunities to improve performance if you don't know your strengths and weaknesses. This is where comes in.

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. 

For effective professional development, recognize your skill set and the areas needing enhancement. Utilize tools like the Self-evaluation Flow to decipher areas that can improve work performance.

Check out the Self-evaluation Flow to help identify strengths or areas for improvement and the self-evaluation guide for more ideas. 

  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.

Seek constructive feedback from peers and managers to refine your performance at work. 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. Avoid being a perfectionist to the extent that you waste time on minute details. Strive for excellence but also learn when to move on to urgent tasks.

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. 

Strengthen working relationships by enhancing your communication skills. Regular 1:1 sessions can be instrumental in developing relationships and staying up to date with job responsibilities.

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. 

Actively take charge of your tasks. By doing so, you show a commitment to improve performance and take accountability for the outcomes.

  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.

Stay connected and avoid idle chat to ensure a boost in overall performance. 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 (this can prevent situations where teams lose focus due to multiple tasks.).

  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. Delegate tasks when possible to maintain a healthy work life balance. This not only improves time management but also empowers team members to showcase their skills.

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 and build strong working relationships.

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 and analyze your professional projects 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 to improve your work performance, complete tasks faster and get a few tips from colleagues along the way.

And that's all there is to it! 

In conclusion, while humans are not designed to multitask effectively (and usually do better when they can focus on one task), we often fall victim to it. The above steps, aided by the right tools, regular training sessions, professional development and a focus on prioritizing tasks, can drastically improve your productivity and performance at work. Remember to take short breaks, limit distractions like unnecessary phone calls, and stay focused on essential tasks for maximum efficiency.

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.

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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 and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. 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