8 Tips on How Corrective Action Can Improve Employee Performance

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Written By Alexandra Reay

Corrective action is a set of preventive and restorative procedures meant to help employees work more efficiently and professionally.

Workers make mistakes, but a good manager applies the right measures to aid the staff and develop the company. Hence, as an administrator, you need to master the art of feedback and corrective action to create an efficient and positive workspace.

In this article, you’ll find the best corrective action and tips that will boost employee performance. 

1. Constant feedback 

Employees generally fear performance reviews. However, as stated by Forbes, feedback is quintessential for any businesses’ success.

But why? A company that lacks communication can lose up to $420,000 a year, according to SHRM. It is not an unnecessary procedure aimed to scold and penalize workers. With the right approach, feedback is a way to improve high-quality performance.

The key idea is to create a “feedback culture”: employees and employers continuously talk to each other about issues and improvements.

Here are some of the types of performance review:

a). Long-term feedback.

Employers evaluate individual performances over an extended period and analyze the most productive moments in an employee’s career. This type of feedback is extensive, but it is presented annually or every couple of years.

Also, it is essential to determine the roles of each worker within the company as it is easier to see which tasks are preferred by the employee. For example, if a worker has more success at marketing than at sales, they will take up the management tasks.

b). Short-term feedback.

Employers value the work on a single project and determine the causes and future adjustments of an employee’s performance. This type is monthly or at the end of a project. Such feedback is useful in finding the best approach for every kind of task.

For example, if the project implicates designing a building for a business, the whole team can understand what it is like to work with a larger firm.

c). Team feedback.

Employers evaluate the performance of a collective to understand if it is efficient enough and if all workers are in harmony. This feedback can be short-term, extended, or even after every project.

d). Constant feedback.

Every employee of the company addresses the problems, asks for advice, and helps, while supervisors communicate new objectives and demands. For a company to develop, it needs to implement all four types. 

2. Work in teams

8 Tips on How Corrective Action Can Improve Employee PerformanceWorking in teams is an efficient way to increase productivity. Research shows that groups of two, three, or four people are better than large-sized teams.

There are plenty of benefits from team collaboration.

a). Workers can bring different ideas, solutions, and perspectives to the table.

This aspect can be particularly advantageous as the team acts like an organism with specialized components. Also, each member can choose tasks according to their skills, which reduces stress and improves performance quality.

b). Employees can supervise each other.

Since every component needs to share their ideas and solutions, the rest of the group can revise their work and make sure that it is accurate.

A team can work independently without the supervision of managers. This aspect is crucial for administrators as they can focus on other critical tasks.

c. Workers learn from each other.

Whether they are new colleagues or not, working in a small group creates interpersonal relations and honest communication. New employees get familiar with the workplace quicker, and members teach each other tips and tricks.

If you are an employer, consider creating small groups of employees. You can start by placing desks together and assigning a group to each employee. Later, after tracking their performances, you can change groups, merge, or separate them.

3. Effective feedback language

At the base of efficient feedback, there is a specific language. The words you use are vital to conveying the exact message you intend to send.

Also, part of the reason why there is a stigma around feedback is that often it is associated with negative language. As a manager, you want to motivate your employees to do better, and to look up to you instead of fearing and despising you.

A compassionate, clear, practical performance review is inspiring, and it keeps employees’ morale up. For example, instead of saying, “Your performance was disappointing,” try, “I liked your idea. However, here’s what I would do next time.”

The feedback language focuses on giving an example rather than directly correcting the issue. This method of positive review and performance management encourages the employee to keep working rather than quitting or stressing out.

You can try to mix correctional feedback with reinforcing feedback. The first one tells the employee what to stop doing, while the second one tells them what they should keep doing.

Furthermore, make sure that your feedback is objective and transparent. Make sure that you prepare your review with care. Try using a thorough review system to make sure that you rate all employees with the same criteria.

Always focus on their performance and professional behavior instead of their personality, first impressions, or other superficial traits.

4. Develop a thorough procedure to fix any problem

Feedback isn’t always enough to improve employee performance. You can’t rely 100 percent on performance reviews.

You need to create a plan that can fix any problem, whether your employees cause it or not. Start defining the issue by asking yourself:

  • What is the problem?
  • When did it occur/start?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who was involved?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How did it happen?

If you can’t answer all these questions by yourself, you can have a team meeting and build a detailed plan.

The idea is to find the root cause and eradicate it through a standard procedure that all employees know how to implement. Encourage your personnel to address all difficulties by opening an honest dialog with them.

Don’t blame your staff for everything that goes wrong in your firm. Find the problem and fix it as soon as possible. 

5. Create a prevention procedure

Fixing the problem is essential, but preventing the issues from happening again saves time and money.

You can create a thorough prevention procedure that helps your employees’ performance remain constant. Start by addressing the company’s frequent issues.

For example, a delivery business may have everyday troubles with mixed orders. The manager inspects the problem and tries to find the root cause.

Next, the warehouse software is updated and supervised by preventive software that double-checks all the orders. The best way to avoid issues is by having a plan B in case something goes wrong.

Preventive measures are useful for the company’s success, and they also keep employees less stressed about their responsibilities.

6. Help employees work better

8 Tips on How Corrective Action Can Improve Employee PerformanceMost malfunctions are due to weary hardware, slow software, inadequate mechanical tools, lack of automatization.

Therefore, it is crucial to inspect the gear periodically and update or replace it as needed.

For example, for a journalist, a slow PC with a 2007 Microsoft Word app can significantly reduce efficiency. Replacing old hardware and software with new versions cuts down costs and saves time.

Moreover, you need to pick the right tools for your employees. Ask them about the instruments they need the most and if they are adequate to complete the job.

Last but not least, employ new people. Don’t let your workers deal with a thousand tasks all at once, as it can be counterproductive and dangerous.

If you expand your team, every member can complete a high-quality job efficiently and safely.

7. Educate

At the base of corrective action, there is education. Train your employees through continuous feedback, repairing, and preventive measures.

Also, provide educational and practical courses for your workers. For example, organize updated lessons for the sales sector to make sure that your employees know how to use the software correctly.

Don’t forget to participate in improvement courses yourself. Managers are the ones who administer the entire structure of a business. You may be a natural leader, but managing lessons can teach you how to communicate better with your staff and how to implement new measures.

8. Motivate your employees

Finally, don’t forget to motivate your employees to work responsibly in exchange for recognition and promotion. You can offer bonuses, compensations to the people who worked best, and most.

If you want to keep your employees driven to improve, you need to make them feel professionally appreciated. Don’t forget to congratulate your team after every success and organize events that help create a strong connection between staff members.

Conclusion: Corrective actions to improve employee performance

Taking corrective action is a complex procedure that involves systematic feedback, preventive plans, and training courses. Don’t forget to create a feedback culture in your workplace and to reward your employees for their work.

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