How to Motivate Under Performers

Even the greatest company can fail if its employees are under performing. Morale, confidence, skill level and more can all have a drastic effect on an employee’s performance. Underperforming does not necessarily mean that the employee is poor at their job. It can have just as much to do with management and the company as a whole as it can with the individual. In order to help motivate under performers excel at their job, follow these steps.

Understand why they’re underperforming

The best way to tackle any problem is by understanding the cause of it. Every employee is different, and each has their own problems with varying impacts. Get an unbiased overview of the person’s behavior and work from someone like a manager or fellow co worker. In addition to obtaining some useful and unbiased information on the employee, you may also get some insight as to why they may be underperforming. For instance, a coworker could mention that the employee has been very distracted lately due to issues at home, or they’re having difficulties understanding a new software.

HR software can also be perfect to understanding just how the employee is truly performing. It allows you to see a breakdown of their performance through analytics involving their met goals, current projects and more.

Open lines of communication and provide encouragement

Once you’ve gathered some information, it’s time to sit down and have a conversation with the employee about their performance. Start off by letting them understand how valuable they are to the company and what they’ve achieved there so far. Many employees simply don’t feel like they’re appreciated, and even merely hearing these words from their boss can have a very positive effect on their work. If anything, it will likely provide them with some drive to try to improve.

Explain all of the details that you’ve collected on their performance, and offer a helping hand in rectifying the situation. If you haven’t collected enough information to pinpoint why they’re underperforming, discuss why both you and they believe this may be happening. There could be more than one reason. For instance, if you believe they’re frustrated over not understanding a new software, offer some helpful resources for learning about it, or suggest they work alongside someone else who knows the software very well for a while. They may then suggest that the reason they’ve been getting frustrated with the software is due to hardware issues in their work laptop. This could be fixed with repairs or a new computer.

Set clear goals and provide coaching

Some employees aren’t aware that their performance is lacking, and some employers and managers simply don’t provide clear goals for their employees. Lay down some clear performance goals for the employee, and offer some coaching to help them improve. Be wary of employees who refuse coaching or any sort of help. If they don’t want to equip themselves with the proper tools and resources to improve, they may not be worth keeping around.

Follow up

Just like how employees may under perform when they believe their work isn’t being appreciated, employees who are working to improve also benefit from fairly regular follow ups as well as praise and acknowledgment when they are visibly improving.

Reward improvement, analyze further performance issues

At the end of a reasonable time period of coaching and work, analyze how the employee has done overall. If they have made great strides in improvement, reward them in some way. Show them that their work has paid off, and assure them that hard work and great performance are recognized, even when mistakes are made along the way. If the employee hasn’t improved much or has stayed the same in their performance, you’ll need to evaluate whether they’re worth keeping around. Are the improvement methods ineffective, or is the employee simply not putting much effort into it? Is it worth it to try to continue with other improvement methods, or is it best to let the person go and try to find someone else for the job? Put deep consideration into this as firing someone can have a very large effect on everyone in the company.

Most people have it in them to be good employees. It just takes a little hard work, patience and understanding to help under performers achieve great things in your company. There will be instances where you may be forced to let someone go, but these tips will prevent you from losing a valuable employee and doing undue damage to the company or even someone’s life.

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How to Spice Up Monthly Company Meetings

Employers often look for ways to spice up company meetings. Making these regular business sessions more interesting and engaging for participants can inspire creative new ideas. The level of enthusiasm an office demonstrates also contributes to morale.

Below are seven ways to generate more productive meetings every month.

  1. Begin with a smile

While employees wait for everyone to arrive at the meeting, don’t waste potentially useful time. The person opening the monthly meeting should go around the room and ask each person already in attendance to share a clean humorous story or joke with the group. The person who comes up with the most, i.e. drops out of this game last, receives a surprise employee recognition certificate for a free meal or other small gift at the end of the meeting.

This type of informal exercise holds value because (1) it places everyone in a better mindset at the beginning of the meeting, and (2) the process of laughter relieves tension in the room and produces a physical state of greater relaxation and awareness, mixed with camaraderie. Although these benefits seem rather subtle, they may lend surprising strengths to a subsequent discussion.

  1. Stop for brief physical activity

If the speaker notices energy flagging among those in attendance during the meeting, or eyelids sagging, allow the speaker to call a brief spontaneous two minute halt to the proceedings to lead a simply physical activity session. This can be as simple as standing and stretching upwards or involve something more complex, such as a brief follow-the-leader session or a participatory Tai Chi exercise demonstration. No one should suffer criticism for their wandering attention; keep things upbeat.

People in a company maintain different “biological clocks.” Some employees find themselves operating at peak efficiency later in the day while others maintain naturally higher levels of energy in the morning. The goal of this strategy remains simple: bring everybody’s attention back to what is going on around them in their immediate environment. When all group members focus again on the subject at hand, resume the meeting.

  1. Try to keep meetings under an hour

Although not always possible, it makes sense to try and limit the duration of regular monthly company meetings to as brief a period of time as possible. An ideal time may be 45 minutes, if regular meetings occur between some of those in attendance on other days. A brief, highly productive session trumps a drawn-out proceeding any time.

  1. A standing leader

For the same reason that elementary school teachers usually stand when addressing young children, it makes sense for the person leading the discussion to adopt a standing position. This posture infuses more energy into the group than a sitting leader offers. Additionally, by standing, the speaker usually obtains better eye contact with everyone in the room.

  1. Try to elicit full participation

In order to maximize contributions at the meeting, the person leading the discussion should set a goal of achieving full participation. Some employees may feel shy about addressing the group; the leader of the discussion should gently seek to draw out their opinions and views, also. Remote employees should still be able to participate fully through tools like video conferencing. By encouraging full participation, the meeting’s organizer can enhance a sense of company inclusion and joint commitment.

  1. Provide snacks and beverages

A regular monthly meeting will proceed better when the employer makes certain that participants can munch on snacks and beverages during the session. The presence of these items may offer extra comfort to some employees, for instance by preventing anyone from becoming thirsty. However, the sharing of these items also denotes a welcoming environment; on a subconscious level, it lets employees know the company appreciates them.

  1. Switch seats after breaks

Some experts also suggest that if a meeting proceeds long enough for breaks to be conducted, then everyone should receive encouragement to switch seats upon returning to business. The simple act of physically moving from one position to another in a room can place participants in the mode of viewing events from a fresh perspective. This process may assist the course of the meeting. It can also offer new, unexpected insights.

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Boost Your Business Sales with Video Meetings

With video conferencing technologies that offer quick connections, along with systems that are simple to install and easy to use, there’s simply no reason why your business sales should suffer in this day and age. Take advantage of web based solutions like Blue Jeans to get this done. From getting quick feedback on design and changes to learning how to pull off the perfect sales meeting with video conferencing technology, Blue Jeans has you covered.

Brainstorm with Key People

To survive, a business must have continuous growth. One way to keep this going is to ensure open lines of communication among members of your top management committee. However, in view of recent economic downturns, spending too much on travel costs just to bring your people together might end up hurting, rather than helping along, your bottom line.

However, there’s no mistaking the business value of face to face interaction, an observation noted in an article published by the Tech Radar, dated May of last year. This is one reason for the rising demand for unified communication platforms in the market. Users, a great many of which are millennials entering the workforce, demand an integrated system, one that combines social media messaging, emails and instant messaging with web conferencing. It’s a dinosaur of a system, packing a lot of features and all of them useful, all of them designed to encourage collaboration and engagement.

Physically absent, mentally present

Foremost among these is the high definition video conferencing capability. Given the fine video quality possible, management teams no longer have to travel through miles just to get to a meeting. These meetings can now happen online, via video. Here, they can spend the next few hours brainstorming ideas involving marketing strategies, campaign initiatives, process updates and system modifications all without leaving the office, their state or country. With regular meetings, top management executives and managers now have more time to iron out problems in their sales-model or any other point of the sales funnel.

Rapid Feedback in Teams

Meetings provide one of the best venues for asking and giving feedback. But how do you go about making that happen when half of your team works on the east and the other half on the west? That’s another way video conferencing rides to the rescue of businesses.

An article from Mashable, published last 2011, notes how immediate feedback is one of the best advantages that users can get from video conferencing. That’s an accurate observation. Faster feedback means speedier turn-around times for plans, initiatives and product designs.

Collaboration determines solutions

In terms of improving your sales, allowing all team members to discuss the matter via video conferencing is convenient and cost-effective. Remote and offsite teams can also join in on the process. For instance, try presenting the company’s sales model to the teams. Then ask for feedback. Then keep those comments in mind when you work on the next set of changes for the plan. Repeat the process until you get it right—or until your sales improve.

Picking the technology that works best

Doing this by email and instant messaging, though possible, isn’t really that convenient. Too many people in a group could lead to cumbersome, bulky chat conversations that do nothing to generate value. Also, consider the time it takes to write than to talk about changes or explain minute modifications. Video is faster than email and text messaging in this regard.

There’s also the matter of body language and facial cues to consider. Since debates are going to be inevitable, it’s easier to gauge a coworker’s feelings involving a particular revision in video rather than in text. Words can sometimes come off as abrupt, terse, or worse, angry. Via video conferencing, it’s much easier for everyone to explain and discuss changes, without worrying about being misread or misunderstood.

Build Consumer Engagement with Videos

This is one way to keep track of your customers. Try to check up on your clients on a regular basis. Sending them promotional content through email, instant messaging channels and social media platforms are all earmarks of a good marketing plan.

However, checking up on them by way of live videos—and not just sending them pre-recorded ones—goes a long way to ensuring and sustaining brand recall. You could also ask them for feedback, comments and suggestions via video. Try sending them birthday and holiday greetings, too.

That’s taking your marketing and business model a notch further. With video conferencing, you’re securing consumer engagement. After all, people pay more attention to someone when they can see who it is they’re talking to, rather than to a letter, email or text.

Adapt video conferencing into your marketing plans, put these plans into practice and watch your sales figures climb.

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