Improving your job performance

ready-for-work-by-tammy-mcintyre2Certain factors need to be in place for workers to be able to perform well on their jobs. Factors that most affect performance include:


1. Clear job expectations

2. Clear and immediate performance feedback

3. Adequate physical environment, including proper tools, supplies and workspace

4. Motivation and incentives to perform as expected

5. Having the skills and knowledge required for the job

In addition to these factors, consider the following tips for improving your performance on the job:

Set SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely)

You can also set goals for the immediate short term, such as for each day or each week. If there’s a certain task that you’d like to get done by the end of the day or the end of the week, make it a goal and work out how you can achieve that goal and what you need to do.

Improve your time management

Oftentimes without your awareness, a lot of time at work is wasted on doing things that don’t help you get your work done. Time management is the ability to manage your time and to improve how you spend it.

The first step of this is to identify how you spend your time. Have a look at your calendar — this is a good place to start. Start noting how you spend your day — what tasks you perform and how long they take. Once you can identify where your time is going, you can manage it easier and make cuts or time savings where appropriate, which is a great way to improve your work performance.

Prioritize your tasks

Focus on the high-priority tasks first. These are the tasks that need to get completed first and are the most important. Once you complete these, you can move on to the next priority.

 Keep work and life balanced

In the book titled The Balanced Life, author Alan Loy McGinnis writes that there are four attributes that employees need to have in order to have a work/life balance: Commitment, Discipline, Collaboration and Adaptability.

While it may initially make sense to spend more time at work to get more done, this can have long-term effects on your ability to do your job. You might be tempted to always work 10 hours a day or more, or to take your work home with you so you can work on the weekends.

Strive to have a highly productive day at work, and once you leave, your work stays there. This is called a work/life balance — you should be balancing your work activities and your other life activities. If you let your work overtake your life, you’ll end up feeling tired, stressed, and possibly burnt out, which in the long term is more of a disadvantage than something that improves your work performance!

Know and respond to your manager’s expectations

Having your own goals is a great idea. Your manager will also have his or her own goals for you. Being aware of these goals will help you to improve your work performance, as you will know the reason why something needs to be done. It will also help you in deciding on priorities for your work and coming up with ideas and suggestions for improvement.

Take advantage of additional training

A great way to improve work performance is to obtain additional training or qualifications.  It is a great way of keeping up to date or to add more skills to your job. Specialized training is also helpful if you wish to change your career path.

All things being equal, these tips are proven to help the average employee improve his or her performance. As you implement these tips, track your progress and watch your performance improve!

Look for regular “Ready for Work” columns on finding, keeping and succeeding in meaningful work. Tammy McIntyre, M.Ed. is a workforce development consultant providing individuals and small businesses with career development services. She welcomes reader responses to