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5 Strategies to Improve Your Performance at Work

#Blog#Learning Strategy#Professional Development#Wellness

Performance in the workplace is often looked at from several angles. Everybody wants to feel comfortable at work, but the reality is that performance is being judged every day. Your performance may be judged on meeting targets and KPIs, or it could be how well you communicate with others. You can be assessed on your teamwork skills, your reliability in terms of attendance, and even your general attitude to work. It’s a lot to focus on, and in order to improve it’s important to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

People also want to feel like they can be the best version of themselves at work. While this often means being allowed to be themselves and letting their personality shine, a lot of it comes down to performance too. Naturally, the best version of yourself is one who’s comfortable, but also delivers great results. In fact, producing great performance at work is always respected, therefore giving you the freedom to be who you are.

So, it’s clear that performance and happiness at work go hand in hand. But how do you go about improving your performance every day? Everybody has their own areas of performance they’d like to improve, but here are 5 strategies to help everybody achieve better results in the workplace.

Practice Time Management and Planning

One thing all successful people have in common is their ability to plan and prioritise their tasks. Time management is crucial, especially in a world where there are so many priorities competing for your time. It often feels like we’re being asked to do more with less time, so in order to maintain a high level of performance, you need to learn how to balance your tasks appropriately.

One of the easiest ways to start improving your time management skills is by using calendars. It might sound simple, but a lot of people only use calendars for important appointments and meetings. But why stop there? If you know you’ve got deadlines, enter them into your calendar too. This gives you a good visual of what projects and tasks require your most immediate focus.

Even better, if those tasks can be broken up into smaller jobs, include those on your calendar too. That way, you can make progress on everything and keep moving forward. Some people even prefer to use a daily ‘to-do list’, which is a great way to tick off tasks and maintain a sense of achievement. However, remember that your calendar can serve as an automatic daily task list if you’re planning and entering your jobs in advance.

There are also time management courses you can participate in if you’d like to learn even more about prioritising task and managing your time. These courses teach you plenty of tips and techniques to manage your time effectively and increase performance while decreasing stress.

Enhance Your Presentation and Facilitation Skills

Personal and professional development is another way you can increase your performance at work. You could study courses in time management as mentioned above, Microsoft training, or even more specific qualifications related to your career. But if you’re in a job that requires you to deliver important information to groups of people, there’s a few skills you need to develop.

For example, if you’re responsible for training staff, then their success is a reflection of your work. So, you want to make sure you’ve got the skills and techniques to help others learn. Facilitation skills are important here, especially if you’re responsible for teaching groups of people. You need to find ways to keep your content and presentations engaging, while still delivering your key messages. Usually, this isn’t a skill that people are born with. It’s developed over time, and by attending presentation skills training.

Theses types of skills aren’t just useful for trainers though, because they can benefit anybody. There are several circumstances where you may be required to deliver presentations or report to a group of people. It could be pitching sales ideas, promoting your projects during team meetings, or even presenting yourself in job interviews.

MCI’s trainer academy is perfect for trainers to develop and enhance their presentation skills, from the planning stages all the way through to delivery. For business owners, upskilling your staff with presentation and training skills is also a great way to spread performance improvement throughout the whole workforce. Give your people the tools they need, and watch them shine.

Improve Your Work-Life Balance

One of the traps when trying to boost performance is thinking you just need to work harder, or even worse, work more. If you honestly believe your effort isn’t at the level it should be, then working harder might be a solution. However, it’s very rare that increasing your hours leads to genuine performance improvement. Rather, you need to find ways to work smarter.

For some people, working smarter involves better planning, developing new skills, or communicating more effectively with others. But for many people, the solution is even simpler than that. Work towards finding a better work-life balance, and see how your performance improves. That’s right, rather than clocking up more hours at the office, you can usually improve performance by spending less time at work.

When you’re constantly stressed and worried about work, it’s hard for you to enjoy quality time with family and friends. You might be taking work home with you, or you might just be always distracted by work matters during your time off. While it’s easy to think that you’re impressing your managers and showing your dedication, the reality is usually a lot different. 

Make a conscious effort to leave work at the office. Remember we discussed planning and prioritising? Use this for your time outside of work too. Schedule your work time, and schedule time for yourself, your family, friends and pursuits outside of work. The fact is, if you’re happier and getting more out of your life, you’ll find your productivity increases at work.

Develop Your Communication Skills

When trying to improve your work performance, it’s easy to overlook what are often known as ‘soft skills’. One of those is communication. You might wonder how communication skills directly relate to your individual performance, but the link is actually quite clear.

Nobody achieves any real success by chaining themselves to their desk and doing everything themselves. Collaboration is a huge part of the modern workplace, and you’re often required to work in teams to achieve success. Performance isn’t always individual, because your team’s results are a reflection of your own work.

You need good people around you to perform well, so you’ll need to brush up on those communication skills to get your ideas across, seek help and advice from others, and ultimately communicate your progress effectively. Communicating with influence is one of the essential skills for success in business, no matter what your job title is. So, find ways to improve your communication, and boost your own performance as a result.

Take Care of Yourself

Finally, when you want to improve your performance, don’t forget about the most important thing – yourself! Working long hours and being stressed about deadlines is a sure way to burn out. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your physical and mental well-being while remaining productive at work, such as:

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take breaks and move away from your desk
  • Make time for family, friends and hobbies
  • Use your holiday leave to get away for a few days
  • Try meditation or mindfulness

This list is obviously not exhaustive, but it’s a great place to start ensuring you’re mentally and physically in good shape to perform at work. When you’re healthier, your concentration and focus improve, helping you improve your performance every day. So, take some time for yourself, stay healthy, and bring the best version of yourself to work.

May 17, 2022

By Dr. Denise Meyerson

Dr. Denise Meyerson is the founder of MCI and has 30 years' experience in vocational education. In that time, she has developed deep expertise in the design and delivery of a range of qualification programs to major corporates and to job seekers via in-person learning methodologies as well as innovative digital learning experiences.