7 Tips on How to Improve Your Core HR

The role of an HR within a company comes with multiple functions and responsibilities. While their duties are crucial to the success of a business, the tasks are tedious, repetitive, and hectic. 

With HR software, it automates the manual tasks commonly seen in HR processes. The HR team can perform more effectively while minimizing errors. It will improve the overall end-to-end employee management starting from recruitment, onboarding, time off management, offboarding and more.

Let’s get to know more about it and the ways you can enhance your core HR functions.

What is core HR?

The primary function of a core HR is to provide employees within the organization with a varied range of activities that enable it to deliver the most efficient output in the favor of the organization. With a Human Resource Management System (HRMS), you capture employee data in a centralized database that gives you a single source of truth.

What are the advantages of HRMS?

An HRMS helps you automate various tasks that can actually reduce the time spent on manual data entries and eliminate chances of error. The added advantages include: 

  • A centralized location for storing employees’ personal data information such as payroll, bank details, vaccination status, and more
  • Automate and streamline core HR processes within the organization
  • Save time by digitizing paperwork
  • Avoid errors or duplicate records
  • Provide employees with more control with an employee self-service feature
  • Offer privacy and security to both your company and employees
  • Gather valuable insights through data analytics

What are the functions of core HR?

One of the most critical functions of a core HR platform is to store important information. HR professionals can use it to complete various tasks, including talent management, attendance management, learning management, and more.

Some basic functions to include in the list are:

  1. Recruitment and Selection
  • Identify roles, job descriptions, advertising, screening, and interviews
  • Provide hassle-free onboarding 
  • Carry out initial orientation process

2. Training and Development

  • Address skills and weaknesses
  • Provide the necessary tools
  • Increase employee retention

3. Performance Management

  • Monitor progress, and productivity
  • Develop managerial leadership and coaching skills
  • Annual or bi-yearly appraisals
  • Include one-on-one meetings
  • Reward employees at work

4. Employee Relations

  • Prevent and resolve problems and disputes
  • Assist in creating and enforcing policies
  • Create and maintain employee relationships

5. Employment Law and Compliance

  • Stay up to date with law and order
  • Legal framework knowledge and processes
  • Adherence to laws to avoid legal complications
  • Promote equality

6. Compensation, Benefits, and Administration

  • Basic salary and added benefits calculations
  • To attract, retain and reward employees
  • Related to job satisfaction and motivation in the workplace

7. Data Handling, Payroll, And HR Systems

  • Track work hours, leaves, and pay employees accordingly
  • Tax withholding and salary disbursement
  • Makes it easier to handle analytics

8. Time Off – Leave Management 

  • Track employee’s time off
  • Handle time off calculations accurately and show a clear breakdown of how entitlements are calculated
  • Clear view of team’s time off and work schedule at a glance

How can HR software help improve your existing HR processes?

If you’re looking to invest in core HR software that can help you enhance the above-mentioned processes, we recommend looking for the following elements:

1. Enhance the current recruiting process

Start by having a recruitment plan before the actual candidate selection. Prepare a predefined set of steps. This way it’ll be way quicker to ask one question to the other. Begin by having your HR software linked to your website where you can post job openings. 

Your job applicants can directly apply with the help of this portal. You can share this link on your social media platform as well. This way the applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you screen through the resumes. It will filter the basic details that are kept as filter questions. For example, it could be years of experience or relevant skills. Keep the platform easily accessible, such that candidates can easily navigate through the job application steps.

2. Introduce a streamlined onboarding process with zero paperwork

With an HRMS in place, you can automate your onboarding workflow with predefined task sequences. This means a faster and more seamless onboarding experience for your new hires, even before their first day at work, and better retention in the long term. This minimizes the need for HR to track everyone’s progress, both internally and externally, or have constant back-and-forth communication which runs the risks of lost documentation or missing out on important emails. 

With an HRMS in place, automated reminders will be sent on HR’s behalf to the relevant parties to complete the tasks. This gives HR more valuable time to focus on people engagement instead of being tied down to tedious administrative tasks.

3. Time tracking and attendance management

Introduction of time tracking and attendance management software will provide you with the accuracy of employees’ working hours, and leave requests. This avoids any discrepancies that may occur such as employees applying for more time off than what they thought they have earned which leads to a decrease in morale and productivity. HR would not need to spend time investigating and reviewing it.

Managers can have a quick overview of the team’s calendar to know who’s in and out of the office and avoid any instance of understaffing that may impact the organization’s productivity.

4. Implement employee performance management tools

Replace traditional performance reviews with a 360 performance review approach, that involves individuals, managers, and peers for a more rounded evaluation. Doing so allows everyone to have a better overview of their strengths and weaknesses, and makes it less biased. According to research by HBR, 57% of the employees preferred corrective feedback; while only 43% preferred recognition.

This signifies that teams should continue to run their own internal performance appraisals on a more regular basis so that they can continuously work on improving and developing their people. Through this interaction, it increases employee engagement and strengthens bonds.

5. Scale your business needs and requirements

With an automated HRMS process, HR can reduce time spent on manual tasks and minimize errors. And, the time saved can be spent on people management. From an employee perspective, having a proper system in place means being able to request leaves easily, payroll is processed in a timely manner and you can have full transparency on how performance appraisals are conducted. It shows that the organization is invested in its people.

In addition, HR software needs to scale with the organization as it grows. This way the business can redesign its existing workflows or have the flexibility to add additional features or functions, and increase its employee records database. This avoids the issue of HR having to look for an alternative system, and restart the whole implementation process, or run into the issue of the need to integrate with other systems.

6. Employee record and data management

Have a centralized database that stores all employee information digitally, making it easy to manage and locate. This replaces the need for physical documentation that runs the risk of files being lost or not updated with the latest version. Instead, now everything is accessible securely online and in one place. 

With an Employee Self Service (ESS) portal, you can get employees to upload their documents to the dashboard or update their contact details without having to inform HR to update their records on their behalf. This process will minimize the risks of incorrect inputs or manual data entries from HR’s end.

Apart from these, make sure the below points are considered when introducing a new HR software:

  1. User-friendly interface
  2. Easy-to-use
  3. Provide implementation
  4. Localized customer support
  5. High-security standards
  6. The ability to scale as your company grows
  7. Sections addressing employee information
  8. Adhere to local laws and compliance
  9. Robust reporting capabilities


A company’s success is highly dependent on the efficiency of its HR department. Enhancing their capabilities with an HR solution is a great way to improve core HRMS without going over your company’s budget.

An HRMS like Omni HR can help your organization automate its HR process. Book a demo with Omni HR to experience an upgrade to your workforce management approach and help HR cut administrative workloads!

Tips on Tackling Tough Conversations at Work

Communication is the key to a business’s success, be it with the stakeholders or the employees. Managers often have to deal with difficult conversations with employees, whether addressing poor performance or low motivation. We are here to discuss how managers can coach staff members toward a solution, approach them with empathy, and offer ongoing assistance.

According to a survey, 50% of employees in Hong Kong are afraid of speaking about their mental health and tend to avoid difficult conversations with their supervisors. Dealing with employees and starting a work-related difficult conversation is also essential. HR can help managers initiate difficult talks and promote a healthy company culture with profitable business practices.

It can be challenging to have a word whether you’re informing a customer that a project is delayed or presiding over a performance assessment that lacks enthusiasm. How do you get ready for a conversation like this? How do you find the appropriate words in a difficult situation?

We will discuss in detail how you can handle a difficult conversation at work regarding employee performance or other related issues. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Steps of Having a Difficult Conversation

Serious conversations with your employees can be confronting, but they help you train your workers more efficiently. If you approach your employees with mutual respect and care, difficult conversations often result in doing everyone a favor.

Employees in various industries face the consequences of avoiding conversations that escalate into bigger organizational troubles. Here is how you can initiate a tough conversation at work.

1. Build Trust

Work with your employees and engage in the actions of developing connections and trust daily. This will help you gain influence inside your company and foster mutual respect and understanding with your staff. It will be simpler to have difficult conversations because your coworkers won’t automatically presume bad intentions from you.

Emotional intelligence and projecting warmth and competence are powerful methods to increase trust. This shows that you have good intentions, and the ability to follow through can help you handle difficult team discussions. Once your employees trust you, they run toward you in case of a problem; they see you as a leader and look up to you to help them.

2. Decide a Setting to Have a Conversation

HR teams must take the initiative to choose appropriate settings for managers to discuss the particular difficulties employees face. This is achieved by holding online conferences where employees can chat about their mental health challenges or forming an employee resource group where staff can discuss issues that bother them.

3. Stay Confident

Managers can only engage and communicate with their employees when they clearly explain their thoughts so their employees can better understand. Fear does not only belong to the employees; managers may also fear initiating a conversation.

This is because managers know their employees and understand how they would react if you told them about their poor performance. However, some employees are good at handling these situations and react exceptionally well. Therefore, the manager needs to be prepared for any unwanted reactions.

4. Be Positive

If you approach your employees negatively and start with criticism deliberately, there are high chances your employees will get argumentative and defensive. Treat them positively and give them examples of situations that motivate them and encourage them to improve themselves.

As a manager, you must know you can positively conquer any situation. Your employees feel safe working under you, and you see them willing to achieve any milestone you assign them.

5. Prepare Your Conversation

After deciding the venue and time for the meeting, managers should gather all pertinent information and establish specific objectives to be ready for a challenging dialogue. Furthermore, a manager should be ready for any situation and create a strategy for dealing with them. Managers should be composed, prepared, and goal-focused during the conversation.

6. Discuss the Problem in Detail

It is easy to blame the other person for the problem caused, but it is better to find the truth so everyone can admit their mistakes, including the manager. This will help everyone to understand the situation and how it has affected the staff individually.

By doing so, you are enabling a safe environment for people at your workplace to express how they feel and think about the circumstance that has occurred and how it has affected them.

7. Be Understanding and Control Your Emotions

Strong emotions often surface up during a serious and challenging interaction; taking out your emotions on other people feels easier. However, it would help if you understand the situation and control your emotions so you can make wise decisions in everyone’s favour.

HR can help in this situation, listen to both parties without passing judgement, and provide a solution to facilitate the conversation.

8. Listen Actively

Consider that you are providing a performance assessment and providing helpful criticism. What response do you expect the other person will have? They might react immediately and defend themselves to maintain their positive image. It is also possible they keep listening to the criticism to rationalize the problem during the process.

We recommend you listen actively and carefully to the other party. Continuously speaking without listening to the other person may disappoint them, and they might also ignore what you say. Listening to your employees proves you can listen and understand their situation.

This way, they’ll trust you with their problems and come to you directly whenever they face a problem at work.

9. Get to the Point

The more specific you can be during challenging conversations, the better. The employees should know that speaking to the point can be more effective than beating about the bush and discussing irrelevant stuff. It is one of the responsibilities of a manager to ensure they’re making the meeting specific and not a drag.

Another essential factor you should consider is using recent examples and work performance while making decisions. Also, avoid bringing up old problems while giving an annual performance evaluation. Give an example of a circumstance that occurred during the review period, describe the results, and suggest how you would advise your employee to handle it going ahead.

10. Set Realistic Expectations

It would be best if HR defined the manager’s responsibilities for the welfare of the workforce. Managers should be well-trained to identify burnout and how to solve these issues with empathy. However, you cannot expect them to act as a therapist for employees. Similarly, give time to employees to take up the feedback and act accordingly. Make sure that everyone in the organization can communicate with each other and is aware of work requirements.

11. Create an Alternative Solution

You might enter the discussion with a particular objective in mind. However, come up with a strategy to proceed as a group to make the most of the conversation. You can make your conversation easier if you prepare solutions and propose them accordingly.

If you don’t think of solutions and keep meeting your employees with no effective outcomes, you may walk away from the uncomfortable and never-ending talk. However, coming to the meeting with a solution may have different results.

Bottom Line

If you want to avoid complex and uncomfortable conversations, it will worsen them over time. It is up to you to make your situation more manageable and talk it out with your employees so you can reach a possible solution and end the problem once and for all.

These discussions are practical, create mutual trust and honesty, and refrain from being judgmental toward your employees. You should actively listen to your staff members and communicate clearly.

Schedule a demo to find out more about Omni and learn how to integrate it at your workplace.

Keeping talent engaged and invested in your company is an ongoing responsibility for HR teams. While company culture and attractive benefits are certainly key components to retaining employees, retention efforts begin as early as onboarding. In fact, an effective employee onboarding process has been shown to increase retention rates by 80% and improve overall productivity by 70%. Here, we explore 8 tips to increase employee retention by optimizing your onboarding practices.

1. Create an Employer Brand

The recruitment process starts way before you hire someone. Most candidates will look at the employer brand before deciding whether they want to work with your organization. Employer brand refers to the “first impression” the candidate gets about your organization. 

It helps them get a better perspective on the overall company culture and work environment. This way, they can set a foundation for their emotional connection with the organization and set their expectations. 

Therefore, showing a clear image of your organization is vital for a strong employer brand. It will help you in the short and long run since your company can attract employees likely to fit in with the culture.

2. Be Prepared

Once you bring a new employee on board, you must ensure they blend into the environment. During the initial phase, the employees discover whether they’ll fit into your culture. They’ll probably quit if they feel like they’re not welcomed or don’t belong in the organization. 

So, ensure that you have every resource and material ready for training when the new employee(s) show up on their first day. You should have an employee handbook that gives them an overview of the company. 

Also, all the items, including the technology, equipment, and anything else, should be in the proper position. Moreover, you should also have someone accompany the new joiner so they can turn to them if they have any answers. It will also allow the team members to gel in with the new employees.

3. Set Clear Goals from Day One

The primary reason why most people quit their jobs within a few months is because of their expectations, which don’t align with reality. They might feel that the requirements that they saw in the job post don’t match their pay grade. So, the best way to deal with this situation is to give them a clear idea in the job description, including the following:  

  • Summary
  • Skills
  • Requirements
  • Relationships
  • Performance metrics
  • Job Title
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Competencies 

This will give the employees a clear idea about what to expect from the job. Consequently, it will reduce their chances of quitting within a month or two.

4. Involve Teams and People at Different Levels

While the HR team is mainly responsible for recruiting and finding a candidate, it should be each department’s responsibility to make them feel welcome. In most cases, the onboarding programs usually have members of HR or the other department that the new joiner works in. 

Therefore, they don’t get to mingle and communicate with other departments or the company’s top leadership. So, you should devise a plan that involves the top executives in the onboarding program. 

Doing so will make new employees feel more comfortable and encourage them to make more connections. Moreover, it will help remove any intimidation new employees feel from top executives.

5. Keep it Original for Better Retention

Companies tend to follow the same traditional onboarding approach they have had for decades. It entails handing over many documents and paperwork that overburden the new joiner on the first day. There should be an innovative and positive approach to your onboarding processes. Here are a few ideas to help you out: 

  • Conduct some team-building activities
  • Partner the new joiners with a mentor so they can fit into the culture 
  • Have a welcome lunch with the team members
  • Assign an easy project for the company 
  • Announce the employee’s joining on the social media accounts

Either way, you should try a unique and out-of-the-box idea for your onboarding process. That way, you can ensure that your employees can have a different experience and compel them to stay.

6. Consider Onboarding as a Process, Not an Occasion

Onboarding is not a one-time thing, but it is a continuous process. Consider it this way the new joiner cannot process all the things in a single go; they would need time to understand some key points. So, if you try to overwhelm them with a load of information on the first day, they’ll probably find it difficult. 

While the onboarding process might vary depending on the role or company’s requirements, it usually lasts up to three months. In the meantime, you can strategize how to facilitate strong relationships and establish a sense of support.

7. Assign Onboarding Responsibilities to Different People

Limited resources are one of the most critical aspects that prevent organizations from implementing an onboarding process. Employee onboarding costs money but replacing an employee costs more than that. Nevertheless, the most cost-effective way to ensure employee retention is through a “buddy system.”

We already mentioned that having someone with the new employee can help them better understand the company’s values and culture. It will divide the onboarding responsibilities and give the new employees someone to engage with. 

Most companies use a popular method to foster relationships between new and old team members. While their work buddy won’t be available in every training session, they can help with a smooth transition of the employee to their new role.

Additionally, it saves the new joiner from the hassle of going from person to person for information. They can get all the details about the company or a relevant task from a single person. Also, it takes a load off the HR team as they can focus on other core aspects while ensuring a smooth onboarding process.

8. Gauge the Effectiveness of Your Processes

Lastly, there can be some areas in your onboarding process where you might need to make some changes. Therefore, it is essential to make changes from time to time in your onboarding strategies and approaches. 

And the best way to do so is by measuring the effectiveness of the current process. You can survey or ask for recommendations from the new hires about the overall process. You can incorporate their suggestions and adjust the overall strategy accordingly.

Wrapping Up

Businesses incur a high cost for incurring new employees. Therefore, they would want to retain them for the long run so they don’t have to go through the hectic process of filling a vacancy again and again. 

So, using the effective methods mentioned in this article for a streamlined onboarding process is better. This way, they can ensure that they can focus on long-term business growth and stability without worrying about the retention rate.

These tips might sound like a lot of work, that’s where Omni HR can step in and help you.

As a manager newly established in your role, one of the most important tasks you’re responsible for is the conducting of performance reviews for your direct reports.

That said, we’re sure it must feel like one of the trickiest things you’ve ever had to handle thus far, not least because it’ll involve a potentially awkward conversation with the people you work with.

And you may be worried about how you can carry out a performance review that’s fair to your direct reports, while still being effective at addressing the shortcomings in their work.

After all, isn’t it true that only 2 in 10 employees think that their companies review and manage their performance in a way that motivates them to do their best work, according to Gallup?

Still, it’s not that your direct reports don’t want feedback on their work. They just want to be sure that their assessments are fair and balanced.

Therefore, it’s critical that a new manager like yourself fully understand the factors that make for an effective performance review.

In this article, we’ll show you some of the pitfalls you should avoid as a new manager, in order to conduct effective performance reviews for your direct reports. But first, let’s look at how achieving this can be beneficial to your team and your organization.

The Benefits of Effective Performance Management

Minimizes Employee Turnover

Performance reviews can instil in your direct reports a sense of purpose, clear goals, and a plan for achieving these goals. Without these, they’re likely to feel a lack of career progress, which is a major cause of turnover.

Therefore, these performance reviews play a key role in keeping the motivation and engagement of your direct reports high, and employee turnover low.

Fosters A Culture Of Transparency And Trust

A strong company culture can only be formed upon a foundation of open communication and transparency. Performance reviews can contribute towards cultivating that culture if they’re performed regularly, and are designed to make praise, feedback and criticism a normal part of the work environment.

This would, in turn, encourage your direct reports to provide open feedback, strive towards progression in their careers, and greater collaboration with their colleagues.

Maintaining High Levels Of Morale

Giving your direct reports fair and constructive performance review can motivate them to improve, and retain a positive attitude towards their work. This can rub off on their colleagues, and contribute to an overall positive work environment overall.

Conversely, an unfair performance review can easily sour the mood of your direct reports. This can in turn set up a cascade effect, bringing down the morale of the entire team simply with their presence.

Encourages Employee And Business Development

With a well-crafted performance review, you can easily identify the individual strengths and weaknesses of your direct reports, seek out training opportunities accordingly, and build rapport with your team more easily.

Not only would this help to improve your direct reports’ performance and increase their engagement level, it could also help you build a highly engaged team, which have been shown to be 21% more profitable than their average counterparts.

Avoid These 4 Pitfalls When Carrying Out Performance Reviews

Now that we’ve seen how beneficial a fair and effective performance review can be to your organization, let’s look at some of the most common mistakes first-time managers like yourself tend to make when conducting performance reviews for the first time.

And if you’ve committed some of these mistakes, take heart in knowing that even more experienced managers do make the same mistakes from time to time.

1. Letting Your Biases Affect Performance Reviews

Unconscious biases is one of the most common mistakes that managers make when conducting performance reviews, even more seasoned ones.

Because of this, it’s important you remain aware of your own possible biases towards your direct reports. If you don’t take the necessary steps to mitigate them, they can compromise the objectivity and fairness of the performance reviews you conduct for them.

For example, you might unconsciously place higher value on the work done by direct reports who come into the office regularly, over those who maintain a work-from-home (WFH) arrangement. This is called proximity bias.

How Do You Avoid This?

To avoid allowing your bias to color your performance reviews of your direct reports, you should make an effort to understand the environment in which they’re doing their work, whether in the office or at home.

Make sure that you give your direct reports a way to provide their own feedback during the performance review process too, without any fear of retaliation. This can give you new insights into the reasons why there’s room for improvement in certain aspects of their work, and helps you provide useful feedback they can act on.

Getting information from other sources of data, such as requesting self-evaluations from your direct report, or 360-degree feedback from their colleagues, could offer more of these useful insights as well.

2. Conducting Performance Reviews Alone

As a first-time manager, you might assume that you have to handle the performance reviews of your direct reports by yourself.

But this is not the case; in fact, it’s the opposite. Your HR department plays a key role in ensuring that the performance review process is effective across the board in your organization.

Thus, they should have a stake in making sure your performance review cycle is successful as well.

How Do You Avoid This?

Talk to the HR department in your organization, and get them to give you help as you tackle your first performance review cycle.

This could come in the form of training and resources to provide you with guidance and support. They might even offer hands-on guidance, such as sitting in on your first few conversations with your direct reports during the performance review process.

Apart from supporting you, your HR department should also help ensure your direct reports have a clear understanding of the process as well. This can help minimize the doubts and stress they are likely to have about the whole process.

3. Focusing On Criticisms Over Constructive Feedback

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of lecturing your direct reports about where they’ve fallen short, and forget that it’s supposed to be a two-way conversation where constructive feedback can be shared both ways.

This is especially important today, when WFH arrangements have become more common than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Your direct reports may be facing new complications with their WFH arrangements.

For example, they could be juggling work and caregiving responsibilities. Or the WFH arrangement may have introduced other factors which have left them feeling burned out or isolated.

Without giving your direct reports a chance to give you their own feedback, you might never learn about this.

How Do You Avoid This?

Exercise empathy when having the conversation with your direct reports, especially when it comes to addressing their concerns and expectations in turbulent times like these.

To do this, make sure your direct reports have the opportunity to drive the agenda, and ask as many questions as they need. It can be as simple as you asking “How can I help you?”, to give them the push they need to actively do so.

Consider how changed circumstances have impacted your direct reports, such as whether they’ve taken up new roles and responsibilities during this time. Has it introduced new difficulties into their role, and how has this affected their performance?

The performance review is an opportunity for both you and your direct reports to reset expectations around work hours, prioritisation of tasks, responsiveness during work hours, and the growth and learning rate of your direct reports.

By addressing their strengths and weaknesses objectively and empathetically, you can build up a rapport with your direct reports while still maintaining a fair and effective performance review process.

4. Failing To Back Up Your Appraisal With Solid Data And Objective Criteria

Above all, make sure any feedback you give your direct reports is backed up by solid data. This keeps your claims fully objective, and helps you align your direct reports’ feedback and goals with your organization’s objectives.

Although performance reviews are typically based on a predetermined set of goals, the post-pandemic period may have changed organizational priorities. This means that goals set at the beginning of the year may no longer be fully applicable.

Also, personal circumstances may have affected your direct reports’ ability to meet their performance expectations.

Still, it’s important that you retain a structured process where they’re assessed on objective criteria, to ensure a fair evaluation of their performance over the past year. You do need to take into account any changes to targets that might’ve happened between then and now, and acknowledge your direct reports’ efforts spent on projects and tasks that were adjusted because of this.

How Do You Avoid This?

Nevertheless, it’s important to rely on a set of strong and quantifiable indicators for your performance review process. This eliminates the possibility of bias, and helps to keep you focused on your direct reports’ objective progress towards pre-determined goals.

Work with your HR department to create clear indicators that are airtight against any manipulation by either yourself or your direct reports. Also, take the latter’s feedback into account, and adjust these indicators as necessary to account for the changes that have affected your team over the past year.

Using software tools such as Omni HR is a highly effective way of keeping track of your direct reports’ progress towards their objectives. This helps you make more informed decisions about the performance review process, and keep on top of your team’s performance and productivity levels.

To Conduct Fair And Effective Performance Reviews, Keep These Pitfalls In Mind

It’s nerve-wracking for a new manager like yourself to conduct your first round of performance reviews, we understand. But, it can be done.

And it’s important that they be done properly, for they benefit not just yourself and your organization, but also the career progression of your direct reports.

To do so, you just have to keep in mind what to avoid. Ensure that your personal biases don’t influence the process, don’t try to do it alone without support from your HR department, and resist the temptation to criticize without providing the opportunity for two-way constructive feedback.

Last but not least, ensure your performance reviews are based on a structured, yet flexible set of performance indicators to take changing conditions into account. Make use of software tools like Omni HR to keep track of these objectives, adjust them as necessary, and track your direct reports’ progress towards achieving them.

How Managers Can Help Low-Performing Employees?

The 80/20 Pareto’s principle explains that 80% of the results come from 20% of the employees in talent management. However, an organization should build robust systems that can make every employee a high performer. In every company, there is a section of employees who perform below average expectations due to various reasons. That could be personal or professional. A manager is responsible for finding it out and helping the employee in order to create efficient teams.

According to a McKinsey report, 86% of employees attain job satisfaction if they have a good relationship with the management. It is said to be a good relationship only if the managers look after employees’ well-being too. Managers should not just focus on the performance of the employees and fire them if they do not perform well. Employees should be seen as people, not just as resources that carry out the tasks in a company. Managers should be ready to guide them if they feel lost.

Here are a few ways how managers can help low-performing employees.

1. Identify the Problem

There are multiple underlying reasons for an employee’s low performance. If you are a manager, you should first check if they have been assigned the right projects. For instance, an employee might be very good at social media content creation but is not very good at other forms of content creation. In that case, a manager should know his/her employees well enough to give tasks according to their strengths. 

If there is an employee who undergoes some personal issues, you should be empathetic and give them some time or support they need to help them recover. It does not imply that the employee should be idle at the office but just that you should understand and give them the nominal workload instead of increasing it as they are underperforming. Employees always do better if they feel that their company cares about them.

2. OKRs for Clear Job Expectations

If you are a manager, you should clearly communicate to the employees what is expected of them. The employees, who do not know their objectives, are working in vain as they are not aware of the direction they are headed. This is where Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) play a vital role. Objectives provide a clear view of the results expected from the employees. Key Results are the milestones that will help the employees to reach their objectives.

OKRs help employees cross-check whether they progress towards the right destination or not. If they do not, they can change their paths anytime. This also helps you to monitor the progress of your team members and provide guidance as and when needed. OKR is a concept that can have numerous use cases but should be implemented only if there is a need for it. 

3. Ongoing Feedback

A survey conducted by Betterworks reveals that 66% of companies show year-round productivity enhancements as a result of implementing a continuous feedback system. Low-performing employees can improve their skills and work efficiency only if they learn where they go wrong and what they should do differently to bring results. You should have regular feedback sessions with the employees to discuss their performance. Ask your low-performing employees how they feel about their performance and learn their thoughts without forcing your opinions on them. 

After listening to their words, start with positive feedback and then move to the areas for improvement. During these continuous feedback sessions, make the employees with low performance feel comfortable and speak about the challenges they face at work and the obstacles that hinder their performance. 

Managers should review the progress of the employees periodically and give feedback immediately instead of waiting for the once-in-a-year performance appraisal process.

4. Open Mind and Growth Attitude

If you are a manager, being open-minded with a growth attitude is absolutely necessary to make low-performing employees into high-performers. If you already have a preconceived notion about the low-performing employees when you enter the feedback or appraisal sessions, you will never give them a chance to improve by imparting your knowledge to them. A manager should be open-minded to take fair decisions and possess a growth attitude to think of solutions and utilize every employee’s fullest potential.

5. Effective Training Programs

When you have continuous feedback sessions with low-performing employees, you know what they need the most at the moment to improve their performance. Based on those session notes, you can suggest training programs to them to improve their skills and perform better. Instead of overloading them with work till they resign or not giving them tasks to fire them (which happens in companies with no strong work ethics and culture), it is better to organize training programs that can help them. This will build loyalty and trust among the workforce.

6. Mental Well-Being

Depression and anxiety have become serious health problems in recent days. Mental well-being is very important to maintain physical strength. In a study, more than 42% of employees suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. This could be one of the reasons why your employees are not performing well. As a manager, you should convey the thoughts of your employees to the higher management and suggest that they arrange sessions with mental health experts for every employee in the organization. This will bring a massive productivity increase in your company as the employees would feel heard and the employees who really needed help would have received it from you.

7. Work Together

Depression and anxiety have become serious health problems in recent days. Mental well-being is very important to maintain physical strength. In a study, more than 42% of employees suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. This could be one of the reasons why your employees are not performing well. As a manager, you should convey the thoughts of your employees to the higher management and suggest that they arrange sessions with mental health experts for every employee in the organization. This will bring a massive productivity increase in your company as the employees would feel heard and the employees who really needed help would have received it from you.

8. Dump Your Traditional Performance Review Process

Traditional performance review process will not help low-performing employees or any employee. You can never learn about your team members’ mindset, their difficulties, and the solutions they need as you will have a conversation with them only once a year. Even that conversation will never be deep as both of you will feel awkward discussing your thoughts and feelings after 12 months. In the end, nothing productive will come out of the entire performance review process. Therefore, dump your traditional performance review process and adopt the continuous performance review process.

9. Recognize and Reward Every Effort

If the low-performing employee has achieved a milestone that you had set for him, then make sure to recognize his effort and reward him. Some managers do not recognize the achievements of employees as they are terrified of the word ‘reward.’ Rewards need not be a hefty sum of money; it can be a recognition note, or a token of appreciation for recognizing their efforts. This gratification will motivate the low-performing employees to perform more efficiently. Every company should adopt strong rewards and recognition programs to appreciate every employee’s efforts.

10. Upskilling Opportunities

Treat low-performing employees just like how you treat high-performing employees. They should get equal opportunities like access to courses that can help to upskill. As a manager, you can suggest a course that would suit the employee’s skillset. Those skills might come in handy when your team needs them. Perhaps, this also could be a chance for them to explore their interests and direct their career in their field of interest. This might look like a lot of work but it is totally worth it as you retain your employees by building trust among everyone through your kind and determined core values.

To Wrap Up

A manager has the power to make low-performing employees into average or high-performing by implementing the right strategies. More than money, employees care about company culture, the field of work, the responsibilities they handle, etc. Identifying what is bothering your low-performing employee and resolving it makes you a strong leader. Hiring talents are difficult these days; therefore, adopt solutions that help you to overcome your challenges with talents and retain them.

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