Organizations are not maximizing employees’ potential performance sustainably
According to Gartner, Inc., only 41 per cent of employees are currently performing optimally and giving their best work consistently, with confidence to sustain it over the next year. The pandemic has brought about a shift in work dynamics, allowing for greater flexibility in terms of when, where, and how work is done, especially for remote-capable employees.
While a survey of HR leaders in March 2023 indicated that 96 per cent of them met or exceeded their 2022 employee performance targets, only 58 per cent expressed confidence in meeting or exceeding their 2023 targets. This raises concerns among HR leaders about employees not giving their best work, struggling to sustain their efforts, or both, which can impact future organizational performance.
A Gartner survey of 2,280 remote-capable employees conducted in February 2023 revealed that 24 per cent consistently give their best work but lack confidence in sustaining it over the next year. Another 14 per cent are confident in sustaining their performance but do not consistently give their best work. The remaining 21 per cent are not performing optimally, as they neither consistently give their best work nor have confidence in sustaining it.
Organizations are not maximizing employees’ potential performance sustainably, as 59 per cent of employees are not performing optimally. Employees who are not performing optimally contribute up to 25 per cent less value to the organization and are 14 per cent less likely to stay with their employer.
The traditional approach to employee performance, focusing on “employee agency” and individual ownership, falls short in addressing three burdens on performance: excessive “work to do work,” fatigue, and feelings of futility. Some organizations may consider reintroducing constraints to address these challenges, but Gartner suggests another approach: guiding employee agency through performance cues.
To guide employee agency effectively, organizations should provide three performance cues: path, pace, and progress. Path cues involve enabling employee autonomy while clarifying the context for decision-making, reducing excessive time spent on “work to do work” and increasing the likelihood of optimal performance. Pace cues involve incorporating wellness into work to help employees choose a sustainable pace, reducing fatigue, and increasing the likelihood of optimal performance. Progress cues involve recognizing high-performance actions in real-time, signalling to employees the desired actions and reducing feelings of futility, while increasing the likelihood of optimal performance.
By implementing these performance cues, organizations can better support employees in achieving their best possible performance sustainably and maximize their overall value contribution.
Tags: GartnerHR Leaders