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Unleashing the Power Within: Uncovering the Key Drivers of Employee Performance

3 minute read

By Stavy Papasotiriou, Organisational Psychologist and Founder of Work Unlocked.

Every organisation strives for high employee performance. After all, motivated and productive employees are the driving force behind success. But have you ever wondered what truly causes your employees to perform at their best?

In this blog, we'll delve into the driving forces that turn ordinary employees into workplace superheroes and explore how you can leverage them to create a high-performing workforce.


Motivation: Igniting the Fire Within

Motivation lies at the heart of employee performance. Various motivational theories provide insights into understanding what drives individuals to excel. By designing reward systems that align with these theories, you can create a conducive environment that encourages employees to go above and beyond. Understanding how to use positive reinforcement to reward desired behaviours and employing behavioural modification techniques can significantly influence employee motivation and ultimately enhance performance.

Behavioural Modification: Guiding Behaviour for Success

Behavioural modification techniques utilise positive (e.g., rewards) and negative (e.g., disciplinary action) reinforcements to shape employee behaviour that is aligned with their goals. Recognising and celebrating achievements, offering incentives, and providing timely feedback can inspire employees to consistently deliver exceptional results. On the other hand, addressing performance issues with appropriate consequences ensures accountability and drives improvement.

Individual Differences: Harnessing Unique Strengths

Employees bring unique sets of cognitive abilities and personality traits to the workplace. These individual differences play a significant role in shaping their performance. Cognitive ability, such as problem-solving skills and critical thinking, contributes to task efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, conscientiousness, a personality trait characterised by diligence and responsibility, has been consistently linked to higher performance levels. Understanding and leveraging these individual differences can help tailor roles, responsibilities, and development opportunities to maximise employee potential.

Knowledge and Skill: Empowering Growth

Knowledge and skill acquisition are crucial for sustaining motivation and performance. Offering training and development programs not only enhance employees' capabilities but also instils a sense of confidence and empowerment. When employees feel equipped with the necessary tools and expertise to excel in their roles, they are more likely to be motivated and perform at their best. Providing continuous learning opportunities not only boosts performance but also contributes to employee engagement and retention.

Job Design: Crafting Engaging and Meaningful Work Experiences

The design of the job itself has a profound impact on employee performance. Task characteristics that align with employees' interests and strengths can make work more engaging and fulfilling. By ensuring that job responsibilities are challenging yet achievable, providing autonomy and decision-making authority, and incorporating elements of creativity and innovation, organisations can create a stimulating work environment. When employees find their work meaningful and aligned with their interests, they are more likely to be highly engaged and perform at their peak.


Understanding the drivers of employee performance is essential for organisations striving to create a high-performing workforce. By harnessing motivation, employing behavioural modification techniques, acknowledging individual differences, nurturing knowledge and skill, and designing jobs that inspire and engage, you can unlock the full potential of your employees.

Remember, performance is not solely dependent on individual efforts but also on creating an environment that supports and encourages growth. Invest in your employees, and watch them thrive, driving your organisation towards unprecedented success.

About the author

Stavy Papasotiriou is an organisational psychologist and the visionary behind Work Unlocked — a leading HR consultancy on a mission to revolutionise employee engagement, performance, and retention in businesses worldwide. With a profound understanding of HR practices, Stavy leverages psychological principles to unleash the untapped potential of workforces. At Work Unlocked, Stavy crafts bespoke strategies that are grounded in research and tailored to each organisation's unique needs. These strategies are designed to yield remarkable results while requiring minimal resources.

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