Performance management and employee engagement are often treated very differently. But highly engaged employees consistently outperform their less engaged colleagues in all measures, including productivity.
Engagement’s positive impact on things like productivity shows that performance management initiatives stand to be more successful if they take a leaf from the employee engagement playbook, and support people as individuals with their own goals and needs.
Ultimately, employee engagement’s biggest strength is its people-centric approach, based around support and understanding. By contrast, performance management’s biggest flaw is that it can sometimes focus on results at the cost of the individual.
Why performance and engagement are treated differently
Their approaches differ because of the goal each is trying to achieve. They're also managed by different people. Engagement is typically HR's domain, whereas performance responsibility lies with an individual and their manager.
The goal of performance management is to improve individual performance and overall productivity. This traditionally takes the form of an assessment that highlights ways that the employee can improve, and ideally, their personal strengths too.
Employee engagement is the employee’s sense of commitment and attachment to their job, their colleagues, and the business as a whole, including its goals. Employee engagement uses ongoing, two-way feedback that emphasises the needs and motivations of employees, rather than just their output.
How to combine engagement and performance management
The Weekly10 employee check-in is designed to make feedback a regular two-way process. Employees build a bank of evidence to show their achievements each week. This makes prep for performance conversations less daunting and less time consuming. It also makes performance conversations future-focused because day-to-day tasks and improvements are addressed in the weekly check-in.
Use recognition and 360° feedback
Two-thirds of employees want more feedback from their colleagues - not just their managers. Weekly10 has 360° feedback and recognition tools built in to help appraise and recognise performance. This helps to build social bonds that play a key role in engagement, but they can also be used to surface hidden talent.
Discuss personal growth and career goals
When it’s time to discuss ways to improve, it’s important to address them as opportunities for growth, rather than flaws to be corrected. Showing employees that their career development matters to you is a great way of inspiring loyalty and cutting turnover.
Take a strengths-based approach
One of the best things for engagement is when our strengths are recognised and put to good use. It makes you feel valued, which helps build an attachment to the organisation. A good way to cut out the punitive feeling of some performance review methods is to focus on developing our employee’s strongest areas.