Employee performance has its own set of metrics, and just the same, employee engagement is measured on another set of data. The real question is: why are performance and engagement being calculated separately? They are so closely related and rely heavily on the employee’s connection to the company they work for. When it comes to your employees, can you measure performance without engagement? In short – no. Performance and engagement are inextricably linked to how employees work in your organization. There is evidence to prove this statement, so read on…
Drive Engagement Through Performance
Managers can create an engaging environment that drives performance in three ways:
- Get involved in employees’ work lives – Managers who concentrate on performance typically are very involved in their team’s work. This isn’t to be confused with micromanagement, but rather they know where employees are in terms of project progress not trying to dictate how the project is to be accomplished. This is extremely effective in increasing engagement because when employees feel acknowledged by their managers, they are more likely to be engaged in their work. In fact, when you ignore your team, they are 15 times more likely to be disengaged.
- Set goals and prioritize projects – Employees want (and quite frankly) need managers who will push them by setting and prioritizing goals. Help your team set goals they can achieve so they feel a sense of accomplishment. Success is a driving factor for many professionals, and by giving them feasible and challenging objectives, they are likely to be engaged in their work.
- Culture of accountability – Excuses for poor performance? Not acceptable. No one can flourish in such a culture. But when managers give employees ownership of their work and foster a sense of accountability, it gives them the chance to truly internalize the implications of successes and failures.
Drive Performance Through Engagement
Employee recognition is often touted as an exemplary way to engage employee so you can see an improvement in performance metrics. Although this is a great method to instigate an increase in engagement, it’s typically not a long-lived endeavor, especially when there are physical rewards involved. Instead of managing through physical recognition, take measures to align the employee’s goals to company objectives through means such as performance reviews. They are a consistent (and often stable) mean of conveying the alignment to your team. In a recent whitepaper, we noted one of the benefits of an automated performance management system as:
“Automated systems follow performance management best practices. Best practices in performance feedback and performance reviews range from alignment of individual goals with organizational goals to using validated competencies.”
An Engaging Culture of Performance
So which is better? A team with exceptional performance or a team that is deeply engaged in their work? I have good news for you, you don’t have to choose. The best managers are able to encourage both. Through an engaging culture of accountability, you can effectively drive performance and engagement and measure them accordingly. Manage with performance standards, so you can glean the necessary productivity metrics, and engage employees through alignment during performance reviews and feedback. With only 2% of employers performing ongoing performance reviews, there is much need for improvement in measuring performance and engagement.
Performance can’t be accurately measured without engagement, and vice versa. They are an entangled human enigma that you need to use key metrics to measure in order to change or even maintain current productivity standards. When you drive performance through managerial styles and culture through precise performance reviews, you’re on the right track towards a more holistic picture of your team’s capabilities.
Bio: Chris Arringdale
Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource and Nonprofit HR Solutions.