It should not come as a surprise that performance management and employee engagement are closely connected. It stands to reason. When performance is managed well and employees grow, they are more engaged in their jobs and feel pride in their contribution to the enterprise.
And, when employees are positively engaged in their roles, they are more committed to continuous learning and improving their performance. Everybody benefits.
4 Ways to Better Connect Performance Management and Employee Engagement
To connect performance management and employee engagement sounds good in the abstract. But what must leaders do to be sure that both sides of this connection are aligned? If you want to better connect performance management and employee engagement, think about these three steps:
- Have a Strong, Meaningful, Clear Purpose
Do your employees clearly understand the purpose of performance management? Sure, effective performance management should boost individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. But from an employee’s point of view, what’s in it for them?
Employees tell us that they want performance management to improve personal growth and career advancement opportunities. Is that the focus of your performance management program? If not, you may want to reconsider the program from a more employee-centric point of view.
Done right, performance management should help employees to learn, grow, and thrive in a way that benefits both the business and the person. One of the foundations of high employee engagement is that employees understand how their work fits into to the organization’s overall success and that they feel their contributions are appreciated.
- Ensure Shared Business Responsibility and Accountability
HR should not be in the policing or permission-giving business. Strong performance management is not the responsibility of HR. To work well, leaders, managers, and employees all need to believe in the value of managing performance and be held accountable for its success.
- Focus on Opportunities for Growth and Career Advancement
Have a clear plan to give employees the support and training they need to grow and thrive in their current and future jobs. Whenever possible, build individual development plans tailored to individual needs and the requirements of their role. Be clear about what skills and behaviors matter most and invest heavily in skills practice, reinforcement, and coaching to ensure on-the-job behavior change.
- Make Performance Management Conversations Continuous
There is little debate that the annual appraisal process is flawed and perceived as bureaucratic, costly, and of low value by most managers and employees. The idea behind continuous performance management is to have development and expectation conversations consistently throughout the year. Not only does the more frequent feedback feel more natural for both the manager and their direct report, but high performers report wanting to know where they stand and what they can do to perform at their peak.
Respected global companies like Accenture, Adobe, Cargill, Deloitte, General Electric, IBM, and Microsoft have all moved to continuous performance conversations. Should you?
The Bottom Line
There’s no mystery here. It’s simple. Highly engaged employees simply perform better. Everyone wins. Are you doing all you can to see that your performance management process is fully aligned with and supports your employee engagement goals?
To learn more about how to improve your performance management practices, download 5 Performance Management Success Factors You Better Get Right