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5 easy ways to use performance management as a tool for employee engagement

Studies have consistently shown that employee engagement has a positive impact on the workplace.  Specifically, engagement has been shown to improve morale, productivity, and employee retention rates.  Many organizations know they want to improve employee engagement but are overwhelmed with how to get started.  Performance management is a great way to start improving employee engagement.  Here are our 5 best tips that you can begin to use today.

  1. Set clear expectations

Employees perform best when they know exactly what is required of them.  One of the most common things employees tell us when we interview them about their job is that they don’t know what is required of them.  This can be a huge barrier to engagement since realistic performance expectations and clarity regarding job duties has been shown to have the greatest influence on employee engagement.  Organizations should regularly update job descriptions to help employees be more successful and engaged.  If your organization doesn’t have current job descriptions, ask employees to help update them in partnership with management and Human Resources.  By being involved in setting the expectations for their role and goals, employees are more likely to be motivated and successful.  We have seen first-hand positive results from this time and time again!


  1. Build a bridge between employees and the organization

The performance management process offers managers the perfect opportunity to create and maintain a connection between employees and the organization.  Organizations should ensure that managers are comfortable and competent conducting performance reviews so they can clearly illustrate the relationship between each employee’s job and the overall success of the organization.  This has been proven to increase the amount of effort employee’s put into their jobs.  The initiative Engagement @ Harvard suggests clarifying three factors as part of performance reviews.

  • Who we are: Goals of the organization.
  • Why we exist: Organization’s mission and vision.
  • How you help us succeed: The role each employee’s job has in helping the organization to achieve targets and goals.


  1. Incorporate opportunities for two-way feedback

While performance reviews are traditionally considered a vehicle for providing feedback to employees, they also present a valuable opportunity for employees to provide feedback to their manager and the organization.  Communication is always more effective when it offers both parties the opportunity to be heard, turning two-way feedback into a very powerful employee engagement strategy.  For this reason, we always recommend that employees are given the opportunity to comment and sign off on their job description and performance review.


  1. Build a system based on strengths

Did you know that employees who use their strengths at work are 6 times more likely to be engaged on the job?  By focusing performance management on effectively identifying and acknowledging an employee’s strengths, outcomes include better productivity, improved job performance, and higher retention rates.  It is much easier to capitalize on employee strengths than it is to improve employee weaknesses.  In addition, using a performance management strategy that focuses on each employee’s individual strengths also contributes to feeling happier, having more energy, taking fewer sick days, lower incidents of chronic disease, and a decrease in health-related employee expenses.


  1. Reward the good stuff.

Your organization’s recognition and compensation strategy should be tied in with year-round performance management activities.  Compensation that increases employee engagement is about more than just salary and raises.  A total compensation and recognition strategy is multi-faceted and should involve things like public recognition and sincere “Thank You’s” that detail what the employee did that was so appreciated and how it benefited the department or the organization.

Performance management is an organization’s key to unlocking employee engagement and improving overall departmental and organizational outcomes.  With these 5 tips, you can start to implement a performance management program designed for employee engagement.  If you would like more ideas, contact CG Hylton Inc. to learn about our popular workshops and tools to enhance employee engagement!



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