Which Comes First: Employee Engagement or Performance? - HighGround

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Which Comes First: Employee Engagement or Performance?

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HR has the difficult task of serving both employees and executives. They determine the processes that drive engagement and a positive company culture. While at the same time, they’re responsible for the strategies that create a high-performing workforce that delivers an outstanding customer experience and top business results.

While there’s certainly a correlation between engagement and performance, it’s widely misunderstood. There’s no “chicken-or-the-egg” dilemma here.

On the surface, it would appear that an engaged workforce leads to a high-performing one. Happy employees mean productive employees, right? But in reality, it’s actually the other way around.

If engagement is an issue, take a look at performance metrics. Are employees meeting or exceeding goals? Are managers regularly checking-in with their direct reports? Has there been a drop in interdepartmental and cross-functional feedback? When employees are excelling at their work and growing as professionals, they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their employer.

Unfortunately, traditional performance management processes of the past won’t do anything to change performance. In fact, 92% of companies feel their current practices aren’t adding value.

Employers can influence performance in a number of ways. Providing regular coaching can help struggling employees or encourage rising stars. Or, expanding the feedback circle to include cross-company managers and peers gives employees a wider view of their performance in the eyes of their peers.

As performance improves, so does the investment level of employees. That job commitment leads to employees that both passively and actively contribute to culture. In our latest tip sheet, we explain:

  • How HR leaders are getting performance management wrong.
  • What you can do to harness the power of small but significant interactions across your organization.
  • Why engagement and performance must be unified to generate positive business momentum.

Download our newest tip sheet to learn more.