Want to improve employee engagement? Make it part of the performance management process

Aug 17, 2011

The performance management process should evaluate and focus on employee engagement in addition to job performance, according to a paper published from the University of Toronto and University of Guelph. Engagement involves high levels of identification with one's work in terms of attention, absorption and feeling integrated in the performance of one's tasks and roles.

The paper's authors – Professor Alan Saks from the University of Toronto and Professor Jamie Gruman of the University of Guelph – contend performance management should involve an evaluation of employee engagement and that for many companies enhancing employee performance can be best achieved by changing the focus of the performance management process to a focus on the management of employee engagement.

"Many companies do not recognize the importance of employee engagement to organizational performance," says Saks. "Current approaches to increasing engagement in organizations are limited because they are not directed at individual employees and they are not part of the performance management system."

The researchers believe incorporating engagement into performance management is important for improving engagement and performance management. "Engagement helps predict job performance," says Gruman. "Employees who feel engaged in their tasks do a better job, are less likely to make mistakes, and bring more energy, dedication and vigour into their performance. There is also mounting evidence that higher levels of engagement correlate with lower turnover and less absenteeism. Thus, it makes sense to focus on employee engagement as part of the performance management process."

The paper, published by Human Resource Management Review, outlines three psychological conditions that support personal engagement:

  • Psychological meaningfulness – associated with perception that one's role is worthwhile and valuable
  • Psychological safety – associated with one's perception of how safe it is to bring oneself to a role without fear of damage to self-image, status or career
  • Psychological availability – associated with the physical, emotional and psychological resources that can be brought to a role
Saks says there are concrete steps that organizations and managers can take during the performance management process to foster employee engagement. "Managers should make the changes that each employee needs to experience meaningfulness, safety and feel available to become fully engaged in their work. Some employees might need more autonomy in their work, more challenge, more input, or perhaps more support or training."

According to Saks, "Making part of the process not only makes it an on-going and constant issue rather than a once-a-year survey, it also signals to employees that it is important and the organization is committed to improving the engagement of its employees."

Explore further: Study looks at stock market performance of polarizing brands

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Structure helps new employees adjust, study finds

Jul 18, 2011

With people often changing jobs and careers, organizations need to know how to help integrate and engage newcomers in order to retain them. A new University of Guelph study shows that new employees adjust better to their ...

Engaged employees deliver improved business performance

Sep 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Research indicates that in the UK and US as many as 70% of employees may not be engaged at work. Therefore, it is not surprising that employee engagement has become something of a hot topic amongst business ...

How to avoid employee depression in a recession

Nov 29, 2010

As employees become increasingly anxious about job security and financial worries during an economic recession, satisfaction with the job they have, commitment to their company and engagement with their work are all affected ...

Recommended for you

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

Apr 17, 2014

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Performance measures for CEOs vary greatly, study finds

Apr 16, 2014

As companies file their annual proxy statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this spring, a new study by Rice University and Cornell University shows just how S&P 500 companies have ...

Investment helps keep transport up to speed

Apr 16, 2014

Greater investment in education and training for employees will be required to meet the future needs of the transport and logistics industry, according to recent reports by Monash University researchers.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
not rated yet Aug 18, 2011
look up sophomoric sophistry in any lexicon and see the above as an example.

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...