With it being the last month of the 1st quarter of the year, I wanted to talk about performance management and employee engagement and how to link the two. The HR performance management landscape is changing dramatically, and business leaders need to know that they can get more value using performance management to engage and develop people rather than to just assess them. Research has shown that there is a strong link between employee engagement and performance management. It can be difficult to improve performance without also improving engagement. According to the president and founder of Bersin & Associates and global industry analyst Josh Bersin, “highly engaged employees are more creative, provide more collaborative support to peers and clients, and bring more energy to work,”

What is Performance Management and Why Does it Matter?

“Performance management is a process of ensuring that a set of activities and outputs meets an organization’s goals in an effective and efficient manner. Performance management can focus on the performance of an organization, a department, an employee, or the processes in place to manage particular tasks” – Wikipedia

What is Employee Engagement and Why Does it Matter?

I like the definition provided by, it defines Employee engagement as “the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.” Employee engagement should not however be confused with employee satisfaction.

How to link performance management and employee engagement

  • Include Employee Development in Performance Management

When your Performance Management focuses too heavily on evaluation, precluding any focus on employee development it can actually have a negative impact on engagement.

  • Include Performance Management in Employee Development

Processes that focus only on development and engagement and aren’t linked to performance management may not serve the organization’s best interests. When the approach includes both development and evaluation in a continuous process however, performance management can actually increase engagement.
Tips and Reminders for linking performance management and employee engagement
When linking performance management and employee engagement, remember the following:

  • Implement systemic changes to support the approach, this includes getting the buy in from your management team.
  • Have more regular and frequent manager check-ins to give and get feedback, discuss goals, and map out development opportunities.
  • Have leadership development for managers — both to increase their own engagement and to teach them how to improve engagement among their teams.
  • Have Software and systems in place that bring together all the relevant data and help managers gain new insights.


Organizations that make this shift towards merging performance management and employee engagement are positioning themselves for stronger performance and greater resilience in the future.

For a free Employee Engagement and Alignment Plan, please visit our website on to register.


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