What is Performance Engagement?
Alison Zook
Nov 11, 2020
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What is Performance Engagement
At first glance, employee engagement and performance management seem to be at odds. The budding manager might see the former as a way to keep her people happy and the latter as a way to wring as much work out of them as possible. But what if these two fields were never meant to be separate? What if reconnecting employee engagement and performance management was the key to creating a workplace culture that’s equal parts happy and productive? Welcome to performance engagement.
In case this really is first glance, let’s lay some groundwork.
Performance management
is making sure your company’s goals are met. Do your current processes, policies, and practices move your organization toward your desired outcome for the year? How effectively? How can those numbers be improved? You can focus performance management on a department, a team, or even an individual.
It’s a very goal-driven field, and devoting resources to performance management is a great way to yield results. It’s always active, always looking for slack to take up. Unfortunately, in the process, the human element is often overtaxed.
Our team member Andy once worked for a car dismantling business, known to most as a junkyard. As they processed “new” cars coming into the lot, one of their tasks was to puncture and drain fuel tanks with a pneumatic spike on an articulating arm. They would forklift the car up onto a rack, raise the arm up to the gas tank, and punch the tank. A rubber sleeve around the punch would collect and drain the old fuel into a receptacle. When the tank was empty, they were to punch two more holes, just to be sure.
Then performance management happened. Someone working at a desk determined that the time it took to drain the fuel tanks was a bottleneck. To process X number of car corpses a day, they needed to punch the other two holes in the tank
while the fuel was still draining
. Needless to say, this resulted in Andy and his fellow breakers getting liberally doused in gas every day, and he quit soon after.
Employee engagement
almost seems like the opposite of performance management. Custominsight.com calls it “the extent to which your employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.” Employee engagement puts the team member in the center of the conversation, rather than how much he or she is producing.
Companies use countless forms of employee engagement, from special recognition to casual fridays. And while some engagement programs, like special commissions and bonuses, are directly related to performance, many are more vague and collective, trying to foster a sense of warmth about the company.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can be impersonal, separating the employee from her actual work achievements. These strategies can also grow stale over time, especially as the worker rises through the ranks and takes on more responsibilities. Friday afternoon drinks in the break room might not seem so exciting when there’s still a stack of work on her desk to finish before the weekend.
But what if performance management and employee engagement were never meant to be separated? Managing people takes time whether you’re managing their performance or their engagement. Yet managers are often saddled with other responsibilities, as well, and there never seems to be a long enough day to talk with each team member, discussing where he or she could improve or what they’re doing well.
Perhaps employee engagement and performance management both grew out of a lack of time.
What if an app could reconnect them?
See Arcade in action for performance engagement
Meet with an expert from our team and learn how Arcade connects performance management with employee engagement
Performance engagement
uses technology to piece back together the results-focused drive of performance management and the people-centric sense of accomplishment that comes with employee engagement.
It cuts down on administrative tasks for both managers and workers, tracking every completed task and distilling an employee’s performance down into helpful data. Managers can then use that data to determine which methods work and which do not. It actually streamlines performance management without sacrificing care for the worker.
So where does employee engagement come in? With a digital platform, you can let your workers in on the improvement strategy. You can let them track their own performance via a fun-to-use smartphone app. Each completed task comes with the reward of knowing they’ve achieved something, no matter how small. Since the platform tracks each worker’s performance individually, the sense of achievement is personal in a way that no “chill Friday afternoon” could be.
The other benefit of tracking performance task-by-task is that you can physically reward each task completed, whether it’s a sale closed, a call made, a repair finished, or even a post on social media. And you can scale the reward for the difficulty of the task.
Suddenly work is transformed from a vaguely rewarding collection of tasks to a daily— hourly, even— opportunity to level up, to beat past records, to compete with coworkers. Essentially, it becomes a game.
That’s our heart behind Arcade. That’s why we designed our performance engagement platform like a video game system. Each goal met earns the employee points that add up to real prizes in the Arcade store. Achievements are posted within Arcade’s built-in social media network, allowing coworkers to compete with, and congratulate, each other. And managers get valuable data that can help them fine tune each store and employee’s methods, managing performance in a way they’ve never been able to before.
The end result is a team that’s both happy
productive. This is the power of performance engagement. Learn more about Arcade today!
Learn how Arcade can help your business
Alison Zook
Ali is part of the Success team at Arcade.