Engagement, motivation, and rewards

Published on January 31, 2023   12 min
Welcome to this seventh talk on performance management. The topic today is engagement, motivation, and rewards. I'm Pietro Micheli, I'm a professor of business performance and innovation at Warwick Business School in the UK.
When we talk about engagement, we need to start with engagement with the performance management approach and cycle in the first place. This is not easy to do. We've done a lot of work and research in this field particularly looking at what individuals think about the use of tools that we've mentioned so far in this series of talks so key performance indicators, targets, appraisals, rewards, and so on. Very often, we see that one of the consequences of what we labeled in this report, the tactical use of measurement, which is very much about looking at inputs and trying to control what we do, is the fact that employees tend not to buy into it. What it means is that there is not a lot of engagement and the systems themselves are not particularly used. What we also saw, and I'm showing you some figures from a report that we wrote some years ago, is the fact that about two-thirds of CEOs or people working in senior management roles are advocates of performance management. This number is very low because if people at the top of the organization don't necessarily believe in it, then we cannot really expect the rest of the organization to believe it. In fact, if you look at the figure of engagements and the advocates of performance management in this survey, there was lower than 10% when you look at the rest of the employee, which is very, very low. Essentially, what this figure suggests is that as much as organizations have invested a lot in creating scorecards, dashboards and using KPIs and targets, what they have actually created are systems that are not necessarily used or at least not used as fully as they could be, and that the level of engagement that people demonstrate is quite low. Essentially, what we concluded here is the fact that those who measure appear to be more convinced of the value of performance management than those who are measured. Even those who measure, again the people in senior management roles, only about two-thirds of them seems to be advocates of performance management. So starting from these statistics, then we can start to see and say, well, if we want individuals to get more engaged with this and use the systems that we've talked about more, then there's something that we need to do in an intentional way.