Employee Performance: Is The Journey Actually The Destination?

A good leader knows that a critical part of performance management involves a reward system of some kind, but this means that you need a decent way to gauge and appraise those performance factors in order to reward them.

Right? (Right.)

So, enter the debate of a results-oriented definition of performance versus a process-oriented definition.  Allow me to break it down for you:

Results-oriented definition: These people view performance as the end result. What was accomplished or what was the outcome? Whatever the answer to that question is will determine your way of judging the employee’s performance.

This seems like a fair and unbiased way to judge performance, don’t you think? Those who like this definition are like, “You know what… you can’t judge someone based on what they are capable of! You have to base it on what they actually accomplish.” They have a point, but let’s see what the flip side is first.

Process-oriented definition: Those who are in favor of this performance perspective focus on the competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities) that yield performance outcomes. These behaviors are actually what contribute to good work. A work environment needs flexibility to shift and dynamic people to be able to adapt to that.

These people say the results-oriented definition puts too much focus on a results-at-any-cost mentality and that could potentially put other employees or even the company at risk.  Instead, focus on employees’ competencies and if they fit with the overall goal and mission of the company.

It seems that it might take a bit of both theories to form the perfect, most wide-reaching definition. Job performance is a very broad concept with many things that contribute to “success.”

What do you think? What does employee performance mean to you?


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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