Linking Employee Performance To People Outcomes

Like leaders at every other company, you would have expectations from your people. But is it enough to prescribe what people must do for company success?

Your workforce experience (Wx) and morale depend on whether people’s expectations are met. Can strong contributors expect higher pay, promotions, recognition, career opportunities, or any other benefits? Or do you follow an unclear policy that leaves people in the dark about what happens if they perform well?

Perhaps, it is time to change that.

Why is it important to link performance and outcomes?

Connecting performance to outcomes increases the sense of ownership. People feel like they are progressing in the same direction as the company.

In addition, it provides them with a sense of autonomy and controls over their own success. Not only does this improve their Wx, it also reinforces the trust between your people and you.

Some of the benefits of linking performance and outcomes are:

1. It helps people understand what they gain by achieving more than assigned goals.

2. It provides a roadmap to grow their career in the direction they want.

3. It helps people identify learning gaps and developmental opportunities.

4. It creates a collaborative environment where people seek feedback instead of fearing it.

How do you check if you have successfully linked performance and outcomes?

One of the best ways to explore the strength of your performance-outcome linkage is to ask your people. In surveys or 1:1 discussions, do people feel that there is a benefit to performing better than peers?

Do they feel the company is meritocratic and able to help in creating long-lasting careers?

As a leader, do you find high-performers motivated to do more? Are the rest of the people also seeking out ways to attain better outcomes as part of the performance management process?

If you find that the entire process is creating an upward spiral of performance leading to positive outcomes, leading to further high performance, your linkage is probably successful

How can you create a strong performance-outcome link?

Performance management is all about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of individual and company goals. To help your people make the most of it, rely on timely and actionable feedback.

If performance feedback is only a criticism of the past with no reference to the future, the Wx will suffer. Instead, focus on the future and on what people can do to develop further.

Create your leadership pipeline from within by motivating, engaging, and rewarding people for their contributions.


Provide people with the resources and support they need to develop. Recognize the right output and behaviors. Allow them to take accountability for results.

Help them in elevating their own Wx and make the most of the performance process.

To create a talent management strategy that powers your performance management, reach out to us at [email protected].

About the Author

Sam Reeve
Sam Reeve, CompTeam founder and managing consultant, is a pay and talent performance expert and a certified global compensation professional. His extensive experience with pay programs and competitive compensation analysis, career architecture, and talent management allows him to help clients of rapidly growing firms see accurate, measurable results, including increased productivity and significant pay savings, year-over-year.
As an innovative thinker with practical application, Sam strongly believes that everyone needs to be healthy and happy in their own lives to strive as a high-performing contributor. He is driven to help organizations match their employees with the work they are passionate about and reward their people for outstanding work.
Sumit Single
Sumit has been working in HR & HR consulting roles for 16+ years across sectors and verticals and specializes in organizational design, well-being, storytelling & design thinking, and performance management. In his career with consulting firms such as Aon, Deloitte, and Accenture, he has successfully led programs aimed at total HR transformation for clients.
As Associate Director for India Consulting at Deloitte, he recently worked with clients on cultural transformation, HR processes, and policy design. He also organized and spoke at conferences and events about various topics relevant to HR today.
Now self-employed, he works with clients across the globe on various HR solution areas.
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