Employee Behaviour vs. Performance

In making the most of 360 degree feedback, it is essential to understand the difference between employee performance and their behaviour. It is well documented that poorly thought through 360 degree feedback schemes that are used primarily for annual performance appraisal can be highly counter productive for organisations. Using 360 degree feedback to assess behaviour and subsequent opportunities for growth and development however, has been found to be a highly effective way to enhance employee performance and satisfaction at work.

The starting point of course is understanding the difference between performance and behaviour. Here’s an explanation of the difference between the two concepts:

  1. Performance: Performance refers to the outcomes, results, or achievements of an employee in their role or job. It focuses on assessing how well an individual meets specific performance objectives, job requirements, or targets. Performance is typically measured by quantifiable metrics such as sales revenue, productivity, customer satisfaction, or other key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with organizational goals. It primarily assesses the “what” of an employee’s job, emphasizing the tangible outcomes and results they produce.
  2. Behaviour: Behaviour, on the other hand, refers to the actions, conduct, and manner in which an employee carries out their job responsibilities. It encompasses the observable actions, interactions, and attitudes demonstrated by an individual in the workplace. Behaviour assessment evaluates how an employee behaves or acts in alignment with organisational values, competencies, or expected standards of conduct. It focuses on the “how” of an employee’s job, emphasizing the behaviours, skills, and interpersonal aspects that contribute to effective performance and organizational culture.

To summarise, performance primarily focuses on the outcomes and results achieved by an employee, while behaviour emphasizes the actions, conduct, and adherence to expected standards of behaviour in the workplace. Both performance and behaviour are important considerations in HRM as they collectively contribute to an individual’s overall effectiveness and contribution to the organization.

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