Instructional Design

3 Reasons A Performance Evaluation Should Look like a Marketing Campaign

Think about the most effective marketing campaign you’ve ever seen. Maybe it was the empowering Always #likeagirl campaign, or you wanted to Share a Coke after watching the latest round of Coca-Cola commercials. Maybe you teared up watching Google’s Year in Search spot. Whatever pulls at your heartstrings, makes you laugh, or makes you act, the same is true across the board: marketing has a way of connecting to your emotions.

It’s all part of the plan. Marketing uses psychology to get you to buy, but the same tactics can be used for performance management and evaluations. What if, instead of groan-inducing, your performance evaluation could be inspiring? Structure them using these three facets, and you might be able to motivate employees to something more than another mandatory meeting.

1. No More One and Done

The best marketing campaigns aren’t just one standalone commercial. In today’s social landscape, brands must take advantage of all social channels to really be heard. It’s a commercial, but it’s also a trending hashtag, a social media campaign, and a conversation. Branding is reinforced across all channels and in real life to help maintain the emotional connection established through the initial exposure.

“One and done” performance management doesn’t work because it lacks the necessary reinforcement. You might be evaluating an employee’s performance in January, but what about that awesome development in June? Stop thinking of performance management as an event that you trudge through once a year and switch to a process-based mentality for a stronger connection and better results.

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2. Milestone Planning

We’ve all seen infomercials that promise you “there has to be a better way!” And it’s not just a tagline: these brands are speaking to your pain points and reminding you that they have a solution. Sound familiar? Performance management should be structured along the same strategy. Your employees have pain points, challenges, and conflicts. By planning learning milestones and then capturing their attention, you’ll see better attendance and retention rates in your performance management. Hook employees by acknowledging their struggles and then use that connection to highlight what they’ll learn. Send supporting material along the way (memos; media; previews) and employees are more likely to see performance evaluation as a solution rather than a problem.

3. Customer Loyalty

Brands know that reputation is everything. Coke doesn’t want you to buy a soda because it’s the only thing in the vending machine; Coke wants you to buy a soda because it takes you back to your childhood or it makes you feel good about the company you’re giving your money to. Customer loyalty is built through building trust and then using that trust to capture motivation.

Your company culture is what breeds your employee motivation. Performance management without intrinsic motivation can be an uphill battle. Sure, you could offer monetary benefits for better performance, but the gold standard is treating employees so well that they want to perform for the good of the company. Creating employee loyalty by offering opportunities, talent management, mentoring, and other personal benefits help engender allegiance and will make an employee take their performance evaluation to heart. Instead of carrot-and-stick scenario, you get employees who are motivated by loyalty and trust.

Say what you will about the world of marketing, but some brands have cracked the code on how to capture an emotion and direct behavior–two facets of effective performance management. Think of your organization more as a brand and your employees as consumers, and you might just see that program evaluation in a new light.