How to place employee drivers at the heart of performance management

How to use employee data recorded by OpenBlend to drive employee productivity, employee engagement and improve business performance

Top Ten Blend Elements January 2021

Want to understand how to drive productivity and engagement by placing an employee’s key Blend drivers at the heart of the performance management process? You’ve come to the right place.

Over the past year, we have experienced an undeniable shift in the way people manage their work and their home lives. Three lockdowns later, many Brits are still working from home, fielding calls and emails from their front rooms and trying to be employee, teacher, and parent all at once, which has all but destroyed the pre-COVID concept of a work-life balance.

But that might not be such a bad thing.

So many aspects of our lives have changed since the pandemic began, it’s no surprise that what employees need to feel happy at work has changed too. As people’s professional and personal lives have become more entwined than ever before, their priorities have shifted.


Top Ten Blend Elements of January 2021

What employees need to feel content and fulfilled as we begin 2021 is very different from what they needed at the start of 2020.   

Comparing the anonymous employee data recorded by OpenBlend users at the start of 2020 versus the start of 2021 (January to be precise) about their key Blend drivers, we’ve got a good understanding of just how much things have changed. 

Helping businesses to enable their employees to achieve their optimal work-life blend is our aim here - rather than the more outdated ‘work-life balance’ - because our home and professional lives aren’t separate, they have a direct influence on each other. Effective people centric performance management is about finding the optimum Blend in both aspects of our lives. And this has an undeniable effect on business performance.

With 2021 firmly underway, we want to explore what key drivers are shaping up to be most important for the year ahead.


How to use OpenBlend Data on Demand to help you drive employee productivity, improve employee wellbeing and implement more people-centric initiatives for 2021 and beyond.

Below, we compile the top 10 Blend elements as recorded by our users and compare the core Blend elements for job satisfaction from January 2020 (for the year 2019) and January 2021 (for the year 2020). Though you might be able to guess some of the things that were flagged up as driving forces – there are certainly a few surprises in there. Instead of viewing them as opposing forces, let this year teach you to assess your employees’ home and work lives, their personal and professional goals, holistically, as a Blend and that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to productivity.

The Top Ten Blend Elements of January 2021

1.     Health and exercise - 64%

2.     Time with family and friends - 50%

3.     Money - 45%

4.     Making a difference at work - 43%

5.     Clear career goals and direction - 39%

6.     Progression at work - 38%

7.     Fulfillment at work - 37%

8.     My partner - 34%

9.     Flexible working culture - 34%

10.  Effective team -34%

Placing an employee’s drivers at the heart of the performance management process is vital to enhance and improve productivity in today’s workforce

The top three most popular blend elements recorded at the start of 2021 were health and exercise, time with family and friends, and money. In a year characterised by confinement, social distancing and economic hardship, this isn’t exactly a revelation. But, when we compared the percentage figures to those from last year, we noticed something very interesting: the need for time with loved ones has not changed – it remains integral to 50% of respondents, but it has moved into the second spot because money has become less of a driving factor for people still out at work.

Progression at work was also seen as less of a motivating factor, and fun and mindset wellbeing – which, in 2019, were crucial to the fulfilment of 38% and 34% of OpenBlend users respectively – have dropped out of the top ten most popular Blend elements altogether.

By contrast, flexible working culture and working as part of an effective team did not appear on the 2019 list, but at the start of 2021, 34% of respondents rated them as integral to the maintenance of their optimum work/life Blend.

This is because money and progression are tied to aspiration, whereas flexibility and fulfilment affect the here and now. The pandemic has massively impacted job security, so those people who have kept their jobs may be more likely to prioritise anything that makes the day-to-day hustle easier, rather than to risk reaching for anything more, especially when you consider they’re dealing with the added complication of working from home now too. An effective team, and extra actual flexibility, go much further towards reducing the frustrating internet failures and long Zoom-calls-that-could-have-been-an-email can cause than the hope of a promotion does.

Plus, for those people still in work, costs are down without a two-way commute and with the temptation to go to the canteen or local sandwich shop at lunchtime removed (for the time being, at least).

Drive employee productivity and employee engagement with a people centric approach to performance management

But it isn’t enough just to collect employee data; you need to use it to start real conversations with your workforce and create meaningful people strategies. To make sure you are getting the best out of your employees you need to enable your managers to have effective conversations that focus on everything that impacts an individual’s productivity: from weekly priorities and performance goals to key drivers, wellbeing and feedback.

Transform your approach to performance management and book a demo with us today. To find out more about how OpenBlend has helped global brands and organisations, including Gymshark, M&C Saatchi, The Prince’s Trust and Avios, benefit from a people centric approach to performance management, call us today on 01628 613040, or drop us an email us at

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