We’ve done it! We’re past the half-way mark and are slowly but surely reaching the end of the year. For many people, it’s a sign of hope that we can move past these tough times and onto something better. But don’t get too excited. There’s still one more thing sitting on the horizon before we can cross into 2021—employee performance reviews. To get your performance reviews done right, it will help lessen your stress if you use an employee performance management software.
Just those three words alone can be enough to fill employees with anxiety and hesitation. With potential raises and promotions resting on how well their reviews go, it’s understandable that employees might be less than excited to go through the annual ring of fire. But what if there was a better way to provide employees with feedback without the tension and worry of an annual review? The good news is, employee performance management software is here to simplify the job.
The Problem With Annual Reviews
Saying to a corporate manager a generation ago that annual performance reviews are largely ineffective would likely have been met with a look of mixed confusion and exasperation. They are a standard of any business and play a crucial role in motivating employees, celebrating their achievements, addressing their shortcomings, and preparing them for the coming year. And while that’s all true, at the heart of the matter is feedback. Performance reviews are about feedback.
We tend to forget, but even after graduating and starting a career, we are constantly learning. It might not be as active as sitting in a classroom, but we learn new ways of completing assignments, new technologies and methods, and new expectations for getting the job done. Without feedback, we would be whittling away at our jobs without ever gaining from them.
Feedback in the office is no different from feedback in a classroom. It serves to correct mistakes and get employees back on track to meeting and achieving their goals. It also shows employees where they have grown and can continue to shine. But when this information is presented only once a year in the form of an annual review process, employees often don’t know what to expect. They could get a bad review because of something that happened months ago that they don’t even remember. It isn’t easy to then put the feedback into action because they can’t link it to a memorable event.
A Better Way Forward
Fixing these drawbacks is easier than it seems. The number one problem with annual employee performance reviews is that they are annual. Getting feedback once a year is not regular enough. Instead, project managers should be providing their employees with feedback in real-time as projects are being completed throughout the year.
This might not sound that different from an annual review in theory but, in practice and effect, it’s completely different. Whereas annual performance reviews of old often meant detailed in-person interviews, continuous feedback is best given through employee performance management software. This is an online cloud-based system that connects all divisions of a company. Management and HR can watch progress in real-time, provide feedback as assignments are completed, and pinpoint exactly where there are weaknesses.
How It Helps
The benefits of this approach are surprisingly widespread. Because performance management systems connect the entire organization, they break down barriers that might be holding back your employees. Objectives and assignments are available to everyone with access to the cloud, making the company far more open and transparent. Communication across the standard boundaries can flow more easily and regularly than before.
In fact, this is the whole point. Performance management software should foster an environment based on communication and collaboration. If feedback is a tool to correct mistakes and keep employees on track, it should be given as soon as it’s needed. When an assignment comes in, breakdown where the employee succeeded and highlight anywhere that might have needed more attention. This way, feedback isn’t viewed as a weight hanging over anyone’s head, but as a regular and natural part of the job.
This isn’t just about making workers feel more comfortable in the office. Performance management software boosts productivity. Look at it this way—if you wait until the end of the project to give feedback when the client is already unhappy with the result, you’re going to lose their business. Finding and correcting problems throughout the process means that you won’t have to go back and make corrections after the fact, and the client will leave happier knowing that their product received your utmost attention.
Possibly the most important benefit, though, is that employee performance management software makes tracking data straightforward. Feedback and progress reports are stored within the cloud and can be exported into easy-to-read reports at any time. Whereas before, it was difficult to know where problems came from, with performance management software, managers can follow the progress in real-time and make adjustments to the company’s objectives before it’s too late. If problems are coming from the human element, training employees makes for an easy fix. Employee performance management software gives a new level of flexibility to your business model that can nip problems in the bud.
While annual performance reviews are not quite antiquated just yet, they no longer serve the same purpose as they did when our parents were climbing the corporate ladder. Rather than leaving feedback to the last minute, businesses have changed to a continuous approach with the help of employee performance management software. After a year like 2020, maybe it’s best not to heap more unwanted stress onto employees. Switching to a digital cloud-based management system would make feedback a natural and friendlier part of everyday work. For more information on how to get set up with performance management software, reach out to us, and we’ll help provide the best service for your company’s needs.