The recent years, performance management has gone through some pretty hefty changes. This is because many employers were dissatisfied with their performance management processes, finding them too heavily invested in a one-time annual performance review. These proved to be overly labor-intensive and didn’t produce the expected results. Traditional performance management solutions have just cut it when it comes to a modern workforce.
What many industries have turned to instead, is an automated performance management solution that motivates employees to work not only harder but smarter. This works by giving personalized feedback continuously throughout the year. The systems are a more transparent and foster collaboration between management and employees, causing not only a boost in productivity but also a healthier, happier overall work atmosphere.
So, if your business is looking to update its performance management process to a more modern solution, you might be wondering what exactly you should be looking for. We’re going to take you through the main features of a quality performance management solution and examine how they can help your company. Then, you should be ready to upgrade.
The number one thing you should always look for in business is automation. Automation and digitalization have become the gold standards of nearly every industry for a good reason—they simplify and streamline complex processes into a single unit. Performance management solutions are no different. There are two ways of investing in a performance management solution—on-sight software or a cloud-based platform. Let’s look at both so that you know which best suits your needs.
Like its name suggests, on-sight software is kept on-sight, meaning that the performance management solution is downloaded directly onto your business’s hardware. All the information is kept within the hardware and can only be accessed within the confines of the business. Whenever there are new updates, you must download the updates like any other software. This option is optimal for large corporations that can afford to staff an IT team just to manage the software.
Alternatively, a cloud-based platform is stored and managed by the provider. It can be accessed remotely, and all information is backed up to the cloud. Whenever there are updates, they are automatically uploaded to the platform, meaning that you don’t have to pay for new upgrades continually. This is the best option for companies looking to save on software and IT costs and who enjoy the flexibility of remote work.
Have the Ability to Set Goals
Employees work more productively when they know what it is that they’re working towards. Setting goals and making them visible to everyone in the company shows employees how their work directly affects the company. Setting clear expectations shows your employees that you’re committed to transparency and care about their performance.
When looking for a performance management solution, you should look for a platform that lets you share company goals in this way. For ultimate transparency, treat your goals like a workflow. Goals are usually long-term, but breaking them down into actualizable steps lays the groundwork for how employees can get there. Find a performance management solution that treats your goals like a blueprint, not just a hope for the future.
Continuous and Multi-faceted Feedback
Sharing company goals isn’t the only way to boost transparency. In fact, it’s one of the more subtle ways a quality performance management solution helps to increase transparency. What you need to look for is a solution that always allows for continuous and open lines of communication. Performance management is, at heart, a conversation between the different parts of a company. If one part is lagging behind, another lets them know, and the problem is fixed.
Unfortunately, older methods that focused heavily on annual performance reviews were unsuccessful to that end. Rather than fixing problems, they caused more anxiety than productivity. An automated review solution circumvents this issue by treating feedback like an everyday event. Employees play an active role in their performance rather than having to face what feels like a firing squad at the end of the quarter or year.
Probably the most obvious requirement of a performance management solution is that it tracks performance. Because a cloud-based platform is continuous, it can track and store progress in real-time, making the company’s entire information database easily accessible to HR and management. Stored data can be exported and downloaded into an easy-to-read record, showing the high and low points of productivity.
This might sound like nothing more than a nifty add-on, but it’s one of the most useful features of a performance management solution. Having access to the company’s data in real-time makes the entire business’s productivity open to scrutiny before it’s too late. If there are problems in the system, why wait until the end of the year to fix them? Seeing where the issues are and rooting them out at the moment is a far more effective means of running a business.
This can come down to human error, such as a lack of employee training, but it can also be the result of ill-defined objectives, over-ambitious workflows, or any number of events that happen behind the scenes of a business. Performance management solutions make the problems clear and resolvable.
If you’ve been dissatisfied with your company’s performance management process, it may be time to upgrade to a more modern approach. Ditching one-time annual performance reviews in favor of an automated performance management solution can not only boost employee productivity but also make for a more transparent workplace. Performance management is about tracking progress and providing feedback in real-time rather than waiting until its too late.
Before you buy just any platform, though, be sure to look for one that is automated, provides multi-faceted continuous feedback, and tracks performance throughout ongoing projects. Companywide performance management doesn’t have to be relegated to the end of the year. Give your employees the knowledge and feedback they need to continue improving throughout their careers.