The Performance Management Guide
What is Performance Management?
Performance Management is a continuous process of measuring and improving the performance of a business by polishing the performance of employees. The most predominant need of an organization is control. Every business owner strives for 360-degree control over the business. An absolute grip in an organization is achieved only when all the departments grow at the same momentum. In the past few years, CEOs and business owners are losing this grip due to persistence in growth. Performance Management is a vital process in an organization that works as a constant process to make sure that employees are not only following a mundane routine but are efficiently achieving the designated goals.
History of Performance Management
The need for Performance Management was discovered long back in the 1920s during the days when businesses and industries significantly started focussing on productivity and operational efficiency. Though the strategies did not involve employee growth and engagement as focus areas. Various sources say performance appraisals were invented by Walter D Scott of WD Scott & Co. as early as World War I in Sydney. Even though the initial document of use of performance management appraisal by WD Scott’s system was not an extensively recognized concept and many people except business owners did not even hear it.
In the mid-1950s performance appraisals were formally adopted among various industries and employees were rated based on existing relationships, personality, and loyalty towards the employer. By the end of the 1950s, it was realized that genetic attributes and personality have nothing to do with actual productivity and it may lead to unfair appraisals.
By the 1960s, performance management and appraisals became a broader aspect. Companies started looking at employees’ objectives and goals. This era majorly looked at employees as individuals and began to focus on each employee’s capability to achieve in the future in an organization. The phrase ‘management by objectives’ became popularized.
The 1970s era for businesses faced multiple court cases due to biasedness in performance appraisals. Companies faced a lot of criticism which led to the inception of psychometrics and rating scales in performance management.
The 1980s to the 2000s
Post-1970s, companies started focussing on employee growth and engagement that gave performance management and appraisals a comprehensive approach. Later, in the 1980s, businesses adopted a multi-rater feedback system also named a 360-degree feedback system. This multi-rater feedback system was used by a few companies before the 1980s era like Esso Research and Engineering Company. It is also said that this was one of the first organizations to use a multi-rate feedback system or 360-degree feedback system in the 1950s.
The 1920s – the 2000s
The 1990s to the 2000s era watched a clear shift of focus towards employee motivation, development, and engagement. Along with annual appraisal and performance reviews, organizations started a continuous feedback-driven approach for continuous productivity. Organizations realized that solely yearly assessment is not proving right for employee motivation and creates communication gaps between employer and employee. Whereas a continuous feedback approach enhances team coordination. As the strategies are evolving drastically, in the current era, many experts state that continuous feedback is simply not enough anymore for maximizing employee productivity and increasing retention.
Evolution and Modern-day Performance Management
In the last few years, companies have dropped out of traditional strategies and have started focussing on feedback systems in performance management and appraisal processes. In the modern-day scenario, employers are providing an equal working environment and are favouring continuous feedback strategies. However, several business critics in the present day are stating that continuous feedback is not sufficient to increase employee productivity as well as employee retention.
The execution of continuous feedback strategies in businesses led to an increase in performance management systems that seek multiple feedback sources when assessing an employee’s performance that is known as 360-degree feedback.
Definition of Performance Management in the present-day era
Performance Management in the current period is a vast set of strategies that operates in the form of an ongoing process of communications between managers /supervisors and the team individually in the light of the feedback framework. It is a business tool in a way that helps businesses measure and evaluate employees’ performance and align their individual goals with the company’s goals. The communication process majorly involves clarifying expectations, setting objectives, identifying goals, providing feedback, and reviewing results. The entire Performance Management process can focus on the performance of an organization, a department, an employee, or the processes in place to manage particular tasks. Performance Management’s ultimate goal in an organization is to create an environment where people can perform to the best of their abilities to produce the highest-quality work most efficiently and effectively.
Importance of Performance Management for Organizations
A productive and efficient workforce is the soul of a business. As the competition between talent and productivity is at the peak, companies are learning the importance of hiring the right people.
Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.
– Dan S.Kennedy
Every organization’s dream is to fill the company with talented, efficient, and ambitious assets. However, reality always differs from expectation. When it comes to working ethics, there are bright days and there are dull days. Employees also experience a mixture of enthusiasm and lethargy. It is challenging to stay consistent the whole time and give the same results.
Many companies still follow only the traditional approach of annual reviews and stay silent the entire year which results in stagnant growth. The significance of Performance Management believes in continuous progress and cuts down the flaws as it is an ongoing activity over and above annual reviews and it is the act of engaging with the employees to review their ongoing tasks at the workplace for efficient performance and development. Engaged employees stay longer, actively involve themselves in the workplace and produce better results.
Top benefits of Performance Management Process in an organization
Boosts Employee morale: Rewarding and recognizing the good performance of employees can be hugely beneficial to the business. Everyone likes being told they’re doing a good job. Performance reviews provide the perfect setting to formalize and document praise. It is proved that happy employees are productive employees. A staggering 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were being recognized. Recognizing good and deserving performances out of a large pile of efforts is challenging and only possible where measuring mechanism there is an accurate and measurable performance management process that gives clear visibility. A few key statistics to consider.
- 83% of employees working in an environment with good reward and recognition structures say they are satisfied in their position.
- 69% of employees will work harder if they know their work is valued and appreciated.
- Businesses that have effective reward structures enjoy an almost 50% rise in employee engagement.
Increase in Employee Engagement and Productivity: The performance Management Process works as a helping hand to boost employee productivity and maximizing ROI (Return on investment). Continuous and organized communication with employees creates an ongoing transmission of ideas, problems, and solutions. This helps in polishing the employee-manager relationship and keeps the company’s vision clear. If employees are aware that manager cares and thinks about their individual growth along with company’s growth, they invest more dedication than hard work and work becomes efficient.
Highlights training needs: Since the performance management process adds more frequent reviews or communications with managers, whether formal or informal, can help to better understand the skill set of employees. Providing an open forum for employees to share and discuss their roles regularly can help to identify training needs before they have an impact on productivity. Whether the employees need to brush up on a certain skill or simply get up to speed with new trends for their role; performance management and regular reviews can help to identify any shortcomings or future training requirements.
Helps in identifying the right employees for promotion: Awarding an employee with bonus or appraisal is different than giving a promotion. A promotion holds responsibility and when reviews are done once a year it gets difficult to pick the right people for a bigger role as managers do not get to know the team at a minor level. In performance management, Regular reviews are a great way to better understand the performance of employees and their suitability for promotion. All employees go through the same performance review process. As such managers can better evaluate them for promotion, salary increases, or transfer in the same, consistent manner by reviews them at regular intervals
Supports workforce planning: Persistent communications with employees is a major part of the performance management mechanism that also helps in workforce planning. Talking over current and future tasks or projects can help in recognizing any requirements for future staff. Workforce planning in an organization helps in forecasting and planning resource supply and demand. It ensures that the organization has the right people for the right job and at right time
Performance Management Helps to Create Employee Development Strategies: Implementation of continuous performance strategies in the process makes sure that the employees are growing individually. With regular catch-ups and one on one meetings with the employees, managers can easily see the gaps and build development plans. With the combination of personal development strategies and a growth-oriented approach, businesses can reap the talent easily which is clearly not possible with once or twice review or performance discussions
Increased employee retention: The basic nature of performance management ensures that the expectations of the employees and their objectives are clear and regularly reviewed. The regular feedback sessions and reviews allow an employee to raise and resolve any issues. Recent research has found that companies that implement regular employee feedback their employee turnover rates are a 14.9% lower than employees who receive no feedback. High staff turnover could have a major impact on your company. Not to mention the impact on staff morale and simply getting things done
Performance management brings greater employee autonomy: When the employees are well aware of the company’s wider objectives and bigger vision and when they know that their contribution is crucial, they are relatively free to make their own choices about how they go about their responsibilities. As a result, employees are happier, more committed, more productive, and more loyal than those whose every action is dictated.
Wrapping up: The importance of performance management
A great performance management system shifts an organization from a people-oriented mindset to a process-oriented mindset that maintains a balance between employees and processes, It proactively involves employees in every communication whether target assigning or goal-setting program. It consists of regular feedback that allows managers or supervisors to spot the issues and raise the flag quickly. By improving employee engagement and improving company productivity, performance management helps boost a company’s profitability while keeping everyone happy.
Performance Management vs. Performance Appraisals
Performance management and appraisals both are crucial parts of organizational growth management strategy but both are different from each other. Often business leaders get confused between them.
Performance appraisal is a one-time once in a year formal activity conducted to identify employees eligible for the appraisals and to review their contribution towards the company’s goals. Whereas, performance management is a continuous process that involves regular engagement with employees and constructive feedback from managers. The objective of performance management is higher productivity, employee and organizational goal alignment, and overall company growth.
Performance Management as a Process (PMP)
The process of performance management is strategical where managers and employees work together to plan goals, monitor, and review employees’ work progress and overall contribution to the organization.
There’s much more in performance management than the annual review meeting. It is a continuous 4 step long that covers all aspects needed to measure employee’s performance progress and guide them accordingly. The process involves planning, coaching, reviewing, and rewarding.
This is the phase where managers and employees put collaborative efforts in defining employees’ goals and objectives to align employees’ vision and the company’s mission.
- Develop an outline to keep task management in a systematic and standardized manner.
- Review job descriptions of employees to make sure the right people are allocated the right tasks.
- Identify training objectives and needs that will support employees in their skills and personal development that relates to work.
- Identify career development objectives.
SMART Goal Setting: The most crucial part of planning is setting the goals correctly and developing clear objectives with priority. By setting clear goals, employees get a sense of direction and motivation to aim towards the target. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal.
The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.
– Bill Copeland
SMART goals were developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham in their 1981 article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives”.
‘How do you write meaningful objectives?’- that is, frame a statement of results to be achieved, Managers are confused by all the verbal from seminars, books, magazines, consultants, and so on. Let me suggest, therefore, that when it comes to writing effective objectives, corporate officers, managers, and supervisors just have to think of the acronym SMART. Ideally speaking, each corporate, department, and section objective should be: (SMART). – George T. Dora
SMART goals are:
Specific: Clear, Simple, and Sensible
Measurable: Meaningful, with specific criteria
Achievable: Attainable, Agreed
Realistic: Within reach, Relevant
Timely: With a clear timeline, Timely, Time-sensitive
Set Performance Standards
While goals tell employees what to do, performance management standards tell them what a good job looks like and how to perform at their best. Considerations for Setting Performance Standards
Performance standards should be:
Specific: Must reflect the performance of the individual, not the team or the business
Achievable – Should be within employee control
Easy to understand: Must be simple and relevant to the position, and easy to measure.
Standards need to be motivational.
Standards should not be too easy nor too difficult to achieve.
Let your employees know that you’re analysing their performance.
In case of insufficient performance, the employer or supervisor has to issue a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The purpose of this document is to help an employee improve his/her performance.
In this phase, managers and supervisors monitor how employees are executing the assigned tasks and how are they following their work plans to deliver expected results. Monitoring daily tasks do not mean watching over employees’ every step. The planning and monitoring should happen following the process. If everyone follows the steps wisely progress will be measured accurately. This phase rather focuses on results achieved, as well as individual behaviours and team dynamics affecting the work environment. During this phase, employees and managers must communicate regularly to:
- Gauge the progress achieved meeting desired goals
- Point out barriers that come on the way
- Share feedback on progress
- Identify any changes in the future action plan
- Determine if any additional support is needed by the team in achieving personal and professional goal
Performance feedback is a communication process between managers and team members in performance management. The significance of feedback is to exchange information regarding progress and achievements. It is designed to note where things are going right and where they are going wrong.
For example, every sportsperson uses performance feedback to improve performance. This area of study has expanded how athletes use coaches, camera recordings, bio-feedback, and other tools to get the right feedback. The ultimate goal is to improve accuracy and consistency to win more matches. Feedback in performance management is not very different as the objective remains the same. The goal of performance feedback is to improve skills and generate more revenue for the organization. When an employee receives feedback, he feels motivated and becomes self-accountable for the mistakes. It’s hard to change something if you are unaware of what you are doing wrong. Thus, the old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” is resolved with performance feedback.
Positive and Constructive Feedback:
Positive feedback: It involved telling employees what good they did, identifying their good performance, and conveying the gesture of rewarding towards them. This type of feedback must be on time and specific to what they did.
Constructive Feedback: This feedback should raise the flag when they are anything wrong but politely and clearly. It must be descriptive and detailed one so the employee can easily understand and make the changes.
Components of Effective Feedback:
- Specific: Feedback must be specific to one topic. It should not confuse the team member and it should also include clear expectations.
- Timely: feedback is effective only if provided on time. For example, employees who interact with customers over the phone should be monitored and provided immediate feedback once the call has finished.
- Appropriate: Whether written or verbal, constructive feedback must be provided in a positive tone with an appropriate next line of action.
- Proactive: Providing feedback must not be avoided and should become a part of regular practice.
- Must not contain any judgemental language: Employees will feel defensive when they receive judgemental feedback
- Should be based on accurate information: It should be based on accurate data or insights received via PMS (Performance management software or system) rather than assumptions.
- Guiding: The information given to the employee should be used to either confirm or correct their performance. A simple, “good job” is not sufficient. It must be specific and guide the employee in the most desired direction.
- From multiple sources: Feedback from multiple sources is more valid than single-source feedback. In order to internalize the feedback and elicit change, employees should receive feedback from multiple sources such as customers, co-workers (peers and subordinates), managers, upper management, and objective measures.
- Easy to understand: Feedback must be simple. Extra sugar-coated feedback can confuse the team.
- Collaborative: The feedback must allow employee to contribute to the feedback process and offer solutions will help them accept the feedback more readily.
This phase involves the assessment of the performance and measurement of the progress. It reviews the overall contribution of the employee towards the organization for a defined period. Managers and peers provide positive and constructive feedback based on which documentation is created. Managers review performance management notes and other data generated throughout the year via system software to effectively review employee’s performance.
A few tips for review meetings:
- Discussions should be realistic based on past achievements and future goals.
- Must include examples to simplify communications
- Must not be gender or age biased
- It should consider the overall performance and not just the past few months’ performances because there are bright as well as dull days in work.
- Ensure each employee understands the criteria on which he or she is being evaluated.
- Evaluate goals and modify if needed.
- Allow employees to evaluate their own performance, self-assessment is very important.
- A review meeting must be treated as a dedicated business meeting and all the details must be kept confidential.
- Show respect to each employee by preparing for the performance review.
- Schedule the review meeting in advance to avoid any clashes.
- Do not wait until the meeting to inform an employee of unsatisfactory performance. There should be no surprise issues raised during the meeting.
- Maintain a professional approach when completing your evaluation documentation.
- Keep control of the meeting. Do not enter into a debate with an employee.
- Encourage employees to share their thoughts and suggestions.
- Be open-minded and look for opportunities for improvement.
Employee rewarding and recognition is an acknowledgement of their efforts and achievements. It boosts employee engagement and instils higher levels of motivation in the workplace. many studies have proved that employees who are appreciated perform better than those who are not. They feel that their work is valued and stay self-motivated which is very important otherwise employee growth becomes stagnant.
A recent statistic shows that 90% of employees say their recognition program impacts positively on their engagement and motivation levels.
Employee rewards could be considered a more tangible form of appreciation to your employees who have achieved high-quality work or displayed outstanding performance levels.
How Employee Recognition and Rewards go along?
At cire, there are differences between employee reward and employee recognition but the objective of both remains the same and thus they don’t need to be considered as completely separate entities when it comes to the performance management final phase.
Some of the main differences between rewards and recognition:
Why do Performance Management Systems fail?
Performance Management is, of course, a revolution in business trends but still, some companies are failing in fully optimizing the performance strategies and are still inefficient and unclear. While companies focus on the biggest fact that if done right, performance management plays a major role in boosting employee productivity and employee engagement, they invest substantial time and money but forget that it has to be implemented rightly.
Most common reasons for the failure of the performance management system;
- The process is not organized: One of the major reasons for the failure of PMS (Performance Management System) is it is not well structured. Since it is not a one-time software implementation, it needs continuous supervision which is practically difficult. Thus, businesses must go for a system that is strong in implementation and organized.
- When business is not keeping up with evolving performance management trends: Evolution and technology walk together. HR leaders must be well aware of the fact that performance management is a growing trend and changes rapidly. The work doesn’t stop with implementing a great performance management system but staying on the top when it comes to technology evolution. Business leaders must know the market trends very well.
- lack of one-on-one meetings: Regular communications and feedback has become more important than ever. The performance management system is often misunderstood and managers think it has replaced verbal communications with the team. regular check-ins or even informal communications with employees must never be underrated as nothing can replace trust and human connection. One-on-one meetings are the greatest source of communications in organizations and it keeps the employees motivated.
- Lack of strategic focus: A company’s overall strategy and goals must be integrated into your performance management process to deliver real business value. A well-designed process begins with focus. Having too many company goals can confuse employees and make them inefficient. Simplifying and prioritizing company goals keeps everything well-aligned. A business must have long-term, short-term and individual goals aligned with the vision of few critical goals that are key to the business growth. It helps employees in understanding and managing daily work efficiently.
- The system is complicated: Michael Armstrong is a leading researcher and author in the area of performance management. In Armstrong’s Handbook of Performance Management, he insists that a performance management system should be “ridiculously easy to understand.” Overly complicated processes are frustrating and counterproductive. (as per sources). The performance management system should be straightforward, intuitive, and simple. Managers and employees shouldn’t have to spend hours coming to grips with new processes and performance management tools. Remember, processes should be adapted to suit the needs and culture of the organization and not the other way around.
- Lack of Communication: lack of communication is a generic problem in an organization that has issues. When it comes to performance management, managers are expected to communicate to the team about the benefits of PMS and how to capitalize the same. Like any other investment, performance management also needs full optimization for best results. Employees should be provided with the necessary resources to improve themselves constantly and should know the importance of continuous learning and a performance management system.
- Lack of leadership support: Management and leadership team must support and help drive performance management. Your leaders have to be committed and actively engage their teams in performance management activates, and provide support and recognition to managers and employees who exhibit the expected behaviours and actions. Without leadership support, performance management will not be successful no matter how well-designed the process is.
- Lack of proper training: Whether it is a performance management system or any other productivity-boosting system, without proper training, results will never match expectations. In the initial implementation phase, it is important to have good, relevant communications to explain the benefits of performance management and provide ongoing training to help leaders and managers obtain the appropriate knowledge, behaviours, and skills to properly engage their teams in performance management activities.
- Lack of recognition and rewards: Appreciation and recognition are very important to keep your employees motivated and to drive productivity. A performance management system with no recognition programs is a negative impact and pulls back the efforts the entire company puts in the process and in the end, the performance management system easily fails. Business leaders miss this very important factor and do not identify the problem.
- Lack of continuous feedback: Many companies wait until the formal performance review to provide feedback and this may lead to confusion and disappointment among employees. Disengaged employees are always less productive than engaged ones. Managers must make it a habit of providing timely and meaningful feedback.
- Individuals’ goals are not part of the process: In several organizations, employee individual goals are not present in the picture when the performance review process is carried out. Sometimes performance management also fails because employee’s goals are not aligned with the company’s goal and thus, they do not walk on the same path. In short, when employees will grow, the organization will grow and vice versa.
- Annual Performance Evaluation: Performance evaluation is valuable only when it is carried out on a regular and continuous basis. Regular engagement with employees is the essence of a performance management system. An annual performance review is not enough for any organization. Some managers claim that it consumes a major portion of their time. But if performance evaluation is carried out annually, employees have to wait for a year to give or receive feedback; which is not good for the organization’s productivity. So, annual performance evaluation is one reason why your performance management system could fail.
- The system does not document: A good performance management system should store and record every evaluation, every feedback session, and all management notes. By having all this information saved, you can justify actions taken based on a performance review. Things that can be measured can be definitely improved in business and thus this data plays a significant role in the performance management system.
How to automate Performance Management?
According to a poll, 95% of managers are “unhappy” with traditional performance management, and feel that it could be improved.
Performance management is a whole robust set of activities to achieve the entire organization’s ultimate goals and objectives. Managing all the steps from tip to toe is a diligent practice. When a company already has its clear mission and vision, automating the performance management process to help managers streamline tasks and employees in achieving designated goals can become hassle-free. It will ease the management of the process at large. Not to mention the quality of data will be enhanced and the system will provide sophisticated algorithms and insights you need along with auto-generated reports that are updated in real-time. Automation is now an extensive need of performance management.
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. – Bill Gates
Which part of performance management cannot be automated?
The verbal communications that take place between managers and employees are one aspect of performance management that cannot be automated at a minor level. However, the assignment of tasks, documentation, review process, and much more can be automated.
Performance Management Software
Performance Management Software is a tool designed and developed to help organizations in aligning company’s goals with employee’s goals and work towards them efficiently to achieve the desired targets. As the name suggests a Performance Management Software helps a business track, measure, and evaluate the company’s performance. Managers utilize this system to create job descriptions, assign work, track progress, review, and reward accordingly. The complete cycle of performance gets automated.
How does PMS (Performance Management Software/System) work?
Performance Management software these days is mostly a cloud-based framework that contains several modules and features with in-depth user-friendly elements. Anyone can easily log in via credentials from a laptop as well as a mobile application just like any other app and start the work. PMS (Performance Management Software/System) also comes with a complete HR software that takes care of the complete human resource activities of an organization and keeps all the information in a unified location.
Benefits of Performance Management Software
When it is about business, organizations with a growth mindset always want to stay ahead of the competitors. Adopting new technologies is one powerful step towards reaching the company’s goals. Likewise, when it comes to managing employees’ performance and tracking their goals, investing in great performance management software can change the PMP (Performance Management Process) of an organization forever.
Companies that still consider paper-based discussions and excel sheets as the base if their internal meetings are missing huge hidden data that can affect companywide visibility of performance.
A business needs a 360-degree approach to track and accumulate vital information. Cloud-based performance management software works as a pocket robot across various devices and keeps HR, managers, team leaders, supervisors, and employees well informed with the progress, goals, and development plans. The PMS can be accessed from anywhere and any device, it empowers the user with visibility of accurate data faster than any manual process and allows to instantly update even via mobile phone.
5 Biggest advantages of using Performance Management Software:
- Employee Empowerment: Employee autonomy is something that is very crucial for business growth but is often underestimated by organizations. When performance management software is well implemented, employees get the liberty to view their own progress and set business goals. They feel trusted and independent. Professional performance management software are designed in such a way that they are simple and self-explanatory. Employees feel involved in the business as they are included in each process. PMS puts the power in the hands of employees when it comes to evaluating and tracking their own progress. The technology empowers employees to clearly see how their individual contribution is helping companies in achieving short-term and long-term goals.
- Continuous Feedback: In addition to more empowered employees, performance management software also makes the process of evaluating employees continuously. It acts as a platform for continuous engagement and dialogues between employees and managers. It is achieved through continuous feedback tools available in the performance management system. Managers can provide positive as well as constructive feedback easily through the system. For example, When an employee is missing the update on work tasks, managers have instant access to the details and an opportunity to provide feedback when it matters most. Instead of waiting for the annual performance review to come around, managers can provide timely, accurate coaching and direction to employees who need it.
- Goal Management: Goals are the only common factor between employee and employer. Whether individual or collaborative, organizational goals must be aligned to each other to achieve the overall company’s revenue target. Setting goals becomes hassle-free with PMS and it motivates employees to perform in a more structured and productive way. If the goal-setting mechanism is not formed, the company might end up setting vague goals that might not give desired results in the end. A good PMS (Performance Management Software) helps you create, track and achieve individual, team, company-wide goals and OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
- Powerful employee insights: One of the greatest advantages of Performance Management Sofware is that it empowers businesses with meaningful and accurate analytics that were hidden all the time. These analytics gets automatically converted to reports at a single click. These employee analytics and reports unlock the performance pattern of the employees and help managers to build engagement and development initiatives. The data provided by PMS plays a vital role in the decision-making process of the organizations as many business leaders end up making important decisions based on assumptions rather than facts.
- 360-Degree Feedback: 360-degree feedback is a widely used module in performance management software among organizations. It is useful in gathering feedback from multiple audiences including self-feedback, peer-evaluation, ratings from external stakeholders, such as customers, vendors, and mentors. Employees get an overall perspective about their performance and progress and they work accordingly. Most organizations use 360-degree feedback as a separate tool, but, investing in great performance management software can give you everything under one roof. The software can help people to conduct performance reviews through 360-degree feedback. The 360-degree feedback helps employees identify the perception gaps that exist between the self-rating and the ratings from others.
How to choose the right Performance Management Software
Deciding on investing in the right performance management software is not only about reviews and testimonials. The objective of all systems remains the same. What differs is which performance management is best suited for your employees and work culture. Some companies might have very passionate tech-savvy people who could understand the complex UI (User Interface) of a system whereas, several other organizations might face difficulties in the same and thus they should go for an easy to use the system. There are several other factors a company must consider before taking ‘the decision’.
- Identify the problems: Before jumping on directly to the decision-making process, it’s important to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly the problems in the current process while managing employees’ tasks and administrative work. Listing down the problem areas might help in getting better insights. Organizations must check if having a performance management system in place in the company can help the managers in carrying out appraisals smoothly. After considering note of all the requirements, look out for the software that is the best fit for the company.
- Determining the objectives: There are several PMS systems in the market that might confuse your thought process. Pre-determining the objectives of performance management software in your company will help you build a virtual mind map of your organization’s issues and their solutions. You will know what and why you need it. For example, if the long duration of the appraisal process is your low point, you need to fix the timeframe to complete the appraisal process as your specific goal. The right objective helps you find the right performance management software that contributes to your business’s success
- List down the desirable features: Every organizational structure and process defines its feature requirements. You should make a checklist of must-have core features, Employee Engagement features, and analytics that are essential for your business. Every business has its own unique work process, if you follow a different process for each job level, then supporting multiple workflows feature is essential for your process. make sure that your company is not just settling down on generic modules but going for what suits your business. As an organization, you might need several types of integrations with current systems. An ideal employee performance management system has the following features:
- It must allow you to set clear goals, objectives, and OKRs.
- A timely reminder of the goals should be given to the employees.
- Managers should be able to provide quick feedback to employees so that they can improve and implement the goals to align with the organization’s goals.
- Employees must be able to self-review their performance first and then it goes to the managers for their suggestions.
- User-friendly UI: The biggest objective of implementing a cloud-based performance management system is to simplify the process and save time. Thus, you should make sure that the software you select has user-friendly features and easy to use. Too many analytics on single dashboards, additional and irrelevant information, extra modules, these all factors can rather make it difficult to use the software. You must select such software in which training your employees is as easy as using WhatsApp! It must be self-explanatory. Also, ensure that it does not take a lot of time to get used to the system.
- Compatibility with existing systems: When a new system is implemented in the process, it should not disrupt the existing one. The new software must get seamlessly integrated with the existing systems and should be well-coordinated to give accurate insights and data. It should smoothly persuade a newly joined employee into your organizational system. The system solution must also contain the latest technological training to keep your workforce upgraded as per the market dynamics
Key functionalities of Performance Management software
- Goal Management: A great performance management system will empower you with OKR (Objectives and Key Results) driven goal setting programs as well as SMART or MBO based goal setting mechanisms. OKRs make your teams more agile and ready for change. It empowers your employees to adopt and deliver stretch goals and deliver great customer value with improved quality. MBO stands for Management by Objectives. The goal has to be specific and define clearly what you are going to do. Use action words in goal such as direct, coordinate, achieve, complete, deliver, organize, lead, develop, plan, accomplish etc.
- One on One Meeting (1:1): One on One (1:1) meeting tool or feature accelerates your team’s growth by tracking each employee’s progress and enables you to discuss the issues one on one. Team managers or department heads can define agendas of one on one meetings as it helps employees work on improvement areas. The calendar of required people is automatically blocked via PMS the moment you create a one-on-one meeting.
- Continuous Feedback: Continuous Feedback Module will give your business a motivated culture and help managers and team leaders to keep their team engaged and inspired. PMS gives you accurate insights into your employees based on which you can nurture the teams. Continuous feedback minimizes the time taken to complete a given task. It gives well trained and groomed employees to the organization. The motive of feedback is, it should be continuous. PMS makes sure that feedback is a cyclic process.
- 360 Degree Review: With the 360 Degree review framework, the performance of employees is reviewed from all sides to conduct an effective appraisal process. Employee performance evaluation is done by not only one manager but all the managers or group of co-workers. The respondents may be Manager or Supervisor, Peers, Subordinates, Human resources staff, Clients, customers, suppliers, etc. Employees boost their morale, confident and become self-aware about their performance.
- 9 Grid Matrix: The 9 box grid is a great tool for talent management and succession planning in which employees are divided into nine groups, based on their performance and potential. When assessing employee performance, managers often pay attention to two things. First, how well they perform today, and second, how well they are likely to perform in the future (i.e. their growth potential). Typically on the horizontal axis is ‘performance’ measured by performance reviews. On the vertical axis is ‘potential’ referring to an individual’s potential to grow one or more levels in a managerial or professional capacity.
- Reports and Analytics: An efficient performance management software should be well-equipped with real-time reports, making it easier for managers to identify an employee’s strengths, areas of improvement, and blind spots. It provides inbuilt and auto-generated custom reports that give in-depth insights into employees’ performance processes.
Performance Management FAQs
- What is the main objective of a performance management system?
The main objective of a performance management system is defining goals to fulfil the company’s objectives, increasing employee engagement and communication, enhance the review process, determining training needs, and giving accurate employee performance analytics.
- What are the components of performance management?
Performance management consists of planning, monitoring & coaching, performance reviews, and finally recognizing and rewarding deserving employees
- What is the difference between performance management and performance appraisals?
Performance appraisal is a one-time once in a year formal activity conducted to identify employees eligible for the appraisals and to review their contribution towards the company’s goals. Whereas, performance management is a continuous process that involves regular engagement with employees and constructive feedback from managers.