Replacing traditional performance management processes is a major HR trend. And it’s good to see innovative companies eliminate the numerical rating of people as part of the reengineering. Automating the process is the logical next step. While managers remain the most critical component in effective performance management, technology streamlines the process and gives management the ability to quickly disseminate goals and objectives throughout the organization. But as with any new technology, there are tricks to making it work well.
Technology Improves the Performance Management Process
Technology enables tracking the performance management process to ensure meetings with employees are completed. There is a real-time view into which managers are completing reviews and when. No more waiting for paper reviews to be submitted to HR for filing and trusting that managers are engaging with employees.
If the adage “you get what you measure” is true, automating the process guarantees the number of performance reviews completed in the organization will increase.
But quality of performance reviews is still an issue. An ongoing method to gauge the quality of dialogue between managers and employees is needed to ensure the performance meeting does not become an electronic “check-the-box” exercise. This can be accomplished through focus groups or employee feedback surveys.
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Report on Skills in the Organization
Want to know the skills in the organization that need immediate training to improve? It’s easy to do with performance management technology. Being able to quickly quantify which skills – and which employees – are in need of specific training can be a competitive advantage when the knowledge of employees is critical to the business. And employees love the professional development when companies provide the training that enables them to do their jobs well.
To achieve this advantage, it’s important that the performance management system is properly configured. Though it’s a time-consuming effort on the front-end to ensure the system is properly set up and skills and competencies are appropriately linked to jobs – it’s time well spent.
Choose a Good System
Choose carefully! Bad technology will generate the same or worse complaints as those received about paper-based performance management processes. There is nothing more frustrating than pushing a button that doesn’t work. The performance management process is about the discussion between manager and employee. It shouldn’t be about a lousy form or a technology tool that doesn’t work.
Conduct the appropriate due diligence to select a system that is configurable and reliable. Failure to do so will hurt the credibility of the performance management process.
Technology improves the performance management process, but it will not create better performance management. Only managers can do that.