Performance management – loved by some, loathed by others, but as a necessary business function, why not digitise the process?
The question is not if you will have performance management in your company, but rather how will you implement it. For those employees who find the whole process a chore, digitising it will make it easier and less tedious for them. For others who realise the value of performance management, moving forward into the digital age will be inspiring.
What is performance management?
As the name suggests, it is all about managing an employee’s performance. This includes discussing an employee’s skills, history, strengths and weaknesses, career aspirations and developing the employee to help them achieve and perform their job as well as they can. Performance management manages, measures and improves an employee’s contribution to the business.
While performance appraisals focus on the employee, performance management takes the goals of the organisation into consideration. Annual appraisals can be ineffective and business returns are minimal.
Performance management is a process that aims to strategically align an employee’s goals with group and organisational goals, and good performance management focuses on improving the skills that help an employee do their job better.
The phases of Performance Management
The Performance Management cycle represents the phases involved in the performance process. These phases are based on defining the employee goals that are to be aligned with the company objects.
These phases include:
- Planning (Performance contracting) – this phase is when the goals for the year are set, and success metrics defined and ends with an agreed performance contract that both employees and managers agree on.
- Monitoring – recording progress against goals. Goals are a broader guide for employee performance and can include continuous feedback.
- Evaluating – the performance contract is scored against the targets and measures that have been agreed aginst the validation indicator. Evaluations can be scored according to the business role with acceptance of the process.
- Developing – employee development takes place. The areas of improvement have been identified; either underperformance is corrected, while excellent performance is coached, and opportunities for growth provided. Development items can be specified during the performance contracting or evaluation phase. A separate career development discussion can be held with employees and managers where their full contribution can be evaluated.
- Rewarding – based on the employee’s performance, they are rewarded during this phase, before the cycle starts over again.
6 reasons why you should digitise performance management
According to Brendon Gass, Managing Director of SmartHR, there are 6 reasons to digitise your performance management. These reasons are:
- Performance can be measured fairly and transparently across the organisation for rewarding individual and team effort. Transparency and fairness are not possible when you are using paper or spreadsheets to track the performance process. Doing so online, using a performance management system will ensure fairness and transparency.
- Performance contracts and subsequent evaluations based on the performance contract can be managed online. This real-time feedback helps keep employees motivated and allows them to continuously improve. Employers can monitor employee performance and give feedback without waiting for the annual review.
- Building a history of performance ensures that employees are recognised even where managers change or are promoted. Using a digital system will ensure accurate performance appraisal data.
- A good digitised performance management system will help with skill development and training. This ensures high performers can be identified easily for development and succession, while poor performers can be managed.
- Digitising your performance management will give you access to detailed reporting. Reporting provides managers with insights that can be used for employee valuations.
- A cloud-based system will ensure your appraisals are secure and always backed up. Restrictions can also be applied, ensuring sensitive information is protected.
SmartHR’s Digital Performance Management Offering
SmartPerform allows you to easily and effectively manage your performance cycle and identify your high performers. With its flexible design, SmartPerform supports your organisational performance culture with:
- Performance contracting
- 360-degree reviews
- Individual Development Plans
- Career Development
SmartHR automates the performance review process with generic evaluation templates that can be based on your company’s performance model or the balanced scorecard methodology. Question weighting and ratings can be configured.
It is quick and easy for managers to initiate performance reviews including 360-degree reviews to stored groups of employees. Evaluations can be sent to single or multiple participants, peers, subordinates, and managers to foster a balanced view of individual performance.
Performance evaluations follow configurable workflows with participants kept informed via email or SMS at every stage. Employees complete their evaluations online with the results stored automatically on the SmartHR database. Responses can be saved and edited until submission.
For a performance process to be accepted it must be fair and transparent. The SmartHR process ensures that employees accept the process and can disagree where they disagree with the outcome. Moderation of the final results allows for changes to be incorporated after the final review and discussion.
Combined with rich SmartHR metrics, SmartHR analytics provides comprehensive performance reporting on dashboards and reports for any group of employees, helping you understand not only how employees are performing but why. Armed with these insights, effective development actions can be implemented to ensure your employees deliver their best.
Digitising your performance management process for simplification, accuracy, and efficiency
There are many benefits to digitising your performance management process. A few of these benefits are that it is simple and easy to use, accurate, easy to manage performance on an ongoing basis and it increases employee happiness and retention.
By digitising your performance management process, employees will actively engage with the system and in turn with their own performance and development goals. These employees will feel more valued and therefore more likely to work towards the company’s strategic goals and plans. And be more focused and productive!