The world of work has changed dramatically over the last few years, with both employees and employers needing to adapt to more agile ways of working. The recent COVID-19 epidemic has led to millions of people working from home, further cementing the need for open lines of communication between line managers and their teams. Here we look at 8 key reasons to invest in a performance management system:
1. Spend less time on HR admin and more time driving your teams forward
The truth is, manual admin has historically been a necessary evil; after all it’s good practice to keep detailed records and audit trails. However, before companies adopt a performance management system, HR teams often manage their processes using spreadsheets and a whole host of calendar reminders. This means that more time is spent on the day-to-day organisation and less time on the ‘good stuff’ — the actual process of analysing and optimising performance and taking steps to ensure the skills and competencies of your team actually meet the changing needs of the business. A performance management system automates those manual processes so nothing gets forgotten or lost in the system. It’s time to say goodbye to spreadsheets and hello to quality time spent on goal setting and high quality individual development plans.
2. Keep your teams engaged on the things that matter and cater to their wellbeing
Fast growing startups and enterprises often scale in a messy manner. Their success often comes from that sheer ability to thrive in a chaotic and sometimes unstructured environment. This often works up until a company has around 50 people, at which point the lack of structured HR processes and employee evaluation and appraisal means employees and management can lose track of the things that really matter. In smaller businesses, CEOs and founders make time for regular 1-2-1s with their people, something that really builds the relationship and cements the organisation’s culture. However, as things get busier, these opportunities for regular check-ins diminish.
Management at all levels can lose track of how their individuals are performing, leading to loss of productivity and a breakdown in communication, with individuals losing sight of how their performance is being measured. Employee performance management software formalises this process so that people are reviewed on a regular basis, reinforcing the goals and objectives that really matter. This also ensures employees can give their own feedback on a regular basis, so any performance, management, cultural or wellbeing issues can be promptly dealt with in a timely fashion. When your people are engaged early and engaged often, their wellbeing is improved, their loyalty increases, and there’s a greater likelihood they’ll become your ambassadors.
3. Understand the skills and diversity of your workforce — does it match your evolving business demands?
Digital transformation means most industries are evolving and changing beyond recognition. This means you need to quickly understand the skills and competencies that you have in-house and those that you will need to bring in. Without a performance management system in place, detailed insight about the specialised skills of your workforce are most likely trapped in silos, such as word documents and spreadsheets. These don’t give you a real-time high level view of the ‘human capital’ you have in your organisation. A performance appraisal system means you have a real-time scorecard of your people, so you can quickly assess how new strategies, new projects and even entirely new business models may affect your people requirements. Finally, your performance management system will give you a real insight into the diversity of your teams so that you’re making HR decisions based on real data rather than gut feel.
4. Identify your future leaders faster
The future of your company depends on your ability to spot the best talent early on, identifying those stars who will become future leaders. These people need to be nurtured, fast tracked and given the training and professional development that will unlock their peak performance. Only by auditing the performance and skills of your people on a regular basis will identify these future stars before they choose to realise their career ambitions in another organisation. Your performance platform will identify these key people sooner, allowing you to engage, fast-track and prioritise their professional development.
5. Enable the right rewards and recognition to be given — and let your people own their career and promotion
Competition for talent has never been fiercer and organisations have had to adapt to the needs and wants of a new generation of employees who have different expectations. They seek more than just financial rewards; they seek wellness, work-life balance, recognition and most importantly, a sense of purpose. They demand autonomy and hate to be micromanaged. Yet at the same time, they need the reassurance and feedback to know that they are making a difference and are realising their career and promotion ambitions. In this flatter, less hierarchical work environment, your people are working flexibly and more often from home. In this increasingly virtual and remote work environment, it can be easy for an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ culture to emerge, reducing the opportunities for regular communication about performance and business objectives. Performance management software diarises and automates the review process, ensuring feedback is provided short and often. This means that the right rewards and recognition can be given at just the right time and ensures that even remote and home-working team members don’t feel forgotten.
6. Avoid the pitfalls of the single annual review — open lines of communication on a regular basis
Some businesses leave performance reviews to a single annual appraisal. The challenge is, the sheer volume of these happening once a year means that for managers and HR departments, they are almost treated like a box-ticking exercise. During the twelve months between each review, an awful lot can happen both for the business and its employees. This creates multiple risks. It can mean that performance and productivity have suffered for a long time before it is reviewed in detail and action taken. Whilst some employees are vocal and proactive enough to raise questions or concerns during the year, others may ‘grin and bear it’ — leading to groups who feel like they are not actively engaged and whose performance and development is not a company priority. This can lead to key talent leaking from the business. Your performance management system brings a regular routine and cadence to reviews; people get into the habit of thinking about their performance on a regular basis and any small issues are resolved as a matter of routine, instead of things building up to ‘one big and scary’ annual review. Ultimately, this opens the lines of communication and gives managers the insight needed to get the very best out of each person.
7. Quickly pull together project-based teams
As ‘agile’ increasingly becomes the standard way of working in organisations of all sizes, people are frequently coming together in multi-disciplinary teams to work on project based engagements. When pulling teams together, project leaders need up to the minute insight on the skills and competencies of the people available in-house. This is magnified even further where projects need highly specialised scientific or technological skills. One of the benefits of an employee performance management system is the ability for managers to look at the workforce from a high-level, identifying people who rank across the multiple skills and competencies needed. This significantly reduces the time taken to identify potential project members and allows urgent projects to begin faster.
8.Take a proactive approach to manage performance and drive the right behaviours
There’s the famous management adage that ‘what gets measured gets managed. The complexity of the modern-day workplace means that all hands may be on deck, focused on delivering the day-to-day business outputs. However, sometimes the individual appraisal and evaluation of performance takes a back seat. Line managers and senior managers often say that the size of workload and shifting company priorities leave them with insufficient time for hands-on and in-depth analysis of performance beyond simple arbitrary measures. For some job roles, KPIs are very obvious and apparent, such as sales figures. However, to truly appraise team members, a balanced scorecard is needed that looks at strengths and weaknesses and the important factors such as soft skills, cultural fit and emotional intelligence. Whilst a salesperson may not be hitting their targets, that doesn’t mean that this person’s skills are not highly sought after and valuable for a different role in the company. Your employee performance management system captures and takes into account this balanced scorecard, allowing you to understand the nuances of someone’s skills, as opposed to just the top-line figures such as revenue.
In conclusion, performance management software takes the often disjointed process of employee appraisal and turns it into an automated process, giving management an up to the minute view of the strengths and weaknesses of its most important asset; its people. Modern performance management platforms like Jemini bring added value for both managers and employees alike, strengthening company culture and ensuring each department is being as efficient as it can be.