A person spends one third of their life at work. All that human life amounts to time claimed by businesses and corporations in driving their agendas and profits. However, the relationship between employer and employee isn’t one-sided; it’s transactional. What does an employee’s life have to do with a performance management guide? Well, everything, really.
Employee happiness is good for business.
This statement rings a whole lot of truth because today’s employees demand much more than just a career or money. Employees seek an experience, work that offers flexibility, continuous training and development, and transparency. Businesses can’t possibly hope to retain a workforce with demands such as these with outdated engagement methods. Annual performance appraisals and other traditional performance management processes aren’t cut out for the needs of today’s workforce.
Now, more than ever, it is important that employees and employers stay on the same page when it comes to individual happiness and excellent business. Choosing a performance management system is the solution. And, so, we have composed the ultimate performance management guide to show you what to look for when choosing a performance management software.
But before that, how do you understand the Performance Management definition? Well, time to find that out.
Buyer’s guide to performance management system
What is a performance management software (PMS)?
Performance management is no longer about just about year-end performance reviews. You may probably recognize it as a one-time event, however, performance management today has become more of a dynamic process that continuously identifies, measures, and improves an employee’s performance by aligning it with the organization’s goals, through a focus on continuous coaching and development.
To follow a process of continuous identification and measurement of employee performance, you need to have the right data at the right time to make informed decisions. And effective performance system gives you that. Without a performance management system, you would probably be using multiple pieces of software or be doing a lot of manual data entry to get the results you need to manage your workforce. This means more admin work, loads of human error, and a less effective role for you as a key resource to the organization.
An effective performance system provides the mechanism for capturing data, organizing it, storing it for the log-term, and simplifying the way you interact with it. It’s not only about creating an engaging process for employees, but also about having more transparency than you could have imagined. You go from working with limited and unreliable data to real-time data on various parameters like attendance, performance, and the opinions of peers and managers. All you need now is an effective performance management system guide to help you understand how the system works.
Why traditional performance management sucks
Traditional performance management processes comprise of four stages: plan, act, track, and review. But most businesses emphasise more on the review stage over the other stages. So, performance reviews are just that - end of the year discussion that involves the past, rather than what’s going on now or the future capabilities of the individual, or about the company’s priorities and how the individual fits in with those plans.
Traditional performance reviews engage employees on occasion, most typically at the end of the fiscal year when the records require that at least one appraisal cycle be documented and filed. Infrequent review cycles like these doesn’t assess the true performance of employees or how they can fully contribute to the company’s success - and will eventually have a detrimental effect on morale.
Why do you need an effective performance management process?
Effective performance management creates organizations with an engaged and motivated workforce. Creating a system of effective performance management is essential because they:
- Help identify short and long-term goals.
- Set clear goals and performance expectations.
- Provide feedback in real-time.
- Recognise training & development needs and enable a culture of coaching & mentorship.
- Consequently improves employee engagement and retention.
- Aligns employee performance with organizational objective.
- Transform the workforce into a strategic business advantage.
Steps involved in an effective performance management process
This brief guide to performance management process enumerates the five essential steps involved in the process:
1. Set SMART goals
SMART goals is a more productive approach towards modern performance reviews. These involve stress-free informal discussions between employee and manager that enables them to plan realistic and short-term goals that are future-focused.
2. Align performance
Align performance with periodic feedback that enables employees to perform better, helps businesses to revise goals, and align employee goals with business objectives.
3. Get a 360-degree feedback
Modern performance reviews don’t just happen between employees and their managers, but also among other stakeholders like the teammates, colleagues from different company wings, clients, reports, and more. These reviews give a holistic view of the employee’s journey, helps them stay on track, work efficiently, and achieve individual & organizational goals.
4. Reward performance
Periodic employee feedback delivers accurate and timely feedback to employees, motivates and aligns them towards driving organizational strategy, tracks employee milestones, and establishes a good relationship between employee and manager.
5. Conduct training
The last essential step in this guide to performance management process is the ability to spot skill demand and performance management gaps. Furthermore, effective performance systems allow businesses to put employees through training programs that upgrades their skills and prepares them for future projects.
Benefit of performance management system to employees, HR professionals and managers
The points enumerated above are more than enough to demonstrate the benefits of continuous performance management. All teams constantly strive to improve the organization by setting ambitious employee goals, offering continuous feedback, and ensuring the completion of projects.
Take for instance, the example of employee onboarding. Onboarding forms a big part of an HR professionals day-to-day responsibilities. No more simply onboarding employees in one day. Onboarding is often a multi-week process with loads of processes to fulfil, forms to sign, classes to attend, and more. An effective performance system keeps track of all the processes, so nothing slips through the cracks.
With tasks assigned and checklists made in one spot, all documents at your fingertips, and a comprehensive & intelligent understanding of employee behaviour, managers grow more confident in the workforce, get the opportunity to train their employees, and set them up for success.
Essential features of a performance management system
What makes a performance management system so “effective”, as this article claims? Sure, the automation of manual processes is one major plus point, but there are dozens of HR software solutions out there, you need to look for the one that provides the essential elements that makes a performance management system effective in its function. This performance management system guide will enumerate these elements.
1. Streamlined task management and goal tracking
One of the crucial elements you need to know about in this performance management handbook is the ability to efficiently manage employee tasks. The data that you collect tells a story. And quite poetically, task management tell the story of your people’s efforts. It basically keeps the tory in order and gives the data meaning.
Task management is the act of managing all tasks in a given project, from planning to execution.
If you had a clear visual of how tasks were managed within teams, so that you could better manage them and avoid the dangers of feeling burned out and overworked? An automated task manager provides a clear visual of your teams work activities. See their workload, redistribute tasks to ensure the team’s collective performance is at its best, And spring into action whenever team members are in need of assistance.
2. The right conversations with 1-on-1’s
Clear communication with your employees is invaluable and critical to be maintained. What can enhance it and also make it easier? A built-in tool that facilitates 1-on-1 communication in the moments when it matters.
Swift communication certainly depends upon the tools that you use. With the help of the right performance management system, you can be able to view individual performance, have the relevant information for context, and communicate effectively with the concerned employees. When one has been stuck on a task for longer than usual, send a quick message to see if they require any assistance. Get immediately notified about communications, schedule 1-on-1’s with ease, and reduce the back and forth. This will inspire a larger growth mindset such as setting team-wide objectives or outlining performance expectations for a specific product.
3. Endless automation possibilities
‘Automation’ should really be the unspoken essential in this performance management system guide, but there is the constant need to stress on the importance of it. Arguably, the main reason companies are short of offering regular performance feedback is because it becomes cumbersome on the entire system. With countless responsibilities, keeping up a regular review procedure can seem to slow things down.
When the manual work gets out of hand, it would be mindful to remember that the company could benefit from the automation that performance management systems provide. An effective performance management system can set up effective workflows, so that your team has a set process for everything they do. With automation you can:
- Automate task management
- Create customized and home-grown feedback templates
- Set up your own flexible review cycle
- Define competencies and measure them as part of the review cycle
The potential of the number of open avenues this creates is endless.
4. Powerful reporting and dashboards
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant says,
“Feedback is only scary when it’s rare. If it’s something that happens every day, you don’t feel like you’re being judged anymore. You just feel like you’r getting useful tips.”
Conducting regular performance reviews and offering continuous performance management are essential for a company’s success - You already knew this. Today’s workforce craves continues feedback. You need to switch to a quarterly performance process, and when the time comes to conduct a review, you will need substantial data to fulfil the process.
An effective performance system combines all the data from employee engagement tools to create robust reports and dashboard that will provide a visual representation of the employees’ performance.
Digital forms and performance management system guides may help you simplify the performance management process or give you an understanding of how to address your performance management pain points, but at the end, they’re just effective, short-term measures. But I’m not urging you to simply invest in an exclusive performance management tool.
Reduce the effort of swinging between forms and different platform with a solution that integrates all your requirements in a single platform. An efficient HR software will integrate tools for employee performance management, engagement, attendance management, recruitment & onboarding, other workforce development tools within one cloud-based platform. It will have the capability to capture data through intelligent analytics and robust document management, and enable transparency, streamlined communication, and consequently align employees and teams with their organizational goals and strategies.
peopleHum’s Performance Management System gives businesses the capability to standardise their employee performance appraisal process while offering them the flexibility to customise the platform to their own needs. With intelligent analytics that measures employee performance and automation that seamlessly communicates with tools integrated in a single platform, you can create a dynamic performance management process that enables your workforce to achieve future-focused result.
Ready to add performance management to your agenda in 2022?