Managing performance in a company takes dedication and organization. Dedication from the management team to make the whole process of managing employee performance a priority is critical. Organization in the form of structured tools and standard processes will make the job of managing performance much easier. If you have an online performance management system in place, you might discover it’s easier to get your managers to comply verses a manual system which will trickle down to better team and company results.

Traditional Manual Systems Have Limitations

The traditional components of a fully integrated system include,

  • Self-assessment from the employee to create a balance of what he/she perceives as their performance and value
  • Clear expectations from mangers to shape employee goal-setting
  • Employee goals that connect to company priorities
  • Cross-functional involvement to prevent great results in one silo at the expense of other areas
  • Feedback to employees about performance from multiple levels, with examples and observations

This is all important and a lot to pull together and manage using traditional, manual processes and approaches. The burden tends to sit on the shoulders of supervisors and managers who all have varying levels of interpretation of the company goals and priorities. This is seen as extra work during the once-a-year events typically known as performance appraisal time, goal setting time, and in some cases 360 degree process time.

Because the systems are manual, possibly not standardized, and organization of data collection will vary by manager, the compliance is likely poor or at least lower than the HR team and Senior Managers would like to see. This means that the overall system effectiveness has room for improvement.

It Could Be Time to Go Online

The transition to managing your employee performance using an online web tool or one at least tied to your intranet could solve some of the issues with manual systems.

  • In order to have your structure online it has to be standardized.
  • Organizing data collection. No more human resource emails asking to send the file. Now you can click a button to retrieve what a manager uploaded.
  • Managers (and HR) can click to see what components have been completed by this their teams and what is still outstanding. Automated reminders can be set to help supervisors remember to stay on time.

Other benefits of an integrated on line system include reports and tracking to analyze that data that is collected. Imagine the ability to sort by average 360 degree rating, by self-assessment scores, or for managers by percentage of team reviews completed. You can get numbers by department or also show trends for employees over past review periods.

Before You Launch

I’ve always been a huge proponent of getting systems right before automating them.   Review your current systems for managing performance, map out what you want for core elements and processes, and evaluate what process changes you want to make to improve the processes before you automate them.

Also, decide if you’re going to have your own IT group do the web development work or if you will look to purchase a web tool off the shelf. There are pro’s & con’s to each choice so there isn’t’ one best answer. Either way you go, it’s important to have a well-documented manual process as your starting point so you can know what you want from your online solution.

It’s Just a Matter of Time

The decision to convert to an online system is not a question of “if” but “when”. The business world is quickly moving from manual to web-based solutions, including those that can be managed by using mobile devices.

For the millennials in your workforce, this is how they do everything and so if you’re still manual in your process you risk being viewed as a dinosaur-aged company that isn’t a cool place to work.

So, are you ready to make the move? If not this year, I’ll bet it will be on your agenda next year.