Your First-Aid Kit for Performance Management Pain

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first-aidWe recently conducted a survey asking HR to describe their biggest performance management headaches.

Just to recap, the top 5 were:

1. Timely submissions of appraisals.

2. Quality of reviews & feedback.

3. Consistency in performance ratings.

4. Alignment of organizational & team goals with employee performance.

5. Engaging managers & employees in ongoing performance management.

These are extremely common and valid pains in HR’s you-know-what – so we decided to create dedicated posts to share some solutions we have come up with over the years to address these issues. We will start with the first.

Performance Management Pain #1 – timely submission of appraisals.

If you step back and consider everyday business processes, other than performance reviews, there is little need in any other area to collect and coordinate so much data from each and every employee on an annual basis (or sometimes more). No wonder organizations find themselves struggling to keep everyone on track! Most appraisals have to go back and forth to several people, requiring revisions and sign-offs. If you compound this with an ad-hoc manual process, paper reviews or emailed files, what you are left with is lost forms, forgotten tasks and HR sending a mound of email reminders or physically walking around to remind people. Fun times!

There is a reason this is the #1 pain – HR and organizations need reviews submitted on time to align with other business processes like compensation budgets, development planning, and corporate objective setting, to name a few. Employees also need consistency in the formal performance management process – something that is negated by inconsistent due dates and willy-nilly submissions by managers.

In fact most prospects we speak with are sitting under a 50% on-time completion rate for reviews! The last thing any organization needs is a bottleneck that gigantic. Luckily, we have some solutions.

Status Monitoring:

It is amazing what starts to happen when people know they are being monitored. And I’m not talking about the kind of monitoring where you put a ‘check’ next to an employee’s name. I mean company-wide monitoring of status and performance. When HR and executives have a real-time view of talent metrics broken down by department, division and even by managers, we see a very fast scramble to adhere to deadlines.

status db

When real-time reporting is enabled, organizations can not only locate any appraisal stragglers immediately, but they can access all of the other key performance data. If we drill down even further, status monitoring at the manager level gives supervisors a bird’s eye view of how their team is progressing in the review process so they can manage effectively.

emPerform comes standard with end-user status and performance status dashboards as well as drill-down company-wide status reports for HR. These reports are set to deliver updated numbers on a regular basis to the individuals or teams who need this data.

Reminders:

I know that I just took some jabs at reminder emails, but we really only have issues with the wasted time and resources needed to manually send those out. Ask any HR administrator who sends monthly and annual reminders of goal setting deadlines or review due dates and they will tell you it takes a huge chunk out of their day. This pain is 100% avoidable using technology.

That is why emPerform offers the ability to set-and-forget these key reminders and notifications:

Deadlines–> email notifications leading up to deadlines –> notifications of past deadlines –> automatic reports identifying outstanding items –> calendar and task files for scheduled meetings

Technology like emPerform acts as a very diligent administrator keeping the review process moving along on time. Most of our customers achieve a 95% or higher on-time completion rate after their very first review cycle with emPerform.

Process:

Sometimes, reviews aren’t being submitted because managers and employees do not see the value in it or the process itself isn’t set into corporate culture. This is a topic all on its own and requires a little more than technological intervention: you can click here to read a great whitepaper discussing just that.

But at a high level, we see a poor perception of performance management processes rapidly adjusting after the following is in place:

  1. Getting buy-in from the top: ensuring company leaders publicly endorse and encourage the process.
  2. Promoting the benefits of effective performance management to employees and managers.

Typically, after a few diligent and effective review cycles, the benefits become very clear to managers and employees and less coercion is needed. Once the logistical pains of performance management are solved, it is also much easier to focus on making the process more frequent and useful for all involved.

If organizations have mechanisms in place to monitor the status of reviews, effectively remind users, and if the process itself is woven into company culture, the common HR ailment of late appraisals can be cured.

If you would like emPerform to help you achieve a 100% on-time appraisal completion rate, click here to contact us or visit our website to request a demonstration.