Performance management is an important part of any workforce, regardless of your role. For HR managers, it’s important to help increase retention and discover exemplary workers. For department heads, it’s important to see if the team is working well together and to manage career pathing. Performance can even be the reason behind a pay raise.
Unfortunately, performance management is a tough process to iron out, and a lot of the positive aspects of an appraisal cycle are buried and forgotten beneath endless amounts of paperwork and hours spent on tedious administrative tasks. Luckily, there are modern software solutions that can make performance management less of a burden.
Trying to convince your company to purchase another piece of software — especially for something that may seem trivial — can be tough. You already use commercial software for benefits administration, time-tracking, payroll . . . do you really need another program?
When you’re discussing buy-in for performance management software, it’s important to address these concerns by focusing on positive impact: retention, high performers, career pathing, incentive programs — you name it, employee performance affects it.
1. Employee Retention
Retention is an important word for businesses of every size and industry; every company wants to keep their best employees. Performance management can help. Cargill, an agricultural producer and distributor, founded what they call “Everyday Performance Management,” which is a model for continuous, daily feedback — not just one annual meeting. When surveyed about their thoughts on the process, 70 percent of employees said they felt more valued due to ongoing feedback from their manager.
Not only does this help managers and employees spend more time on the important tasks throughout their days, but it also helps increase job satisfaction.
2. Recognizing/Rewarding High Performers
High performers: all companies have them, but most companies don’t know how to find them. It’s extremely critical that you know how to identify top performers, because more often than not, they require more incentive to stay satisfied at work. When top performers feel engaged and appreciated, they tend to stay with their company longer and push themselves harder (see how this comes full circle?).
Using feedback tools built into a performance management system, managers can see when a high-performing employee is feeling undervalued, or even underworked. Performance management feedback can help make sure a company is providing a high performer with certain perks, if necessary to keep them engaged and invested in their job.
3. Career Pathing
Does anyone really know where they want to end up in a company? Some employees may have an answer. Others may not. Regardless of where an employee stands, performance management software can help facilitate career pathing between a manager and an employee.
More often than not, even if an employee doesn’t know what position in the company would be a good fit, they do know that they want to climb the ladder and be promoted into higher positions. Performance management can help lay that process out. Providing a forum for employees to ask questions, engage with their managers, and express their desires for their career can help a manager seek out opportunities to assist the employee in reaching that goal.
Performance management software can also help managers and employees lay out goals and stepping stones to those goals. Anne Hayden, vice president of human resources at MRINetwork, has a great quote about the results of pathing and performance management: “Annual reviews become predictable, rather than a guess at how the manager feels the employee performed . . . ultimately, performance management becomes linked with career pathing as a fundamental component of the company culture.”
4. Pay Calculations
Pay — a three letter word that tends to haunt HR admins and employees alike. Pay-for-performance, in particular, is something that is unique to each and every company. Not one company that I’ve ever spoken to has structured their pay-for-performance plan the same as the next.
That means it’s hard to give concrete evidence about what does and doesn’t work, but it’s safe to say using performance management to support merit increases or temporary payouts can help create a stronger, more productive workforce. According to 2016 research by BambooHR, the top two perks employees prefer to receive as rewards for their accomplishments are (1) monetary bonuses and (2) gift cards. These kinds of payouts will be much easier to justify and calculate if you’ve been tracking performance metrics in a centralized system.
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Other concerns such as cost, implementation, and ROI, should also be topics of conversation when considering a new platform, but it’s important to remember that performance management is going to boost employee/manager morale and create a more productive workforce.
After starting her career at Yelp!, Taylor Cesmat moved from Phoenix to Seattle in 2016 and took a position as marketing manager at Applied Training Systems, INC, which owns Reviewsnap and Trakstar. Taylor handles marketing efforts, SEO, SEM, and content strategy surrounding performance management software.