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Businesses turning to performance management software solutions

Performance reviews are important but the process becomes more complex as the numbers of hires increases. This is where technological solutions offer advantages and these are profiled in this third article on the digital transformation of human resources. The first article looked at general trends affecting the sector (“Human resources departments are going digital”) and the second part addressed solutions to help with recruitment (“Application of workforce analytics for targeted recruitment”).

Performance review software is a growing technology within the human resources arena. The use of such software can make the process of carrying out appraisals easier and faster for managers and human resources professionals. Such technology also enables employees to provide their own comments and self-reviews.

The use of technology for performance reviews has been signaled by Katherine Jones, vice president of HCM Technology Research at Bersin by Deloitte, who recently stated: “We are seeing a major shift in the industry, and as performance management continues to change, so must the technology solutions that support it. Organizations today have a need to provide ongoing feedback, a link between individual goals and company-wide objectives and a multi-dimensional view of employee performance. It’s exciting to see solution providers offer features that support those activities.”

There are many providers of platforms, such as ClearView; Actus; and Work Compass. There are many others in this fast growing sector. Most systems are flexible and allow for features like linked goals, connected objectives, configurable appraisals, and the ability for feedback to be given; for additional competency reviews, and for the sophisticated reporting of key performance indicators.

The importance of performance management is outlined by the website HR Bartender. The advantages are summarized into five main points. Firstly, the process is all about management involvement and employee interaction. The performance review process allows managers to set performance expectations; to provide feedback; and to coach employees. For objective setting, being able to profile a large and diverse workforce is important for consistency and here digital technology can help. The second area relates to goal setting. Goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, and target driven. Setting these and assessing these can be made easier through digital platforms.

Employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at monitors in Tokyo

Employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at monitors in Tokyo
Toru Hanai, Reuters

The third area is with setting learning and development objectives. Software can assist with a skills audit and it can also match employee expectations with the types of courses that are available and in ensuing that the selected courses are appropriate. The fourth aspect relates to feedback and coaching, which is important so that the employee understands what’s good and what could be improved. Systems that allow the employee to self-evaluate are also useful and matching the manager and the employees perceptions can be made easier through an interactive tool. The fifth area relates to capturing the outcome of the performance review conversation, where electronic systems are easier. It is important that such conversations are not confined to a once-per-year appraisal; instead they should be regular reviews to review performance goals together with learning and coaching outcomes.

By placing performance reviews in the digital domain this helps the employer and employee keep track of the performance review cycle better. It also allows human resources professionals to undertake analytics and to look at the spread of performance. This can lead to targeted training and help with activities like talent spotting. For example, performance review software enables managers to keep a running log of notes that can tell a story about the employee’s progress over time.

For more on the digital transformation of human resources, click over to the Digital Journal article “Increased take-up of digital technology by human resources.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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