Redefining Employee Performance Review in 2021 Using Technology
With the end of 2020, we have ended a decade and entered a new decade that is full of hope, possibilities, and opportunities. There are a lot of good things we can expect in 2021, especially in the HR tech landscape. 2020 was the year that dramatically changed every aspect of our professional lives. As businesses got hit by the unprecedented shocks and challenges, we saw HR tech dominate the entire human resources functions.
Another major area in the employee lifecycle where HR tech played a crucial role was performance management. Over the past few years, performance management has evolved dynamically and the catastrophe brought more attention to why it needs evolution. To promote employee well-being and alleviate stress for new remote workers, organizations dropped the idea of performance management for a while. But I think it is time to redefine employee performance review and focus on accelerating organizational agility.
“According to the 24th edition of Aon Plc’s annual salary survey, 2020, the average salary raise of Indian employees was expected to be 9.1% which is the lowest in the decade due to the economic slowdown that we experienced in 2019. Besides that, organizations are not in the shape to roll out salary hikes due to the vulnerable situation which has led to making tough choices.”
However, a performance review is not all about salary hikes or incentives, but it is about enabling employees to improve performance and identify skill gaps so that they can grow into better professionals. Gone are the days when performance reviews were paper-and-pencil based, today, technology is knocking down the traditional methods to make room for an updated and more effective method of performance management.
An advanced performance management system can simplify the evaluation process. Using technology to review employee performance can help managers save both time and efforts that can be utilized to carry out more strategic functions.
A performance review system allows managers to keep a tab on an employee’s performance even remotely. Some of the major features of a performance management system include:
- Goal Setting and Management- With a performance management system, you can easily set SMART goals. Here, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely, goals. A performance review system can help managers effectively formulate and achieve goals. Technology in performance management can make the documentation of these goals fast and easy to evaluate.
- 360-Degree Feedback- You can easily create a survey or a rating mechanism where an employee can indulge in self-evaluation, the colleagues can rate him, and managers, customers, and HR can give their feedback. It also allows employees to give anonymous feedback to their managers.
- Employee Evaluation- The advanced performance review tools allow you to monitor and measure your employee’s performance. This will give you a clear picture of the employees who are contributing greatly to your organization and employees who need improvement. You can categorize your employees (star performers, average performers, non-performers,) using normalization analysis or bell curves.
- 9-Box Matrix- It is an efficient tool that is used widely to evaluate and plot an organization’s talent pool based on performance and potential. This tool allows managers to identify employees with the highest potential, employees who need development, and who need coaching on performance improvement. Moreover, it also helps facilitate meaningful conversations between managers that may have never happened otherwise.
- Performance Assessment- The performance assessment process includes discussions around an employee’s job responsibilities, expected outcomes, and competencies. It also allows you to provide positive feedback to your employees, identify skill or talent gaps, and recognize and retain top talents and make critical decisions using performance data stored in one centralized place.
- Performance Reports and Analytics- Employee performance metrics are vital for monitoring how well employees are performing. Managers can have access to detailed performance-specific reports and highly configurable analytics that offer deep insights on performance status, progress, strengths, and weakness of employees, etc. Performance metrics benefits both organizations and their employees.
Performance reviews using technology will boost employee’s satisfaction and reduce the potency of misunderstanding because they get actual information from a reliable source. With a performance management system, reviewers can easily offer feedback to employees so the employees will know whether they are meeting their manager’s expectations or not.
According to a poll conducted by Gartner in 2020, 87% of HR leaders were considering changes to performance reviews. This is the right time to adopt new technology to review and improve employee performance. Technology-enabled performance management tools not only simplify the evaluation process but also positively influence management processes and strategic development.
However, it is important for organizations to understand that real-time feedback isn’t just about adding new tools or technologies to your review processes; it also requires a shift in mindset. You can’t just preach about change, you need to practice it. Your reliance on technology should not take humanity out of relationships. As you start transforming your company’s culture of feedback, your employees’ development will be in proper alignment with the company’s development and growth. This is what the performance review was supposed to do in the first place.