Performance Management

Measure employee performance, collect feedback and improve productivity with SurveySparrow

What is Performance Management?

In this modern era of fierce competition, organizations have come to a powerful realization: outdated systems and practices simply don’t hold up anymore. Once-a-year appraisals, where employees are left in the dark, uncertain about their roles and expectations, have lost their sway.

In fact, research has unveiled its demotivating impact, leading to disengagement among employees. Enter performance management, the dynamic and strategic solution that’s taking the business world by storm.

So, what is performance management exactly? Simply put, performance management is a strategic and systematic process aimed at improving employee performance by setting clear expectations, providing ongoing feedback, and offering development opportunities.

It is a dynamic approach to developing improved performance in employees, leading to increased effectiveness for companies. Performance management focuses on aligning individual and team goals with company objectives, creating a work environment that enables both employees and organizations to thrive.

Definition of Performance Management

Performance management is all about being regular with performance checks and guiding your employees on the right track to success for themselves as well as the organization.

Michael Armstrong, author of the best seller ‘Armstrong’s Handbook of Performance Management, gives us the definition of Employee Performance Management as

“the con­tin­u­ous process of improv­ing per­for­mance by set­ting indi­vid­ual and team goals which are aligned to the strate­gic goals of the organ­i­sa­tion, plan­ning per­for­mance to achieve the goals, review­ing and assess­ing progress, and devel­op­ing the knowl­edge, skills, and abil­i­ties of peo­ple.”

Thus, organizations need such an exemplary employee review management system to fast-track overall company growth and scale higher in their industry.

Performance Management vs. Performance Appraisals

Performance management and performance appraisals are two distinct but related concepts that play different roles in tracking and enhancing employee performance in an organization.

Performance management is a continuous process that focuses on planning, monitoring, and evaluating employee objectives with the aim of meeting the organization’s strategic goals. It involves ongoing communication between supervisors and employees throughout the year and aims to improve specific skill sets that align with the company’s interests and objectives.

The main objectives of performance management include defining the company’s goals, setting realistic expectations, establishing clear communication, shaping individual training and performance plans, and enhancing overall productivity and effectiveness. It can be conducted through approaches such as the behavioral approach (which focuses on identifying and measuring behaviors) and the result-oriented approach (which evaluates employees based on objective criteria). An example of performance management is Facebook’s process, which emphasizes peer-to-peer feedback and uses real-time feedback software for issue resolution.

On the other hand, performance appraisals are periodic assessments of individual employee performance within an organization. Unlike performance management, appraisals focus on past performance and use historical data and ranking systems to guide employees toward better performance. The main purpose of performance appraisals is to identify employee weaknesses, develop their strengths, and set goals for improvement before the next appraisal. Performance appraisals are reactive in nature, aiming to correct past mistakes and improve individual job performance

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Why is performance management important?

Performance management is important because it helps employees realize their potential and work towards growing and expanding their career paths within an organization.

It elevates employee pulse, boosts morale in the workplace, and enables managers to look at the performance levels of an employee from different perspectives.

Think of it as an athlete training to increase their speed on the track. Their coach wouldn’t measure their running speed only once in a blue moon. Instead, the coach would consistently measure the athlete’s timings at regular intervals to better understand how far they can go. This finally helps the athlete realize their potential, work harder to achieve their goals and aim higher in their career.

Similarly, performance management is more frequent and focuses on helping employees realize that they can achieve higher than they believe.

It ensures that both employees and managers are on the same page and enhances communication between the two.

Employees become more open to constructive feedback, and managers gain deeper insights into each employee’s potential and work ethic.

What is the performance management process?

Many companies yearn to have an established employee evaluation system but still wonder what the performance management process is.

Let’s dive deeper to answer them and provide more clarity on the topic. It is a 4-step, year-long process that covers all the aspects needed to measure an employee’s performance levels, guide them wherever necessary, and align their goals with that of the company.

Plan

Define each employee’s goals and objectives based on their role so that they align with the company’s mission & vision, develop a work plan that outlines the tasks to be completed, and set forth the standards to be used to measure their performance. It is important to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals.

Monitor & Coach

During this phase, managers will monitor how well the employees execute their tasks, follow their work plans, and deliver results. They will communicate with employees regularly to share feedback, review & modify their workflows if necessary, and guide them on how to overcome any roadblocks or bottlenecks.

Review

Managers and peers will rate the employee and provide constructive feedback based on their performance and behavior in the organization on a quarterly basis. This is usually done through 360° assessments in order to receive insights across various competencies. This phase is also where the annual performance appraisals take place.

Reward

The final step of the performance management process involves taking appropriate actions based on the performance review. This can include recognizing and rewarding high performers, providing additional training or development opportunities for skill enhancement, or implementing performance improvement plans for employees who are not meeting expectations. The goal is to encourage continuous growth and development.

How to Improve the Performance Management Process

Improving your employee review process requires a lot of diligent planning and the right execution. To improve the performance management process, you can consider implementing the following best practices:

  • Encourage ongoing manager-employee feedback throughout the year: Foster a culture of continuous feedback by promoting regular conversations between managers and employees. Educate employees about the types and frequency of feedback conversations that can occur.
  • Get the right tools: Don’t rely on the traditional pen-and-paper method for feedback collection. Use the right technology that can help to make your performance management process more streamlined and eliminate redundancies.
  • Promote discussions beyond individual contexts: Encourage team goal-setting and individual goal development for alignment, impact, relevance, and overlap. Create a space for employees to provide feedback to managers, reinforcing employee agency and power in feedback conversations
  • Develop a framework for assessing future performance: Assess employees’ readiness for development, considering their capacity, ability, and willingness to take on professional growth. Align coaching conversations and support to their true needs and focus on future skills and actions needed for success.
  • Encourage managers to communicate actions needed for future success: Help managers provide feedback on the skills employees need for the future while reflecting on their past accomplishments. Increasing transparency of skills across a team encourages cohesiveness, coaching, and on-the-job development.
  • Gather feedback from co-workers on how employees help fellow team members: Peer feedback plays a significant role in performance management. Guide managers on how to identify sources of feedback from colleagues to gain a comprehensive view of an employee’s performance and contributions.
  • Rethink performance goals and integrate them into the process: Goals should cascade down from the top and be visible to everyone in the organization. Implement a continuous performance management model that emphasizes real-time goal setting, tracking, coaching, feedback, and alignment. Move away from traditional periodic reviews and embrace ongoing goal management.
  • Maintain consistency: Ensure that your process includes frequent interactions between managers and employees where feedback is shared, and concerns are resolved, thus leading to an eventual improvement in company vitals.

How to automate performance management?

If your employee evaluation process has well-defined goals and objectives, it would be beneficial to automate performance management in your organization.

Utilizing the best 360-degree evaluation software can greatly help managers streamline their tasks and power through feedback collection.  Not to mention, it will ease the management of the process.

Analysis of the data received can be carried out by smart & sophisticated algorithms that would give you all the insights you need, along with auto-generated reports that are updated in real-time.

Which Performance Management Processes Cannot Be Automated?

While certain aspects of performance management can be automated or supported by technology, the human element remains crucial for successful implementation and addressing the challenges associated with performance management processes. Some of the performance management processes that cannot be automated include-

  1. Leadership buy-in: The process of gaining support and engagement from company leaders for a performance management program cannot be fully automated. HR leaders may need to actively communicate the importance and benefits of performance management to leaders and provide concrete examples of its positive impact.
  2. Employee motivation and morale: While technology can facilitate certain aspects of performance management, addressing employee motivation and morale requires human interaction and communication. Leaders need to effectively articulate the details of the performance management program and engage employees in the goal-setting process to ensure their understanding and participation.
  3. Limited budget: Implementing new performance management software may involve costs such as implementation fees and licensing fees. In situations where budget constraints exist, HR leaders can explore alternative options like using existing tools and encouraging regular verbal feedback, which may not be fully automated.
  4. Culture and open communication: Building a positive organizational culture and fostering open communication between managers and employees are essential aspects of performance management that rely on human interaction. While technology can support communication, it cannot fully replace the role of leaders in creating a motivating and transparent work environment.
  5. Skill development and coaching: Performance management involves supporting employees in improving their skills, setting appropriate goals, and providing resources for development. While technology can assist in tracking progress and providing feedback, the process of coaching and mentoring employees requires personal interaction and guidance.

Needless to say, the best results are brought forth by communicating in person, backed up by the extensive data analysis received from HR performance management software. So connect with your employees. Machines have limitations, you don’t!

Performance Management: Best Practices

Performance management has essential components that must be learned and mastered in order to get the best results. Implementing these best practices can help set core standards and performance objectives, leading to improved operational effectiveness.

#1 Plan extensively

Create a well-designed framework for your employee performance management system that outlines every aspect of the process from A-Z. Defining your goals and objectives from the get-go helps you organize the system effectively and flow through the entire process in a breeze.

#2 Communicate openly

Establish a culture of open and effective communication between employees and managers. Providing constructive feedback is one of the most effective ways to help an employee improve their performance and soar higher in the organization.

#3 Monitor continuously

Your performance management system brings out the best outcomes through continuous processes. Take the time to track your employees’ progress, measure how well they align with the organization, and coach them to reach their best potential.

#4 Gather feedback from multiple sources

Constructive feedback doesn’t just have to be from managers. Collect feedback and inputs from other stakeholders in the organization to get a 360° view of the employee’s performance and behavior. This is where 360° feedback & assessments play a huge role.

5 Benefits of Performance Management

How can your organization benefit from a stellar employee evaluation system? Here are 5 benefits of performance management that can cause a ripple of enthusiasm in the workplace.

Improves organizational performance

A well-designed performance management system can majorly impact the entire organization for the better.Managers and employees will be on the same page, and everyone will be aligned in terms of ersonal and organizational goals, which can fast-track company growth.

Establishes a healthy work culture

Continuous and transparent interactions between managers and employees create a positive environment in the workplace. This great stimulus drives passion, dedication, and integrity across the organization.

Boosts employee engagement

The end result of measuring organizational performance is that employees feel more motivated and invested in their roles at the workplace. Once they understand that their hard work is well-appreciated, it will motivate them to dedicate more to the organization, leading to higher levels of productivity.

Identifies training opportunities

With continuous feedback and evaluations, managers can identify where employees need to refine their skills and take up more responsibility. This would lead to more learning opportunities to expand their overall organizational capabilities.

Increases employee retention

A performance management program that is executed well can increase employee retention in the workplace. Managers who guide and support their employees effectively and help them realize their true potential will create loyal employees who are true brand advocates.

How to choose a Performance Management platform?

Choosing a performance management platform requires careful consideration to ensure it aligns with your organization’s needs and goals. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a performance management platform:

  • Define your requirements: Begin by identifying the specific features and functionalities you require in a performance management platform. Consider aspects such as goal setting, continuous feedback, performance reviews, employee development, analytics, and integration with other HR systems.
  • Scalability and customization: Assess whether the platform can scale and adapt to your organization’s size and evolving needs. Look for customization options that allow you to tailor the platform to align with your unique performance management processes and terminology.
  • User-friendliness: Evaluate the platform’s user interface and intuitiveness. Ensure it is user-friendly for both employees and managers, with a clear and intuitive design that requires minimal training and support.
  • Continuous feedback collection: Your platform should have all the capabilities needed to collect detailed feedback from managers, employees, and peers. Schedule your assessments at the right time and gather all the data you need in one single platform.
  • Analyze and gain deeper insights: No performance management software is complete without a robust reporting module. Once feedback is collected, managers should be able to monitor and analyze employee performance based on the data collected, segment the data efficiently, and customize it as per their requirements.
  • Integrate and automate: Your 360-degree feedback software should be able to connect with other useful platforms to automate certain actions and share data seamlessly. Centralize all activity in one platform while connecting with a plethora of others.
  • Performance measurement and analytics: Look for platforms that offer robust performance measurement capabilities and provide actionable analytics. The platform should enable you to track key performance indicators (KPIs), generate reports, and gain insights into individual and team performance.
  • Mobile accessibility: In today’s mobile-centric work environment, consider a platform that offers mobile accessibility. This allows employees and managers to access and engage with the platform anytime, anywhere, using their smartphones or tablets.
  • Security and data privacy: Ensure the platform adheres to stringent security protocols and complies with data privacy regulations. Data security measures should include encryption, access controls, and regular system audits.
  • Vendor reputation and support: Research the reputation and track record of the platform vendor. Read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge user satisfaction. Additionally, assess the vendor’s customer support services and their responsiveness to inquiries or technical issues.
  • Pricing and affordability: Evaluate the pricing structure and affordability of the platform. Consider whether it aligns with your organization’s budget and the value it provides in terms of features, support, and scalability.
  • Trial and demonstration: Whenever possible, request a trial or demonstration of the platform. This hands-on experience will help you assess its usability, functionality, and suitability for your organization.

Key Features of Performance Management Tools

Here are the key features that any employee review management software should have in its offering portfolio. SurveySparrow’s employee performance management software comes in handy with all the essential features you need for measuring organizational performance.

Increases employee retention

The performance management software you choose must provide the capability of carrying out 360° feedback assessments. SurveySparrow’s 360° feedback & evaluation software can help managers and employees get a wide-angle view of an employee’s performance and help them gain a deeper perspective across various competencies.

Seamless Invitation Capabilities

Your 360° feedback platform should have the ability to invite employees to participate in employee evaluation assessments.

For managers, reportees, peers, or even self-evaluation, SurveySparrow’s 360° employee review management software lets you invite all the relevant stakeholders through CSV imports or add them manually. The power of Admin lies in your hands!

Reports & Analytics

Once all the feedback is collected, the next step is analyzing all the data collected and capturing key insights. An effective performance management tool should be well-equipped with real-time reports, making it easier for managers to identify an employee’s strengths, areas of improvement, and blind spots.

With SurveySparrow’s in-built 360° reporting module, receive auto-generated, custom reports, carry out an in-depth analysis of employee performance, and add comments for personal development.

 

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Efficient Assessment Tracking

Your employee evaluation software would be ideal with an assessment tracking system. Using SurveySparrow’s performance management software, track the progress of 360° assessments based on the status of completion, evaluations, and report availability. Send out reminder emails to those who haven’t completed the evaluation or approved the reports, and stay on top of every evaluation hassle-free.

 

Getting Started with Performance Management Software

On the lookout for evaluating your employees? Enhance your corporate performance management system using SurveySparrow’s 360° assessment software to collect detailed feedback in your organization.

It comes well-equipped with an in-built reporting module, a ready-to-use assessment template, customizable reports, roles, and so much more. Ease the process and elevate your employee evaluation to a whole new level.

Suited for every business with all the features you’ll need and more. Have your pick from our flexible pricing plans to suit your intent, contact our round-the-clock support team for any assistance, and empower your performance management system!

FAQs

Performance management aims to identify an employee’s strengths, blind spots, and areas of improvement. This will result in their overall professional development and help them realize their full potential at the organization.
Performance management is a process, and appraisals are just a part of it. Appraisals are an annual review of the employee’s performance, whereas performance management is a continuous process of monitoring employee performance and providing constructive feedback.
Performance management consists of planning, monitoring & coaching, performance reviews, and rewards.
The purpose of performance management is to improve employee productivity and organizational effectiveness by setting clear goals, providing regular feedback, and aligning individual performance with strategic objectives.
Some performance management techniques include goal setting, regular feedback, performance appraisals, coaching and development, performance metrics, recognition and rewards, and performance calibration.

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