Introducing continuous performance management is easier with digital performance reviews
Performance management is an often maligned, yet necessary, part of the job for supervisors and employees alike. Though it can be cumbersome and uncomfortable, companies need a mechanism to justify raises, promotions and terminations – in addition to their HR KPIs. At the same time, employees need a platform to highlight successes, discuss their personal career progress and voice any concerns.
Can employers make the performance evaluation process more pleasant, practical and in line with today’s changing workforce? We’ll take a look at the concept of continuous performance management, and find out how regular evaluation can boost productivity and employee engagement.
The Need For Performance Evaluation
Most employees and supervisors have been through the traditional performance review process. Neither side particularly enjoys it - they can be confrontational, uncomfortable and often unproductive.
As they are usually performed on a yearly basis, often without any true follow-ups, performance reviews can feel like an onerous duty which doesn’t add value to the business nor an employee’s career development.
Nevertheless, performance reviews serve - or should serve - a well-defined purpose. They’re meant as fair treatment towards the employees, both for their evolution within the company, and making well-founded decisions regarding promotion, demotion or dismissal.
Faced with an evolving professional landscape, including changes in demographics, a shift toward agile business practices, and - most pressing - rapid workplace digitalization, HR teams are seeking alternatives to get the most value out of performance evaluations.
A Modern Employee Appraisal
Not surprisingly, tech-based industries have led the way toward a new approach to performance appraisals. Instead of rigid, annual reviews, a routine and continuous employee evaluation method has gained steam throughout the business world. Continuous performance appraisals are quickly becoming the norm throughout workplaces across many industries.
By routinely offering appraisals of performance, supervisors can give meaningful, real-time feedback to their employees. And for employees, the added value is clear-cut. Knowing what you’re doing well, where you need to improve, as well as be given a platform to share your concerns is undeniably positive for career development and job satisfaction.
Many businesses have fully embraced continuous appraisals, while others favour a balanced, hybrid approach. The wide range of benefits of incorporating a multi-touchpoint employee evaluation are clear, as more than 76% of companies have shown to be moving toward a more continuous evaluation system.
Practical Aspects of Continuous Performance Appraisals
Communication between employees, supervisors and upper-management is vital for an engaged work environment, satisfied employees, and employee-employer trust.
Continuous performance appraisals provide a systematic and routine tool to engage in open and consistent communication. Feedback, whether positive or constructive, becomes part of the teams’ routines, allowing for a more open and transparent workplace.
Weekly to monthly check-ins provide a consistent feedback-loop between employees and their supervisors. Workers routinely perform self-evaluations, highlighting their performance, and raising any potential concerns.
On a continuous basis, this transparent communication ensures employees are being heard, and that management is aware of issues before they escalate.
Feedback can be easily and systematically obtained from employees and tracked in a database. Quick and straightforward weekly feedback surveys can offer managers direct and current insight.
This continuous and real-time data is invaluable for business leaders looking to understand the state of their workforce, both from a performance and employee engagement perspective.
Profound formal reviews:
Continuous performance appraisals stay on top of a worker's progress throughout the year. Supervisors have a greater understanding of their employee’s workload, strengths, weaknesses and development.
When it comes time for a more in-depth quarterly, semi-annual or yearly review, both parties have a much richer starting point for discussions. Details regarding training needs, potential reorientations, salary and promotions are backed by systematic tracking throughout the year, making these types of formal reviews more of a summary than a high-pressure interview.
Goals and performance monitoring:
Goal setting is one of the hallmarks of traditional, annual performance appraisals. But a downside is that many things can change over the course of a year. In a continuous appraisal environment, goals can be evaluated on a regular basis, and adapted, as needed.
This helps ensure that the goals are on track, or if resources are needed to support the employee. It could even help find obstacles or problems with the previously set goals, shifting the desired end-result to be more productive for the employee and the business in general.
Digital Platforms for Seamless Continuous Appraisals
Maintaining a regular continuous performance appraisal system may seem like a lot of added work for HR teams and managers. However, using a digital platform, like an employee app, makes employee appraisals easily accessible, straightforward and hassle-free to ensure routine and timely reviews.
Digital platforms can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Not only is the data quickly and easily transmitted, extensive employee data analysis can be performed. In real-time, managers and HR can view comprehensive employee data across teams or the entire organization.
Digital performance appraisal integration in an employee app can be much more easily accessed, updated and verified than traditional paper forms, spreadsheets or email attachments. As soon as a self-appraisal is finished, the supervisor is notified. They can also see if documents are overdue, and can be directly contacted regarding questions or concerns.
An employee app can house a number of effective tools to offer organizations more meaningful performance appraisals:
- Templates for performance reviews, including flexible forms customized for each team or function
- Easy-to-assign due dates and automatic reminders
- Instant participation tracking with integrated follow-ups
- Quick data outputs to analyze results in real-time
- In-app digital training courses can be instantly recommended or assigned to employees to address performance issues, or to prepare for job promotions
Make the Switch to Digitized Continuous Appraisal
Not only does shifting performance appraisals to a digital platform make it easier to reach all employees, it also takes a lot of the stress and hassle out of the frequently uncomfortable evaluation process.
Using a comprehensive employee app allows for flexible and customizable evaluation forms. Employee data is safely and seamlessly integrated and easily analyzed, providing a much clearer picture of the organization or team’s overall performance.
The continuous feedback and routine check-ins add value to business operations, and help employees manage their workloads, remain engaged and ultimately ensure long-term employee satisfaction.
by Teri Maltais
With a passion for delivering the right message to the right audience, Teri is an experienced communications professional and Marketing Director for iTacit.