Performance evaluations are something we often have a love/hate relationship with. While we generally recognize their importance, they take up a lot of time, and we sometimes question their value. What benefits do employees, managers and companies actually derive from them?
Whether or not you and your organization derive value from your employee evaluation process depends on several things.
The true value of employee evaluations comes from the shared dialogue between managers and their employees about goals, performance, development needs and career aspirations. Ideally, this should be an ongoing dialogue, with the manager coaching and guiding the employee to increasing performance.
The goal of your performance evaluation process should be to foster this ongoing dialogue and document it. If your process is paper-based and annual, it’s likely not achieving this. An automated talent management system can go a long way to transforming your employee performance evaluation process into a valuable one. They automate and streamline your process, saving everyone valuable time. Some of the best performance management systems provide employees and managers with an online journal where they can record performance highlights and incidents throughout the year. But best of all, they put information on employee performance, goals and development plans at the employee’s and manager’s fingertips, so they encourage ongoing dialogue, feedback and coaching.
Not all managers are skilled at giving feedback, coaching and developing their employees. Finding the right words and resources can be a challenge, especially for less experienced managers, and it takes considerable time.
Automated talent management systems can help by giving managers guidance and support. They typically come equipped with competency libraries that include detailed descriptions of the various levels of competency demonstration, and comment “building block” text that can be adjusted to give the employee the detailed feedback they need to sustain or improve performance. Many also provide coaching tips that managers can use and/or include in their evaluations. Another key feature is built in development planning, that give managers and employees access to a list of your organization’s learning resources, right within the performance evaluation, so they can assign appropriate development activities to support the accomplishment of goals or improve performance of a competency. All of these features improve the quality and consistency of feedback, coaching and development that your employees receive, while saving your managers significant time in writing evaluations – as much as 75%!
To be truly effective, your employee performance evaluations need to be an expression of a corporate culture that supports employee performance. You need to ensure that all employees receive direction, feedback, coaching, support and development on a regular basis.
One of the most common problems faced by companies with paper-based performance evaluation processes is low participation or on time completion rates. If there’s no one reminding them to complete their evaluations, and monitoring their progress, many managers shirk this important responsibility. Plus, paperwork often gets lost as it travels from managers to HR, with various stops in between. The message to employees: supporting employee performance isn’t really very important!
Here again, automated talent management applications can help in several ways. By eliminating paper, no review will ever get “lost in the mail” again. Automatic email reminders let everyone one know when they have a task to complete or one that is past due. HR and senior management get easy to read reports that show them the status of every appraisal and highlight bottlenecks in the process so they can be addressed. And by making the whole process easier, faster to complete and more valuable for everyone, they encourage participation. Most companies who adopt an automated performance evaluation tool see their on-time completion rates rise to between 95 and 100%.
Performance evaluations don’t have to be a time-consuming and onerous administrative exercise. Properly managed and executed, they can be an invaluable way to support and encourage goals, feedback, coaching and development for employees. Using an automated tool like Halogen eAppraisal, can transform your talent management process and help you and your organization derive significant value from your performance appraisals.
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