Definitive Guide to Performance Management [With Benefits and Features]

The Modern Guide to Performance Management Process

Managing the 21st-century workforce can be quite overwhelming. Employees today demand much more than a career; they seek an experience. Attempts to retain such a demanding workforce with outdated employee engagement methods may turn out to be futile.

Only a magnetic workplace that continually attracts talent can sustain this generation of ‘job hoppers’. Traditional performance management practices are inflexible, and non-responsive to the needs of today’s workforce.

The performance management process has gone through considerable change in the last 5 years. To make it easy for you, we’ve composed a go-to guide to performance management in 2019, that you can use to develop and implement a powerful performance management system.

Performance Management system

What is Performance Management?

Today’s performance management is much more than just a performance review. Rather than a one-time (usually annual) event, performance management has become more of a dynamic process that continuously identifies, measures, and improves an employee’s performance by aligning it with the organization's mission.

Performance management is no longer a competitive evaluation. It is an ongoing process that focuses on the coaching and development of the workforce throughout the year, with a series of conversations between the manager and employee.

Benefits of an Effective Performance Management Process

Organizations with an engaged and motivated workforce have a crucial advantage over competitors that offer similar products. Creating an effective performance management system is essential to:

  • Identify short- and long-term goals
  • Set clear performance expectations
  • Provide real-time feedback and constant coaching
  • Improve employee performance and productivity
  • Recognize training and development needs
  • Increase employee engagement and retention
  • Obtain insights into counter-productive activities
  • Align employee performance with the organization’s objective
  • Transform the workforce into a strategic business advantage

Traditional Performance vs Appraisal Performance Management in 2019

traditional performance appraisal vs appraisal performance management in 2019

Phases of Performance Management

Traditional Performance Management Process

The traditional performance appraisal method has four stages: plan, act, track, and review. Most organizations place more emphasis on the review phase than the other three steps in the appraisal process. The planning phase is often carried out at the beginning of a year.

Traditional performance appraisal

A list of preset goals is prescribed to an employee based on their job objectives and strengths. The act and track phases are carried out throughout the year. At the end of the year, the review phase is carried out through a long drawn-out interview between employees and managers.

As this appraisal process doesn’t assess the true performance of the employee—and usually has a detrimental effect on their morale—it has been scrapped and replaced by a continuous performance management strategy.

New Performance Management Process

The new performance appraisal process comprises of four essential steps: Check-in (set objectives), Work on Objectives, Check-in (Feedback and revise objectives - if required), and Collate Data.

Performance management in 2018

Check-in (set objectives)

Unlike the traditional process that thrusts unrealistic year-long goals on employees (which they have no say in), these check-ins follow a more productive approach. The stress-free, informal discussion between employee and manager allows them to come up with realistic, short-term goals that are future-focused.

Working on objectives

Similar to the traditional approach, employees work on reaching short-term goals. The major difference is real-time feedback offered frequently by managers that gives employees an insight on the areas to focus on and tactics to be changed (if necessary). A regular check-in on progress helps employees stay on track, work efficiently, and ultimately achieve their goal.

Check-in (Feedback and revise objectives - if required)

Periodic feedback establishes a good relationship between the employee and manager. In addition to keeping employees motivated, regular check-ins ensure objectives don’t become irrelevant over time. The constant check-ins offer managers an opportunity to revise goals and align them with ever-evolving business needs.

Collating Data

Although the new performance management check-ins are informal in nature, the discussions and related progress are documented in digital forms for future reference. Digital forms ensure that all departments follow the same process throughout the organization. Capturing and sharing regular feedback on employee performance becomes relatively simple with a digitized process.

The Perfect Performance Management System

The digitized performance management process relieves the administrative strains involved in a performance management process. An automated process standardizes the strenuous process, reduces manual intervention, makes the review more transparent, and reduces the time taken.

A digital performance form that comprises of a simple pre-designed survey to document regular check-ins helps organizations measure progress efficiently. With digital forms, it is relatively easy to schedule check-ins, set/revise goals, monitor, track employee performance, and follow up with action.

The data obtained through digitized forms tends to be more precise and result-oriented. It simplifies the process of collecting, storing and analyzing the data. By reviewing the captured data collated during check-ins, managers can identify training and development needs quickly.

Integration is the Key to Performance Management

No matter how effective digital forms are, you simply cannot eliminate all the pain points involved in a performance management process using just forms. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to invest in an exclusive performance management tool. In fact, a straightforward platform that integrates these forms with necessary components and allows you to follow a collaborative approach will reduce much effort.

An efficient HR process automation platform will integrate the forms with a cloud-based, robust document management system that stores the captured data and a HR workflow Software that automates the performance management process. Using its built-in functionalities, HR managers can control who can view or contribute data, set a process flow and define the operations to be performed on successful completion of a process.

Kissflow's HR Cloud performance management software can help all organizations irrespective of their size to improve employee and organization performance with its fully customizable interface by helping them them automate their performance management process. Use Kissflow HR Cloud to create a dynamic performance management system that helps your employees achieve future-focused results that contribute to employee success, organizational growth, and profitability. Sign-up for a free demo now!

Kissflow HR Cloud