Performance Management Tools – Expanding and Innovating all at once!

More and more organizations nowadays are understanding that their current management systems need to be upgraded if they need to remain competitive in the market. Latest studies and research reveal that traditional systems of measuring performance, such as annual appraisals are now obsolete and can even have a negative impact on employee engagement and motivation levels. Keeping this in mind, an increasing number of companies are turning to the latest performance tools that are far more impactful and ensure better and regular engagement with employees.

Performance Management Tool

Such a dynamic and strategic approach in introducing performance management tools is gaining popularity in small to large organizations. This would include many Fortune 500 companies where employees are located worldwide.

If you have been struggling to achieve innovation in your organization then probably it’s high time that you needed a new performance management tool. According to a CEB Study and Gartner, only 5% of HR leaders are satisfied with performance reviews leaving 95% of managers being unhappy with traditional performance management software. Managers also felt the need for room for improvement.

To ensure employee satisfaction numbers are met, there is a need for a new organizational framework where essential requirements like future skill development and innovation need to be looked into. The obvious remedy to such a challenge lies in the fact that companies nowadays need to reconstruct the design of working styles for their employees. This needs to be further amalgamated with key components like recognition and measurement systems for competencies. This allows both creativity and innovation to thrive and ideas to fuel new thoughts that enable better business capability.

Organizations of today would need to look into dependable ways of how they can measure performance in any workplace. While chances are that many may have to break down their traditional approach, systems need to be put in place that focuses on targets, competencies, and performance goals. Gone are the days when yearly appraisals use to happen. Such systems are outdated and can even trigger a drop in employee engagement and motivation. This is why companies are now turning towards more advanced performance management systems that are more powerful than before and can also offer the company a competitive edge over its rivals.

According to Forbes, ‘organizations that set performance goals quarterly produce 31% greater returns from their performance process as compared to those who do it on an annual basis, and those who do it on monthly basis get even better results.’

Getting to Know Performance Management and Key Features

Performance management can be looked upon as a strategic approach to help measure performance among employees. It can create and sustain improved performance in employees and also enable competitiveness in the company.

By remaining focused on the overall development of team members and by ensuring that these development programs are in sync with the overall company goals, managers can create a work environment that allows both employees and the company to expand and flourish.

Performance management is truly a system that is defined and built within an organization to measure and improve the performance of employees working in the organization. It helps identify gaps and plugs in these gaps through consistent feedback and review sessions.

When compared to any other performance review system, such as annual appraisals, the employee performance management tool is seen to be much more dynamic and involves better processes thereby offering effective results.

With the latest performance management tools, you can enjoy the following:

A more clear and better system for measurement: Your performance management system should have the ability to offer easy-to-understand metrics that would allow you to quickly understand how much an employee has made progress. Clear benchmarks based on SMART goals will enable the team to remain on track.

360-degree feedback: A well-designed performance management system allows you to solicit 360-degree feedback based on a wide range of people who work closely with each employee. This way, you will be able to receive a balanced set of feedback that offers you to better understand contributions made by the employee.

Self-evaluation tools: You require a system that offers the employees to complete self-evaluations periodically to best assess their own progress. This way you can enable team members to think critically about their performance and identify areas of improvement.

Goal-setting system: A system that offers frequent reminders about an individual’s goals, would allow employees to not lose sight. A quality performance system helps set dynamic goals that you can alter over time depending on employees’ ambitions and competency. This way you’ll be able to set both short-term and long-term goals, along with Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

But why is performance management so important?

For any organization, no matter how big or small it may be, it is essential to best understand what their workforce is doing, how and why they are doing it, and what they think about the company.

Without a proper Performance Management Tool in place, it becomes difficult to define roles, understand the strengths and weaknesses of the individual, offer timely feedback and also trigger interventions as well as identify and reward good performance. Further, managers may not be able to effectively manage their teams since there may be a lack of understanding or team members may not be aware of what they are doing wrong.

Some organizations nowadays have found a lot of value in pairing performance management with an incentive program. Both the systems work together and have a lot of elements in common. This may include defining and setting goals for quarterly reviews and feedback sessions. A comprehensive incentive management tool would also mean identifying steps that were taken to reward or recognize an individual for his performance.

For the HR department, the performance management tool is essential since it helps in onboarding, developing skills, and also retaining talent as well as reviewing individual performance.

Slowly and gradually companies are now understanding the fact that annual appraisal systems do not keep employees engaged. It also fails to ensure consistency and does not enable managers to meet company objectives. What’s more, such systems lack the ability to better understand employee performance.

Why Do Organizations Require a Proper Performance Management System?

Managing and retaining talent as well as improving business performance is most essential for all organizations of today. This is important if you wish to gain a competitive edge over others. By retaining good talent and by offering opportunities indoors, you can have a positive impact on your business performance. Further, you can measure performance, identify gaps and offer 360-degree feedback as and when required. Let’s look at some major challenges that organizations face today. They are as follows:

  • Ensuring employee engagement
  • Talent retention
  • Shaping leaders in-house

Ensuring employee engagement

Keeping employees engaged is one prime focus of any management team. At the beginning of the year, goals are set and then revisited after 12 months to see if they were met or not. Such a long stretch and that too without any feedback prove to be an engagement killer.

Most employees would certainly love to hear from their managers. This may be in the form of consistent feedback. This enables the employee to learn from their mistakes and also offers the person the chance to excel in the next quarter.

Talent retention

It has been observed that employees who meet management frequently to discuss performance can easily resolve issues and receive training on areas where they lack in the company. If employees observe that the management team is putting significant effort into consistently improving their performance then chances are that they may stick around in the organization for longer periods.

Shaping leaders in-house

Consistent performance and engagement between managers and employees allow the management team to promote individuals. Such employees are offered the chance to become leaders within the organization.

The cost of recruitment can at times become high since the process includes both onboardings as well as training new people. To groom leaders in-house, you would need to establish a healthy work environment and work culture. This would ensure less attrition in terms of employee loss and you not losing out on important funds that you had spent on training the individual.

Performance management also triggers a need for management to remain focused on company objectives and overall business goals. They need to see how well they can be achieved at minimal cost and time. By synchronizing a well-defined performance management tool along with business goals, such a system becomes an essential part of the organization, which is constantly guiding the organization and its members. An ideal performance management tool should be such that it enables teams to proactively align their work and priorities along with the company’s goals. Fine-tuning of the system however may be required based on newer technology, changes in the market, stiff competition, and other prevailing factors that may occur throughout the year.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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