Employee reviews have gotten a bad reputation, with only 14% of employees saying their reviews inspired them to do better work. Just two in 10 would “strongly agree” that they’re motivated by current performance management strategies at their companies. Even human resources pros aren’t big fans — only 28% of CHROs say reviews capture employees’ contributions accurately.
But according to Harvard Business Review, scrapping performance reviews altogether leaves companies without any way to gauge performance or give promotions and raises. Recent performance management trends show that reviews are necessary, and when done well, they help improve performance and can even be motivating.
Fortunately, there’s performance management technology that can take on the challenge. Employee review software can change your approach to performance evaluations for the better, making them easier to launch, conduct, and analyze.
Let’s look at three primary purposes of review software and how you can use a software solution to manage your performance review process.Find out the 3 main uses for #EmployeeReviewSoftware and how to use it to power successful #PerformanceManagement programs:
1. Running Your Performance Management Programs
Effective performance management programs consist of more than just one or two formal reviews during the year. They’re central to the employee experience, helping them build trust, learn and develop, and stay motivated. In addition to performance reviews, performance management also includes:
- Continuous feedback where employees and managers meet regularly for informal performance discussions
- Goal setting and monitoring to keep employees engaged and on track throughout the year
- Regular recognition when employees reach big milestones and do great work
- Role development to help determine career paths, candidates for promotions, and other growth opportunities
Employee reviews are an essential piece of performance management strategy in order to meet some important business needs:
- Document both exceptional and poor performance
- Compare employee performance according to standardized criteria
- Address performance gaps and implement performance improvement plans
- Promote and retain high performers
There are obviously a lot of moving parts in performance management, and reviews are just one of them — and those are complicated enough when done just annually. In order to power modern, effective performance reviews, management and HR teams have to:
- Determine review cadence and the types of reviews that will be used for every role
- Create performance review templates for different roles and types of employees
- Launch review cycles on time for various groups of employees and ensure they’re completed on time
- Analyze the results of every review cycle and draw conclusions
That’s why employee performance review software is so critical. HR software can enable your company to manage these complex processes while ensuring they’re actually useful — and gather valuable people data that sheds light on performance and makes analysis more accurate and efficient.
There are many types of performance management systems, but you want to look for software with these features to power a robust performance management program:
- Customizable performance review templates to give you a starting point for your reviews that you can adjust to your needs.
- Myriad performance review types, including New Hire Reviews and 30-, 60-, and 90-Day Reviews, for different types of employees and situations.
- Review cycle management and completion tracking to automatically manage review reminders and keep cycles on time.
- Goal planning and alignment to measure progress and keep employees engaged and on track at work.
- Reviews that are accessible on mobile devices so they’re easier to find and fill out.
- Reports and analytics for performance trends insights across your organization.
Modern performance management requires a modern solution, so don’t rely on old ways of evaluating, engaging, and developing your employees. Run your performance management programs with software.
2. Continuous Performance Management Capabilities
Managing performance on a daily basis rather than just once per year is a must in today’s workplace. We know that the traditional methods aren’t working, and employees have expressed their preference for more feedback — 96% want more than they’re getting. So, continuous feedback is on the rise. Continuous feedback refers to informal feedback situations that take place consistently outside of formal performance reviews.
Talking to employees about performance more than just once a year has huge benefits for them, your HR team, and the company as a whole:
- Improved employee engagement — 43% of highly engaged employees talk to their managers at least once a week
- HR teams are up to 50% more satisfied with performance management processes
- Relieve stress caused by annual reviews
- Gets feedback to employees when it’s relevant and they can use it right away
- Contributes to a transparent company culture where employees understand their part in the big picture
There are many strategies you can use to manage performance day-to-day, but giving continuous feedback doesn’t just happen on its own. You need to build a performance management framework where it’s included to be most effective. That’s where employee review software comes in handy, providing powerful tools to facilitate your continuous performance management strategies. Performance management software makes it easy to:
- Set weekly one-on-ones where employees and managers can check in regarding goal progress, answer questions, and give advice.
- Publish regular goal updates visible to the whole organization, promoting transparency and goal alignment.
- Conduct a variety of reviews on different review cycles throughout the year.
- Create records of past employee performance to support promotions and terminations.
With continuous feedback powered by employee review software, employees can immediately alter their approach, clear roadblocks quickly, or adjust their goals if necessary. They don’t have to wonder if they’re on the right track or making mistakes, and they can look back at past feedback and encouragement to stay motivated and engaged.
Your employees will also know their annual performance review isn’t the be-all-end-all. They’ll know where they stand throughout the year and can go into formal reviews with much more confidence. Not to mention, more open, fair, and consistent discussions around performance will lead to performance improvements for all.
3. 360-Degree Review of Employee Performance
When it comes to 360-degree performance reviews, it’s all in the name. Traditional reviews only get feedback from one person: the reviewee’s direct supervisor. But 360 reviews include a self-assessment and feedback from peers in addition to the supervisor’s feedback. 360-degree reviews are instrumental to a thriving performance management program that gets results.
“The anonymity of process means that the feedback was given by colleagues with the understanding that they would be confidential. The result is far greater honesty and candor. And, we’re happy to say that after decades of conducting and reviewing thousands of 360-degree feedback reports, we almost never see messages that are intentionally barbed or mean-spirited.” - Harvard Business Review
While managers no doubt have a good grasp on how their direct reports are performing, 360-degree feedback adds valuable perspectives to employee reviews. This approach to employee reviews is often used for those in leadership positions.
360-feedback leads to:
- Increased self-awareness. Hearing similar feedback from several sources can make employees more aware of how others see them and help them tune into their strengths and weaknesses. For example, one manager might learn that several of her colleagues see leadership qualities in her and be motivated to pursue a promotion. Another leader may learn that some of the employees in their department feel disconnected from them and up facetime with the whole team as a result.
- Higher chance of change. 360 reviews make it hard to deny reality — getting the same feedback from many sources increases its credibility, especially if it also appears on the reviewee’s self-assessment. If it’s a behavior they want to change, like chronically interrupting during meetings, this compounded feedback makes it more likely they’ll notice when they’re doing it and can modify their behavior.
- Performance improvement for all. According to HBR, 36-degree reviews work when it comes to giving leaders performance-improving feedback. And when leaders improve their performance, it causes a “ripple effect” that motivates employees at every level of the organization.
Now you know why they’re important, but you might be wondering how you’re supposed to handle all of these additional reviews on top of regular reviews. Managing so many different reviews for one employee is certainly no easy task — unless you’re using employee review software with built-in 360-degree reviews. Employee review software provides the tools to create that complete picture of performance:
- Self-assessment guides and templates give employees a chance to highlight what they’ve done and recognize where they can improve.
- Peer reviews collect feedback and comments anonymously from a variety of colleagues, asking questions around topics including teamwork, communication, work style, and strengths.
- Employees can publicly praise their colleagues using engagement tools purpose-built for recognition, and their commendations are included in future performance reviews.
It’s clear that performance reviews serve an important purpose in the employee journey. They’re an opportunity to hone strengths, fortify weaknesses, and find opportunities. Performance reviews give you the chance to:
- Set and track SMART goals with each employee
- Strengthen employee engagement with recognition and regular feedback
- Help employees grow and develop in their careers
- Identify high performers and what makes them successful
- Retain A Players at your company
- Enable business success
You can make continuous feedback, peer reviews, and comprehensive performance management a reality with employee review software. ClearCompany’s award-winning Performance Management System is the solution you’re looking for to do all of the above. Our performance review tools were built with HR best practices in mind and come loaded with expert-built templates to launch your own review cycle right away.
See ClearCompany in action and run your own performance review cycle when you sign up for a personalized demo with our expert team — get started today.