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How is Your Performance Management System Changing This Year?

A door with a mirror in a field.

To stay com­pet­i­tive, your busi­ness needs to remain active and adapt­able. In this blog post, we look at small, effec­tive ways in which you can change your per­for­mance man­age­ment processes.

At Clear Review, we recent­ly ran a poll that indi­cat­ed how man­agers and com­pa­ny lead­ers can become stuck in their ways and afraid of change. Our study revealed that an incred­i­ble 65% of com­pa­nies are still using annu­al per­for­mance reviews, despite evi­dence to sug­gest they aren’t helpful.

Change can be dif­fi­cult, com­pli­cat­ed and even frus­trat­ing at times. But unless you over­come your fear and start to make changes to your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem, noth­ing will ever improve. Employ­ees and man­agers will remain dis­sat­is­fied and dis­en­gaged and your employ­ees might leave your com­pa­ny for one that is more for­ward-think­ing and progressive.

2018 is still young and there is plen­ty time for your com­pa­ny to evolve. Below are just a few key changes you can put in place this year that could rev­o­lu­tionise your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem.

Remove all the unnec­es­sary clut­ter and complications

2018 is all about stream­lin­ing. Take a step back this year and adopt a min­i­mal­ist approach to all things in your com­pa­ny. If there is a work­place process that holds things up or frus­trates employ­ees, stream­line it or elim­i­nate it. If your organ­i­sa­tion is bogged down in unnec­es­sary data that is tak­ing up a lot of man­age­ment and HR resources, take the time to seri­ous­ly con­sid­er what data is actu­al­ly nec­es­sary, or con­ducive to great performance.

Final­ly, re-eval­u­ate the per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware in use in your com­pa­ny. Some pack­ages come with lots of bells and whis­tles and, while they may look impres­sive dur­ing a soft­ware sales pitch, many of these fea­tures don’t add any val­ue in real­i­ty. When it comes to per­for­mance man­age­ment and employ­ee appraisal soft­ware, take a leaf out of the sem­i­nal One Page Tal­ent Man­age­ment book and elim­i­nate com­plex­i­ty. Find a pack­age that is so easy to under­stand and use that it doesn’t require any user train­ing. After all, you should be focus­ing your ener­gies on train­ing man­agers to have great per­for­mance con­ver­sa­tions and not how to use your online system.

Take a look at our Performance Management Software

If you haven’t done so already, intro­duce reg­u­lar one-to-one per­for­mance discussions

As we men­tioned above, some com­pa­nies are still behind the times when it comes to adopt­ing con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment meth­ods. You might be reluc­tant to intro­duce reg­u­lar check-ins for a num­ber of rea­sons. Per­haps you have become accus­tomed to your exist­ing annu­al appraisals. Maybe you’re wor­ried about what will hap­pen if man­agers don’t adopt the changes or if employ­ees com­plain even more than they do already. How­ev­er, you shouldn’t let your fear get in the way of a change that could seri­ous­ly boost pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance in the long run.

There are a few things to remem­ber when imple­ment­ing this change, or any oth­ers on this list. Luck­i­ly, we have writ­ten a blog post about how to over­come fear when chang­ing a per­for­mance man­age­ment process.

Switch from annu­al appraisal soft­ware to con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance review software

If you are tran­si­tion­ing from a tra­di­tion­al annu­al appraisal to a more agile form of per­for­mance man­age­ment, it makes sense to trade in your old HR soft­ware for HR per­for­mance review soft­ware that will accom­mo­date your new system.

Look for soft­ware that pro­motes reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion, allows for real-time feed­back and doesn’t just cen­tre around a sin­gle year­ly per­for­mance dis­cus­sion. As men­tioned above, you should also find a pack­age that is sim­ple and easy to use.

Final­ly, make sure the experts behind your soft­ware have an exten­sive per­for­mance man­age­ment back­ground and exper­tise so they can help you to suc­ceed with imple­men­ta­tion and user adoption.

Final­ly, ditch those per­for­mance rat­ings (if you can)

Rat­ings have fall­en out of favour in recent years, yet many com­pa­nies still make use of per­for­mance rat­ings to some extent. You might be reluc­tant to let them go because you use rat­ings to deter­mine whether an employ­ee is enti­tled to a bonus or a pay rise. How­ev­er, there are ways to fair­ly eval­u­ate per­for­mance with­out the use of rat­ings. On top of this, cling­ing to per­for­mance rat­ings could be seri­ous­ly dam­ag­ing employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and morale. This is the per­fect time to say good­bye to them for good and to tran­si­tion to a more qual­i­ta­tive sys­tem of per­for­mance management.

That said, we recog­nise that remov­ing rat­ings can be a step too far for some com­pa­nies at this stage in their evo­lu­tion, and if that’s the case, you can still imple­ment the oth­er rec­om­men­da­tions in this arti­cle whilst keep­ing your ratings.

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Become more flex­i­ble with regards to your per­for­mance man­age­ment system

Flex­i­bil­i­ty is the biggest sought-after work­place perk. This is some­thing we have known for a while, and demand for flex­i­ble work­ing is grow­ing by the year. Flex­i­bil­i­ty is a huge issue for both men and women, with men demon­strat­ing that they crave flex­i­bil­i­ty just as much.

Despite this, not all com­pa­nies are quick to offer flex­i­ble work­ing options, which comes to their detri­ment. A lack of flex­i­bil­i­ty can impact reten­tion lev­els, recruit­ment efforts and employ­ee morale. We’re not sug­gest­ing that imple­ment­ing flex­i­ble work­ing options is easy, or even pos­si­ble for every sin­gle busi­ness. How­ev­er, if it is pos­si­ble to offer flex­i­ble work­ing options, it’s well worth the effort.

There are a num­ber of ways you can adapt your per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es to accom­mo­date flex­i­ble work­ing. You might con­sid­er flex­itime (which allows employ­ees to work with their pro­duc­tiv­i­ty rhythms and their per­son­al com­mit­ments), telecom­mut­ing (which keeps employ­ees hap­py and effi­cient) or job shar­ing (which means you can keep hold of val­ued employ­ees who might oth­er­wise have to leave your busi­ness entirely).

If you’re look­ing for the ulti­mate change that could make all the dif­fer­ence to your employ­ees and the bot­tom line of your com­pa­ny, you should con­sid­er adopt­ing Clear Review’s per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware. Click here to watch a 7‑minute demo now.