Employee performance appraisal is an area where many businesses struggle to achieve the results they and their workers are looking for.
Research shows that only 55% of employees believe their employer's appraisal system is effective, while 45% of HR leaders don't think annual performance reviews give an accurate picture of an individual's work and productivity.
Considering how much organizations and their people stand to gain from a truly effective appraisal process, it's worth considering how yours could be improved. You could find that one of the best ways to achieve better results on this front is through automation.
Cost and efficiency
Boosting efficiency is number one on the list of reasons why most companies adopt automated processes. Where performance appraisals are concerned, automation can make the entire process more efficient and less time/cost-intensive by reducing the need for the HR team to take on tasks that could be entrusted to technology.
Systems can be set up to manage routine procedures such as self-evaluation forms being distributed to employees and then passed on to managers for completion before the in-person appraisal takes place.
You could also benefit from introducing an automated process whereby staff use digital forms to submit feedback on their latest appraisal. The information you collect through this channel can be passed directly on to the relevant managers and stakeholders.
Adopting automation in your performance appraisals can help you unlock the valuable benefit of making the entire process clear and consistent for every member of the workforce. Software that has been introduced with the express purpose of managing appraisals and ensuring they're delivered in a systematic way will help everyone know where they stand and what they should expect from the experience.
Another, closely related advantage is organizational alignment, particularly in terms of how individual employee goals are connected to those of the business as a whole. An automated appraisal system will make it easier to track and record staff ambitions and to show how the achievement of these targets will help the company progress towards its own objectives.
Employees shouldn't feel that performance reviews are all about putting staff under the microscope or singling out those who are falling below the required standard. While appraisals are an important way for the business to learn more about its workforce, they're also about giving feedback to your staff, praising them for what they're doing well and providing help in areas where they need it.
Automation makes the appraisal process quicker, easier and more efficient, which gives HR managers and staff more time to focus on providing constructive feedback. You could also find that automating key parts of your appraisals allows you to conduct them more regularly, so the feedback you provide will always be timely and up to date.
As a business operating at the time of the fourth industrial revolution, you need to show that you're keeping up with digital transformation and the latest tech trends in technology, as opposed to being left behind by innovation.
Putting automation at the heart of your performance appraisals is a good way of showing your workforce that the business is evolving and embracing change, rather than ignoring or trying to resist it.
This could prove particularly important if you want to boost your employer brand and meet the expectations of the millennial generation.
Automation can help you realize all sorts of benefits where performance appraisals are concerned, but it's important to remember that exciting new technologies and process innovation shouldn't come at the cost of human engagement.
Most modern, digitally-literate workers will be happy to use software and systems for basic tasks like completing forms, but they’ll also want some reassurance that the basic human element of the human resources department hasn't been entirely replaced by technology.
That's why it's important to make it clear that, while automation may be incorporated into key elements of your appraisal system, the HR team will remain closely involved and will continue to deliver the all-important human touch.
By achieving the right balance of tech-enabled efficiency and human engagement, you can take your performance appraisals to the next level and get the best out of your people.