Useful HR Tools for Performance Management

Do your HR tools for performance management help employees improve?

In one survey, just 14% of employees strongly agree that they were inspired to improve their performance after a review. When employees don’t improve, performance reviews are a waste of time for HR, management, and employee.

If you’re conducting reviews without seeing improvement, it’s time to rethink your process. In this article, we will explore four useful tools for performance management, You’ll learn how your HR team can use each strategy within your organization.

First, let’s define performance management tools and learn how HR influences the performance management process.

What Are Performance Management Tools?

When thinking about HR tools for performance management, consider three questions:

  1. What do you want to measure?
  2. What will the measurement process look like?
  3. How will you support employees as they reach for professional goals?

Using the right tools, such as those offered in PerformYard software, will allow you to answer the first two questions. PerformYard is designed to support HR professionals as they move from a manual review process to a more formalized review process.

The platform can help you determine which metrics you're going to track and provide you with a streamlined process for tracking those metrics. Without a tool like PerformYard, it's very hard to keep track of all the review cycles, goals and data points for each employee.

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So, why is it so important to use the right performance management tools?

For starters, using the right tools can reduce employee turnover and improve organizational alignment.

Below, you’ll find information on four types of performance management tools:

  • Reviews and check-ins
  • Goal management
  • Continuous feedback
  • Performance management reporting

Once you understand the HR performance management process, you can use PerformYard to its full potential.

How Does HR Play a Role in Performance Management?

The role of HR in performance management is to facilitate the review process. HR develops performance management strategies that support the goals of the company and its individuals. HR can have a positive impact on employee motivation by understanding staff talents and finding ways for them to use those talents. 

A well-developed HR performance management process can also identify performance gaps and develop strategies to fill in those gaps.

HR is a mediator between management and employees. The HR department is responsible for creating a fair and accurate process. HR people also ensure employees feel heard and supported, and that management can track employee performance.

What is HR performance monitoring?

Not only does HR facilitate the review process, but the department can also help continuously monitor performance. That might be done through the use of a 90-day review for new employees or more informal check-in meetings with long-time employees.

A continuous strategy fosters an environment of learning and development. Through the use of performance monitoring, HR can correct assumptions or tweak processes mid-course instead of waiting months for the next official performance review.

Top HR Tools for Performance Management

HR tools for performance appraisals go beyond a one-time survey or a single yearly review. The best tools are used throughout the year to support the goals of the organization. 

Reviews and check-ins

Reviews, and their more informal counterpart, check-ins, evaluate an individual's performance. Reviews can identify strengths and weaknesses, allow management and HR to provide feedback, and help employees set new goals or adjust existing goals.

The more often reviews are conducted, the more likely employees will reach the goals they set.

That doesn’t mean you have to have weekly reviews. We know you’re busy. Instead, try these HR tools for performance management:

  • Annual reviews
  • 360 Reviews
  • Quarterly check-ins

Annual reviews

An annual review is the most comprehensive of the performance management tools and techniques. It should assess a wide variety of skills including:

  • Communication within teams and the organization as a whole
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Quality and accuracy of work
  • Punctuality and reliability, which also includes attendance
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Accomplishment of goals

An annual review may also include key performance indicators (KPIs) that are specific to your organization or the position. 

You might start the review process by asking each employee and manager to fill out a form. An annual review should also include a face-to-face meeting with transparent feedback and specific examples. The meeting should include time for the employee to ask questions and provide feedback of their own.

360 Reviews

360 Reviews can be conducted on their own at any time throughout the year. They are designed to give managers and employees a broader perspective on performance by enabling peers to provide feedback to colleagues.

These types of reviews are especially effective for teams in which managers don't work directly with employees on certain projects. They also work for organizations in which employees have cross-functional relationships with different departments.

HR can get the most out of the 360 review process by asking the right questions:

  • What does the employee do well? Share examples.
  • What can the employee improve on? Support with examples.
  • Share examples of how the employee lives up to x or y key values.

Conducting a 360 review is often the hardest part of the performance management process from an HR standpoint. You'll have to coordinate multiple reviews for every employee, remind people to fill out the reviews, and gather the data in one place. That's hard to do over email, but it's easy to do with PerformYard's 360 review management process.

PerformYard will send reminders to each employee who needs to fill out a review, track review completions, and compile the data into easy to read reports.

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Quarterly check-ins

Employee check-ins aren’t that different from traditional performance reviews. Both include meetings that are meant to discuss progress, goals, and share feedback. The difference is the frequency in which they occur.

Quarterly check-ins are conducted every three months. They feel less formal than an annual check-in, putting employees and managers at ease and enabling a free flow of ideas. 

Employees can sometimes feel like they’re being “checked on” instead of having someone who is just “checking in”. You can avoid micromanagement by establishing clear, meaningful goals. Be sure to provide employees with the autonomy to decide how they want to meet those goals.

Goal management

For reviews and check-ins to be successful, HR must track the goals set during the review process. PerformYard is one of the best HR tools for performance management in terms of tracking goals. The platform makes it easy for employees and managers to monitor goal progress and use this data in every review cycle.

HR should also promote continuous evaluation of those goals at the individual, departmental, and organizational levels. This process is a lot easier with a tool like PerformYard, which ties company goals to individual goals.

Different goal management techniques include:

  • Link employee goals to reviews
  • Cascading goals
  • Tracking KPIs

Link employee goals to reviews

It's not enough to review the performance of employees. You have to make improvement tangible. That’s why the role of HR in performance management also includes linking employee goals to reviews.

Helping employees set goals that are based on information from the review process ensures that their goals align with the company’s goals. This approach also clarifies expectations for employees.

Cascading goals

Cascading goals align the organization from the top to the bottom. They are broken down into clear deliverables that are personalized for every employee. Cascaded goals are easy for HR to document because there’s a clear line from one employee’s goals to the next. PerformYard's software platform is designed to make it easy to cascade goals.

hr tools for performance goals

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Managers and employees will always be able to see how their goals line up with organizational goals. When an employee checks off a goal, the organizational goal will update to show progress. This type of alignment ensures the entire company is moving in the same direction.

Tracking KPIs

KPIs are the way performance is measured. They can be used to see how well individual employees are performing or to evaluate the success of a particular departmental effort. 

For example, you might challenge one sales employee to increase the number of new contracts they sign within a certain timeframe. This is easily measured and can be compared to how many new contracts they signed before the goal was implemented.

Software is the best way to track KPIs. It allows you to combine goal-setting, the review process, and KPI tracking in one place. A software dashboard can help HR dive into performance and compare it to your business's core mission.

Continuous feedback

Continuous feedback includes any kind of feedback that is delivered regularly. Its broad definition allows companies to modify it to meet their needs. 

You could schedule structured reviews as part of the continuous feedback process, or you could use an informal system of check-ins that take place randomly.

A few different feedback options include:

  • 1:1 Feedback
  • Employee recognition

1:1 Feedback

The quality of the feedback you provide to employees is important. Sending a memo or a quick email isn’t enough. We recommend 1:1 feedback.

A one-on-one meeting can be as informal or as formal as you would like. Whether you’re meeting in the office or catching up over a cup of coffee, make sure your meeting has an agenda to ensure both parties stay on topic.

For example, you may want to determine if you want to have a goal-setting meeting or if you want to discuss a recent performance review. Once you determine the goal for the meeting, you can determine what information to bring and what types of questions you should ask.

It's also important to document these meetings. PerformYard has specific tools for meeting documentation, allowing managers and employees to track meeting discussions and refer back to them during annual reviews.

With regular one-on-one meetings, you can build a trusting relationship where both parties feel like they can relax, Meeting more often provides both parties with the ability to discuss topics that sometimes get overlooked, like professional development.

Employee recognition

Employees want to know that their hard work is appreciated, but don’t assume you have to pass out prizes. 

A genuine thank you card can have an even bigger impact than a gift card. If you do want to go the prize route, make sure you choose things your employees want. For example, most employees would love to earn an extra day off, while they are likely to roll their eyes if they find out they have won a free lunch.

Performance management reporting

Performance management reporting includes defining trackable metrics that define and measure the company's overall success. It also includes creating reports for teams, departments, and individuals

These reports allow you to record metrics that are relevant to company goals, identify activities that will help you grow, and pinpoint weaknesses that can be addressed. PerformYard reports can show where employees stand in relation to the rest of your team. 

These reports can be kept confidential, shared with managers, or shared with the whole team. It all depends on how you want your performance review process to function.

It is important to review the information in these reports neutrally. The information is not meant to be taken personally. Instead, it is meant to provide a snapshot of where the employee is so they can see where to go next.

Performance Management Software Can Help

Developing the right HR tools for performance management is a huge job, but it pays off. When you take the time to create an effective performance management process, your company will thrive because its employees feel challenged, supported, and motivated.

The right performance management software can make managing all the aspects of your strategy easier. 

Check out our case studies to see how PerformYard custom performance management software can meet your organizational needs.

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