How to Streamline Performance Reviews

November 24, 2021

Ever feel like your performance reviews are a “necessary evil?” When you send out that email saying, “Hey, time for your performance review cycle,” do you hear groans throughout the office? 

We get it. Old school, manual performance review can be tedious, drawn-out affairs that take way too long and suck up too much employee time. 
The good news is: it doesn’t have to be that way. 

You can streamline your performance reviews. 

With a little prep and some ingenuity, you can automate and consolidate your performance review process, getting your employees the feedback they need, and getting actionable data on the entire workforce without spending unnecessary weeks and months. 

Here’s how you can streamline your performance review cycle. 

How does streamlining help? 

Streamlining your performance reviews is all about improving your performance review cycle by making it less taxing on your employees who complete and administer each review within a cycle. 
So what is streamlining? Let’s take a look at a very un-streamlined review process. 

The Old Way: A Frustrating Time Suck

HR decides that the cycle must kick off on November 10th and be completed by December 10th. HR manually sends out an email to each employee that says, “hello. You have until December 10th to complete your evaluations. Attached, are the forms you need to complete. Please fill them out, and then email them back to HR.” 

December 9th comes. Only 10% of the forms have been returned. HR manually follows up, emailing, “Don’t forget! You have 1 day to complete these forms!” 

The next day, 75% of the forms are completed. Now, HR has to manually go around and email each employee who hasn’t completed their review, taking up valuable employee time. 

This doesn’t even account for setting in-person review meetings, analyzing performance data, completing sign-offs or passing the completed forms to the right manager. It’s a disorganized disaster that falls upon HR to sort through and untangle before the holidays hit. 

Not. Fun. At. All. 

Streamlining: Easy and Engaging!

Streamlining makes this process easier. With streamlining, you automate and centralize the entire performance review process -- automatically sending out forms, following up with folks who haven’t completed their reviews, and storing the data in a centralized space that is easy to access. 

This process reduces the amount of manual back and forth required when employees forget to turn in their forms or when managers request previous years’ feedback when writing a current evaluation. It makes the process simpler, less confusing, and faster. 

And when your review process is easy, employees are more likely to provide you with actionable feedback.
Think about it: your employees have a thousand tasks they need to take care of. Completing a performance review is one task. If they have to spend an inordinate amount of time chasing down forms, figuring out how to save feedback onto a new format, attach the form, send the form -- all these manual elements -- they’re not going to spend that time actually being thoughtful about the feedback itself. They’ll be so encumbered by the admin side that they’ll blow through the feedback section just to get it done. 

That defeats the whole point.

When you take the frustrating, convoluted admin element out of the performance review process, your employees have more bandwidth to devote to the review itself. You get better, more thoughtful feedback that the organization and employees can use to make competent decisions for company strategy and development. 

How to streamline your performance review process

Streamlining your performance review process is a net benefit to your company and workforce. It is possible to take some positive streamlining steps right away with the tools you already have at hand. But, if you want to really unlock the benefit of performance review streamlining, you’ll need to partner up with a Performance Management System, like PerformYard. 

Let’s take a look at some steps you can take right now to improve your performance cycle.

1. Automate Everything 

From your review cycle announcement, to the feedback guides, to your performance review kickoff, you can and should automate all of these emails. Even without access to a great performance management system like PerformYard, you can schedule emails to auto-send at predetermined times. 

Schedule a heads up that your cycle will commence soon. Then schedule a kickoff email. After, schedule two or three emails as follow-ups throughout your review cycle. Then, schedule a better late than never email that goes out after the cycle has closed, just to pick up all the stragglers. 

You can write those emails months ahead of time. You can upload them to your email provider and schedule them weeks or months out. Then, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and watch the review forms come in. 

2. Make forms easy to access and easy to find 

Review forms shouldn’t require jumping through hoops to access or complete. If you’re still doing manual files, make sure they’re in editable PDFs, and attach them to each reminder email. 
If you want to make things even more streamlined and centralized, consider a single portal for all forms. Google Forms is a great, budget-friendly solution. You can create your own Performance Review form, and simply send a link to your reviewers. Once they complete and submit their form, they will receive an email confirmation and copy of their submitted answers. 

3. PerformYard: Streamlined and Centralized 

The steps we outlined above are helpful, but have some drawbacks. When you automate emails through Gmail, you can’t automate reminder emails that only go to the people who haven’t completed their review? When you use Google forms, you can’t (as a manager) go in and find the relevant review for your direct hire from last year. 

You still have to do those manually. 

With PerformYard, you can do these steps automatically. PerformYard provides a single sign-on platform where administrators can create customized review templates, streamline messaging, send automatic nudges to employees who have yet to complete their reviews, and collate all performance review data in a single repository. 

Employees will have access to a single sign-on portal, where they can easily see what actions they need to complete, can access relevant reviews from past and present, and integrate their goal completion into their review process. Managers can examine a direct hire’s past and present performance while they complete their review -- all without leaving the PerformYard platform. 

We like to think of PerformYard as “streamlining” the streamlining process. We’re making efficiency even more efficient. 

Performance Reviews can be easy 

When you streamline your performance review cycle, you liberate yourself from the headache-inducing admin and tedious repetition. Messaging is automated. Forms are easily collected, stored, and accessed. HR can easily examine company performance to make informed decisions for compensation, promotion, and company strategy.

With PerformYard, you take streamlining a step further. With a single centralized system accessed by employees, managers, HR, and leadership; you can automate messages and reminders, collect and analyze data seamlessly, and customize review templates to fit your organization’s needs. 
Curious to know how partnering with PerformYard can help you streamline your review process? Get a free PerformYard demo today!

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