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What Is Performance Management?

Performance management is the process of developing strategic, ongoing communication between managers and employees, focusing on improving performance from both parties to better serve the needs of the organization. This may take the form of an annual performance review, regularly scheduled feedback sessions, or periodic reviews of company goals, among other approaches.

Contrary to some perceptions, performance management is not about simply rating the work your individual employees have been doing. While individual performance reviews are also important, especially in terms of employee development, effective performance management systems are instead focused on overall development planning. Maintaining a forward-looking approach with an eye toward goal-setting and constructive feedback is essential to reaching objectives and building a more productive work environment for all team members.

So, what is a performance management system? That might entail planning sessions where management lays out performance standards, goals, and objectives for the future. Those sessions should be followed by regular follow-ups, including performance-based assessments of the team’s progress toward those goals. Finally, there should be a performance appraisal session where managers and employees assess how well the organization has met its stated goals and what can be improved in the future. Investing in quality performance management software that tracks your progress and provides real-time insights can be hugely helpful for this process.

What is the performance management process?

So, what is the performance management process? The performance management definition varies a bit from business to business, but there are always four basic steps: planning, monitoring, reviewing, and rewarding. Here’s a quick breakdown of each step and how it helps with upskilling and reskilling the workforce.

Planning is the first step of the performance management process. This begins with setting clear objectives that you can work toward with your performance management plan. You should also take this time to create a personal development plan. That way, you’re not trying to reach these objectives without a clear path laid out.

The next step in the performance management process is monitoring. You need to keep a close eye on the progress you and your employees are making to see if you’re on track to meet the objectives laid out in your performance management plan. If you’re not on track to meet these goals, you may need to consider tools such as attendance and timekeeping enterprise software to help you meet them.

Every once in a while, you should meet with employees for a performance review. During this review, you can evaluate employees to see if the goal you set was realistic, whether an employee gained any useful skills, and if you provided the proper support for employees to meet the goals you set. This is an important part of the process, particularly when it comes to keeping employees up to speed.

Part of the performance management process is rewarding your employees, so don’t forget the final stage. You can offer an employee a bonus, an increase in pay, a promotion, extra vacation time, or the lead on a special project they’ve been wanting to tackle.

What are the benefits of performance management software?

The power of performance management software combined with the benefits of scheduling software and other business tools can help propel your business into the future. If you’re considering using performance management software to improve performance and efficiency for your business, here are some of the benefits.

First off, performance management software makes it easier to identify the areas where employees need improvement. Not only does this help save you time, but it also allows you to focus on the areas that really matter for your employees. In turn, this makes it easier to develop employee talent and allows employees to learn and grow with your business. If you want long-term, loyal employees, performance management software and good payroll software can help.

Performance management software can also help you improve morale around the workplace. Your employees will appreciate having clear-cut goals that they can work to achieve and being rewarded for achieving those goals. Establishing a clear line of communication through performance management software also helps improve relationships between employers and employees.

Improving employee performance can be a long, drawn-out process, but performance management software is with you every step of the way. By allowing you to constantly collect and review data to monitor employee performance, performance management software takes the leg work out of developing employee talent.

Outsourcing to specialists or hiring experienced employees can be expensive and difficult, but performance management software reduces the need for outside hires. By working with your employees to improve their skills, you’re building internal candidates who can step up to the plate when you need a bigger job done.

What can performance management software do for my company?

As a business owner, saving time should be a top priority. HRIS software, including performance management tools, can help you reduce the amount of time you have to spend developing employees for your company. This time you free up can be used to focus on the bigger picture of your business or to handle daily operations that only you can handle. Whatever the case may be, the time you save with performance management software can help you grow your business.

If you have trouble identifying your employees’ weak spots, performance management software can provide a concrete set of data that you can use to decide where employees need improvement. Instead of using the eye test to decide what your employees should work on, you can make those decisions based on evidence. These smarter decisions help save your business time and money, which means it has a better opportunity to grow. 

From time and attendance software to performance management tools that help you develop employee talent, technology is an essential part of the future of business.

To learn more about how performance management software can help your company, check out our blog post "4 Key Questions for Making Smart and Strategic Workforce Management Decisions," which reviews ways to leverage performance management in your workplace, or check out Ascentis Talent Management.

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