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Reducing administration in your performance management process

Employers are struggling to develop performance management practices they believe are effective; it is no wonder organisations are questioning if traditional methods are outdated – or even if they indeed ever did work. [1]

Performance management should establish objectives for individuals to understand their part in the organisational mission and goal, improve individual performance to aid teams, and hold individuals to account for their performance. However, all too often this has merely resulted in the dreaded annual appraisal.

So, what can be done to make the experience positive, forward-thinking and more effective?

Regular communications

Encouragingly for an era of apps and automated dashboards, feedback can be just as powerful coming personally or impersonally, in face-to-face discussions or through technology [1].

Technology can be utilised to provide instant feedback – both manager-to-employee and employee-to-manager – in order to ensure that communications are regular, and admin is reduced by reducing the number of meetings scheduled and eliminating the requirement to book formal meeting rooms.

The critical thing is that information must be conveyed clearly, whatever the means of sharing, in order to allow employees to monitor their progress towards goals [1].


A sure-fire way to disillusion staff and reduce their motivation is by losing, misplacing or not completing their proof of progress – easily done with a paper-based process!

Progress can be tracked effectively and securely with online performance management systems. An online performance management system will protect your employees’ data whilst remaining accessible to those who require it.

Performance managementREVIEWING

Managers spend a large proportion of their time on people management and administrative tasks, including reviewing data and building a bigger picture from this.

However, paper-based forms do not allow for easy comparison of an entire year’s worth of development, as they provide merely a snapshot of one part of the year. Online systems provide a broad dashboard along with the finer details for simple memory refreshes, eradicating the time spent drowning in piles of paper!


For a busy manager with a wide-reaching team, it can be tricky keeping tabs on each individual – was it Katy or Graham attending the course next week?

An online performance management system should allow you and your team to send each other automated notifications when the system is updated by either party. Employees can note their own development and managers can provide coaching, comments or concerns, all whilst sending an automated notification to keep each other in the loop – resulting in less time duplicating information on one-liner emails.


Team reviews are renowned for being difficult to arrange. Stacks of paper, unorganised mess, no consistency to make comparisons – sound familiar?

Whilst paper-based forms do not allow for easy comparisons, online performance management systems provide managers with a ‘Managers’ View’ dashboard, allowing an overview of their entire team’s performance throughout the year. This allows managers to evaluate whether individuals have been rated fairly in relation to the rest of the team, whilst accurately reflecting on the team’s performance.


Performance management methods do work, and always have worked – but workers are more time-short than ever before.

By reducing or even eliminating the lengthy admin involved in performance management, you can allow your employees to focus on their personal development, and your managers to focus on coaching – all to align with your organisation’s own objectives.

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[1] CIPD, ‘Could do better? Assessing what works in performance management’. December, 2016.

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