How I built a performance management process from scratch (Pt 2: Moving from paper-based to online systems)

By Lee Cooper

In the first blog post of this series, we looked at resources to inspire your first performance management program and how to gain adoption by introducing coaching as an incremental (and important!) step towards continuous performance management.

Once a coaching culture is embedded within the organization, you can take this revised process and migrate it to an online employee performance management system, which can: 

  • Automate most of the performance management process for you
  • Provide additional tools and help reveal valuable data that can be used for business decision-making (like discovering skills gaps or connecting learning to employee development) 
  • Help you refine and iterate on the process itself, (providing that your chosen platform has the flexibility to do so, like Totara Perform
performance management continuum

All too often, companies measure and manage performance through retrospective indicators such as compliance with monthly output or quality targets. By the time the results are known, it is too late to influence the consequences.

Having just-in-time access to a combination of quantitative and qualitative metrics and simple graphics provides an easy, highly effective tool for identifying, reporting and correcting issues or problems before the next day’s work begins.

Sim­plic­i­ty is one of the most impor­tant things to get right in any per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem.

Unfortunately, it's easy to slip into the trap of complicating the process. As Isaac Newton once said

"Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”

This is one of the reasons why the traditional performance management process, start/mid/end of year review, fails; it’s too complex, tries to do too much at each stage and loses its relevance to the employee and manager.

So, ensure your per­for­mance man­age­ment process is sim­ple and user-friendly.

Choosing Totara Perform as your chosen platform enables you to create a user-friend­­ly and customizable platform that you can see an ROI on from day one. 

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Choosing (practical) performance management software

One of the most common complaints I’ve heard about software implementations is that the software or process is too ‘clunky’ and unintuitive; adding more complexity to the process.

This is often because the software is too rigid, has too many features and the process is trying to use all of them. The more features the more complex it can be to use, and the less engagement you will get with the process as a whole.

It’s important to think about what the most impor­tant fea­tures are to you and which ones will add the most val­ue to your users. You can then focus on these few things real­ly well, rather than soft­ware that claims to do everything.

In my next blog, I will be looking at how you can add 360 feedback to your performance management process.