Our CHRO Diane Strohfus recently discussed how you should be thinking process first when it comes to deploying your Continuous Performance Management activities. While process is important, it’s critical to evaluate the tool you are selecting to deploy this process carefully. Legacy performance management systems have been very expensive to maintain and were not user friendly. We are in the new age of ‘employee experience first’, and with that in mind, let’s review what you should look for in a Continuous Performance Management solution:

1. Employee focused

Most legacy performance management systems have been built for HR to drive performance processes, there has been a big shift in approach here. Now, it is about providing a great experience that puts employees first and helps them feel like they can grow their careers.

  • The questions to ask –
    • Is the tool simple enough, and will my employees like this system?
    • Can they have development conversations with anyone they want?
    • Can they connect with the culture of the organization?

2. Productivity and results are important

HR teams in the past have tended to select systems purely based on the functional/process coverage of a solution, but it is becoming important to think about systems of productivity (operational systems) that employees work in day-in-day-out. A performance management system needs to tap into what is being done to meet company’s goals in these systems and help employees achieve results.

  • Questions to ask:
    • Is the entire company aligned on top company goals?
    • How easy is it to see progress and alignment across the organization?
    • Is there a bottom-up alignment capability to provide feedback and progress on top company goals?

3. Insights/Analytics

This has been traditionally a frustrating area for the HR teams, with very few legacy solutions offering good operational insights. With a continuous process you want insights at your fingertips, not just for the HR department but for all the managers and department heads to have access to this data. By doing so the entire organization can benefit from these insights, not just HR.

  • Questions to ask:
    • Are there pre-packaged insights to drive performance management processes?
    • Availability for HR, Manager, Employee, and C-level insights.
    • For advanced organizations, you want to start thinking about Natural Language Processing analytics that will automatically highlight issues that are coming up in conversations and feedback processes.

4. Integration

In many cases, your SoR (System of Record, typically your Core HRIS) may not be your choice for your SoE (System of Engagement, typically the employee facing system) on the performance front.

  • Questions to ask:
    • What additional problems could you solve with the right data, and what would that data be?
    • Do I have a bi-directional integration capability?
    • Is my system able to handle all the data, for ex: slice and dice based on demographic information that you want to get insights on?
    • Does your vendor provide a professional services team who can help on the journey?

5. TCO (Total cost of ownership)

A Continuous Performance Program has a lot of processes throughout the year like goal conversations, development conversations, peer feedback and feedback cycles. Having a system that has self-service capability is important, as you don’t want to rely on consultants to help you with all of this.

  • The questions you want to ask are –
    • Can I launch any performance activity by myself?
    • Can employees-managers do most of the activities themselves?
    • Do have an overall picture of the program?

As we are building out our solution, these are the high-level themes we are considering. Ultimately our goal is to provide you and your employees a delightful product experience, and in future posts, I hope to share more details about each of the functional areas within our suite and some exciting projects we are working on. We would love to hear from you if you have thoughts please don’t hesitate to contact me at anup@betterworks.com.