Key functionalities for in a performance management solution

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Companies all over the world are setting their sights on rejuvenated performance management. They are replacing outdated and ineffective practices with modern, high-speed programs to strengthen their teams. In previous posts, we discussed in-depth why companies do this. For most companies, the goal is turning an obscure and often daunting HR-driven process into one that inspires employee- growth and helps managers create clarity and alignment. Turning the tides on performance management means insuring our performance management processes create real and measurable value to both employees and the organization.

If you and your team are enticed by the idea of scrapping unproductive processes, and paving the way for impactful changes, here are some of the features you must keep in mind as you search for a platform to help achieve these objectives.

Seamless Integration with Operational Applications

We put this at the top of list as a performance management platform’s ability to integrate with other enterprise platforms will impact its value across all other functionalities. Seamless integration allows actual performance data to be used in various capacities; beginning with goal setting, to real-time tracking, coaching and feedback. If you’re still only relying on employees to self-report and managers to give unbiased performance reviews, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A transparent, data driven process is much more likely to prove impactful, to engage employees and to drive results.

Goal Setting

This is a core aspect of any performance management platform. Basic capabilities should allow managers and employees to set and oversee short-term, long-term, ad-hoc, seasonal or any other type of goal, relating to a myriad of topics. For real impact, the system should allow doing this quickly and at scale. But, and this is a BIG BUT, it should still be able to make goals    personal and hyper-relevant to each employee. This means that the system should proactively suggest, or even create and adapt goals for employees that are derived from benchmarks or team goals, and which are based on each employee’s profile (more on this later).

Performance Tracking

Behind every successful team are many successful, determined employees who were driven to achieve   meaningful goals and kept track of their performance. A great solution will keep employees and managers updated in real-time regarding performance (or lack-there-of), flag issues and encourage focusing on targets proactively. If your team uses a certain work tool frequently (such as their CRM or Service Platform), the performance management system should be embedded within, or linked- to this system. This will engage employees with their goals, performance status and feedback, all within their natural environment, and allow for a substantial focus on performance to become an integral part of daily routine.

Guidance and Coaching

Any solution you implement should provide a channel to relay instantaneous feedback between managers and peers. Additionally, it should allow for automated, performance-based updates from within the platform itself. This will provide employees and teams with necessary guidance to make more meaningful work-related choices.

Going beyond just feedback, platforms should offer coaching and even learning in employees’ moments of need, based on their goals. Relevant functionalities offer more than just access to learning materials or setting up appointments for coaching sessions. They should automatically ‘sense’ performance and knowledge gaps and trigger calls to action, microlearning, and performance support activities, accordingly. These will allow employees time for course correction and improvement before things ’break’ and wrong behaviors take root, becoming the new norm.

Performance Review

Another staple of performance management is performance review mechanisms. As part of the evolution of performance management, companies have shifted focus from annual reviews to continuous feedback and coaching targeted at employee growth. This should not mean just conducting more frequent reviews. Taking a bad process and making it more frequent rarely generates better outcomes.

Your choice platform should create a framework to support managers with setting up, conducting and analyzing reviews- all the time. It should allow them to continuously update goals, engage employees and provide feedback. It should prompt employees and managers with reminders and proactively suggest interventions based on employee performance data. Lastly, it should arm employees and managers with data and recommendations that will make review discussions transparent, relevant and, most importantly – actionable.

Employee Profiles, Segmentation and Analysis       

As technology evolves, it gives us better tools to understand our workforce at scale to infer on the individual. Advancements in AI and machine learning allow more advanced performance management solutions to discover behavioral patterns and segment our workforce into groups differentiated by characteristics (e.g. tenure, confidence levels, engagement levels, etc.). This allows us to create a profile for each employee, which give us the power to personalize activities such as performance management and learning at scale. Performance management systems should allow and support executives in this process. It should offer flexibility and adaptability based on employee profiles, allowing employees to move from one segment to another automatically, or, alternatively, based on manager input. Lastly, the analysis-related aspects of the system should offer flexible reporting; this will enable gaining quick, high-level insights from managers regarding overall sentiment and performance in teams and segments.

Some Last Words

Performance management solution is helpful in many ways, but one of the greatest impacts it has on leadership is providing it with the ability to oversee and manage performance without the painstaking, time-consuming tasks that used to plague the industry. New solutions manage most of the tedious aspects of performance management, freeing up leaders to work with their employees in more meaningful ways,  such as offering feedback and coaching.

As teams implement performance management software and incorporate it into their daily work routine, they will see exponential results and witness noteworthy changes in each department. It takes a unified, dedicated team to make a company successful. Intuitive performance management is a stepping stone on the path towards achieving it.

About Centrical

Centrical is an Employee-Centric Performance Management Platform – the “fitness tracker” for the Connected Workforce of the Future.  Centrical empowers employees to boost their work performance through hyper-personalised goals, real time tracking and data-driven feedback and coaching. Deployed with the world’s leading organizations Centrical helps managers drive up employee value day by day. To find out how Centrical can help transform your organization go to or book a live demo.

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