The importance of data in performance management

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Catarina Mendes
Catarina Mendes
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Digital Marketing Manager
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min read
February 8, 2023
March 21, 2024
Analysing employee data
In this article

Performance management can help organisations understand their workforce better, identify top performers and address low productivity. It can also help line managers strengthen their relationship with their employees, helping them identify areas and ways they can boost their performance, for example, through training, coaching or mentoring. 

It also helps employees understand their organisation’s objectives and how their efforts contribute to achieving these, giving them a sense of ownership and pride when attaining certain milestones or goals.

Can this be achieved with a manual process? Do organisations really need a performance management system to get the best results?

In a recent discussion, Roly Walter, Appraisd Founder and CEO and Amira Kohler, Director of Performance and Change at Appraisd invited Hedda Bird, Founder and Managing Director at 3C Performance Management, to discuss all things technology and performance management. 

Among many key issues discussed, several important questions emerged from this conversation: 

Do organisations need performance management solutions if the onus is on people?

  • Is a performance management system a help or a hindrance? 
  • What makes an organisation recognise they need an online solution?

Performance Management - surely it’s about people, not software?

Amira believes there are four key reasons why organisations look for a performance management solution: 

  1. They need to stay up-to-date and competitive
  2. A licence to operate
  3. They have a more global and fluid workforce
  4. They need easier access to data

With so many systems now providing access to data and enabling better data-driven decisions, it feels that data is the currency of the modern workplace. Although all four reasons have merit, HR departments are often pressured by COOs to understand their workforce and provide data on areas such as: ‘who's performing, who's underperforming, are new recruits or graduates proving to be a sound investment.’. In fairness, the only way HR can answer these questions accurately is through the use of some sort of technical solution.

A manual system just doesn't seem to cut it anymore. Organisations using a manual performance management process often mention how difficult it is to access data, how long it takes to collate it and how laborious it is to analyse it on spreadsheets. After all that, they often end up with inaccurate information. In tough times, when COOs might ask some really challenging and difficult questions, having access to data that is accurate and useful is especially key.

“Appraisd has helped us to identify training gaps we didn’t know existed. In last year’s reviews, a significant number of employees said they would like Excel training, which wasn’t in our original plans. As a result, around 40% of the workforce have now had this, demonstrating the value of collating our reviews on an online system.” <div  class="author">Lita O’Brien, Learning and Development Business Partner, Ansell Lighting</div>

While HR and the senior leadership teams can easily see the value of aggregating data and using it for decision-making, what’s in it for employees?

Employees can be wary of technology, especially concerning confidentiality and anonymity. Do employees feel completely comfortable providing honest feedback about their peers or managers? Do they feel able to be completely forthright when providing feedback through a tool knowing that this ‘might come back to bite me’?

It is down to HR to ensure that any system benefits more than just HR or senior leaders. It needs to allow HR access to reliable data, but also allow employees to see the value of using the tool. If an employee can easily track the progress they’ve made over the last few years, by viewing the number of objectives they’ve completed or receiving more feedback, this will help them see the value of a system for themselves.

Any system, no matter how intuitive or intelligent, is only worth its value if everyone understands its purpose and how it benefits them. It is down to the key stakeholders, like HR and senior leaders, to communicate this effectively to make sure everyone trusts and appreciates how the software will enhance their experience at work.

Want to learn more?


Performance Management - surely it’s about people not software?

Watch out latest webinar hosted and presented by Appraisd and accompanied by Hedda Bird, Founder and Managing Director at 3C Performance Management

Performance management platform or people?
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