Organizations around the world are shifting toward continuous performance management for a plethora of reasons, not the least of which is improved employee engagement. A recent Gallup poll shows that only one-third of employees included in the survey feel as though they are engaged on the job, leaving a significant portion of the workforce less efficient and effective than they have the potential to be. With the help of performance management software, companies have an opportunity to boost employee engagement across the board. However, making the transition to a performance management solution takes strategic planning along with specific considerations for HR departments and management teams.
Here are several things to think through when implementing a performance management system.
Assigning a Project Lead
One of the most important aspects of a successful performance management software implementation is having an internal project lead. Whether the decision to take a technology-infused approach to performance management comes from the C-suite or HR, an individual or a team must be in charge of the process from start to finish. Having a dedicated project lead helps the transition take place more smoothly, and it allows for better, faster buy-in from employees and leadership teams. Without someone leading the way, implementation can get off track relatively quickly which could result in a greater expense to the organization and a delay in reaping the rewards of the right performance management solution.
It is also crucial to consider the specific business requirements of the company before implementing a performance management software. Each organization has a unique set of needs and wants out of a technology tool or system, and there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. A performance management tool should work to help achieve the short- and long-term objectives of the business, whether the platform is a need altogether or a replacement for a legacy system. Decision-makers need to understand what they are trying to achieve with performance management and then select the option that offers the most components to help in that mission.
Vendor Selection and Support
Companies may succeed or fail in their implementation of a performance management software because of their vendor selection. There are several technology companies that offer performance management solutions, but not all are intended to meet the unique requirements of every organization. Vendor selection should come down to a few key factors, including features and benefits offered, implementation support, ease of integration with other systems, and ongoing technical support if needed.
Features and Other Offerings
Once business requirements are known, companies need to consider what additional features a performance management vendor has to offer. These may include management dashboards, corporate and individual goal development and sharing, or performance appraisal capabilities. Some performance management vendors also offer separate technology modules to help with professional development and talent management, like career pathing software. This may be a value-add for the business given career pathing offers a way improve employee engagement over time. Organizations should take the time to review all the available features and ancillary software solutions a performance management provider has to offer before deciding which platform to implement.
In addition to ensuring the features of a solution align with business requirements and employee needs, companies must consider the process surrounding the integration of a performance management software. Many organizations operate several different legacy systems, both on-premise and cloud-based applications, not all of which talk to each other to work easily together. Before implementing a new technology like performance management, it is important to understand the integration capabilities with legacy and updated systems, and configuration support available from the vendor selected.
Finally, companies working through an implementation of performance management tools need to consider their strategies for user adoption. Employees and management teams alike may be hesitant to utilize new technology, particularly when there is a lack of understanding as to how it works and what its purpose is in the organization. The project lead combined with other stakeholders in the company should share the reason behind the implementation, offer assistance with getting up and running on the platform, and share the ultimate goal of updating to performance management software. These small steps will help increase user adoption early on, making the return on investment more impactful.
Organizations in need of a change with or addition of performance management software should take care to consider these factors before implementation. Doing so offers a way to create a successful transition without losing productivity or capital expense along the way.
Linda is the Founder and CEO of TalentGuard, a global provider of award-winning career pathing and talent management software. Inventive and driven, she is known throughout the industry for disrupting HR technology and is the inventor of the first commercially available career pathing software solution designed to optimize employee engagement and retention.Prior to TalentGuard, Linda was a key executive at pcOrder, where she helped to transform an early stage start-up into a leading NASDAQ-listed public corporation. She also held executive roles at other start-ups and Fortune 100 companies. When she isn’t immersed in entrepreneurship, Linda enjoys being in the great outdoors, hiking, running marathons, and singing karaoke. She is an advocate of women’s leadership and empowerment and has led various prominent charities, including the Young Women’s Alliance and American Cancer Society. Linda has two amazing sons and is married to her best friend, Frank.