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HR technology is frequently a source of frustration amongst employees and employers. Here are the main culprits (which we at Clear Review have worked tirelessly to avoid).

Technology plays a huge role in modern business. It’s even been termed “The Future of Work” by a recent Adobe study. Technology can bring tremendous benefits, particularly in the form of performance management software. It can help to improve employee performance, engagement and company communication. It can even help to build stronger workplace relationships.

However, before you invest in a performance management software platform to support your performance appraisal software, it’s important to be aware of their common pitfalls. Not all solutions will fit your needs and some will fall far short of your expectations. If you pick the right software and you can experience a huge upsurge in productivity and performance. Pick the wrong one and you’ll suffer from wasted time, frustrated managers and confused employees.

Below are the three biggest bugbears we’ve encountered with regards to performance management software. When we built Clear Review, we had these issues at the forefront of our minds to ensure that own software didn’t fall foul of them – this is why our customers tell us that we have the simplest performance management software in the world.

1. A lot of software is difficult and frustrating to use

In every area of our lives, we strive towards simplicity. It genuinely is the key to success. Simpler workflows and performance management processes result in greater efficiency and more content employees. Just because you’re dealing with advanced technology, this doesn’t mean your performance management software shouldn’t be incredibly simple to use. In fact, the more straightforward and intuitive your package, the better.

HR departments, managers and employees tend to run into problems as a result of ‘feature creep’. This is when software packages gain too many features over time, needlessly complicating the technology. Generally, the more features you add, the less value you get from them and the less user adoption you achieve. Plus, having lots of options means you’ll need to train your staff in how to use the software – something that your busy workforce won’t appreciate and may actively resist.

Of course, if you’ve already chosen an outwardly impressive software package with all the bells and whistles, you can be forgiven for your choice. According to one study, discussed in One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value, when given the choice, camera-users most often select a camera with the most high-tech and diverse features. However, once these consumers were asked to operate their camera of choice, they were unable to get their heads around the design. They became frustrated and, ultimately, picked a camera that was much more simple in nature.

The same is true of performance management software. Many customers approach us because they had previously bought a performance management system that had lots of features and options, but which their staff hated using. Keep simplicity at the forefront of your mind at all times — the easier a package is, the more it will be used and the more benefit you’ll ultimately get from it.

2. HR performance review software can be ‘clunky’

Many of our customers have moved over to Clear Review after experiences with ‘clunky’ software. We hear the word ‘clunky’ all the time, but what does it actually mean?

Software can become clunky when it is designed and produced by people who are experienced in IT and software creation, but who aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about their target user’s daily needs. Such systems are designed from ‘the database out’ — i.e. they start from the premise of what data the system needs to capture, rather than what the end user is trying to achieve at any given point in time.

For this reason, we recommend you look for performance management software solutions that are designed by genuine performance management experts who understand employee and manager motivations.

At Clear Review, we started out in 2006 as a performance and talent management consultancy, designing performance management processes and engaging with employees and managers. We then built software specifically to solve the main problem that we observed time and time again in companies — that employees and managers don’t engage with performance management. This is what makes our performance management software different. Our team also keep up to date with modern HR trends to ensure that our software stays relevant in today’s fast-moving organisations.


3. Sometimes, software adds no real business value at all

No matter what software you pick, you won’t see any real value or benefit if you select a software that focuses on the wrong type of data.

If, for example, you pick an annual review software product, it is likely that the focus will be on collating data and performance ratings in online forms. When the time comes to collect this data, HR executives frequently discover that the data is unreliable and subjective because the recipients have merely regarded these forms as box-ticking exercises and haven’t genuinely engaged with the process. As such, you won’t be likely to receive any business value from your software and your staff will quickly become disillusioned and frustrated.

To ensure real return on investment, it is better to choose software that supports the performance management culture you wish to embed. Do you just want to collate data, or do you also want your managers and employees to engage in meaningful performance and development conversations? If it’s the latter, you’ll need software that is specifically designed to do this.

Software such as Clear Review has been purpose-built to support a continuous approach to performance management that is based on regular check-in discussions, agile goal setting and real-time feedback. Yes, you can still capture and report on performance data with this kind of software, but the primary focus is on supporting employees and managers to continuously improve and develop. Isn’t that what performance management should really be about.

Find out how Clear Review can transform your tired annual appraisals into meaningful performance conversations. Watch our 7-minute performance management software demo now.