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To stay competitive, your business needs to remain active and adaptable. In this blog post, we look at small, effective ways in which you can change your performance management processes.

At Clear Review, we recently ran a poll that indicated how managers and company leaders can become stuck in their ways and afraid of change. Our study revealed that an incredible 65% of companies are still using annual performance reviews, despite evidence to suggest they aren’t helpful.

Change can be difficult, complicated and even frustrating at times. But unless you overcome your fear and start to make changes to your performance management system, nothing will ever improve. Employees and managers will remain dissatisfied and disengaged and your employees might leave your company for one that is more forward-thinking and progressive.

2018 is still young and there is plenty time for your company to evolve. Below are just a few key changes you can put in place this year that could revolutionise your performance management system.

Remove all the unnecessary clutter and complications

2018 is all about streamlining. Take a step back this year and adopt a minimalist approach to all things in your company. If there is a workplace process that holds things up or frustrates employees, streamline it or eliminate it. If your organisation is bogged down in unnecessary data that is taking up a lot of management and HR resources, take the time to seriously consider what data is actually necessary, or conducive to great performance.

Finally, re-evaluate the performance management software in use in your company. Some packages come with lots of bells and whistles and, while they may look impressive during a software sales pitch, many of these features don’t add any value in reality. When it comes to performance management and employee appraisal software, take a leaf out of the seminal One Page Talent Management book and eliminate complexity. Find a package that is so easy to understand and use that it doesn’t require any user training. After all, you should be focusing your energies on training managers to have great performance conversations and not how to use your online system.

If you haven’t done so already, introduce regular one-to-one performance discussions

As we mentioned above, some companies are still behind the times when it comes to adopting continuous performance management methods. You might be reluctant to introduce regular check-ins for a number of reasons. Perhaps you have become accustomed to your existing annual appraisals. Maybe you’re worried about what will happen if managers don’t adopt the changes or if employees complain even more than they do already. However, you shouldn’t let your fear get in the way of a change that could seriously boost productivity and performance in the long run.

There are a few things to remember when implementing this change, or any others on this list. Luckily, we have written a blog post about how to overcome fear when changing a performance management process.

Switch from annual appraisal software to continuous performance review software

If you are transitioning from a traditional annual appraisal to a more agile form of performance management, it makes sense to trade in your old HR software for HR performance review software that will accommodate your new system.

Look for software that promotes regular communication, allows for real-time feedback and doesn’t just centre around a single yearly performance discussion. As mentioned above, you should also find a package that is simple and easy to use.

Finally, make sure the experts behind your software have an extensive performance management background and expertise so they can help you to succeed with implementation and user adoption.

Finally, ditch those performance ratings (if you can)

Ratings have fallen out of favour in recent years, yet many companies still make use of performance ratings to some extent. You might be reluctant to let them go because you use ratings to determine whether an employee is entitled to a bonus or a pay rise. However, there are ways to fairly evaluate performance without the use of ratings. On top of this, clinging to performance ratings could be seriously damaging employee productivity and morale. This is the perfect time to say goodbye to them for good and to transition to a more qualitative system of performance management.

That said, we recognise that removing ratings can be a step too far for some companies at this stage in their evolution, and if that’s the case, you can still implement the other recommendations in this article whilst keeping your ratings.

Become more flexible with regards to your performance management system

Flexibility is the biggest sought-after workplace perk. This is something we have known for a while, and demand for flexible working is growing by the year. Flexibility is a huge issue for both men and women, with men demonstrating that they crave flexibility just as much.

Despite this, not all companies are quick to offer flexible working options, which comes to their detriment. A lack of flexibility can impact retention levels, recruitment efforts and employee morale. We’re not suggesting that implementing flexible working options is easy, or even possible for every single business. However, if it is possible to offer flexible working options, it’s well worth the effort.

There are a number of ways you can adapt your performance management processes to accommodate flexible working. You might consider flexitime (which allows employees to work with their productivity rhythms and their personal commitments), telecommuting (which keeps employees happy and efficient) or job sharing (which means you can keep hold of valued employees who might otherwise have to leave your business entirely).

If you’re looking for the ultimate change that could make all the difference to your employees and the bottom line of your company, you should consider adopting Clear Review’s performance management software. Click here to watch a 7-minute demo now.