Whether you’re a top company, a rapidly growing enterprise or a small business just starting out, performance management is key to ensuring you have productive staff who are contributing to your company’s success.

Top companies like Accenture, Adobe and Deloitte have shown that managing performance shouldn’t mean waiting for annual reviews to roll around, ranking employees on a set of hard to measure criteria and being knee deep in paperwork.

The focus has shifted. Companies are realising the importance of having a continuous performance management process involving agile goal-setting, real-time feedback, and regular check-in meetings with employees.

Performance management software is an essential part of monitoring this process and providing insights into employee performance and company growth. Here are seven ways SMEs can benefit from introducing performance management software:

  1. Simplify Performance Management Processes

The golden rule of performance management for SMEs is to keep processes simple. Tedious and time-consuming paperwork is a productivity killer for managers and HR staff alike. Performance management software changes this. Objectives, performance appraisals and personal development plans are recorded and stored in a central database that is accessible by managers, employees and HR.

  1. Introduce SMARTer Goal Setting

Setting objectives for individual employees becomes a more collaborative process when performance management software is involved. These goals can be planned using the SMART criteria and agreed on by managers and employees, ensuring that they align with the company’s overall business goals. Progress updates can be added to enable both managers and employees to keep track of goal achievements.

  1. Receive Real-time Feedback

Real-time feedback is an important part of a continuous performance management process. It allows employees to request and receive feedback in-the-moment, directly after an event has occurred. Performance management software encourages positive and constructive feedback, which can be accessed via phone, tablet or desktop PC as soon as it has been given.

  1. Improve Collaboration Amongst Teams

Performance management software improves collaboration amongst teams. Software is increasingly being modelled on social media with features including real-time updates, user-friendly interfaces and social recognition tools which allow employees to thank team members, give points and give positive feedback in a fun and social way. Team members can access all of the information about their department’s goals, progress and milestones from their own individual devices.

  1. Enable More Efficient HR Processes

Performance management software allows for faster, more efficient and more accurate management of employee performance. Data can be exported and downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet by HR teams. This allows HR to monitor performance and progress across the organisation and better determine training and development needs of staff.

  1. Secure, Backed-Up Employee Data

Good performance management software will provide a secure place to store employee data. The latest data encryption technologies and continuous backup to cloud-based storage means data is safe and secure.

  1. Get Ahead of the Competition

Performance management is a hot topic amongst big companies and analysts like Josh Bersin from Deloitte have predicted that performance management will evolve faster than ever with companies across the board looking to redesign this core element of HR. Doing so before your competitors could give you a much needed edge thanks to more productive employees and a stronger knowledge of the training and development needs of your teams.

About the Author:

Stuart Hearn is a performance management specialist who keeps his head in the cloud when it comes to online performance management software. He currently runs Clear Review, an innovative performance management software system. You can find more articles on current best practice in performance management on Stuart Hearn’s LinkedIn profile.