!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Web-Based Performance Management Software

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Web-Based Performance Management Software

As Business 2.0 fades into the sunset, I'd like to acknowledge its contributions to my own learning by citing one of the many articles I read with great interest.

"Bosses Get a Helping Hand," by Michael Myser, appeared in the July 2007 issue. It provides an overview of the capabilities of Web-based performance and talent management software, with particular attention to the suite of applications available from SuccessFactors. Other vendors cited are Authoria, Kenexa, Saba, Taleo, and Vurv Technology.

As Myser explains,
A typical [performance and talent management] package provides a resume-like profile that workers and managers can update anytime. When a review period rolls around, employees rank themselves on skills and competencies listed by the company. ...

Managers can adjust the employees' self-ratings up or down and then, during face-to-face reviews, discuss and finalize them. Employees who need improvement can use the software to find online courses, completion of which is recorded by the system.

Meanwhile, managers and the human resources department have a consistent view of each employee's skills and performance and can spot in advance any gaps in their succession plans.
As a complement to Myser's article, you might want to have a look at a brief white paper prepared by CCHKnowledgePoint and available at the Business Forum website. Along with a narrative explanation of the advantages of software-aided performance management, the paper includes a chart summarizing how a software solution can help minimize the pitfalls typically encountered when using a paper-based system. The benefits cited for the software solution are:
  • Clearly stated performance goals, "line of sight" organizational perspective, and targeted job competencies.

  • Managers have a model for clear language and a basis for developing the narrative portion of the review. Legally sensitive and inappropriate language is identified.

  • Help for managers in tracking and documenting performance throughout the review period.

  • Consistent criteria and a systematic method of evaluating performance, i.e., help with avoiding rating biases.

  • Flexibility that allows organizations either to define performance criteria and standards centrally, or to authorize managers to create review practices specific to their business objectives.

  • Encouragement to managers to give regular feedback. Provision of online advice and coaching ideas.

  • All performance data are available for analysis.

  • A step-by-step process and just-in-time learning reduce writing time and remove the most common barriers to completion.

  • Less time is spent drafting and rewriting reviews, allowing more time for manager-employee interaction. Training costs are reduced and HR is freed from policing the process.