Automation of your performance appraisal process can enable you to execute it far more effectively than a manual, or a document based process. Here are ten ways you can achieve more effective results for your organization

1. Make the appraisal process personalized and effective

With manual appraisal processes, it is difficult to have too many variations of the questions and the KRA’s being evaluated. Many companies ask the same questions which are not too relevant to most employees. Nothing puts off employees more than in filling appraisals which are not relevant for them. Make it relevant and personalized, and you can see their interest and satisfaction levels shooting up. However, keep in mind that personalization makes the job very difficult in manual environments, but far more easier in automated environments.

2. Build up a data bank of KRA’s relevant for different functions and fine tune it for relevance over a period

Establishing relevant KPI’s and KRA’s for specific corporate functions and positions is actually the DNA of the organization. If fine tuned for effectiveness over a period of time, it can be the basis for job descriptions, on the job training, incentives and commissions, promotion evaluation, succession planning and many other HR and Corporate initiatives. Change management can become easier by adjusting these KRA’s. Without automation, managing such indicators for all employees over a period of time becomes almost impossible.

3. Decentralize execution

An organization with numerous divisions and locations would find it difficult to execute and co-ordinate appraisals across the company without automation. Decentralizing appraisal execution can be easily achieved in automated systems by giving coordinators at different locations to set up the appraisal, workflows and employee self services at each location for execution. Timeframes can be crunched and the appraisals made more relevant, without compromising corporate standards.

4. Evaluate employees for longer periods effectively

With every appraisal generating a ton of evaluations and documents, it is difficult to retrieve past appraisals quickly in manual or semi automated systems. In automated systems on can access past appraisals quickly and leverage it for various types of employee evaluation situations like promotions, increments, transfers, career planning and change management.

5. Increase the frequency of appraisals

Is an annual appraisal enough to capture what an employee have achieved? With automated appraisal systems you can set up workflows for appraisals every quarter or if required even every month, and manage the execution. This will enable employees and supervisors to remember what actually happened and make it more real for evaluation. The frequency, can be different based on the environment, and can be determined by you.

6. Automate ratings, and display transparency

Very often employees are not clear if the ratings have been given in an objective manner since they see only the results and don’t know how it was determined. By setting up ratings that are aggregated based on individual KRA performances, the result is transparent, leading to satisfaction and acceptability of the appraisal by everyone. Automation makes this transparency visible.

7. KRA’s can be set up to form the basis of strategic initiatives like the balance scorecard

The success of a strategic initiatives like the balance scorecard depends a lot on setting up KPI’s that aggregate well up and down the reporting structure so that corporate goals translate to individual KPI’s. However, the task of obtaining the right evaluation results for these KPI’s often depend on the effectiveness of the appraisal process. With automation these appraisals can be the basis for executing these strategies successfully on the ground to achieve tangible results.

8. Evaluate supervisors too

The way supervisors handle appraisals and assessments is a good indication on how good managers they are. Their comments and ratings itself shows a lot about their style and their capabilities to manage teams and people. With automated systems one can access current and past evaluations easily and hence leverage this for managerial evaluations.

9. Load past appraisals and avoid the paper files

You could load historical appraisals for say past 10 years into automated systems and avoid having to keep a huge cabinet of paper files or a ton of difficult access documents or spreadsheets. Space saving and retrieval are definitely positive goals that can be achieved.

10. Link the appraisal results to high impact outcomes

Appraisals are usually effective only if there are tangible outcomes that occur based on the results. Incentives, Increments, Promotions, training, and even separations are typical outcomes. By recording it or even initiating these from the system, one makes the entire appraisal process meaningful, effective and enabling organizations to achieve their goals.

There are many HRMS suites that can enable you achieve the above. KServeHRMS has a good performance appraisal system which can broadly achieve all of the automation goals mentioned above.

Looking forward to your thoughts on achieving these automation goals for your performance appraisals or assessments.