Asked to describe their confidence levels regarding their own workforce management, employers surveyed by Ventana Research were nearly evenly split: while 51% expressed moderate or high levels of confidence, 49% are only somewhat or not at all confident.
That’s troubling enough but when asked about their workforce management systems:
· Just 41% said they’re satisfied or very satisfied with their current system.
· 42% are only somewhat satisfied.
· 15% are flat-out unsatisfied.
· And another 45% indicated they need new applications to improve their workforce productivity and results.
It’s no wonder that talent and performance management software are among today’s most sought after HR solutions. After all, these solutions deliver a powerful set of benefits including greater productivity, stronger employee engagement, better alignment between company strategy and employee performance, and a stronger capacity for conducting sound succession planning.
So, whether you’re in the market to buy new performance management software or you’re simply looking to upgrade your current solution, remember this important (and often overlooked) guideline: don’t compromise ease-of-use just to get the features you want.
Sure, the solution you choose has to offer the right features. No doubt about it. But if the software is difficult to use, your people will avoid it. No amount of training or clever “promotion” can overcome difficult software. In the end, you’ll not only waste your money but you’ll also let down your customers (i.e., your managers and employees at large) and your senior leadership. And you’ll have gone a long way toward losing their trust.
Fortunately, with the array of robust performance management solutions now available, you don’t have to compromise ease-of-use for features. Not if you do your homework properly and research your options online.
However, when it does come time to consider features, certain ones do top the lists of most organizations. In our experience, are five must-have features:
1. Customizable Performance Review Forms—Cookie-cutter reviews are worthless and a waste of time. The same is true of cookie-cutter software. If a solution doesn’t allow you and your managers to tailor it your needs, move on to another option.
2. Goal Management Tool—Having the ability to manage and track concrete performance goals is not only wise, it’s an imperative for any company that wants to become truly performance driven. A goal management tool that can be used/accessed throughout the entire year (or performance cycle) helps to maintain strong alignment between employee performance and the company’s goals and targets.
3. Journal Entry/Notes Tool—This is an especially useful feature—not just for managers but also for their direct reports, as it helps to keep both parties informed and engaged in ongoing communication about goals, action items, areas for improvement, education and developmental matters, etc.
4. Strong Reporting Function—This makes it easy for managers and HR to run performance reports, conduct proactive succession planning, and share this information efficiently among key personnel, department and functional heads, and senior leaders.
5. eSignatures and Automated Notifications—These are features that enhance compliance, facilitate administrative actions and maximize convenience—all of which help to ensure that people actually enjoy and utilize your software.
If you’re looking for added value, be sure to explore software that offers these additional features:
2. A Learning Management System and Learning Content Integration
3. Compensation Management
4. A Mobile App
These features are becoming increasingly attractive to organizations that value comprehensive solutions that can be accessed from a wide range of devices and technologies.
Bottom line, you no longer have to sacrifice ease-of-use to get the features you need in your performance management software. Research your options carefully and you’ll make the right choice. Even better—you’ll help your company become significantly more performance-driven.