Humans and systems

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When Bowland solutions are bidding for a new client the features (and benefits for the marketeers amonst you) clearly are important.  Although we would shy away from being described as a product supplier, our online 360 degree appraisal system does have to stand up to the competition from the more traditional suppliers.  So, we have a stage of "can the system do this….?".  Today I want to briefly discuss an area for which the answer is "yes, but do you really want that?".

Putting a 360 online – or even a performance appraisal – helps reduce the administrative burden and that is a good thing.  But, in an effort to reduce the burden, you shouldn’t lose the human element.  So, yes our system can send emails to people all of the time reminding them of what they need to do next, and yes we can email line managers to remind them that they need to conduct appraisals.  But, our most successful clients, with the highest completion rates and the lowest burden are those that leave the feedback recipient – or the appraisee – with the responsibility of getting their feedback completed.

They sit next to most of the people who are giving feedback to them and so having a system send an automated message loses something rather than gains it.



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