The most common requirement that we are immediately presented with by prospective clients when they first get in touch is “our current employee’s find the current process takes too long and want it to be quicker”. This has been the most common presenting problem over the past 10 years of providing performance appraisal software.
The tempting response is – we can make it go faster. We could
- shorten the form
- take out some of the tiresome narrative process
- increase the amount of rating/bullet points which are quicker to answer
- move it online
- automate the written sections based on common phrases
- rate multiple people at the same time
- and so on…
Is it better though? My suspicion is that we have now “wasted less time” but at the same time we have an even less valued process. Completion rates will fall even further and appraisal conversations will deteriorate.
It is usually possible to make it “go faster” and “be better”. Or to use our standard language it is usually possible to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness. Structurally, we focus on
- What are the key objectives of the appraisal process for the individuals involved and the organisation
- Improving the performance appraisal conversation and gearing the form, the process, training, and communication to that conversation and the objectives from step 1
- Delivering the minimum content and process that we require to meet the key objectives
We may work then on the overall performance management process rather than simply the end of year appraisal but first we get credibility with all concerned by responding to their request for a faster process and also delivering to them a better one.