How Technology Can Transform Performance Appraisal By James Tredwell on September 13, 2019 Information Technology (IT) has penetrated into each sector of the industry and is trying to reach innermost of the processes followed by organizations. If it has not reached some sectors, it has at least reached their doors and is knocking hard to enter in. Those who have not adopted technology in their business operations are only paying a deaf ear to the immense changes it is bringing in the world around us. Technology is massive and is the monarch of the world around us. Yet, some people will find it astounding that it can also impact this one of the most important HR processes called PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL. Technology and Performance Appraisal Well, I believe almost every one of you has a clear idea of what performance appraisal is. For those who are new to it, it’s an evaluation of employee’s performance, over a period of time, on various parameters set by the organization. Many of us, employed by private organizations, wait for it all through the year to get that desired hike both in post and pay. A number of tools and technologies are utilized to conduct this process of performance evaluation. The thing which we are going to deal with in this post is how technology can impact the overall way performance appraisal is conducted or takes place. Admittedly, each of the traditional performance appraisal methods such as Ranking method have used technology in one way or the other, the upcoming IT changes can surely transform the way the arena of performance appraisal. Why Use Technology for Performance Appraisal The amount of effort and energy the human resource department invests in the process of performance evaluation can only be imagined due to the herculean nature of the task. Implementing technology in various areas can take major burden off the shoulder of HR executives and thus, leave them with more time to focus on the core areas of their job. Automating different processes, the HR personnel can reduce time and efforts needed for paper work and other mundane yet necessary tasks. Also, because the performance evaluation has mostly been done through an automated process, there is less scope for errors whenever numerical data is in question. This instills trust in the mind of employee about his appraisal being non-erroneous. How Technology Can Transform Performance Appraisal: 1. Recording Data: A lot of data goes into measuring the performance of the employee. The basic step in the process of performance evaluation is gathering data. Technology can be utilized in this very foremost stage to collect the relevant data. Data about employee absenteeism, customer complaints received, recorded appreciations, participation in knowledge-oriented activities, etc. can all be stored using the latest technology. Automating processes can help record, gather, and sort data as per the set parameters. Implementing latest technology to capture employee log in and log out times, absenteeism, etc. can directly present the HR professionals with the required figures rather than loads of data that needs to be analyzed. With the application of technology, a single page can give all the basic information needed to measure an employee’s performance. 2. Implementing Electronic Performance Appraisal Systems: With the installation of electronic performance appraisal systems, the HR department can easily gain online access to wide variety of information with ease. No matter which location of the office they are operating from, they can view the information related to all employees of the organization. At the same time, team leaders can be empowered to input data about performance of employees on a monthly or regular basis in these systems. Take for instance, 360 degree appraisal method, all the people participating in the appraisal process can input their feedback at the same time during the day through an online appraisal system. Imagine the amount of time each one saves by not filling paper-based form or waiting for their turn to give feedback. In the same way, the process also needs the input of the employee whose performance is being evaluated. With online appraisal systems, the employee can answer certain questions or give the desired information to the HR department with minimum time and cost investment. 3. Goal Setting and Tracking: With the development of apps and software, it is possible for the human resource department to implement such systems wherein employees can set short-term and long-term goals. Later, superiors can approve these goals and can also quantify their value in terms of contribution towards the growth of the organization. Each goal can have points so that at the end of the term, the HR executive can easily retrieve data about the number of goals achieved or the value delivered to the organization in a jiffy. These systems can also help valuing the employee achievement with the standard set by the organization and easily show the gap between expected and achieved performance, if any. Just compare this with, collecting data from different superiors under which the employee worked, meeting the team managers to know the value of each contribution for the organization, and blah blah. Even imagining it is tiring me out! Thank You Technology! 4. Application of Technology in Other Areas Admittedly, the output of all these systems can be implemented in fastening the performance appraisal and make it simpler. The information gathered from these IT tools can further be utilized to take major decisions like shuffling departments for employees based on the data about performance in various areas, succession planning, giving more challenging tasks, or identifying training needs where there is dearth of high performance despite amiable conditions. You can choose between a licensed software package and a customized software package for putting a system in place to make the performance appraisal process easy. Many organizations like the idea of official mobile and web apps so that data can be captured without any delay. Some apps can even capture and sort the data even without employee involvement. It totally depends on you to what extent you wish to avail of the available technology and automate the existing processes to simplify the performance appraisal process and make it less time-consuming. About Author: Ankit Patel is a Project/Marketing Manager at PeppyOcean, a leading on demand app development company. As a hobby, he loves to write about new and upcoming technology, mobile development, web development, programming tools, business, social media, and more.