As the market grows more dynamic, companies should assess their employees more often and with the greatest possible accuracy. How can this be done in the COVID-19 pandemic?
Employee assessment – is it necessary?
Periodic employee evaluation is used by practically every large and medium-sized company with an established market position. Even start-ups introduce it within the first few years of operation. In practice, it is needed in every company that is large enough that the owner (founder or partners) does not know all employees personally.
It has a motivational function – employees want a good result, especially when employee evaluation is combined with a bonus and benefits system. In more advanced organizations, which have their own talent management programs, employee appraisal also allows them to select employees for promotion or transfer.
It is also very important in terms of building employee confidence in the company. When employees see that they are subject to transparent criteria, they do not feel harmed or blame the company for their situation.
Periodic employee evaluation – how often?
Until recently, annual appraisals were the most popular way of evaluating progress and employee involvement. However, they are only meaningful and sufficient if:
- the employee is constantly working in the same position;
- no significant implementation or transformation has taken place during the year;
- the market situation of the company has changed slightly;
- the employee’s responsibilities have changed only marginally.
Companies wishing to operate effectively in a dynamic business environment need to evaluate more frequently, ideally after the completion of each project or each significant change concerning the employee. Modern companies use quarterly and, more and more often, “project” employee assessment. This presents them with additional challenges because increasing the frequency of appraisals in practice means:
- more work for HR departments, which rarely have time to carry out additional tasks;
- the need to work on data from a shorter period of time, which brings with it a greater risk of confusion or unreliable results;
- the need to significantly involve managers and colleagues in the process.
Companies that combine a high frequency of evaluation with a more time-consuming SOOP model (system of periodic evaluation of employees), e.g. 360 degrees, must reckon with the need to allocate significant resources to the employee evaluation system.
When we are evaluated by… a computer – automatic employee evaluation?
The role of IT systems, with greater availability of data and better mechanisms for processing it, is constantly growing. Entrusting the assessment of human work to computers may look like an introduction to totalitarian dystopia… However, this is increasing our business reality. Such a solution, although it seems controversial, can have many advantages – employees are evaluated on the basis of clear and familiar criteria, impartially and without wasting their time. How can IT systems support the efficient implementation of employee assessments?
In many professions, KPIs are calculated automatically, based on the data entered, and the manager receives a concise report containing an initial employee evaluation. Of course, this is not enough to assess the individual progress of employees in unique company positions, but it can provide a starting point for the manager and HR department and a process-oriented view of the appraisal system.
The automatic employee evaluation can be supplemented with additional information, including subjective (e.g. impact on team morale). This allows you to combine the aspect of teamwork and individual effectiveness in a clear, understandable way for all parties.
An increasingly common trend is that large companies are switching to a mixed employee evaluation system in which software is used to assist their superiors and HR specialists, who are actually decisive for their development.
However, this solution works best where the company uses the software ecosystem – a single platform that collects a range of data from different areas and allows for multidimensional analysis.
Periodic evaluation – how well can it be done remotely?
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to allow employees to work remotely, which has proved to be a huge challenge for many departments in the organisation, and in particular for the HR department, whose activities are mostly based on interpersonal contacts. Periodic assessments are an integral part of employee development, so in order for them to continue to be carried out without major disruption, they must take on a new form. The tool that enables this is the Productive24 platform.
First of all: automation
Employee appraisals are part of the work of the HR department, which can be largely automated. Such automation is provided by the Productive24 platform and the HRM Productive24 system built on its basis.
HRM Productive24 provides automation of the process of carrying out periodic evaluations, which in a remote form (completely paperless) take place with the use of available ICT tools and allow to collect the necessary data in the system so as to share the feedback with the employee quickly and effectively.
What are the benefits of automation of HR processes related to periodic employee assessments using Productive24? First of all, standardization and saving time and resources, but also one central system that collects a number of data – both strictly HR-related and other – important for HR. Thanks to the fact that the data is not dispersed in different places, it can be analysed in many dimensions, and processes based on this data (e.g. related to KPIs) can keep up with the organisation dynamically.
Examples of HRM Productive24 screens:
Second: high functionality and flexibility
Each organisation has a different specificity and history, and the company’s employee evaluation system often reflects this history. Individual HR processes – including those related to the appraisal system – often optimised over the years, represent the path an organisation has taken to improve and strengthen its market position. Additionally, most of the systems for periodic appraisals become obsolete after some time (usually about 2 years). Therefore, it is important that the rich functionality of the tool is accompanied by flexibility, thanks to which the solution will perform its role well and “catch up” with the business reality.
A great advantage of applications for employee evaluations built on the basis of Productive24 is that they allow the users to, among others:
- individually define evaluation criteria in accordance with those in force in the organisation, give them a specific weight and assign them to selected positions,
- create and manage templates for assessment questionnaires,
- verify the level of achievement of objectives and tasks of the employee,
- keep a record of employee appraisals and evaluate their progress,
- carry out assessments according to different systems and methods of assessing an employee, e.g. 90°, 180°, 270°, 360° etc.) and the organisation’s own standards,
- manage the system of competence assessment,
- automatically collect the necessary data on the employee concerned and produce statistics based on the results of periodic evaluations,
- define, modify and flexibly manage various employee evaluation processes – depending on positions, departments, locations, countries etc,
- introduce employee assessments as part of any process, e.g. assessment of the employee being implemented in the onboarding process,
- and much more…
Third: the strength of the synergy – Productive24 ecosystem
The employee appraisal application, which is part of the HRM Productive24 system, naturally combines with other functions of the system, such as benefit management, training or MBO. Additionally, thanks to the fact that each system built on the Productive24 platform can be freely combined with other Productive24 solutions, the employee assessment application can be integrated to any extent, e.g. with an LMS system, a communication and cooperation platform or a set of applications for managing the organisation, thanks to which it is possible to track the progress in achieving objectives and tasks of individual employees and teams.
Thanks to the ecosystem of business applications, the employee assessments automated in Productive24 provide a 360° view and the flexible, multidimensional assessment of employees and teams and the process itself – completely remote, allows for faster and more accurate assessments.
Apart from a number of ready-made modules and applications, the Productive24 platform enables the creation of any dedicated business IT systems from scratch, tailored to the individual requirements of each organisation. Productive24 applications implemented in various departments can be freely combined with each other, creating a uniform ecosystem of group work and replacing dozens of separate, distributed IT systems. Productive24 is therefore also an alternative to costly and time-consuming customized business software development.