The ability to phone, email, write an essay, take a picture or work on a spreadsheet, at any time or place, on a device small enough to fit in your pocket has changed the way we “work” and with it the process of performance management.
Mobile phones, tablet devices, laptops, and myriads of quick to use software and Apps have allowed for an anytime, anywhere work station fostering flexibility and quick-to-the-button response times on important tasks.
In a similar vein, modern communication technology has also empowered employees, by alleviating the need for them to be physically present in an office environment. Although not all companies accept this practice, it is gradually becoming more common. Raising the question: How does increased autonomy and lack of direct physical supervision affect an employee’s performance and how can performance be monitored more closely when they are not there?
Apart from the various conveniences that modern technology can bring, it can also be a major distraction. For example, social media and video streaming have become common in the workplace and have the potential to distract employees and dilute productivity.
Performance management mechanisms need to adapt to a modern technological environment in order to combat these challenges. A system needs to be developed that not only monitors performance, but also maximises motivation. Many firms have taken the stance of banning certain domains and disallowing open browsing over the internet during work hours, but cutting the cord simply cannot be enough. Employees need to see reward at the end of the tunnel, and performance systems can show them how close they are to getting there.
One such solution has been the introduction of performance management software, whereby an integrated software solution is used to monitor performance. Such an approach would often make use of a task delegation system and a grading mechanism that utilises Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor employee performance. This allows managers to create their own customised performance management system according to their specific needs. They are then able to monitor employees on an ongoing basis, regardless of whether the employee is physically present in the office or not.
One such tool is the EC@PS system, which is an effective and affordable strategic planning, implementation and performance management tool that aligns staff to company vision. Built on pillars of Simplicity, Ownership, Flexibility, and Accountability the system provides the following benefits:
- Ability to track the strategy on-line – Ensuring execution of strategic objectives;
- All agreed Objectives, Actions and Tactics are date driven and linked to e-mail alerts – Individual reminders of work needed to be completed;
- The ability for a manager to see the current progress at a click – Can monitor progress and performance of each person;
- The history of Objectives Achieved, Not Achieved, and Not Required – Comprehensive record of work completed;
- Affordable – No software needed as it is web based;
- Simple to set up and use – No complex training required;
- Password protected per user – Individual ownership of system;
- Monthly tracking of progress on strategic objectives – Focus on strategic Execution;
- A 360º Performance Review Process – Comprehensive feedback from peers, subordinates, and supervisors;
- Climate survey – Measure staff satisfaction;
- A Score Card Performance appraisal system included – Personalised performance management;
- Monthly capturing of individual targets set against a score definition- Clear tracking of performance.
Monitoring one’s input, output and overall performance is an important aspect of gap identification, improvement and reconciliation, and individual growth. To have active systems which are tailor made to management’s requirements is crucial in bettering performance, not only for the employee but also for the manager. This is because performance monitoring software allows managers more time to analyse and understand the data as opposed to having to extrapolate it manually. Not only that, but it also allows for a live feedback system for quick adaption to error in performance, and can potentially prevent employees from falling short in their efforts to be their best.