Large employers are still making headlines for trading annual reviews for regular check-ins.

 

Your company may not be ready for such drastic changes, but chances are, your performance management strategy could use some updates.

 

Refreshing your approach and using the right technology can completely transform the way your performance management works.

 

“Fewer than half of 31,000 employees worldwide – including 3,105 from the United States – say that performance reviews have helped improve their performance,” writes Amanda Eisenberg for Employee Benefit News, “while 46 percent of employees think their performance was not accurately evaluated in their most recent review, according to the 2016 Global Workforce Study.”

 

Here are four ways to use technology to help.

 

  1. Start with incremental changes

 

“There’s a lot of news around companies making fairly dramatic changes,” Eisenberg writes. “Only 10 percent of U.S. employers have eliminated performance ratings.”

 

Start by considering what performance metrics you want to measure and if any of your existing technology can track them.

 

  1. Decide what technologies to add

 

As you implement changes, note the gaps between what you want to measure and your current tools. Let that information guide you, then implement the right technology.

 

“‘Leverage technology so that every part of this process – from gathering feedback to analyzing employee data – is streamlined, objective and current,” writes Carol Patton for Human Resource Executive Online.

 

  1. Use the data

 

This is key: use data to share real-time feedback on performance. Such a system will allow you to find and fix issues as they come up.

 

For example, an employee’s struggles with client retention can be flagged early, and managers can help the worker try new strategies.

 

“This kind of information adds credibility and substance to a manager’s input on how employees can boost their performance,” writes Andre Lavoie for Entrepreneur.

 

It also puts a positive spin on improving performances.

 

Moving “toward day-to-day performance feedback offers instant benefits and focuses on skills development rather than strictly ranking or criticizing a coworker,” Eisenberg writes.

 

  1. Decide how to move forward

 

You may decide data will supplement yearly reviews. Or maybe, like Adobe and GE, you want to scrap the system and instead move to regular conversations about performance.

 

As you do, don’t forget training. “Managers need help when it comes to providing performance evaluations, especially as data makes its way into the workplace,” Lavoie writes. “Don’t expect every manager to know how to effectively communicate feedback just because he or she is tenured.”

 

Equip your managers about how to have tough discussions with employees. And, have a plan for how you’ll use the data.

 

“Set clear objectives; then create development programs consisting of formal training, coaching sessions, mentoring and other educational opportunities,” Lavoie writes “Break these actions into a timetable and help employees hit their mini-goals on time by tracking progress with performance metrics.”