Getting useful workforce analytics data from your performance management process

Getting useful workforce analytics data from your performance management process

With a paper-based employee performance appraisal process, the most you can hope to get in terms of workforce analytics is data on your employees' performance scores. Even then, you need to manually enter the scores in a spreadsheet, as well as any data on job profiles, department/division, etc., if you hope to do any analysis or sorting of the data. It's labor-intensive, error-prone, and not likely to give you any insight that you can use for strategic planning.

Automate your employee performance appraisals so you can analyze the data

Automating your employee evaluations, with a web-based tool like Halogen Performance™, gives you access to a wealth of data you can use for performance analytics; data about performance on goals, competencies, development needs and more. To get the most out of your performance appraisal data, you need real-time results, the flexibility to filter the data any way you need to, and the ability to compare results year over year. If you want to use performance data to drive learning and development initiatives, pay for performance programs or succession plans, you'll also need to be able to share data seamlessly between these processes.

Identify and address calibration problems

By looking at the scores and ratings given to employees and comparing them by manager, department, division, job role, etc. you can help to identify potential calibration issues with your data and take steps to ensure managers are rating employee performance fairly and consistently, using the same set of standards.

Identify workforce strengths and weaknesses

By looking at competency scores across your organization, you can easily identify workforce strengths and weaknesses and evaluate these in light of your organizational strategy. Do you have the right competencies, in the right parts of your organization, to achieve your strategic goals? Looking at competency scores and breaking them down by division/ department/geography can help you identify:

By comparing ratings year over year, you can also ensure continuous improvement and monitor the effectiveness of your programs.

Align goals and monitor their progress

An automated performance management tool should give managers, HR and executives a line of sight view of all linked goals and their current status. This reporting capability lets everyone see who is contributing to organizational goals and whether individuals, teams and the organization as a whole are on track to achieve those goals. It lets you easily spot problem areas and take corrective action before it's too late.

You should also review performance ratings for goals and compare them from group to group, as well as year over year. This comparison allows you to identify individuals or groups who are underperforming so you identify the root causes and correct them, as well as to identify your top performers, so you can gain insight into the reasons for their success. It also allows you to spot potential fairness issues, where ratings are not applied using the same standards.

Being able to track goals and their progress, as well as everyone's ratings on goals gives you unique insight into your workforce performance and allows your organization to learn from both its strengths and its weaknesses.

Assess and consolidate training needs

There are two key ways in which you need to be able to assess training needs.

First, you should view all of your employees' development plans so you can see at a glance the demand for training courses, activities and resources. You should also filter this data so you can view it by location, department, division, etc. to help with planning, scheduling and even delivery. If for example, you note that there is great demand in one particular division for a course or set of courses, you might decide to tailor the material to their specific needs to maximize the benefits.

The second vital way you can assess training needs is by examining competency ratings and goal scores. By identifying areas with low scores, or scores that are below target, you can proactively develop and deliver training interventions that help boost performance. Lower than desired scores in a particular competency could result in a corporate wide initiative to improve knowledge and skill in that area. Identifying low and high scoring employees could open up opportunities for mentoring or job shadowing.

This simple data can strengthen your organizational learning and development programs, as well as help ensure your organization has the skills and knowledge it needs both today and tomorrow.

Streamline your performance appraisal process

An on-time report that looks at each step in your performance appraisal process and gives you statistics for on-time completion can be an invaluable tool to help you streamline your appraisal process.

Your first step should be to look at any bottlenecks that occurred in your last process and steps with a lower rate for on-time completion. Ask yourself:

  • Did you allot enough time for the step?
  • Did the people responsible for completing the step have sufficient knowledge and training to do the work? Is there an opportunity or requirement for additional training?
  • Are there sufficient resources assigned to complete the step?
  • Is the step necessary and adding value to the process? Sometimes steps don't get completed on-time because users perceive little value in them (for example, a second-level or higher manager sign-off if those individuals don't actually want to review every appraisal but are using the step as a way to keep track of their completion).

Next, look at steps that have a very high on-time completion rate. Ask yourself if you can shorten the time allotted for these steps to shorten the overall process.

By looking at both bottlenecks and efficiencies, you can identify areas where you can adjust your process to make it even more effective and timely.

Read how others have used performance management data to drive strategic initiatives

In addition to helping them track their performance management process, Innovapost is using Halogen Performance's reporting capabilities to identify competency gaps, and high and low performing employees. They're laying the foundation for succession planning and performance-based learning and development, while reaping the benefits of better quality employee performance reviews.

Read how SNC-Lavalin O&M is using HR metrics to better understand the depth and breadth of their talent pool and drive engagement and retention. They've helped uncover hidden talent by ensuring all employees are captured in the review process.

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