Automate & Standardize Your Review Process with Employee Performance Review Software

by Mike Tannian on July 19, 2022

Manual employee reviews are inconsistent at best. Learn how automated performance reviews can help public sector agencies save time and money, and ensure fairness.

Article Highlights

To stay engaged and productive, employees need to know whether they're meeting expectations and where they need to improve. Regular manager feedback not only provides this direction, but it’s also directly linked to employee job satisfaction and performance.

This is why many organizations conduct yearly or twice-yearly reviews of all employees. But it's often difficult to keep up with the annual review cycle, especially for public sector organizations that have limited time and resources. One alternative is to hold anniversary-based reviews, but these can be even more difficult to track and conduct on a timely basis.

To make matters worse, too many organizations still conduct manual performance reviews, sending out notifications by hand, filling out forms by hand, and even compiling review scores by hand. Even on the computer, filling out an employee performance evaluation form is still time-consuming.

By automating your employee performance reviews, you can reduce the time it takes to complete the necessary forms and compile the results. Reviews can happen promptly and they take a fraction of the time.

This article will discuss the problems with manual reviews, the benefits of automated performance reviews, and how standardized processes and online performance evaluation templates can save your organization a lot of time and money.

The Problem: Manual Employee Performance Processes

Annual performance reviews can be overwhelming. Employees and managers receive numerous email notifications and have to create review documents. Managers need to fill out the name, position, and department information for each employee, along with individual performance notes, competencies and goals, and written evaluations. Then, the HR staff records the reviews and grading scores in different spreadsheets and employment files.

Finally, the reviews are compiled (again by hand) and tabulated to determine a person's final evaluation results, affecting raises, bonuses, and promotions.

Relying on paper and .doc-based evaluations can lead to different forms and versions of forms that must be merged to get a complete picture of an employee's performance. This manual process makes employee review documents hard to track and becomes hampered by subjective evaluations and incomplete information.

This laissez-faire approach means there are no standardized performance reviews or standardized ratings and grading. Everything is open to individual interpretations, leaving room for managers’ reviews to be influenced by unconscious bias.

If the organization doesn't properly manage the employee performance evaluation process, it can cause delayed or missed assessments. That can lead to high job dissatisfaction and the loss of institutional knowledge from employee turnover, exacerbating costs required for hiring and onboarding.

The Solution: Employee Performance Review Software

NEOGOV’s employee performance review software, Perform, helps public sector organizations automate their employee evaluation process. Switching from a manual employee performance evaluation to an automated performance evaluation system like Perform can help you: 

  • save time and money, 
  • standardize your review process, 
  • hold more frequent performance reviews, 
  • improve employee satisfaction, and 
  • increase productivity.

Perform: Key features

The Perform automated performance review solution includes several features to streamline employee review management for your organization.

1. Automatic performance evaluation creation

A manual system usually requires managers to create forms by filling out each employee's information by hand: name, address, job title, employee number, etc. Perform does this automatically, entering all employee information from your human resource management system (HRMS) into the performance evaluation forms.

2. Complete bulk actions

Perform lets you complete actions in bulk, such as creating or archiving evaluation forms for every employee at once. You can archive completed evaluations, notify employees and managers about upcoming evaluations, and manage repetitive and time-sensitive tasks. Managers can also update information or create goals for multiple employees at once, and you can update and change managers for multiple employees and bulk upload documents, such as past evaluations, to an employee's profile.

3. Central hub

Perform is housed on a central hub that lets you control access. You no longer have to rely on shared drives that are only available to a few people or follow cryptic paper trails and a flurry of emails and forms. All of your employees’ information and documentation are available in a single platform so you can easily track, update, and manage them.

4. Standardized performance reviews

Perform standardizes performance reviews, which eliminates subjective evaluations. With a performance evaluation template and an evaluation rubric, you can ensure that all employees are judged by the same criteria, whether for the whole organization or a particular department. The system also has a language filter to block certain personal descriptive words that could cause offense. These features help organizations avoid unconscious bias and ensure everyone is evaluated fairly.

Plus, Perform allows managers to specify the standards required to achieve specific performance goals through customizable rubric-based performance evaluation templates. Adding quantifiable achievements on each rubric level allows you to identify whether an employee has met those deliverables. 

Perform is ideal for multiple types of evaluations: annual reviews, bi-annual, and quarterly reviews; probationary reviews, performance improvement plan (PIP) reviews, or any other kind of employment review process your organization requires.

5. Automatic notifications

You can ensure that everyone completes evaluations on time by creating automatic task reminder notifications. Send automatic email reminders to staff when the evaluation cycle begins, and then schedule regular reminders for those who haven't completed their reviews.

6. 360-degree feedback

Finally, Perform lets you incorporate 360-degree feedback in your employee performance management process – including employee feedback from managers, coworkers, and subordinates. Since individuals can fill out evaluations online, it's easy to incorporate all reviews and scoring into an employee's HR evaluation file.

The Benefits of Automated Performance Reviews

An automated performance evaluation system like Perform offers significant value to public sector organizations seeking solutions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their workforce.

Save time

First, and most importantly, an automated performance evaluation process saves you time. Rather than making each manager fill out employees' information on evaluation forms, NEOGOV’s automated review system can do it for you, which means managers can save several minutes per form. It also means HR staff doesn't have to retype all the evaluation data into spreadsheets, which can save hours for every review cycle.

Improve employee performance

An automated employee review process means you can put employee performance front and center. Rather than holding once-a-year reviews, you can review employees as often as you feel is necessary. Use a standardized employee performance review template with a measurable rubric to determine whether employees are consistently meeting expectations, and let the employees input their own completed KPIs and accomplished goals.

Providing continuous feedback has been proven to produce a higher-performing workforce. This helps you become more efficient and productive with the workforce you have by increasing employee engagement, identifying training needs, taking corrective actions, and leveraging promotion opportunities.

Increase employee productivity

Employee performance review software like Perform also improves productivity. You can automate low-value repetitive tasks, such as filling out forms or importing and calculating performance grading scores and work more efficiently with employee performance review templates. This frees up managers to focus on other parts of the job. Plus, participants in a 360-degree feedback review can upload their evaluations into the system quickly and easily – no more trying to find the correct version of the form or dealing with different formats and system issues.

Conduct fair evaluations

Since Perform and its data reside on a central hub, managers can also compare employee performance against other employees to better understand each individual's strengths and weaknesses. This makes it easy to decide who is due for training, who should take on certain tasks, and even who could be the best fit for a promotion or raise. You can also share employee files between managers and read up on a particular employee's employment record.

The standardized process also helps ensure fair hiring processes because you can tie performance standards into educational and experience requirements. This enables you to hire suitable candidates for those positions in the first place.

Stay on track with your goals

Perform’s automated employee performance process ensures you never miss a performance review cycle with automatic email notifications and reminders so everyone meets their deadlines and milestones. 

In addition, this function helps you achieve compliance regarding raises, PIPs, and promotions by demonstrating when employees have met their performance standards. The software lets you document goal-setting and track manager expectations and employee deliverables. This is especially important for PIPs and probationary reviews that track performance over a longer period. And with the ability to see when an employee is in danger of missing those standards, you can take corrective action before they fall too far behind.

Save money

The system also helps reduce costs by reducing employee turnover. Employees need performance feedback to understand what they’re doing well and where they can improve, which can give them confidence in their work and their impact at the organization. Providing annual performance appraisals and regular constructive feedback increases satisfaction and reduces turnover, which saves on hiring and onboarding costs.

Reduce implementation time

Finally, Perform’s standardized employee review process takes less time to implement. Once the standards are created and set by the appropriate teams, you only need to update them for each new review cycle. And you can use Perform’s ongoing performance tracking to regularly monitor employee productivity and avoid complex annual employment reviews. 

Final Thoughts

NEOGOV developed Perform specifically for public sector organizations struggling with your employee performance review process. Non-standardized manual reviews are inefficient and can lead to employee turnover and even lawsuits over unfair practices. They also waste time by creating low-value busy work for HR professionals. 

Employee performance review software helps organizations standardize and automate the review process to save time and money, increase productivity, and continually monitor employee progress towards goals.

To learn more about how Perform can improve your employee review process, schedule a free demo today.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.