Manual vs Automated performance management

"Mistakes do get made, not through lack of effort, but rather lack of experience and understanding in..."

Manual vs Automated performance Management

Most organisations have some form of Employee Performance Management process. We are often asked about the benefits of automating Performance Management. This paper sets out some of the major benefits organisations can realize when moving from paper based manual systems to an automated system.

Objective Setting - Visibility

We have often seen organisations where line management does not specify objectives for their staff when using manual Performance Management systems. At review time, management “make up” suitable objectives and review against these objectives. This means that staff are not being managed to desired outcomes for a substantial part of the year.

Objective Quality through Visibility

Automated systems provide visibility for all managers. All Managers including the CEO can view objectives and ensure that they will achieve his/her strategy. This visibility ensures that the quality of Objectives improves. An objective that reads “Have a good year Jill” is no longer acceptable, once managers have visibility of objectives.

Frequency of Review

In an automated environment, reviews can be conducted more frequently (quarterly or biannually) according to changing organisational needs.

Full Time Performance Management

Full Time Performance Management enables both managers and staff to record relevant performance information and attend a review meeting prepared with relevant information about achievements and areas for development.

Less Stress

Given that both managers and staff are able to document Performance issues throughout the year, both come to the review meeting better prepared.  Both the employee and the manager are fully prepared for a meaningful review and not stressed due to inadequate preparation or insufficient data.

Process Familiarisation

The combination of the various features of an automated system reduce process questions and enable the HR department to work with line managers on maintaining a high quality process rather than answering the same question several times over.

Remuneration Based on Real Performance

It is not uncommon in large organisations for manual review forms to be lost or not received in time to pay performance bonuses. By contrast, automated systems allow HR to see real time information as to where each review is up to. This prevents the “lost review” syndrome and ensures financial accuracy and fair and equitable distribution of team and individual bonuses.

Wasted Resource

With an automated system, there is much less management of forms and paperwork and more resources dedicated to assisting line managers with qualitative issues. For example with setting objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.


Automated systems make the process simpler, quicker and more effective and provide managers with the right tools to achieve their Business and Development Objectives.

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