How technology is redefining the future of appraisalsAppraisals are an extensively used means to measure employee performance all over the world. But why is it important? Experts say it’s imperative to gauge an employee’s trajectory in performance over their stay in the company. This enables companies to create a space for employers and employees to discuss the pros and cons of both the parties.

With the correct performance appraisal method, organisations can improve employee performance. As technologies permeate every facet of the HR function, experts see a clear shift in how talent professionals exploit these next-gen technologies to automate their tasks.

Automation penetrating performance appraisal process

According to Aditya Narayan Mishra, Director and CEO, CIEL HR Services, a recruitment and staffing services company, automation is coming into the performance appraisal process.

Mishra said technology has replaced the human intervention of kicking off the process, reminding the appraisee, the appraiser and the supervisor to complete their bits in the appraisal process on time.

“Apart from the intervention on timely execution, technology is again playing a role in pulling out performance data, comparing them against the targets, stack-ranking performance levels, publishing leaderboards and highlighting the possibilities to sustain high-performance culture,” he added.

Mapping out employees’ performance, for instance, has changed over the last few years given that many traditional performance processes, as experts say, fail to meet the expectations of employees and employers.

Sujatha Kumaraswamy, CEO, MeritTrac Services, an assessment company, opines there is an increasing shift towards adopting a digital or a hybrid approach for employee performance reviews.

“Remote appraisals have mandated the use of technology, which is one of the best ways to eliminate biases due to the nature of the tools and platforms used. As most companies adopt digital tools to measure employee effectiveness and productivity, these data points come in handy during remote assessments as well,” she said.

Kumaraswamy further said that a lot of companies are incorporating external cognitive and behavioural assessments as a part of their appraisal cycle to identify employee profiles and establish a well-mapped career path.

Integration of technology has simplified the process

Experts propound that integrating technology, including scientific assessment tools, into the appraisal process has, to an extent, simplified the process. They say technical evaluations help one to review employee performance regularly and give feedback and make it more impactful and goal-oriented.

It also provides HR and other teams with analytics that helps them invest their time and resources in people development.

With a large population still working from home, there is a question about how appraisal and performance assessment will evolve?

Pasupathi Sankaran, Chief Operating Officer, HirePro, a hiring platform, claims there is going to be an increasing dependence on quantifiable metrics that will define output and performance, which will keep evaluations based on personal observations at bay.

Sankaran said organisations will enforce performance appraisal frameworks that are built on determinable outcomes.

“The focal point in performance assessment is going to shift towards the end rather than the means. This will make the entire appraisal process more transparent and outcomes-driven,” he added.

Kumaraswamy, MeritTrac, highlighted that data backed platforms ensure that objective and data-driven decisions are made that help improve employee retention over a longer period.

“I believe that this shift towards digital tools for employee appraisals will lead to more efficient and effective ways of performance reviews across industries,” she said.

However, Mishra, CIEL, believes the downside of these developments is the potential dehumanisation of the entire process. He thinks the soul of the appraisal process is recognition for the employee and reaffirmation of the mutual commitment of the employer and the employee.

Sometimes, technology could enable managers and employees to convey their points on a form to mark the completion of the process.

“Thus, the soul of the appraisal process dies and what remains is the feeling of being treated like a tool at the hands of power. This isn’t the state any organisation looking for sustainable growth would like to be in,” he added.

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