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Level Blog

4 min read

Transforming Performance Reviews with Intelligent Automation

May 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM

For many organizations, year-end performance reviews are a major source of displeasure for employees and managers alike. So much so, some say there could even be a crisis of confidence in the way businesses evaluate employee performance.

And in 2015, one of the largest companies in the world, Accenture, scrapped them altogether, favoring a more fluid system where employees receive timely feedback from managers on an ongoing basis.

It’s important that employees understand their successes and failures; This allows them to learn from their mistakes, and repeat wins.

But what started in the 70s as an innovative approach to productivity and success, feels outdated in 2019. Accordingly, studies show between 60% and 90% of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation, while 82% of companies say they’re not worth the time.

The future of the performance review hinges on the source of its disruption, technology. And recent advances in artificial and cognitive intelligence present significant opportunities to overhaul the performance review process, advancing employee evaluations and the employee experience overall.

The critical need to redesign performance reviews

Performance reviews are important, because the process shows an organization is interested in, and committed to their employees. 

In fact, CEB analysis says, performance reviews are valuable for employee retention. And when they’re happening, job search activity by employees goes down by 13%. This is significant because global talent shortage is now the top emerging risk facing organizations, outweighing both accelerating privacy regulation and cloud computing. 

Yet, according to Gallup, only 14% of employees strongly agree their performance reviews inspire them to improve

Similarly, Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report found widespread desire to change the antiquated practice: 45% of companies believed performance evaluations were not an effective motivational tool for employees, and 41% of companies found widespread manager bias. However, companies were optimistic about the future and committed to redesigning performance management; 79% of executives rate it a high priority, while 38% say it’s very important.

This is likely because 90% of the companies that reengineered evaluations saw direct improvements in engagement, 96% experienced simpler processes, and 83% accomplished better employee-manager conversations. 

Today’s leading organizations are transforming their performance review processes by leveraging technology as an integral part of the redesign. And modern performance reviews are shifting performance management from an annual evaluation to intelligent tools.

How can intelligent automation transform performance reviews?

A myriad of industries have leveraged technology for decades. However, the adoption of similar capabilities for the back office has emerged more recently as a trend.

Intelligent automation, across the organization, advances performance. By assimilating cognitive learning and artificial intelligence, intelligent automation creates digitally-enabled, agile enterprises that operate better, faster and more effectively. And by complementing your people, it supports accelerated and intelligent decision-making. 

As shared services aims to raise its profile as a value adding and strategic partner, it’s critical to deliver services that improve performance, reduce risk and enhance engagement. Thus, intelligent automation is changing the very nature of business support services like HR.

Today’s tools are helping shift performance management from an annual evaluation to an ongoing dialogue, offering flexible goal setting, scorecards, continual tracking and automated, on demand coaching.

Consider, intelligent performance management; Self-service tools guide managers to the correct course of action at each stage of the review cycle, delivering consistent, compliant and complete performance evaluations. Similarly, intelligent automation advances rewarding and recognizing employees. It enables timely feedback around projects, events and initiatives, keeping people engaged outside of the formal review process.

Intelligent automation in action

One of our clients – a FTSE50 company – had manual performance ratings prone to error, time delays and they used spreadsheets, endangering sensitive employee information. Notably, this process drove the company’s salary review, requiring the Rewards team to collect a rating for each of their 22,000 employees, before the year’s end.

In four months, we implemented a performance rating solution that prompts managers at the beginning of each cycle, along with sending reminders to reduce incomplete reviews.

An interactive dashboard shows real-time distribution curve changes, and year-on-year performance, enabling consistent, on time data entry by their 3,000+ managers, as well as enhanced reporting data.

Rethink your employee evaluations and performance management

Are your performance review processes dated? If an air of angst surrounds your annual employee evaluations, there’s a better way.

At Level, we automate knowledge across your enterprise, transforming complex processes into intuitive, contextual and real-time services.

See how intelligent automation enables the future of performance reviews, and employee evaluations, today.


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Level Insights
Written by Level Insights

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