December 14, 2012 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Solutions

Conducting year-end employee reviews is similar to hosting a holiday dinner party:

  1. It takes a lot of time to do it right
  2. It can be a big team effort
  3. You look forward to not having to do it for another year

Making sure that preparing a holiday meal goes smoothly can be a big task for the host, who needs the right tools to do the job right. Similarly, relying on a paper-based process to conduct annual reviews can be like trying to cook a turkey in a toaster oven.

Using workflow automation to streamline and automate the annual review process helps to achieve its intended purpose of properly evaluating talent based on performance towards established goals, and setting new goals for the coming year.

Consider Workflow Automation

Workflow automation takes a paper-based process and recreates it using digital documents and electronic approvals. The process begins with a document. Note that the document can be any kind of digital format where information is stored. This includes electronic forms, Microsoft Word documents, scanned documents or even video files. The digital documents are automatically distributed, along with related tasks or actions to be taken, from one participant to another for action according to your business rules. Minimizing the impact on the organization is key to the project’s success. So, use what documents you have initially, scan them and over time, move to a format that originates digitally.

Document the Process with Words and Pictures

The next step is to write your current annual review process on paper, starting from beginning to end. A typical method includes drawing a chart showing each person involved in the review process and mapping how the documents move between the different people, and the decisions that must be made along the way. For annual reviews, you would include the employee, the manager, the HR department and the executive team for this process.

Once you map this process, you can review it and implement it electronically with document management and workflow automation software. You should include different decision points along the way and how the decisions affect who gets the document and what has to be done.

More than Just Efficiency

In addition to making the process go more smoothly, electronic workflows provide additional benefits:

  1. Consistency: Each review will be based on the same set of documents sent to both the employee and staff member automatically. This eliminates the need to search for documents, or wonder if you have the appropriate versions.
  2. Timeliness: reminders can be sent if actions have not yet started, or are not yet completed to help keep the process moving forward.
  3. Visibility: Managers and staff can have access to everything across the entire process, showing where they are in the larger process, and what next steps need to be taken.

No Limits

Once you get annual performance reviews automated, you can move on to streamlining other high value HR processes, such as new employee onboarding and benefits enrollment. Let us know if we can help.