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Overcoming obstacles to better performance management

It may be hard for corporations to face performance management with analytics when the people handing out the reviews are the ones struggling to rise to the next level. This is not an uncommon situation at companies of all kinds. As leaders get overwhelmed, they may look to handle the problems associated with the staff they manage, yet they themselves aren't making the best use of their time, expanding their skills or doing the appropriate tasks needed to get through everything they need to during a single day. Since these individuals play such important roles in the ongoing operations of an organization, handling these stumbling blocks as quickly as possible will be essential for ongoing performance management control.

Increased contact information
PR Week wrote that having more frequent analysis and review sessions with employees at all levels can help assuage these concerns, bring more communication to the workforce and encourage people to try harder at their jobs. The problem that currently exists with performance management is tied to the infrequency with which this process is carried out, the source stated, as the long stretch in between is muddled and unbroken in its opaqueness.

One of the primary drivers of employee engagement is better channels of communication with management and other workers. Only performing an annual review underscores this problem in the corporate environment. Performance management with analytics can alert decision-makers to bigger problems as they unfold, making it easier for them to jump on these issues when they come up, as opposed to waiting until the matter has erupted, been handled or fallen apart, or else waiting on the problem until the year-end review comes up.

A lack of communication can also short circuit loyalty and engagement patterns in the workplace. Since staff members feel detached from the rest of the corporation, they have no vested interest in the well being of the company, and therefore discount their own work and importance within the corporation. This in turn leads to disengagement and retention problems. As PR Week stated, unless managers can connect with personnel, it's likely that individuals will tune out whatever comes up in the annual review, anyway, as they may approach the entire process with an adverse perspective on management and the corporation as a whole.

Valuable basic resources
CFO Online wrote that performance management with analytics helps the bottom line of a corporation, allowing for more insight into what's working and what needs to be changed. Identifying problems and fixing issues before they present a detriment to performance can increase output, improve customer interactions and create a more positive workforce. The problem, though, is that not all corporations are poised to take advantage of these solutions.

"Operations is the key to everything," said SCA's Larry Litowitz. He explained that firms need to take a personal approach to human resources so that everyone is on the same page, analytics reflect the most current circumstances and nothing is allowed to slip through the cracks. "It's more difficult to understand what someone is doing when pressing keys on a keyboard."

Using analytics as the basis for more thorough and accurate performance reviews is a good start, in short, but should not be the entire basis that managers use for assessing the performance and value of an individual.

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