The idea of conducting performance reviews for employees isn’t new. In fact, the idea of performance reviews dates back to the 1800s when a man in Scotland used performance evaluations for the workers at his cotton mill. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the practice was widely used among businesses.
In the 1990s, dramatic changes were made to update the impractical and outdated appraisal methods that businesses used for so many years. Flash-forward to now, technology companies have developed performance management software that has modernized the review process.
Often referred to as 360-degree feedback tools, this software helps businesses grow by uncovering areas within the companies that need development. At the same time, it can improve employee satisfaction.
Despite that, not all 360-degree feedback tools are created equal. In fact, companies should be looking for some essential features when they choose a 360-degree feedback tool to fit their needs. Below is a look at these three essential features.
One essential feature for all 360-degree feedback software is the ability to create reports. These reports add credibility to the results concluded from employee evaluations. The best reports are focused and clear. Also, it’s just as important to have a program that creates a report that standard human resources or management members can interpret without any special training.
In general, companies want 360-degree feedback software that can create multiple types of reports. The most important types are individual, group, and improvement reports. All of these play a role in allowing companies to better lead or manage their employees in order to increase productivity.
This standard or regular report is one that each employee receives after performance evaluations. Typically, it provides a standardized score that clearly outlines how each person compares to other leaders or managers across the organization. The 360-degree software administrator can generate an individual report on-demand and quickly send them out via email.
Unlike an individual report, a group report provides feedback on a selected list of employees. It’s a great option to highlight the weaknesses and strengths of the individuals as a group. Additionally, the report may show the individual score for each person within the group.
An improvement or gap report is another essential feature that 360-degree software should provide. In general, it’s only given to an employee who receives feedback for the second time. The report clearly shows a decrease or increase in the individual’s overall score. A manager can use this score to determine whether or not the changes that were made after the initial assessment were successful.
No two companies are the same, so why should one 360-degree feedback tool work for all of them? That’s why customization is so important. It ensures that the feedback tool a company chooses perfectly matches its operations, brand, and culture.
The benefits of customization are vast. For example, it ensures that the software can work internationally because it allows the company to change the default language, opening the door to working with new employees domestically and overseas.
Likewise, customization gives each company the ability to personalize all of its reports. This includes adding its own colors and logos to each report. It even allows a company to rearrange the layout of the report to fit its desired taste.
Branding is important for every company as well. With the ability to customize 360-degree feedback reports, a business can ensure that all of its reports line up with its branding. For these reasons, customization is an essential element to look for when searching for 360-degree software.
Any company, large or small, knows the importance of confidentiality. Because of that, finding a 360-degree feedback tool that’s just as serious about employee confidentiality is crucial. Performance reports are only helpful for employees and managers if they’re honest with their comments. If they’re worried about their comments offending someone, they might not leave constructive criticism that could help the individual improve.
That’s why the best performance management software makes confidentiality a high priority. It protects the privacy of each individual who contributes to the performance report. This way, the employee can receive constructive criticism without holding it against whoever wrote it. The result is the ability for performance reports to do what they were meant to do, which is to help others improve their work performance.
On top of that, feedback tools that focus on confidentiality let people be upfront with the information that they want to share without worrying about financial consequences. For example, people can leave feedback on issues such as:
- Internal politics
- Potential grievances
- Employee conflicts
Handling these issues with confidentiality can prevent untold damage from being done to employees’ internal reputations. In fact, some employees never speak up about problems within the workplace because they’re afraid of consequences from superiors. The purpose of 360-degree software isn’t just for managers to provide evaluations for employees. Another purpose is for employees to provide feedback to each other.
Companies Should Take Advantage of 360-Degree Feedback Tools
These three essential features of 360-degree feedback tools are just the tip of the iceberg. This type of software can give companies the ability to manage employees like never before. In order to get the most out of it, though, businesses have to find reliable programs.
Chetu is a global leader in providing Fortune 500 and startup companies with customized software. Since 2000, it has provided enterprise-grade solutions by combining passion with technological expertise. This includes providing performance management software that makes companies proud.
It’s important for companies to give employees every tool possible to be productive. This includes making performance management software available so that they can grow as a team. In turn, the company becomes more profitable.
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