footstepsNo matter the details of your data gathering process, the value of your employee review system can only be measured by its contributions to overall productivity. In other words, your reviews are only as good as your ability to follow through. Data doesn’t provide solutions. It only points the way. And data can only help us if it shapes actions that benefit the enterprise.

So what does this mean for those who make a living developing and refining HR protocols? How can masters of data collection make sure their skills are being put to optimal use? And how can HR professionals make sure that department managers are taking reviews to heart, following through on coaching plans, making performance improvement plans (PIP) work, and walking chronically under-performing employees toward the door?

If you know your review data is valuable and accurate, but you need to ensure follow-through, here are a few considerations to keep in mind after the review cycle ends.

1. Make sure managers are held accountable for employee performance. Under-performers are often kept on the payroll for a host of reasons; including their relationships with managers and the intangible benefits they bring to the office. But if managers can’t bring these employees up to speed or take coaching efforts seriously, it’s time for HR to intervene. Schedule regular meetings with managers who aren’t following through, and keep the pressure on. Don’t let measurable performance shortcomings slip through the cracks.

2. Make sure high performers receive every reward they have coming. Don’t allow managers to put off promises or conversations about promotion opportunities, and make sure the spirit of a reward matches the letter. Most important, make sure managers benefit when their employees shine. When coaching efforts succeed, the coach deserves some of the credit.

3. Make sure the pressures you apply and the PIPs you put into action after the review process are all backed up by measurable data. Talent Management Software systems like CRG emPerform can help to keep your performance records accurate, your facts straight, your criteria measurable, and your follow-through efforts on track.