I recently finished a book called, ‘What the Dog Saw’ by Malcolm Gladwell (great read by the way). One of the chapters focused on homelessness and went over the various costs associated with managing the unfortunate issue (healthcare, shelter, etc. etc.). Gladwell eloquently defended his theory that in an ideal world, it would be far less expensive to SOLVE the problem of homelessness than it is to MANAGE it. I am not defending his theory on this subject, but his viewpoint really struck me and got me thinking about the other areas of business and life where the costs of managing something actually outweighs what it would cost to solve it or eliminate it. I thought this to be a very fitting argument for Automated Talent Management Solutions.

HR practitioners everywhere have invested a lot of money, time and energy over the years in managing the shortcomings of their employee performance management processes. Paper-Based appraisal systems have never been ideal for collecting and analyzing reviews and many professionals have become fed up and have implemented work-arounds to help facilitate or ‘manage’ the process.

How much time have you spent re-formatting appraisal forms so that they are easier to read and fill out in the hopes that the changes will prompt employees and managers to complete them on time? Or perhaps you have posted the forms to an intranet for easy access? No doubt you have a trusty excels spreadsheet that you use to manually track who has submitted what and to calculate some sort of results. Also, somewhere on your desk, in your drawer, or in your cabinet at this very moment is a plethora of folders individually labeled with each employee name that you use to attempt to file away historical appraisals. Finally, when a manager or executive asks for a status update on a company initiative or an HR performance overview, you probably have a scripted response that will buy you some time to manually compile whatever data you can. Am I close?

Although these work-arounds help to manage the problem, they still aren’t ideal and even close to being  simple, organized, efficient, traceable, or intuitive enough to effectively distribute, collect, and monitor performance reviews. You should give yourself credit for being inventive enough to attempt to manage an awful process given what you have to work with but instead of managing the bottlenecks of traditional processes, companies are getting wise to the reality that they should just eliminate the shortcomings by implementing automated performance review and talent management processes.

Automated Performance Management (EPM) Solutions replaced paper-based appraisals the same way that email replaced fax – everything is stored and accessible at the click of a mouse.

Online, all-inclusive EPM systems are designed to easily, quickly, and efficiently collect employee performance data; however, they go leaps and bounds further as they manage employee development, integrate compensation planning, and intuitively report on the real time status of all the aforementioned functionality.

Overall – Automated EPM Systems go beyond eliminating many shortcomings of the traditional appraisal process; they improve talent management as a whole and tie everything together in a nice little bow so that organizational goals can be reflected in employee activities all year round. The best part is that choice of deployment options (on-premise and hosted) allows every company to take advantage of automation- regardless of size or industry.

Automated EPM Solutions are a dream for HR professionals because they free up time (and desk space) and allow companies to focus on improvement instead of administration. So instead of trying to find clever ways to smooth out the bumps in your current talent management processes – just eliminate the bumps all together. In the long run, you will end up saving time, money, and avoiding many headaches if you solve the problem instead of trying to manage it.