360 feedbackMore companies are choosing to enhance their review processes by incorporating 360° feedback (a.k.a. peer feedback)  into their appraisals and decisions. Why? 360°’s are a powerful tool with an important purpose – to harness the power of rich multi-faceted perspectives to identify strengths and weakness and develop performance. 360° feedback provides multiple angles on specific sets of competencies and behavioral traits as observed by an employee’s colleagues and other stakeholders. It is meant to reinforce positive aspects of the employee’s performance as well as to Read More

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.

Avoiding Appraisal Season HeadachesThe employee appraisal process is a vital component of any productive workplace. There’s no way around this critical task, and as long as human beings drive the workplace, the process will involve a human element that can never be fully automated. HR managers, directors, and department heads will always need to spend a few hours carefully considering the accomplishments and contributions of each employee, and this process will always involve face-to-face meetings, thoughtful self-evaluations, and individually tailored goal-setting. But there are some aspects of the review process that can easily be handed over to cutting-edge HR management software applications. Before you face a few of these annual headaches this year, consider a technology upgrade that can save time, reduce errors, and help you manage data more efficiently.


Headache 1: Quantification

No matter what criteria you use to evaluate your employees, these criteria need to be measurable, comparable, consistent, and fair. Certain aspects of the review can remain open ended or qualified by written comments, but at least half of your evaluation criteria should be quantifiable and should be recorded on a numeric scale. If you haven’t shaped your evaluation process around this model yet, you do not need to invent the wheel alone. HR management applications are available that can help you identify measurable criteria and areas of focus that apply to your specific business model. emPerform’s online appraisals allow companies to use numeric or text rating scales that can be translated to numbers for reporting.


Headache 2: Data Comparison

Even when it’s easy to recognize, employee merit can be difficult to compare across broad populations. Performance that seems poor or exceptional may present a different impression when compared side by side with that of equally experienced employees engaged in the same task. How good is good? What are your standard learning curves? If an employee enters the company at a slow productivity level, how fast should she be expected to advance? How does an individual employee’s error rate measure against an established standard? Don’t struggle with these calculations yearly when the right HR management software tool can help.


Headache 3: Inefficient Record Keeping

In addition to comparing performance numbers across broad populations, you’ll need to compare each employee’s current performance with records. This will help you gain an understanding of individual and standard rates of progress. You can also use advanced record-keeping software to compare numbers across other data sets. For example, if productivity growth in a sector is slow, are the employees to blame, or does the manager bear responsibility? Accurate long-term record keeping can help you identify problems at the source, but only if your data is kept timely and relevant – impossible feats with spreadsheets and manual record keeping.

If you would like to avoid appraisal season headaches, contact emPerform and get a first-hand look at how an automated performance management solution can help you overcome appraisal pains, save time, reduce errors, and help you manage data more efficiently.

By: Natalie Truperformance ratingdel

A standardized, quantified, and  automated employee review process is an essential way to track employee progress and maximize productivity in the workplace. Most managers and human resource departments understand the core benefits of employee reviews. Regular evaluations help ensure recognition for high performing workers, and they help keep mid-level performers on track toward the achievement of reasonable goals. Evaluations also help managers deal with low performers by providing a clear record of all efforts made to avoid termination.

These objectives are all vital aspects of performance tracking and workplace management. But the review process, no matter how valuable, comes with a few caveats. Once your review procedure becomes cost ineffective, its drawbacks begin to outweigh its benefits. The following tips can help to ensure that your evaluation process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible:

1. Keep the audit principle in mind. Instead of examining every minute detail of every employee’s performance, monitor a small number of details that suggest competence or incompetence across broad areas. For example, if too many customer complaints suggest an underlying problem, use “number of customer complaints” as one of the points in a five point Read More

Clear Goals emPerform

Effective employee goal setting can serve as a powerful tool for:
–    Motivating employees
–    Improving employee performance
–    Developing organizational talent
–    Setting measurable standards for review
–    Translating organization objectives into results
–    Fostering communication with employees


Goal setting can also be a frustrating process if it is not tackled properly. The most frustrating part of goal setting and execution is when the outcomes do not match what was expected. Managers tend to assume that the employee will execute according to their vision and then are confused when the outcomes don’t match the intended direction. What is wrong with the process?

Marnie Green, Principal Consultant of Management Education Group and emPerform’s newest partner, teaches leaders that the problem with effective goal setting lies in the lack of clear expectations being set by managers. Marnie believes that whether you are setting goals, objectives, or assigning tasks, outcomes can be optimized by following a checklist for setting clear expectations.


•    Establish clear success criteria: When setting and conveying expectations, managers should always say, ‘this goal/task/objective will be successful if….” and then fill in the Read More

CRG emPerform and the Management Education Group recently announced a very exciting partnership. We caught up with their principal consultant, Marnie Green, at the ASHHRA Conference in Phoenix to see what she has to say about aligning with emPerform.

emPerform offers web-based, all-inclusive talent management software for automating employee performance management processes such as appraisals, succession, 360 reviews, compensation management, reporting, and goal alignment. The Management Education Group, Inc., is an Arizona-based provider of consulting, training, and facilitation services that develop high-performing public sector leaders. Government agencies, special districts, and educational institutions rely on the Management Education Group, Inc. to provide innovative leadership strategies that support their leaders.

Marnie Green is the author of Painless Performance Evaluations: A Practical Approach to Managing Day-to-Day Employee Performance, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall. The book has been honored with a Glyph Award for Best Business/Career Book and was a finalist in the management category of the Best Books USA Awards.

emPerform and Marnie Green have collaborated on several very successful best-practice webinars including: ‘Conducting Painless Performance Evaluation Meetings’ and recently, ‘Using SMAART Goals to Manage Employee Performance’. These resources have been archived and are available here.

For more information about this partnership, click here.

Companies rely on the data provided by performance evaluations for a myriad of business decisions. Succession planning, compensation decisions, recruiting and retention strategies, development initiatives, and engagement plans are just a few decisions and processes whose execution and success depends on accurate and fair performance appraisal data.

When so much rests on the validity of this data, it seems clear that eliminating bias and error in performance appraisals is a critical responsibility for supervisors, managers and human resources staff.

What type of biases should leaders be aware of? Tyler Lacoma, an author for eHow, explains:

Horns and Halos Effect

The horns and halos effect is a common phenomenon noted in many business situations. Essentially, it refers to the habit that managers have of assuming that a particular employee is naturally good or bad at his job. This perspective is usually based in personality clashes and other factors that do not actually indicate job performance. Once the manager has decided on a certain viewpoint of an Read More

emperform menYou asked – we listened. In our last Webinar, CRG emPerform presented a framework for Conducting Painless Performance Evaluation Meetings. During the webinar Q&A, we noticed that many of you had questions related to effective employee goal setting. Because effective goal setting drives success at every level within an organization, we decided to devote an entire session to presenting best practice goal setting insights and advice.

When: Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 2PM EDT

Where: HR.com IHR Virtual Conference

Register: click here to register*

Are you and your employees really SMAART? Specific, measurable, and attainable performance goals are the most effective tool managers can use to help employees achieve outcomes that support the organization’s goals. Yet, very few managers are able to craft goals that are motivating to employees and are clearly aligned with the organization’s objectives.

One of the most frustrating parts of being a manager is seeing employee performance fall short of expectations and not knowing why or how to fix it. Likewise, employees often say that they are unclear of what their manager really expects in terms of performance.

Marnie GreenJoin emPerform and host Marnie Green, in this one-hour webinar where we will explore why there is often a difference between what managers expect and what employees deliver. Tools for writing clear performance goals with employee input will be offered. In addition, other practical tools for involving employees in the expectation-setting process will be presented.

If you manage the work of others you won’t want to miss this practical and tool-driven session.

What will participants learn?

1) Why there is often a gap between manager expectations and employee performance

2) Tools for writing clear performance goals

3) Four kinds of performance goals

4) How to effectively involve employees in the goal setting process

5) Practical examples of best-practice performance goals

*This webinar has been archived and is available for free download here.

Natalie Trudel

What isn’t distracting about a long-awaited North American summer? The long days, persistent sunshine, and breath-slowing heat are more than welcomed by the masses. After spending what feels like an eternity in the cold anticipating the arrival of this magnificent season, it is only natural to want to enjoy it. As I’m writing this, I can’t help but glance out of my window and daydream about lounging by the pool without a care in the world except for refreshing my cold drink. Where was I? Oh yes…  Unfortunately, the economy does not take summers off and business must go on. Should organizations be worried that their distracted summer workforce will, inadvertently, allow company productivity to dip during the summer months?

It is true that most employees take extended vacations during the months of June –September in order to enjoy the summer with family and friends. School schedules and great weather make this time of year perfect for taking holidays. The scramble to coordinate vacations and the backlog of action items that result is often a concern for managers and companies; however, there may be some consoling facts about summer vacations and their impact on performance. Read More

handshakeCRG emPerform recently announced that myStaffingPro, a full featured SaaS applicant tracking system, has joined the CRG emPerform Partner Network. The alliance will leverage CRG emPerform’s easy-to-use and automated talent management software and myStaffingPro’s best-in-class recruiting technology. Working together, we will be able to provide a complete end-to-end recruiting and talent management platform to enable businesses to effectively attract, recruit, align, reward, and retain top talent.

We asked myStaffingPro’s Director of Marketing, Julia Friemering, to give us a bit of background information:


my staffing pro

What is myStaffingPro?

myStaffingPro is a full featured SaaS applicant tracking system.

What services do you provide?

myStaffingPro provides a portal for candidates to apply online while providing customers with a robust user interface to recruit, qualify, track, and hire the best applicants.

The tools in myStaffingPro allow you to:

  • Expand your recruiting reach
  • Prequalify your applicant pool
  • Access applicant data anytime and anyplace
  • Monitor your hiring process
  • Reduce your time to fill.  (Customers of myStaffingPro have boasted a 40% reduction in their time to fill.)
  • Analyze your hiring process and recruiting initiatives

What/Who is your sweet spot?

Our sweet spot consists of mid-market companies, although we provide applicant tracking technology for companies of all sizes. myStaffingPro is the applicant tracking system of choice for more than 500 companies nationwide and 43,000 users.   Our customer base spans from well-known Fortune 500 names to those with as few as 50 employees.

Why should businesses use myStaffingPro?

myStaffingPro differentiates itself by:

  • Delivering a high touch job seeker experience.  At myStaffingPro, we understand that the candidate’s experience is just as important as the users.  We pride ourselves on providing candidates with a streamlined branded experience that is easy to complete.
  • Driving best-in-class recruiting functionality with search engine optimization (SEO), social networking tools, free job board postings, RSS feed, and a mobile enabled application.
  • Providing free applicant and customer technical support.  Customers of myStaffingPro know that they will receive continuous, timely, and informative support.

How can they learn more?

To learn more, please visit https://mystaffingpro.com, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.

emPerform welcomes myStaffingPro to our partner network! To learn more about this exciting partnership, please contact us at [email protected]