By: Julia Figliotti Riley
Even before the pandemic hit, it was already challenging to encourage employee engagement in a performance program. Now, as many companies are struggling to stay connected remotely or juggling the transition to a hybrid work model, performance management may be an even farther mental reach for your workforce. But prioritizing performance is key to company success, and you want to make sure your employees are actively participating in professional reflection and development – especially if your performance process has changed this year.
Fortunately, automation can help drive employee interaction, understanding, and motivation in performance programs when it matters most. As we draw closer to mid-year performance reviews, see how different automation features and tools can make a positive difference for your company while saving your team valuable time.
Once you determine the process and timing of your performance program, turn your primary focus to the communication strategy. What do you want each message to say? Who do you want to reach? Who don’t you want to reach? These questions are all crucial to a successful campaign, and they can be daunting to consider.
That’s why we recommend you take advantage of automation features, like the auto-generated emails that come with a top-tier employee communication software solution. These pre-made, configurable messages are presented with a recommended timeline and provide a strong foundation for organizing and sending performance communications. With easy-to edit templates, audience segmentation, and other personalization features, you’ll be set up to achieve the highest levels of relevance and engagement possible.
Chances are, your company is running multiple initiatives at the same time. This is not uncommon – in fact, it’s a regular reality for many of our customers. But when different departments are planning and executing communication strategies for time-overlapping initiatives, your workforce could become inundated with messages. And with the critical nature of performance management, you don’t want your performance communications to get lost in the noise.
This is where a communications calendar comes in. This type of feature lets you integrate a central, global calendar into your existing process, empowering various members of your team to plan, manage, measure, and scale all company communications in a single, unified place. Such a tool helps to ensure communications across the enterprise are being delivered to the right people at the right time, without the overwhelm of email bombardment. So, for example, if you’re starting a reminder campaign around mid-year performance reviews and it’s set to launch during an existing email campaign regarding a new equity program, the messaging leads for each of those initiatives can use the calendar tool and automation features to time their communications, and ensure multiple emails about unrelated programs are not being stacked and delivered in the same day.
Another way to avoid communication fatigue in your workforce is to take advantage of event-based triggers. Using this feature, you don’t schedule program communications to be sent on specific dates. Instead, you align the first message in a campaign with an exciting or important moment in an employee’s career, and let the communication platform do the rest. Some examples include:
- A promotion to a supervisory role, which triggers performance communications that focus on supervisors’ responsibilities during performance reviews
- A new hire being added to your HRIS, which triggers a welcome video, employee contract, and other onboarding resources
- A missed deadline for entering performance goals, which triggers a reminder message to do so
- A change in benefits eligibility, which triggers a total rewards campaign
This level of automation takes some of the pressure off of scheduling separate campaigns for individual employee situations, and instead allows your team to reach employees when they need it most – leading to a more streamlined HR process, a better employee experience, and a greater chance of workforce engagement and buy-in.
As your performance management campaign hits the ground, you might think it’s time to sit back and relax. But while the heaviest lift is definitely behind you, your team still needs to stay involved. We recommend taking advantage of a delivery platform that features real-time feedback, data, and analytics to ensure high-level engagement and impact throughout the campaign – and into future iterations.
Well-equipped communication platforms allow you to incorporate feedback polls, surveys, and ratings into your program to get an even stronger grasp of employee understanding and engagement. This means that as your employees engage with your performance communications, you can get an instant sense of how the campaign is working for your organization. Not only does this allow you to make adjustments to your program in real time, it sets you up for success in considering how you might iterate on your process during the next performance cycle.
Whether there have been changes to your performance management program this year or not, communicating the process and expectations is essential to ensure company-wide understanding, engagement, and buy-in. This has been an introduction to what an automated performance process can do for your enterprise. By using the tips above, you can ensure a successful performance process and see how the right tools can make a winning difference in your performance communications and results.