How Technology is Transforming Performance Management


Formal performance management programs have been around since the Industrial Revolution. In those days, the manager of a manufacturing plant would set a quota and give his subordinates annual goals. Those subordinates will give goals to their subordinates and those goals will trickle down as annual quotas for frontline employees. Work has changed substantially since that era, but annual performance reviews are largely the same.

Today, technology is knocking down the old methods to make room for an updated and more effective method to improve employee performance. Unfortunately, many government agencies are lagging behind. Their current systems are often paper-and-pencil based and don’t always focus on improving employee skill sets, achieving the agency’s mission or developing future leaders.

To meet the demands of the ever-changing performance management landscape in government, agencies must stay up-to-date with cutting-edge best practices and solutions. If you’re still completing employee performance reviews with a pencil, here’s a jumping-off point to get you caught up.

The Power of Tech in Performance Management

Using an advanced performance management system, employee and agency goals have a better chance of success; best practices can be implemented successfully; and they allow the entire process to be managed more efficiently.

On top of that, an effective performance management system should:

Beyond those critical gains, performance management systems eliminate some of the uncertainties of the past: agencies can ensure accurate performance appraisal data—crucial to the effectiveness of performance appraisals. With access to their evaluations and goals for the coming year, these systems also drive more feedback from employees and encourage positive attitudes toward performance reviews.

The digitization of performance management not only provides more precise data but also positively influences management processes and strategic development. Technology-enabled performance management tools simplify the manager’s evaluation process and turn employees into active participants in their review sessions.

Furthermore, with increased transparency and automated strategic federal human resources functions, these tools can give employees a sense of alignment with the agency’s objectives and provide managers with the information they need for compliance and regulatory purposes.

Government Agencies See Results with Performance Management Systems

Current federal performance management systems have left many HR professionals scrambling to get the results they need and require significant improvements. Although performance management technologies have been in existence for some time, government agencies have only just begun to understand the substantial benefits.

Moving from a paper-based performance management process to a dynamic, technology-based platform yields many advantages. Some of which include:

  • Quick and easy cascading of goals where effective performance management systems make it significantly faster to link individual goals to the agency’s mission
  • A searchable database for stored high-quality goals and performance elements
  • Increased standardization of management processes
  • Accurate annual performance ratings
  • Facilitated communication between employees and managers
  • Progress reporting across the organization

With an efficient HR system in place, agencies can alleviate the administration burdens of a traditional performance management system. Any time saved can be invested in other crucial activities such as employee development and succession planning. The advantages of a performance management program serve everyone involved in the agency and support the agency’s progress in reaching organizational goals.

Organizations using a digital system will be better prepared to handle today’s (and tomorrow’s) public-sector challenges in the most effective (and least frustrating) manner.


George Kettner is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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