4 Ways You Can Evaluate Employee Potential Using HR Technology

When it comes to employees, potential is often vastly different to performance. There are links of course, but they’re not the same thing and when line management and supervisors have a focus on day to day performance, often the employee’s potential only gets considered at the dreaded annual appraisal.

This is probably why surveys tell us that, while most organisations continue to conduct annual performance reviews, they are increasingly seen as not worth the bother (2014 Deloitte research found that only 1 in 5 respondents thought them worth undertaking).

The Changing Landscape of Performance Management

Performance management is evolving and increasingly, HR technology is the catalyst and enabler of that evolution. Today’s employer is looking for an IT-enabled performance system that includes real-time feedback, tailored individual coaching and development, and more sophisticated assessment processes.

performance management is evolving and increasingly, HR technology is the catalyst and enabler of that evolution.

In turn, more and more performance management tools include features such as regular check-ins, open goal-sharing, social feedback and employee-centric approaches to skills identification and development. What’s more, such tools are showing up as fully-integrated elements of talent management and succession planning functions further enhancing their usage as a means to measure employee potential.

Monitoring Employee Potential Using HR Technology

To return to the daily needs of managing individual performance, the valued traits tend to include regularly exceeding expectations, setting the standard of excellence, and being a role model for peers and colleagues. Those last two are also indicators of future employee potential, but clues to that potential may also include aptitude and adaptability, and even evidence of inconsistent performance. In other words, depending on which traits you look for, you may spot either current performance or future potential.

Once these traits are identified, your HRMS and associated applications can be used to highlight those employees with the most potential based on a variety of supporting data over a period of time and not just a one-off annual assessment.

Four examples of how HR technology can help are:

  • Ongoing performance management – by creating opportunities and prompts for more regular, and real-time feedback, you can populate the database with the necessary performance- (and employee potential-) related information.

  • Social-based 360 assessment – make feedback easy to give between hierarchical levels and among peers and build fuller picture of each individual’s potential for alternative roles.

  • Gamified learning activitiesby allocating ‘points’ to the abilities you’re seeking for key projects and roles, you can help highlight those ready to develop further.

  • Talent-focused analytics – access the (relatively) Big Data contained within your HRMS, ERP and even CRM systems to consider a more 3-dimensional picture of employee performance to identify those employees with potential for advancement and development (either upwards or sideways into specialist niche roles).

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall