Automate Employee Feedback: Save Time and Money on Performance Reviews
Does your company have a well-oiled performance management machine? Or are you stuck in a cycle of paper shuffling, procrastination, and missed career development opportunities?
If it's the latter, you're not alone, with a mere 8% of companies describing their performance management approach as highly effective in driving business value.
So, why are companies falling short in this area? Because collating and documenting employee feedback for annual performance reviews involves a lot of heavy lifting involving mountains of paperwork and spreadsheets.
We know it takes time for you, fellow HR leaders, and upper management to dedicate yourselves to the review process. Plus, in doing so, you're removed from your regular work.
But it doesn't need to be this way!
There's a tech solution for every aspect of HR, including performance management. This guide explores how to automate employee feedback, so your review cycles run on time, stress-free, and without anyone losing sleep.
⚙️ What is employee feedback automation?
Automating employee feedback means leaning on technology to streamline each stage of your performance review process.
Instead of endless paperwork, an automated feedback solution takes everything online.
You will store all feedback data in a centralized database and seamlessly alert managers, direct reports, and HR leaders when they need to take action. You can even choose where you'd send the notifications, for example, via email, Slack or MS Teams.
"Automating feedback is a great way to ensure that employees are heard and feel safe to voice their opinions. The key is to make sure you have a system in place that can receive feedback, store and track feedback, and manage feedback." Krittin Kalra, Founder of AI content tool, Writecream.
💡 7 Benefits of automating employee feedback
Intrigued and want to know more? Let's look at the top seven benefits of automating this essential element of HR.
1. Upgraded process efficiency
Topping the list are the numerous productivity bonuses of incorporating technology into your feedback process.
Transferring your feedback forms online speeds up managers' and employees' time to fill in reviews and appraisal boxes. As a result, expect to spend significantly fewer hours on admin; this will give you additional time to execute strategic business tasks instead.
And, when you're not investing as much time in a manual process? That's right – there's a massive cost saving, too.
It's hard to figure out how much you'll save. Still, one study reveals that inefficient processes cost companies as much as 20 to 30% of their annual revenue.
2. Enhanced security
Recent studies reveal that one in 20 paper documents is lost or misplaced, and companies can waste up to 25 hours recreating this work. Don't let that happen to your confidential feedback data!
Instead, automation ensures a level of protection you won't get from paperwork strewn across a manager's desk or stored in a filing cabinet.Employee feedback software can be encrypted and password-protected, ensuring 100% confidentiality. You can look out for software authenticated with Comodo Code Signing Certificate, ensuring that the software solution is legitimate and safe to download.
Moving from paperwork to safe software solutions means there's a zero chance of documents being left on a train or sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.
3. Supercharged productivity for HR teams
When your HR team isn't bogged down in performance cycles, this allows you to invest in other departmental matters.
What will you do with the extra hours? Perhaps review your compensation structures, look at employee engagement, explore L&D initiatives, or repackage benefits?
The bottom line: automating your feedback process offers your organization numerous ways to cash in.
4. Access to real-time performance trends
Your employee feedback collection gives you access to key performance trends across your organization.
With a manual process, you might not be able to identify these trends easily. When using manual employee performance reviews to collect feedback, someone will need to take a fine toothcomb to glean the critical facts from your data.
But when you collect and aggregate data automatically, you'll have an easier time analyzing this data.
You'll unearth a gold mine of info on your team's strengths and weaknesses.
As a superior alternative, automation provides real-time at-a-glance info on professional development themes, review completion rates, and more. Not only can you use this data to refine your performance review process, but you'll also use it to:
- determine compensation allocation,
- build succession plans, and
- influence your training provision.
Essentially, it allows you to augment key decision-making processes.
"Instead of manually collecting and tracking feedback, you can use a system to do it for you. This way, you can easily see patterns and trends in employee behavior and performance, avoiding potential problems before they occur. Plus, it will be easier to find if you ever need to pull out the data for a specific employee or time period." Chris Lewandowski, President of Princess Dental Staffing, a recruitment company serving the dental industry.
5. Richer quality of feedback
Consistency is critical in performance reviews because it prevents bias from creeping in.
When companies use an automated system complete with best practice guidelines, managers can follow a set process to deliver individual employee appraisals with precision. They'll know precisely how to handle positive appraisals and constructive feedback too. And when given as part of a 360-degree review structure, automation ensures an improved quality of feedback.
6. Improved organizational alignment
Suppose your company has clear organizational objectives and needs to track goals to ensure every wheel cog aligns with these goals.
In that case, a positive feedback culture and streamlined review system ensure that individual and team performances are a perfect match for the company.
"With a standardized system, it's easier for your staff to position their work - from minor day-to-day activities to overall business objectives - by witnessing the connection between their daily activities and their impact on company performance." Mark Seemann, Founder of Staff Circle, a recruitment industry success platform.
7. Boosted employee engagement
Employee feedback statistics confirm that team members are more likely to perform better when they feel their company hears their voice. Feeling listened to improves your employees' job satisfaction!
So, asking for employee feedback as part of a performance review isn't just a nice gesture; it can affect your bottom line!
Better yet, data provided by Bonusly reveals that 94.7% of highly engaged employees believe that their employer takes their feedback seriously.
When companies take the temperature of their employees and measure their performance, we see an uptick in employee satisfaction and engagement.
Tip: Keep engagement levels high by demonstrating a commitment to feedback-taking.
While these metrics appear separate from employee performance, they do have a knock-on effect.
68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled at work.
Automate the process to ensure performance reviews are:
- embedded in your company culture,
- occur regularly,
- clearly link to the growth and development of your workforce.
🖐 Manual vs automated employee feedback
What happens when we pit manual and automated feedback systems head to head?
We can consider some key criteria for the comparison: time consumption, costs, timeliness, quality of insights, opportunity for improvement.
Check out the comparisons below – we bet you'll choose the right-hand column when you run your next feedback cycle.
⚒️ How to automate your feedback processes in 5 steps
Automating your employee feedback is a straightforward process. Set it up once, then course-correct as needed.
1. Create and publish your feedback policy
A feedback policy is an essential building block in your feedback system. Create a clear set of guidelines about delivering and receiving feedback, so your workforce is on the same page about the process.
Your feedback policy might include info on ratings, scoring guidelines, and how you'll use feedback to craft individual development strategies.
2. Set feedback frequency
Decide how regularly you'll ask employees to give feedback and how often they expect to receive it.
The certainty of an automated schedule provides reassurance that the company is invested in its employees and is true to its word.
3. Set automated reminders
Automated reminders will keep you on track if you're super busy and in danger of overlooking a task related to performance management.
Your software will offer a prompt if you've missed a crucial deadline or need to schedule customizations. It'll also alert the next person in the feedback chain to keep the process moving.
The top benefit here? HR teams don't need to chase and track feedback – it happens seamlessly in the background without you skipping a beat.
4. Automate manager approvals
Manager approvals are integral to the performance management system, whether signing off on self-appraisals or agreeing to assign relevant training resources.
These approvals are a cinch with automation.
5. Feedback survey templates
You can use employee feedback templates or choose from various preloaded competencies and questions, usually stored in a software database.
Templates give you a shortcut to creating your custom automated survey for employee feedback.
➡️ Check our dedicated article for extra tips on creating your 360 degree feedback survey.
➡️ Automate your employee feedback processes with Zavvy
Ready to take your performance management up a notch? Zavvy's 360-degree feedback software will win you back valuable time and money while increasing employee engagement.
Create your automated process using employee feedback templates or by building your custom forms using a variety of preloaded competencies and survey questions.
Your teams will benefit from supercharged collaboration, peer recognition, and gems like real-time feedback and coaching opportunities.
Try us out by booking a demo with Zavvy today. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to create outstanding employee experiences at scale!
❓ Automated employee feedback FAQ
Still got some head-scratchers? Check out our answers to the most common questions on automating employee feedback.
Would you recommend a manual or automated process to manage employee feedback?
Small startups with less than 20 employees may find a manual employee feedback system works if the head count stays small. But as your business grows, most companies will benefit from an automated feedback solution.
Remember: it's never too late to make the switch, but the sooner you do, the quicker you'll reap the benefits.
What is employee feedback software?
Employee feedback software is a technology that automates your entire feedback process. Features include:
- Adding surveys and forms to a database.
- Adding security privileges.
- Sharing them as required with your team members.
You'll also set up customizations, so your feedback system meets your company's needs. Plus, you can switch on email notifications to alert colleagues about any action items. For example, if they need to fill in a review box before a deadline.
How do you provide continuous feedback?
HBR reports that companies have been using some form of a performance review since at least the 1940s.
But traditionally, this has been an annual event where a manager provides feedback to their direct reports about their performance in the year prior.
This system is riddled with flaws, including feedback bias and employees having to wait a year for 1:1 about their progress.
Instead, continuous feedback happens as part of a 360 review process. Employees receive real-time guidance through regular check-ins, group feedback exchanges, peer reviews, and more.
How do you create an employee feedback system?
We use employee feedback systems to collect and share employee feedback across an organization. First, you'll choose your feedback tool, such as Zavvy's 360 feedback software, to create an automated feedback system. Then you'll need to do the following:
1. Choose how often to request feedback.
2. Choose the right type of feedback (for example, downward, upward, peer feedback, and self-assessments).
➡️ Need help deciding which type of feedback best suits your teams? Check out our dedicated resources.
3. Choose how to share feedback requests (for example, sending out survey requests via Slack, email, or similar).
4. Create your employee feedback survey. You can start with a customizable survey template.
5. With the foundation, automate your employee feedback system using Zavvy to run without a hitch.
How do you capture feedback from employees?
Unless you're running an archaic top-down approach to performance management, you'll want to collect vital feedback from employees.
These valuable insights can come from self-evaluations (where employees rate their individual performance), peer feedback (where colleagues review each other), and upward feedback (where employees provide feedback about leadership teams.)
Use automated forms to capture the feedback, analyze it, and act on it!