Do you start the year with great intentions but then become swept into the frenzy of the working week? Before you know it, the targets you set for yourself and your team have gone by the wayside?

The digital workplace is set to improve the way that we keep our workstreams on track. Agility, virtual teams, flexible hours and interactive technologies facilitate the perfect environment to access performance management systems, allowing individuals to monitor their progress and keep their performance targets at the forefront. Read on for ideas about how 2019 is shaping up to create a new digital workplace environment.

The Traditional Way

With the best intentions, conventional methods of monitoring performance are time-consuming, inaccurate, clunky and opaque. The employee performance review is, for most, an annual affair, in which employees sit with their managers and attempt to demonstrate a bunch of competencies, backed up by some questionable evidence, all of which can be hard to substantiate.

Performance reviews are frustrating for employees and difficult for managers. The managers have criteria (and probably a quota for each performance “grade”), and the employees are often unsure how to substantiate their contribution to the business. The review usually results in a normalized review that often fails to satisfy the employees, while creating a list of targets for them to meet the following year in order to improve upon their current grades. They return to the job crestfallen, and likely to forget about the targets until the next review.

Cut to the Digital Workplace

The digital workplace is different, because it’s interactive and target-driven, and everything is recordable. It enables ongoing, recorded assessment of employees’ contributions, negating the need for manual evidence collection. It also maintains employees’ focus by providing the means to monitor their own performance.

Meetings and consultations offer employees the opportunity to contribute interactively by gathering around interactive displays. Text-based chat rooms provide automatic recording, while project workstreams collect data regarding individual efficacy.

Doesn’t That Sound a Little … “Big Brother”?

You could look at the digital workplace like “Big Brother” – or you could recognize the value in flexible work, a healthier work/life balance, and the other opportunities that the digital workplace brings to both businesses and employees alike.

For example, working remotely:

  • Reduces costs for actual offices
  • Minimizes commuter greenhouse emissions
  • Gives employees a secure connection to performance management applications
  • Results in fewer sick days

How the Digital Workplace Affects Employee Performance Management

Virtual messaging services provide the means for everyone to communicate through sophisticated online applications. These systems provide flexible functionality, from chats that record conversations for later reference to collaboration using shared documents. And while most of these systems don’t facilitate the direct collection of data for performance management, they do leave a footprint of contributions in a single accessible place that employees can bring to performance reviews.

Project management tools allow employees to work remotely, flexibly and securely via a basic web browser. Some tools enable users to keep the entire digital workplace in one portal, providing functions like to-do lists, message boards, schedules, file storage, chat, pulse surveys and progress reporting.

Performance appraisal software provide explicit evidence of individual contributions whether the employee accesses the workplace remotely or on site. Some tools enable managers to identify employee development by observing progress toward specific business goals. By providing direct access to each employee’s work, these systems facilitate the communication of clear objectives so that everyone stays on track, provides real-time feedback on performance, and allows employees to monitor their progress and identify the shortest route to success.

The Future Is Bright

The digital workplace provides not only flexibility but benefits in employee focus and collaborative functionality, as well. From interactive displays to virtual messaging and performance management software, the digital workplace makes jobs accessible, flexible and productive. The digital workplace is set to transform the way we work in 2019 and beyond. It’s time to get on board.