Why it’s time to put performance data in the hands of managers

For years, companies have been collecting data on their employees in an attempt to boost engagement and drive performance. But capturing data alone is not enough. Unless that data is delivered to the right people at the right time, it is merely a tool for us to understand issues after they’ve happened.

Bentzy Goldman
Bentzy Goldman

The problem with the current process

In most companies, performance and engagement is the domain of HR. The tools they use collect data via centralized, bureaucratic processes, such as performance reviews and pulse surveys. These processes take a huge amount of time and effort to set up and roll out, yet their value in today’s fast-moving world is questionable. Yes, on an executive level it is critical to understand what is happening in your organization and why people are leaving or feeling disengaged, but on a team level the value of this system is questionable. By the time insights make their way to managers, they are often too late to be of any immediate use.

To use an analogy, imagine if your car dealership held all the data on your car’s fuel levels. When your fuel runs out, you only find out after it has happened, because you didn’t have access to the real-time gauge. Not exactly helpful, right? Well, that’s what’s happening with most performance and engagement data.

It’s time for a new approach

At Perflo, we believe that performance data should be in the hands of managers, after all, these are the people on the frontline each day with their teams. They are the ones that can make a real difference to team and project success and as such, both us and industry thought leaders believe it's time for a new system.

Yes managers do receive data however it is very much ‘after the fact’, we believe these insights should be delivered in real-time (or as near as possible), allowing managers to make strategic decisions to tackle issues as they arise. If their team is out of sync, they need to know now, not next week.

Without timely insights, managers are essentially flying blind, unable to understand the human factors that impact team performance.

It is also critical to outline and differentiate between 2 types of performance data:

  1. Performance data for compensation/rewards (should be held by both manager & HR)
  2. Performance data in order to increase performance (should be held by managers)

Unfortunately the majority of organizations merge the two which causes a plethora of problems which we won’t go into in this article.

Empowering managers has never been more important

The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate. With the pandemic accelerating the transition to remote working, it has never been more important for managers to have an accurate pulse on team performance and engagement, and have it now.

As the rate of change speeds up, organizations must become more agile. Those that can adapt quickly will survive; those that can’t, won’t. To make the right decisions quickly, managers need real-time data. They need ‘leading’ data points on team performance that can help them tackle issues as they arise, not ‘lagging’ data points that highlight issues after they’ve happened.

All of this points towards a new approach to people analytics that puts performance data in the hands of managers – and the need for a new type of tool dedicated to not just measuring team performance, but actually increasing it.

Why this is critical for managers of project teams

The need for real-time performance data is particularly urgent for managers of project teams. The way project teams assemble, operate, and then disassemble calls for a higher degree of agility, uncertainty and urgency than with functional teams.

Traditionally, managers of project teams have access to a range of process-related data, but they are in the dark when it comes to people-related data. So when project teams become misaligned – which they very often do – managers don’t know about it until it’s too late. No wonder so many projects fail to deliver on time and on budget.

For projects to be consistently successful, we need to give managers of project teams the insights they need to make the right decisions and keep their teams happy, motivated, and aligned. This need will only become more urgent as the world of work shifts away from traditional teams and towards project teams.

Accenture, 80% of executives believe the future of work will be project-based, not role-based.

Introducing Perflo

At Perflo, we’ve created a tool that helps project teams stay aligned, engaged, and on track. By facilitating and automating feedback loops and integrating with the tools you already use, Perflo does not require additional work or training and it continuously turns qualitative feedback data into powerful insights and feeds it to managers in real-time. Armed with this information, senior managers and project leads can understand the factors that drive performance and make timely decisions to guide their teams towards project success.

Unlike existing analytics tools that measure performance at an individual level or functional-team level, Perflo is the only tool of its kind that focuses on project teams. Everything we have designed and developed is on a project by project level. Why? Because that’s where the urgency is, and that’s where we believe we can have the biggest impact. (who knows perhaps someday we will bring our research and design to all teams)

The high failure rate of projects – and the resulting losses both in unmaterialized client needs and company bottom line – is holding organizations back from fully taking advantage of project team based work. As the world shifts towards a project-based model of work, it’s clear that managers need a dedicated tool to help them guide project teams towards successful outcomes.

So, if you’d like to start empowering your managers by giving them access to valuable team performance data, sign up for a demo.

Bentzy Goldman
Bentzy Goldman