If I had a dollar for every time a HR system or screen in a HR system was rejected for poor user interface (read look and feel), I would be a very rich project manager. In the past few years I have implemented enough (HR) systems to know that a poor user experience is the biggest turn-off when selecting a system especially when buying a performance management system. Most employees and managers hate the traditional performance management and review processes and systems, and add to that a bad user interface, you have on your hands a recipe for failure. So it is always great to find technologies like Small Improvements that enable communication in a simple, clean yet effective way.
My experience says…
- In this generation, you should NEVER buy before you try. A vendor’s long-term success depends on your success. So if they cannot offer you a trial arrangement FIRST, then question if they care about your success!
- Does the vendor of your product want to sell you extensive (expensive) training packages along with your product/service purchase? If yes, BEWARE! If a product is not as easy to use as Facebook or other freely available collaboration platforms, then chances are you may never succeed in getting user adoption. After all, as Larry Ellison said “There can’t be classes in this. There are no classes for Facebook. There are no classes for Twitter. There are no classes for buying a bottle of coconut milk on Amazon.com…”. The more complicated the user interface and back-end mechanisms of the technology, the longer it takes to implement it and hence adds to the overall costs hence affecting the ROI.
- Performance objectives, reviews, recommendations are not just meant to sit there, they are meant to act as resources to have a good old conversation to enable transparent communication between employees, peers, and managers no matter where they’re in the hierarchy.
Welcome to Small Improvements
The product features the usual functionality available in most cloud Performance Management systems like writing and sharing objectives, self, manager and other appraisals, 360 reviews, etc. But things I want to highlight are those worth exploring beyond the standard:
- It sucks when you have to pay to try a product or even worse buy before trying only to find out it’s not right for you. With Small Improvements, you don’t sign-up or pay until you are absolutely sure they are right for you! I don’t know very many providers who will allow this transparent and very fair process. Ultimately, why make an unhappy customer pay? I love working with companies with ethics that match my own. Small Improvements never lock you into a contract and they even offer a 50% discount to NPO’s.
- They have a mobile app in Beta now. Yes I know that performance review process is not something that was traditionally done on a mobile on a bus HOWEVER, given that the number of mobile devices have outgrown the number of human beings, it is fair to say, every system needs to have mobility.
- Recognition, Continuous Feedback, Badges, Collaboration-Yes, they have all that wrapped up under a single easy to use screen called “Messages”. Talking about making things simple, this is simplicity at possibly its best.
- Administration at your fingertips-gone are the days where you should have to raise customisation requests for functionality changes. Welcome the ease of ticking things on and off based on when and what you need. Play with colours, fonts, design, labels and more-it’s all a child’s play I promise! Not keen on using 360s? Turn them off! Want to add categories to your objectives? Set them up. Create those graphs (read drag and drop employees on a 2D scale) and dashboards (read pie-charts indicating completion rates, trends, etc.) and configure those settings yourself without needing to pay someone to do it using complicated Admin settings.
- Decide when and who goes through the performance review process. I have seen countless systems where you have to rigidly launch one big performance review process which is company-wide. This usually doesn’t suit many companies as different departments have different business cycles and their objectives and review process should suit this instead of the other way around!
I am a curious person, I like to know before I buy and definitely like to find out who else is using a product to check them out! Well, I am glad to reveal some awesome names like Klout, Quiksilver, Turtle Entertainment and the list goes on with hundreds of customers discovering the ease of Small Improvements!
Start your free 30 day trial, and for up to 10 users, the system is permanently free. And no there are no Gotcha’s‘, there are clear packages to choose from that are explained on their website so you know exactly what to expect!