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5 Ways HR Technology Can Improve Performance Reviews With many unsatisfied with the current setup for giving feedback, find out how software can step into the breach.

By Heather R. Huhman Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Performance reviews have earned a bad reputation. In fact, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Personnel Psychology, many people respond negatively to critical feedback they receive in a performance review.

Further, according to the 2013 Employee Recognition Programs survey, by the Society for Human Resource Management, only half of HR professionals say annual performance reviews are an accurate appraisal of an employee's performance. In addition, 49 percent of human resources professionals believe their performance-review process needs to be re-evaluated.

The bottom line: Performance reviews aren't working.

For employers looking to improve the performance review process, HR technology can make a huge difference. The following are five performance-management web apps that I have used in the past:

Related: Why Midyear Is a Marvelous Time for a Meaningful Review

1. Focus more on collaboration.

HR technology lets managers and employees collaborate during the performance-review process. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 90 percent of HR professionals believe that a combination of feedback from an employee's manager as well as others in an organization creates a more accurate picture of employee performance.

Featherlight, for example, helps employers manage real-time performance, schedule one-on-one meetings, provide continuous learning to employees and improve workplace communication.

2. Improve organization.

Performance reviews can become messy when employers don't have a system for organization of their HR processes. For example, Weekdone enables managers to monitor their employees' goals, accomplishments and challenges in a single place. As employees complete tasks, Weekdone emails managers weekly status reports to help them gauge their employees' performance in real time.

Related: Smarten Your Employees' Work Styles -- 5 Ways to Coax Productivity

3. Turn negative feedback into constructive ideas.

According to the study published in the Journal of Personnel Psychology, people who are concerned with how others view their performance reported being unhappy upon receiving critical feedback. The study also showed people who care the most about learning don't take negative feedback well from others.

HR technology helps employers find ways to turn their negative feedback into constructive feedback. This allows employers to coach their employees and give them the feedback they need to succeed.

PerformYard, for example, lets employers document and announce performance results and note positive interactions that take place during employee reviews. This tool is also very useful for improving communication in the workplace and recognizing employees who exceed expectations.

4. Build open communication.

For employers to improve performance reviews, transparent communication should take place between the employer and employee.

By using HR software, employers can easily communicate their goals with employees and make expectations for employees more visible. This helps employees learn how their performance goals fit into the objectives of the organization.

For example, Trakstar enables transparent communication in the workplace by helping managers keep employees informed by sending email reminders about goals and reviews.

5. Improve real-time feedback.

Timely feedback is extremely important because it ensures employees receive feedback when they need it and can make changes accordingly. But, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, only 2 percent of employers perform ongoing performance reviews. For employees to reach their highest potential, they need to receive timely feedback.

HR tools such as ReviewSnap can help ensure employee reviews are completed at the proper intervals and help foster worker engagement.

What ways to do you think HR technology can improve performance reviews?

Related: Stop Delaying: 3 Surefire Ways to Do Employee Reviews Properly

Heather R. Huhman

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended

Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, the PR solution for job search and HR tech companies. She writes about issues impacting the modern workplace.

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