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  • Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson.


    "intellHR has allowed us to treat an employee, based overseas, as if they were based in the office."

  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    In 2016 we rolled out intelliHR, and in 2017 we had our best financial year yet. That makes a massive statement to show how valuable an investment in people and technology can be."

  • Sarah Gatehouse

    Sarah Gatehouse.

    Fujitsu General Australia

    "With the implementation of intelliHR, the improvements in our culture are clearly visible. intelliHR is a tool that helps with our strategic cultural goal of being a great place to work, with improved engagement, communication and goal management now well on track."



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These businesses get the best out of their talent from using intelliHR.

| 5 min
Customer Stories – EMM, improving performance
EMM began their journey in 2008 and have been helping their clients achieve excellence in environmental planning, approvals and compliance ever since which has led them to doubling in size over the past two...
| 5 min
Pro Performance Part 4: How to maintain great people performance
So you’ve made it through our whole Pro Performance series. You’ve looked at what’s missing, filled the gaps, and maybe even taken steps to increase your team’s performance.  You know how to get your...
| 5 min
Pro Performance Part 3: How to take your performance processes to the next level
Welcome to Part 3 of the Pro Performance series! So if you’ve been reading along all month, by now you will have done an audit of your performance processes, and also discovered what you...
| 10 min
Pro Performance Part 2: How to improve your performance processes
Last week we looked at how to audit your performance processes to take stock of where your organisation is at and find any areas you may want to work on. Today we’re helping you...
| 10 min
Pro Performance Part 1: How to audit your performance processes
At intelliHR, you could say we’re a little passionate about performance. Okay, we’re very passionate – and we talk about it here on the blog a lot. But the thing is, we know a...
| 5 min
Salary reviews are not the way to reward high performers
Salary reviews strike fear into employees, and employers alike. It can often feel like there are a lot of unknowns, making it hard to navigate decisions about salary changes. How satisfied are our people...
| 5 min
Why it’s time to ditch performance reviews, and what to do instead
If you work in the world of HR, you’ll know that there’s more to performance than an annual review process. Measuring, maintaining and fostering high performance needs to occur throughout the entire employee lifecycle,...

Customer Stories – EMM, improving performance

EMM began their journey in 2008 and have been helping their clients achieve excellence in environmental planning, approvals and compliance ever since which has led them to doubling in size over the past two years. As industry recognised experts in planning and environmental consulting with a strong focus on their clientele, EMM have prioritised performance reviews to ensure that a quality service is being provided to their community. With intelliHR, EMM have been able to transform a once arduous process into a simple workflow: 

  • 10 hours to 1 hour on individual performance reviews
  • Inbox = Unclogged
  • No manual document storage

Performance is important to EMM, and the process around collecting feedback includes clients, managers and peers, who each complete their feedback in an intelliHR form. These forms are then forwarded to a reviewer to analyse. This holistic look at performance provides an accurate understanding of how team members are performing and how they’re helping their clients succeed. 


The Challenge 

Prior to intelliHR, EMM was conducting their performance process entirely through email. There would be surveys and forms distributed to managers, employees and customers in bulk, which when returned (after a few follow up emails) would then be manually stored on the employee’s file before finally being sent to the reviewers to compile. This process was manual and took approximately 10 hours on average to complete per employee! 


The Solution 

With the help of intelliHR alongside the brilliant People and Culture team at EMM, we were able to streamline the performance process to save time and effort for all involved. The entire performance process is now located on intelliHR, which sends out all the relevant surveys, and when one is completed the next form is automatically triggered.

Thanks to performance data being centralised, EMM was then able to tailor the performance surveys to five different levels of responsibility within the business. This allowed for more accurate and applicable information to be gathered from previous models where information gathered was more general in nature.



All completed forms are stored on the employee profile for easy access, which also saves time as there’s no manually saving documents to employee files anymore. intelliHR features a Performance Report that summarises the key information in one place; no more copy/paste or flicking between tabs during review meetings. The mechanism for delivery is now all done through intelliHR, no pesky following up is needed as the system reminds those who haven’t completed forms when they’re due. 


performance summary

EMM’s performance process can now be triggered with the click of a button, which puts the time back in the hands of their People team. The forms are easy to fill out and there are no more clogged inboxes and endless follow ups leaving the EMM team with that intelliHR smile.

Are you curious about how we can help you with your performance process? We’re keen to discuss your time, and how we can save more of it to let you get back to HRing.





Pro Performance Part 4: How to maintain great people performance

So you’ve made it through our whole Pro Performance series. You’ve looked at what’s missing, filled the gaps, and maybe even taken steps to increase your team’s performance

You know how to get your people performing at their best, but what can we do to keep them there?

This is what we’ll be covering today as we look at how to maintain great people performance in the long term.


Make performance reviews proactive

Remember the continuous feedback and performance summaries we spoke about earlier? This is where they really become valuable. With continuous feedback occuring, and the tools to draw all your performance data into an on-demand performance summary, the way performance reviews are conducted can be completely transformed.  No longer are your team waiting for a half year or annual review to get useful feedback and support from their leaders, they can get it progressively when they need it. This helps increase transparency and improves you culture immediately.

Not only does continuous feedback mean managers and their team members can be having bite-sized discussions on a regular basis, but when it does come time for a more formal review, all those involved will have access to the most relevant and up-to-date insights. This means performance reviews can be turned into a proactive conversation, rather than a recap of what has happened in the past.

Use this as an opportunity to reflect on an individual’s role and reassess where their talents can best be applied in the future. For example, if you have two sales people in the same role, but one is excelling in lead generation, while the other gets less leads but has a better close rate – it might be worth redesigning their roles to cater to their unique skills. 

These proactive conversations are vital to help keep your people performing over the long-term.


Don’t rely on pay rises to motivate people

While we’re on the topic of performance reviews, ensure these are not used as an opportunity to focus on salary increases. Directly linking performance discussions with salary reviews can place limitations on performance over time. There are a few reasons for this.

One, increasing an employee’s salary every time they achieve higher and higher levels of performance will eventually become unsustainable. And if they have learned to be motivated by these salary increases, what’s left to keep them improving after their salary reaches its limit?

Secondly, not all of your staff will be motivated by money. In most cases, performance at work is more intrinsically motivated, that is, feeling valued and accomplishing goals is a bigger performance driver than pay rises.

So what approaches can we use to keep our people motivated? 


Set goals strategically

In the earlier parts to our Pro Performance series, we spoke about using Goals Management. Now let’s explore how we can actually design goals to help motivate great performance.

Having a sense of contribution or feeling like they play a valuable role within the organisation is another key intrinsic motivator for your people.One way this can be leveraged is to set high-level organisational goals within the system, and then cascade these down into smaller goals for individual team members so everyone can see the role they play and how it fits into the bigger picture. 

For high performing employees, you should also consider using OKRs or stretch goals, which can push their performance to new heights by getting them to find new approaches to their work.


Provide recognition

When goals are achieved in intelliHR, relevant leaders in the business are notified, and can then give recognition on the spot, which is key for making the most impact.

When deciding on how recognition should be delivered, managers should consider how their individual direct reports like to be recognised, as everyone has different preferences for which forms of recognition will motivate them and which may actually have an adverse effect.

Through engaging in continuous feedback and having regular one-on-ones, managers are able to start understanding their team members needs and motivations better, which will be invaluable when it comes time to recognise them for their work.


So there you have it, our ultimate guide to improving your performance processes and actually increasing people performance at the same time! If you’re curious about any of the concepts or tools we’ve covered in this series, our team would love to chat to you about how they might work for your business. You can reach us on 1300 993 803 (AU) or 0800 631 631 (NZ) or get a demo of intelliHR here.


Pro Performance Part 3: How to take your performance processes to the next level

Welcome to Part 3 of the Pro Performance series! So if you’ve been reading along all month, by now you will have done an audit of your performance processes, and also discovered what you need to do to improve them.

Now actioning everything from Part 2 will take time, but if you’ve already got those solid foundations in place, or when you are ready for the next steps – here are our tips to take your performance to new heights!

All of these ideas are focused around taking proactive and continuous steps to foster high performance from the start, rather than trying to improve under-performance after the fact (for example as you might in traditional annual performance review). If you can act on these things now, you’ll reap huge long-term rewards!


Kickstart high performance from day one

Naturally, it takes time for new starters to begin performing, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a focus on performance in the onboarding period. In fact, helping employees perform as quickly as possible not only increases your ROI on new hires but aids retention too.


One in five employees leave an organisation before completing their onboarding period.

People Management



Think about it; first impressions are everything. If a new starter is given only menial tasks during their first few weeks, and has no goals to work towards, they can easily become bored and develop a perception that the rest of their tenure will be like this too.

Dedicated team members will want the opportunity to challenge themselves and demonstrate their skills from day one. Besides most new starters will have been hired for particular skills they bring to your organisation. Whilst inexperienced in your business, they also have the advantage of a fresh perspective, which you can leverage by encouraging them to take ownership of their responsibilities.

So how can we action this?

As part of the onboarding process, ensure the new starter’s manager works with them to set up three main goals to work towards. These can be set-up using Goals Management so they will be instantly accessible to the staff member from their first day and they can start tracking their progress.

This helps foster a sense of achievement early on, provides direction, allows them to start fully-utilising their skills, and ensures that each new starter’s time is being maximised from the start, while giving them a better experience, and aiding retention at the same time.


Use probation check-ins

Another tweak in processes that can be used to maximise performance is adding in multiple probation checkpoints into the onboarding process. 

Remember those automated check-ins we talked about in Part 2? For new starters, schedule a check-in for both the team member and their manager on the one, three and six month marks to ask how things are tracking and enable leaders to act on any issues early as early as possible. 

This is crucial for uncovering things like:

  • Do new staff have all the resources they need?
  • Are settling in okay?
  • Are they experiencing any roadblocks?
  • Are they feeling empowered to take ownership of their responsibilities?
  • Are there any misunderstandings about where their position fits into where the organisation is going?

Getting these things sorted in the probation period is crucial for retaining your best talent long term.

The insights from these check-ins can then be used to help managers see where recognition or additional support is needed.


Rethink role design

In order for any role to be fulfilled well, it needs to meet not only the needs of your organisation, but also the skills and talents of the person doing it. You need to be prepared to be flexible on aspects of the PD, and this is particularly the case when a new person starts. 

Of course, it’s great to start with an outline of the role requirements, particularly through the recruitment process, but what’s important is to have the flexibility that PDs can be easily adapted between the team member and manager as the need and opportunity presents. Such changes allow a team member to pursue new skills which the organisation might need them to explore to achieve a particular strategic objective.

This strategic alignment fits well with a goals-focused approach. In these cases the PD becomes less vital, and instead these goals can be used to guide each person in their role. Moving away from a list of duties and instead focusing on goals helps everyone see how they contribute to the big picture and think strategically about their role – not tactically. 


Give and receive better feedback

So we’ve looked at getting a Continuous Feedback process in place, but how can we then optimise this? 

Capturing the most accurate, timely and insightful feedback from each of your people allows you to ensure they have everything they need to do their best work, and allows the manager to support their goals appropriately and provide guidance if they recognise from their feedback that their focus is drifting away from the strategic objectives.

You can further strengthen feedback by going beyond just the manager and their direct reports’ feedback, but broadening it to cover the full 360 degrees. That is; feedback is gathered from the individual themselves, their manager, their direct reports and their peers to get the whole picture. This information should then be shared with managers and the team members themselves.

This is the first step. In addition to this, think about how feedback is provided back to staff. It should always be proactive (which continuous feedback will allow you to do) and focused around performance improvement (not performance management).


We hope these tips will help you maximise performance in your organisation. Next week we’ll be looking at how we can maintain performance over the long-term.

Pro Performance Part 2: How to improve your performance processes

Last week we looked at how to audit your performance processes to take stock of where your organisation is at and find any areas you may want to work on. Today we’re helping you with the next steps; we know what might need fixing, so let’s do it!

Part 2 is all about improving your performance processes. We’ll share some tools to help you get these improvements in place, as well as our personal tips on making the transition. 

So grab your audit from last week, take a look at the areas where you’d like to improve your performance processes, and see how you can get started.

And if you haven’t already done your audit? Start with that step here.



Use Continuous feedback

We know that regular feedback can provide a far more current and accurate picture of performance and add constructively to improving performance, than an annual review, but how can we go about actually implementing it?

Well, the first critical step is getting your continuous feedback process adopted. Luckily, high adoption rates can be achieved by making the whole process as easy as possible for everyone to engage with. However then your managers have to respond to the feedback, our experience is teams will engage, but only continue if managers respond. The great outcome here is that if managers do follow through with responses, trust and transparency across your team will dramatically improve which is a key building block of a strong culture.

To do all of this efficiently, you will need a people management platform that allows you to set up repeating regular check-in pulses. These mean you can send out scheduled emails, requesting staff to complete a quick task in the system. The pulses can be set to send a “check-in” form once a month, allowing staff to easily click through, complete the form on any online device and then have all the data automatically entered into your people platform for analysis.

By setting up check-ins to also request feedback from an employee’s manager and team members (and vice-versa), you can also implement 360 degree feedback.

Learn more about feedback check-ins.


Manage data online 

This is imperative to ensuring you can actually find those performance records when you need them, as well as making sure this information is stored securely. 

When all the moments that go into capturing a picture of performance can be recorded online in one place, it’s easy to get valuable insights into how your people are performing.

To get this in place, you’ll need to have a people management platform with this functionality. And yes, intelliHR can do that.

Learn more about intelli-moments.


Automate where possible

Some things are best done by people; giving feedback, having conversations, inspiring people. But repetitive, manual, admin processes? We think those are better left to technology, so we can all focus on the more important things we have to do (like acting on your insights!), and not worry about forgetting anything in the process.

Within your performance processes, we recommended to start by automating two key things; continuous feedback pulses and performance summaries – this will instantly shift you from a reactive formal annual or half year review process to a proactive and constructive monthly check-in process where issues and opportunities are address quickly and any strategic alignment can be carried out when it is needed, rather than 6 months too late.

For continuous feedback, of course the feedback itself will still be provided by those involved, but the process of sending out pulses to prompt feedback can all be taken care of by your people management software. This way, it’s easy for everyone to remember to do their bit.

When all your data is in one place online, performance summaries can also be collated in one-click, taking away the need to manually put together a performance review.

Learn more about automation tools.


Frequency and timeliness

Make feedback regular

Continuous Feedback works best when it’s regular, and engaged with consistently across all teams. By setting up pulses to request this feedback on a monthly basis, you can ensure this is happening regularly and consistently.

Don’t forget to also follow this up with an in-person one-on-one catch up between every manager and their direct reports at the same intervals. As touched on earlier, managers responding to the feedback builds trust and transparency across your team which is a key building block of a strong culture.

Learn more about feedback check-ins.


Measure performance in real time

One of the simplest ways to start getting a measure of performance in real-time is by allowing everyone to set and track their own goals within your people management platform.

Using our goals management feature, staff can add measurable milestones on each goal they are working towards, and update their progress as it happens. This provides the employee themselves, as well as their manager, with a real-time view of how they are tracking. We recommend further supporting goals through seeking feedback upon progress, and information about training needs in the monthly check-in. This allows skills gaps to be rapidly identified and rectified with training. 

These goals, combined with insights from continuous feedback and other key performance data, can then be pulled into a performance summary on-demand, to give an employee or a manager a snapshot of their performance.

Learn more about the one-click performance summary.



Optimise rating scales

Rating scales like ‘Below Expectations’, ‘Meeting Expectations’ and ‘Above Expectations’ place managers in the mindset they need to reprimand employees who are underperforming. It also makes employees feel threatened when talking about performance and may prevent them from asking for help. We recommend using a rating scale that encourages a proactive response, for example: ‘Needs Help’, ‘Going Okay’ or ‘Going Great’.

Using intelliHR’s pulses, this can be set-up within your check-in forms to allow managers to rate their direct reports, or employees to rate themselves also.

Learn more about form tools.


Focus on performance improvement

As mentioned above, engaging in more regular feedback and optimising your rating scales will help to shift the focus towards performance improvement (not performance management). Another tip is to make sure your check-ins include a question that asks staff if there is anything you can do to help them. This welcomes feedback that could reveal challenges an employee is experiencing that could be holding back their performance.

Learn more about performance improvement.


Give people visibility on performance

By giving your people tools like goals and performance summaries, this will enable them to get a view of their own performance at any point, compare how they are tracking over time and then ask for help if they recognise any problems. Likewise, if they are doing better than expected this can increase motivation, and encourage high performance to continue.


Employee experience

Make processes consistent

By using automation tools mentioned earlier, processes can easily be made consistent across the whole business. When one great process like a check-in pulse is created, it can be rolled out across the entire organisation instantly. Also the more the progress can be reflective of your business and relevant to your team the better, we strongly recommend configuring your performance process to this extent.

Learn more about Automation.


Reduce manager burden

Automation tools also help reduce the manager burden by taking away the task of asking for feedback. Now this information on how people are tracking will be ready and waiting when required, so managers can simply take this and use the insights to inform their one-on-one conversations – making responding to feedback much easier! By doing progressively, it is much less of a burden than would be required in an annual review.


Reduce stress in your staff

Once you have a continuous feedback process in place, that’s delivered in a convenient way, and asks the right questions, coupled with other supporting performance tools, you can remove the need for formal annual reviews. This relieves a lot of stress and angst from staff that is often brought on by formal reviews. This improved process also helps to improve morale and allow people to be happier at work as they’re able to voice concerns and take action on problems earlier, before they become unfixable.


We hope Part 2 has given you some helpful tips to start improving on your audit findings. Next week, we’re going to build on this further and really take your performance processes to the next level.


Pro Performance Part 1: How to audit your performance processes

At intelliHR, you could say we’re a little passionate about performance. Okay, we’re very passionate – and we talk about it here on the blog a lot.

But the thing is, we know a lot of businesses are starting from ground zero with their performance strategy. Chances are, you know where you want to be, but you’re just not sure how best to support your team to get there, and you may be wondering where on Earth to even start.

So, we’ve put together a four part series to take you from zero to hero with your performance – and this series is not just about taking away admin and having nice processes (although we’ll tell you how to do that too). It’s ultimately going to help you not only manage performance better, but actively support performance improvement it – and then take it to the next level!

In Part 1, we’re starting from the very beginning; how to audit your performance processes. No matter where your people performance strategy is at, you’ll be able to follow along with today’s blog, and when you’re done, you’ll know exactly where there’s room for improvement (and what you’re already doing well.)

Ready to see how your performance is performing? Read on and rank your organisation on the following key areas.



Does your performance process include continuous feedback?

Your team members performance shouldn’t be defined by one meeting each year. Performance is made up of moments that happen every day. So why do most performance reviews so often have an annual focus and comprise of information that a manager has tried to remember over the last 12 months? This approach undermines the success of the whole performance process. If there is a problem or a roadblock, talking about it nine months later won’t help. Performance is an ongoing and fluid process and at intelliHR we believe your supporting framework should be as well. We strongly recommend a continuous feedback model that captures performance moments in real-time, allowing you to support and celebrate as required.


Is feedback 360 degrees?

Having 360 feedback (from an employee themselves, their manager and their peers) also adds to the accuracy of performance reporting as opposed to relying on one-sided accounts. Your whole team benefits from the collaborated and valuable insights which are easily captured from their peers. Leaders can take action on the aggregated insights from the broader team-wide understanding. Managers can use 360 feedback to incorporate this feedback into a team member’s personal development.


Is all performance data recorded securely online?

Ideally, this should all be recorded in one central and secure online location, creating a single point of truth for all your HR records, while keeping them accessible and safe. Paper records and notebooks can quickly become a nightmare when it comes time to pull all of this information together for a performance review. In fact imagine how useful it would be to instantly produce a current performance report so that any catch up could be informed with up to date insights.


Are you using automation?

Automating things like continuous feedback processes and collation of performance summaries not only saves a huge amount of time and resources, but also provides a more consistent experience for all staff. So as you perfect your processes, you can ensure they’re made available equally for everyone.


Frequency and timeliness

Are you engaging in feedback on a regular basis?

As we mentioned earlier, continuous feedback is key to an effective performance process. If you are engaging in continuous feedback, how often is it? We recommend monthly, however, fortnightly feedback may also work if your workplace is particularly fast-paced. Feedback allows you to jump on opportunities or remove roadblocks for your team, building transparency and trust.


Is performance measured in real-time?

This feedback, along with any other measures of performance, should ideally be measured and recorded automatically so everyone in the business has a consistent, up-to-date view of performance, and a performance summary can be extracted at any time for any period to check in on how someone is going.



Do your rating scales reflect positive outcomes?

If an employee is struggling, they may feel apprehensive to hit a “below expectations” button, but “needs help” is much more welcoming and shows that the result of their selection is more likely to lead to improvement, rather than result in a warning letter!


Is there a focus on performance improvement, over performance management?

When an employee is under-performing, the first port of call should be to look at why. Many times you may find there is just some small change needed that could help them do better. It could be training to close a skills gap, additional resources or even solving a problem they were facing at work. Rather than focusing on reprimanding low performance, we encourage a focus on investigating the reasons behind it and offering help and support, along with facilitating a process which allows your team member to own their improvement


Do employees have some visibility over their performance?

It’s difficult for staff to constantly improve the way they work if they’re unable to get a view of their own performance at any point. If employees can see how they are tracking at any time, this is much more productive in helping them to improve as opposed to only receiving feedback in an annual review.


Employee experience

Are your performance processes consistent for every single staff member?

While there may be need for some variation between teams or locations, these processes (once perfected) should be implemented as consistently as possible across the organisation, to ensure everyone can have the same great experience. This consistency is best approached through configurable HR automation.


Do your processes aim to reduce manager burden?

To get the most out of your performance processes, they should aim to reduce manager burden. This comes down to using things like automation tools, or getting employees to self-report on some aspects of performance, so managers can spend less time collating information, and more time coaching their team members to improve.


Do your processes aim to reduce stress on your people?

We know traditional annual review systems can cause a lot of undue stress on staff too and sometimes lead to conversations that aren’t accurate or productive. Have you thought about how this can be limited in your performance process?


If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these – you’re off to a great start already. If there were any areas where you said ‘no’ or ‘ yes, but I could be doing it better’ – Part 2 is for you. Next week we will look at taking those areas with room for improvement and start to work on them.

Salary reviews are not the way to reward high performers

Salary reviews strike fear into employees, and employers alike. It can often feel like there are a lot of unknowns, making it hard to navigate decisions about salary changes.

How satisfied are our people in their roles?

How important is it to retain them?

What are their prospects for career progression?

Where do they want to be in 12 months’ time?

Is a pay rise in order?


By engaging with your team members, and understanding what does and doesn’t motivate them, you may discover that they are more interested in a change to their role, or recognition for achievement than a salary increase. In fact, research tells us that intrinsic motivation (feeling valued, accomplishing goals) actually has more impact on job performance than extrinsic motivation (like pay rises or benefits).

Ultimately, the remuneration process shouldn’t just be boiled down to a single performance review number or outcome. There is a lot more to motivating sustained performance than that, and all these factors should be considered accordingly. This is why it’s so important to not be in the dark on all the personal factors that combine to motivate sustained performance.

According to Deloitte, here are some performance framework basics you will need to have in place to drive sustained performance:

  • Regular check-ins between managers and direct reports, so coaching around development is happening monthly.
  • Alignment between individual employee goals and overall business objectives.
  • On the spot feedback and recognition when organisational goals are achieved.

Now let’s explore how to use this framework to better leverage your team’s intrinsic motivation, leading to a happier, more productive and progressive team culture.


Key Insight – Performance and remuneration discussions should be kept separate

Directly linking performance outcomes with remuneration increases will ultimately lead to unsustainable base remuneration levels.

Why? At some point, regardless of performance outcomes, you won’t be able to keep increasing an individual’s pay level. These discussions should therefore be separated so that performance conversations can take place regularly.

What’s more, whilst a small increase in pay in-line with CPI increases is more sustainable, a $50/week increase isn’t likely to impact upon an employees motivation or encourage positive future performance.

It is also worth recognising that for many, conversations around salaries can cause emotional responses that serve to inhibit meaningful and honest performance conversations. Having separate performance discussions will allow for valuable open discussions on how each employee has been tracking and what growth and development opportunities lie ahead.  


Salaries should be benchmarked with the market ahead of time

Before salary reviews take place, it is wise to review employees’ base salaries are on par with industry standards. This way, you can ensure all compensation is fair and transparent, based upon the roles being completed, this will remove a lot of contention out of salary discussions.

Deloitte suggests employees are paid within 10% of your organisation’s target salary band point as a base (eg. say the 70-75% percentile). This should then be reviewed each year in line with market changes and CPI increases.


Steps to Leverage Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivator #1: Recognition

To appeal to this, you need to help your leadership team track and celebrate achievements. Dynamic goal setting is a great way to achieve this supported with regular reviews creating links between specific goal achievement and appropriate rewards. intelliHR goals are designed to celebrate little wins, and immediately notify managers to encourage recognition.

Rewards should be in the form of a Short Term Incentive, and might include public celebration, non-financial incentive (day off, tickets to an event etc), or financial reward (bonus). The important thing is that the reward is directly linked to the performance, not abstractly through an annual salary review.

This approach leverages the value of providing real time feedback to your team. If you receive or give feedback related to performance, or have performance discussions, not only should these be recorded accurately but also followed up on to ensure the best chance of a good outcome. Capturing these discussions along with any feedback makes it easy to refer back to when completing reviews covering a period of time, helping to remove recency bias.

Check out our  Performance Monitoring and Diary Notes tools to see how easily this can be achieved.


Intrinsic Motivator #2: Contribution

This motivator can also be leveraged by setting employee goals. Goal setting is often underestimated. It’s perceived as a simple task, but it takes skill and strategy to develop relevant goals that will deliver aligned outcomes. Your people want goals that are meaningful and measurable, so they can keep tabs on how they’re tracking, and collaborate with the managers while executing them. Aligning individual goals or cascading team goals with organisational direction also helps team members understand how they contribute to the bigger picture, developing opportunities for them to increase their sense of belonging and ownership, all of which contribute to stronger motivation.

For high performing employees, use goals to set stretch targets. Once these goals are in place and supported by a tool to track progress, it will be much easier to determine where employees are at and (where appropriate) reward these outcomes via agreed short term incentives.

Need a tool to help set and track goals in your business? Try our Goals feature.


Intrinsic Motivator #3: Career Progression

Research from Deloitte found that a strong performance framework, regular check-ins and short-term incentives can be used in combination to drive performance, and this solution is actually more effective than fixed salary increases.  For many team members, shifting the focus towards enabling personal and role growth and development rather than focusing on the monetary reward may lead to happier and more motivated team members.

To achieve this first you have to ask your team, having access to insights from continuous feedback or undertaking a focused survey is a good way to determine the key motivators for different employees, you should be prepared to be flexible to each team member’s needs.


Intrinsic Motivator #4: Personal Mastery

Roles should be somewhat malleable, allowing them to be moulded to individual talents and strengths, with responsibilities that better support organisational needs. The manager and their direct report should be encouraged to reassess if roles can be reshaped to better suit the individual’s skills or personal goals. In some cases this could evolve into a new more valuable role.

Research by Bersin shows that optimal performance is achieved by delivering meaningful work that leverages an employee’s personal strengths and aspirations. Rather than simply evaluate people against goals, use their goals to shape an employee’s role, giving them the best chance to succeed.


This role realignment will often be driven by a new and emerging goal focus, this offers opportunities to support changes with relevant training, and also the opportunity for an individual to train others, again both representing strong sources of intrinsic motivation.


Drive a positive training culture in your organisation by using Training Analytics to understand which teams are investing in different types of training. Leverage employees that have completed certain high level training as experts in your business.


False promises do more harm than good

There is nothing worse than leaving employees disappointed because of potential rewards that were promised but never delivered on. It’s vital to set clear expectations and policies around how salary reviews will work and talk openly and honestly about when they will occur and how they will be rewarded.

You’ll want to remain realistic around rewards and what you can give out, but also ensure the rewards you offer match the effort your employees are putting in for you.

This brings us back to why it’s so vital to have visibility over performance, so you know where to set the bar. If you have high performing, loyal and committed people working for you, you’ll want to take steps to encourage this to continue. Likewise, you don’t want to offering rewards that aren’t feasible if people underperform.


Feeling inspired to take your salary reviews up a notch? If you’re not sure where to start, or need help implementing some of these ideas, get in touch to see how intelliHR can help.

Why it’s time to ditch performance reviews, and what to do instead

If you work in the world of HR, you’ll know that there’s more to performance than an annual review process. Measuring, maintaining and fostering high performance needs to occur throughout the entire employee lifecycle, from onboarding to offboarding and every event in between.

We’re suppportive of performance reviews here at intelliHR, but we also believe in a future which will be performance review free, which is why we encourage our customers to completely replace traditional performance reviews with a more continuous and timely approach.

After all, performance is more than just one moment in time.


Still not convinced?

Here are some reasons why traditional performance reviews simply don’t work for most businesses anymore.



Why ditch performance reviews?


Formal performance review periods create unnecessary stress

Placing additional unnecessary stress and angst on our people doesn’t serve to aid performance, in fact, it’s more likely to diminish it.


58% of office workers find annual performance reviews stressful.



22% of people have cried after a formal review, 37% looked for a new job and 20% quit.



73% of Millennial Managers say the time spent on formal reviews negatively impact on their ability to do their job.



It also forces team members to spend a lot of time thinking about where they have been rather than spending more time thinking about where they are going. This isn’t to say that looking back is necessarily a bad thing, but do your HR processes encourage just as much time thinking about the future? If they don’t, shouldn’t they?  


68% of Millennial managers say traditional performance reviews are ineffective.



After uncovering these learnings about the ineffectiveness of a traditional annual review system, Adobe has since transitioned it’s whole organisation to a regular check-in process instead. By having a performance touchpoint that’s continuous and light, organisations can still obtain key data in a less threatening way. Regular check-ins also change the whole tone of the conversation away from “what have you done for the past 12 months” and towards “how have you been going this month”. This keeps the conversation proactive and allows a focus on development instead of challenges or issues.


Annual reviews are out of date

Only reviewing performance once a year creates a lot of room for bias, as there is more likely to be a focus on recent events, compared to everything an employee has achieved throughout the past 12 months.

90% of HR leaders feel traditional performance reviews don’t generate accurate information.



Traditional review processes are open to bias

Performance reviews based largely on observations or anecdotal evidence are not only going to give you inaccurate data, but they can also deny employees of a fair appraisal.

On top of this, industry standards are now moving toward this method of collecting performance data. The focus is now on capturing qualitative and quantitative data in real-time, rather than retrospectively.

We created our performance summary report to enable this. intelliHR customers are already tracking key metrics in real-time, and can now simply download an up-to-the-minute summary in a few clicks.


On the spot feedback carries more weight

If people have to wait months to hear they’ve been doing a good job, how can we even expect them to stick around that long? Real-time feedback is far more meaningingful and keeps employees engaged by reinforcing positive behaviour as it happens. This provides momentum and motivation to keep going.


80% of Gen Y employees would prefer to be recognised on-the-spot than in formal reviews.

– LinkedIn


Not only can we reinforce positive behaviours on the spot, but also take a proactive approach to potential problems. A more continuous feedback process exposes skills gaps or under-performance sooner, so action can be taken to help the employee get back on track with the resources they need. This can help prevent disengagement from festering and also halt any bad habits before they become ingrained.

So if traditional performance reviews aren’t the answer, let’s explore what tools you need to replace them in your organisation, and how you can create an end-to-end, complete performance toolkit with intelliHR.



The better way to measure performance

When an organisation uses intelliHR, traditional performance reviews become redundant.

How? All elements of the performance mix are being tracked and documented in intelliHR as they happen, and a snapshot of performance can be gathered at any time by generating a performance summary covering a time period of your choosing with a single click.

We believe in bringing together detailed and accurate snapshots of performance for every employee is crucial to helping improve their performance (not just capture it)! In your next performance discussion, we encourage you to look at the following:


  • Continuous Feedback
  • Goals
  • Training
  • Performance Improvement
  • Diary Notes
  • Happiness



Continuous Feedback

A monthly feedback process replaces the need for a once-a-year conversation. The major benefit continuous feedback is 360 degree insights can be gathered from managers and their direct reports, allowing issues to be identified and dealt with immediately rather than waiting for an infrequent review.


The ideal process begins with sending out a monthly, automated online check-in for employees to complete about themselves (self-review) as well as one for managers to review their direct reports, and peers to review each other. Together this forms a 360 feedback process.

To be effective, these check-ins must be light, quick and convenient to complete. They should also focus on asking the team member where they need help and support, which empowers employees to do better, rather than shaming them for “under performing”. Placing all of this in an online system that employees can access online and from any device is ideal to ensure maximum adoption and completion rates.


We know there are two key problems with traditional performance reviews: they cause undue stress and they take hours to prepare.

A quick, proactive check-in process eliminates both of these.

Employees are also increasingly appreciative of receiving a broader range of feedback sources. Receiving feedback from a manager and submitting a self-review offers some perspective, but facilitating broader feedback mechanisms from peers and even customers expands the perspectives available, providing a more holistic view. This gives the team member more to reflect upon, particularly with regard to broader team performance.

This should then be followed up by a one-on-one between each direct report and their manager. The information gathered from the online check-in is invaluable to inform these one-on-one meetings and ensure both parties get the most value from them. Ultimately, the goal is not to replace human interaction, but to make these interactions more meaningful, and have a process in place to ensure they actually happen on a regular basis.


Rating Scales

Check-ins created through intelliHR, can also incorporate rating scales. This provides an opportunity for employees to be ‘rated’, as a self-assessment, by their manager and peers, on top of written feedback.

These rating scales are also fully customisable, so can have whatever wording you need. To take a more proactive approach, you will want to ensure that the ratings being applied reflect a ‘positive action’. If an employee is struggling, they may feel apprehensive to hit a “below expectations” button, but “needs help” is much more welcoming and shows that the result of their selection is more likely to lead to improvement, rather than result in a warning letter!

Another way to use rating scales within intelliHR is to see how your people are tracking against company values, some of our customers have put this into practice and find it invaluable.



Another metric that can be tracked through continuous feedback and included in the performance summary is Happiness. Employees are asked to rate their level of happiness in their role and this can then be analysed individually, looking at changes over time, but also across business units and under different managers.

By looking at happiness alongside other performance insights holistically, you can identify things like high-performing employees who are becoming disengaged at work or lower-performing employees who are being held back by their environment.



One measure of performance is to see how employees are progressing on their goals, but we take this one step further. By giving individuals the ability to set, track and view progress on their own goals, within strategic guidelines set by their manager, they can maintain motivation to keep progressing on them.


Goal Tracking

With this tool, everyone in the organisation can not only set their own goals, but track progress, allow team leaders to support, and see a real-time overview of their goal progress in their dashboard each time they log in. This way goals stay top of mind and remain a priority, every day of the year.

We also designed this feature with gamification techniques in mind. By making the act of tracking goal progress fun (addictive, even) this gives all employees extra motivation to keep coming back and working on their goals consistently over time.


Cascadable Goals

When assessing an employee’s performance, it’s also critical to ensure everyone in your organisation has clear goals to work towards every day. Not only does this give your people clear boundaries to operate within keeping them aligned to organisational objectives, but it also reduces the expectations gap between managers and their direct reports. Everyone knows what is expected of them and their team, and there is transparency in how each person’s performance is measured. Allowing employees to set their own goals, in line with overarching organisational strategy, has the added benefit of empowering them to feel in control of their role and their success.

All goals created can be cascaded to other peers or direct reports. For example, the CEO can set a goal for a department manager, who can then set complementary goals for their direct reports to help the original goal reach completion. Peers can also share goals with each other when working on projects together as a team. In this way, it is so simple for everyone to have visibility over what is required, see where they fit into the big picture, and stay on track.


Goal communication

When goals are managed within intelliHR, any elected members of the leadership team are able to see every single goal that has been set within the organisation and who is working on it. On top of seeing the goal itself, they may also see the progress achieved so far and communicate with the goal-holder in the comments section to check in. This can be a powerful way to identify even if a small roadblock is preventing progress, so managers can help mitigate this and get staff back on track.

From the employee’s point of view, having this form of feedback on a goal to support their progress is a powerful way to encourage a sustained effort and keep people engaged.

Once goals are defined for every employee, performance can begin to be monitored with goal progress as one source of benchmarking. The end goal here should always be to identify areas for improvement proactively, and offer solutions to help people improve, before problems escalate.



Similarly to goals, employees can also track and request their own training within intelliHR. Records of training undertaken can then be pulled into the performance summary automatically as a record of professional development.

An added benefit of staying across training undertaken on a more frequent basis, is it allows skills gaps to be identified and filled sooner, as well as conduct a follow up on progress post-training to measure its effectiveness.


Diary Notes

Diary notes are an important step in the performance management process. Creating a history of key interactions with team members helps us to understand successes and failures, and help inform future approaches, while also protecting the organisation in the event of termination.

Follow-up capabilities are also built-in, for example, after meeting with a team member, diary notes can be used to record automated reminders to check in at a later time and gauge if improvements have been made.

Diary Notes can be used to record recognition as well. According to research from Deloitte, organisations who reinforce employee achievements with recognition see 14% higher productivity and performance compared to those who give no recognition.


Performance Improvement

When performance issues do arise, it’s crucial these are mitigated in a timely manner. Performance Management typically involves sitting down with a team member to discuss how they are progressing and areas they need to specifically address, but what happens next is the important part.

intelliHR offers a Performance Improvement Plan workflow which is kicked off by the team leader following such a meeting. This prompts the team member to write their own performance improvement plan as an outcome from their meeting. The plan can be approved by the manager, and will be automatically followed up with the team member over the stipulated time to complete. This structured process allows the team member to “own” the improvement process, making it much more likely to succeed.


Leadership Development

The performance summary can also provide a snapshot of how those in management roles are performing as leaders in terms of their team’s performance and happiness in their role. For employees not yet in a management role, the performance summary can be used to identify if they may be a good fit for a leadership position in the future.


Performance Summary

By capturing all of this performance data and feedback earlier, and more frequently, action can be taken before it is too late. We passionately believe that replacing the formality of a performance review (which is quite different to how we normally work), with something regular, light and naturally supportive of the way we are working leads to far better outcomes.

Once you are gathering all of the above information in a central place, then you will have the means to pull all of this data together into an instant Performance Summary Report for any given team member. This provides an instant snapshot of past efforts, allowing the conversation around performance to be informed by real-time data, and without any real effort or hours wasted on administration.

By implementing all of your processes in one place, you can ensure that every interaction on performance is free from bias, and gives the full picture of performance. This allows you to respond to issues proactively as well as empower employees and their leaders.


Unsure where to start in transitioning to a performance summary, rather than annual reviews? Call 1300 993 803 and chat to us about how intelliHR can support your new performance process, and help you boost your organisation’s performance while making your life easier.