Comparison Guides

Frankli Vs Manual Systems: Finding the Best Performance Management Strategy

Using manual, paper-based or spreadsheet-based systems to manage performance? Let's see how they compare to a digitised performance management strategy.

If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably because you’re exploring the idea of a new performance management strategy, or, at the very least, questioning the efficiency of your current one.

Manual performance management - the kind you complete across vast collections of spreadsheets or even on paper - has served a lot of companies well for a long time.

But, in 2023, there’s no reason why your teams should rely on complicated and time-consuming systems for performance management practices like goal-tracking and reviews. That’s according to countless Frankli customers who rave about the impact of switching to a digital system.

But what does the data say about manual performance management strategies? Can we use the latest research to establish the most effective performance management system? And how do we choose the right online performance management system for our teams? Let’s find out!

Defining your Current Performance Management Process

We’ve touched on the idea of manual performance management already, now let’s provide a clear definition.

You’re engaging in manual performance management if:

  • You’re using spreadsheets (cloud-based or otherwise!) to track goals, run reviews, manage 1:1 meetings, etc.

  • You’re conducting key performance management practices - tracking goals, running reviews, managing 1:1 meetings, etc. - on paper

  • You're manually calculating key employee performance and engagement metrics like performance review scores or eNPS

  • Your teams rely on subjective feedback to evaluate employee performance, instead of data

  • You're manually tracking employee progress and performance feedback across different systems and platforms

  • You’re relying on handwritten notes for creating action points from 1:1 meetings

  • You're not using any digital tools or software to support your performance management practices, such as automated reminders, notifications, or people analytics

If any of these sound familiar, it means you’re using a manual or partially manual performance management system.

Click here if you’re not doing any of these things

‍**The good news:** your people may already be familiar with key performance management practices like OKR goal-tracking and performance reviews.

The better news: you can save your company money and save your people time by switching to performance management software like Frankli.

What's the best performance management strategy? Here's how digital performance management tools compare to manual, paper-based and spreadsheet-based systems

Switching from a Manual to a Digital Performance Management Strategy: 11 Things to Consider

1. Manual Performance Management is Time-Consuming

Manual performance management systems require a lot of time and effort to maintain, as HR teams have to manually set up new spreadsheets each quarter, and manually enter and analyse the data each time.

Research shows that HR professionals spend an average of 73.2% of their time on administrative tasks (1). In a separate study, managers said that they spent an average of 210 hours a year on performance management activities (2). We estimate that Frankli can reduce this to 30 hours per year, and cut HR admin in half. Find out how.

2. Manual Performance Management is Off-Puttingly Clunky

For an employee or a manager trying to complete performance reviews or get started with goal-setting, being confronted with a collection of spreadsheets can be overwhelming. Frustrated employees may postpone or abandon the task altogether. And HR teams will probably waste time guiding employees and managers through the process.

Simply put, if you can’t deliver a straightforward and positive review or goal-setting experience, you can’t expect high-quality input or high adoption rates.

3. Performance Management Software Delivers Consistently Higher Adoption Rates

Tempting employees away from their day-to-day activities can be a challenge at the best of times. Using a performance management platform like Frankli with streamlined processes and dynamic automation can bring about a huge boost in adoption rates.

For example, research shows that the average employee survey response rate is 30% to 40% (3), while Frankli customers regularly achieve response rates of 100%.

4. Performance Management Software Uses Automation to Save Time and Drive Adoption

One of the biggest complaints we hear from HR leaders and managers is that they spend too much time communicating performance management initiatives, and prompting employees to take part.

Frankli does this part for you - automated reminders and notifications ensure your people never miss a deadline or an opportunity to have their voice heard.

5. Digital Performance Management Offers Greater Visibility and Accessibility

Assuming you can persuade your people to take part in goal-setting, reviews and surveys, your next challenge is sharing multiple, disconnected documents with relevant stakeholders like managers and leaders.

For example, if a HR leader wants to give the CEO a quick snapshot of organisation-wide goal progress, or an employee wants to share goal progress with their manager in a 1:1, they'll need to grant access to full documents, create screenshots or even create a custom presentation.

With an online performance management system like Frankli, all of this is automated - managers are notified when their direct reports update a goal and Frankli Admins get access to insightful employee data in real time.

Frankli performance management platform integrating goals and 1:1 meetings

Accessing employee data during 1:1 meetings through Frankli

6. Performance Management Platforms like Frankli Store Everything in One Place

Even with the most sophisticated of manual systems, you’re asking your people to hop between multiple files and multiple tools to get the job done.

With Frankli, all of your performance management, employee engagement and employee development activities are stored in one place so there’s no need for inefficient context-switching. And Frankli’s tools work together in a way that manual performance management tools can’t. For example, you can access employee feedback in the 1:1 meeting space and access goal information in the career pathways space.

7. Performance Management Software Offers People Analytics

With manual performance management systems, leaders are faced with the daunting task of turning huge amounts of data - from employee surveys, performance reviews etc. - into actionable insights.

An effective performance management system like Frankli will autogenerate reports highlighting key action points. All opportunities for improvement are highlighted, for example, if employee satisfaction takes a sudden nosedive, or 20% of your employees aren’t enrolled in a 1:1 meeting.

8. Digital Performance Management Software Integrates with your Existing Tools

Manual performance management systems operate in silos, making it difficult or impossible to integrate with other HR systems or platforms.

Frankli empowers your people to complete performance-related tasks through integrations with tools they already use, like MS Teams or Slack, while allowing HR to share data between the platform and their chosen HRIS. Learn more about Frankli’s integrations.

9. Manual Performance Management Systems Lack Flexibility

When you need to change direction on a project and you’re managing performance management manually, it often means redesigning a system from scratch.

Frankli was designed to offer teams flexibility through customisable workflows. You can create custom surveys and 1:1 templates, and even customise your performance review steps.

10. Performance Management Software Offers Employees Guidance and Support

Employees sometimes struggle with key performance management practices, especially if they’re new to OKRs or 360 reviews.

Frankli guides them through the process with stepped workflows and in-app templates, and 24/7 customer support means that a technical issue or query will never hold them - or their team - back.

11. With Manual Performance Management, your Data Can Get Lost

With paper-based performance management, it’s easy to misplace important information, or worse, breach data security by putting documents in the wrong place. But spreadsheet-based performance management isn’t much safer - it’s surprisingly easy to lose track of cloud-based documents or accidentally share them with the wrong person.

As well as offering best-in-class data security, Frankli was designed to help everyone in the company keep track of valuable performance-related data. So your teams will never lose a piece of feedback or forget about a 1:1 meeting action point.

Frankli Vs Manual Performance Management Comparison Chart

frankli versus manual performance management comparison chart, how does Frankli compare to paper-based or spreadsheet systems


1. G&A Partners, HR’s Time-Consuming Toll on Your Company. 2. SHRM, Is the Annual Performance Review Dead? 3. Forbes, How The Best Leaders Get Full Participation In Employee Surveys.

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