If you're considering traditional or self-hosted software for running 360-degree feedback reviews or automating performance reviews, you may be headed for an expensive, time-consuming endeavor. Fortunately--thanks to modern Web services--there is a better way
Articles » The Hidden Costs of Traditional Software
Strategic HR professionals are adept at calculating a
true return on investment for every activity in which they
engage company resources. For instance, they understand the
true cost of turnover in terms of lost revenue and have
developed succession plans to mitigate risk. Or, they have
optimized their recruiting process to weed out unqualified
individuals before committing manager's time in lengthy
This type of analytical, return-oriented thinking should not
be ignored when evaluating services and software to support
Employee Performance Management (EPM) functions. However,
even the savviest professionals are often misguided by the
low-cost appeal of software packages and too frequently fall
victim to the high upkeep and maintenance costs of these
types of tools.
There is a sea of vendors to choose from when selecting an
EPM provider. Many of them offer their solutions for a low
upfront cost (some as little as $1,000 for a perpetual
license). Costs-of-entry in this neighborhood are attractive
to many. However, software companies do not always reveal
the necessary upfront or maintenance work required to
properly execute a 360-degree feedback project or online performance review,
thereby increasing the organization's total cost of
Unfortunately, it's only after the product is purchased that
installation, configuration, setup and training
complications become clear. So begins the spiral into the
Often times, HR departments must enlist IT to assist in
installation, taking their attention away from their planned
responsibilities. The cost associated with misdirecting
resources is called the "opportunity cost"--the cost of using
people or materials to do one thing when they could be doing
something more valuable. Executive management is keenly
aware of opportunity costs and likely considers them in
every investment decision.
Before you know it, the "$1,000" tool is costing thousands
more in company resources just to get it deployed. In many
cases, hundreds of man-hours are lost. With some tools, new
and expensive server hardware must be purchased, compounding
the problem with capital expenses. Even when the software is
up and running, support services usually cost extra.
What's more, do-it-yourself tools often leave the
structuring of survey and review content to the client, or
worse, offer template-based surveys that don't accurately
reflect company direction or values. This can lead to
improperly structured surveys that take too long to complete
and don't capture relevant data. Both aggravate a managerial
situation already tense with the perception that the program
is costing more time and resources than it should.
Secure a positive ROI with a managed, online EPM service
The software solution stands in contrast to modern online
360-degree feedback services, where most or all planning, setup,
configuration and administration of this is done for you.
This saves tremendous amounts of time, money and offers you
the results to aid in the decisions to help your
organization succeed in its strategic initiatives.
High-quality online EPM services are made to be very
flexible (just as flexible as a do-it-yourself tool, but
without the configuration hassles), and can be customized
for every client company. Because companies that provide
online EPM solutions don't incur costs associated with mass
software publishing and support, they can often invest in
providing other valuable services such as professional
consulting and coaching.
Instead of buying software, many forward-thinking companies
have turned to managed, online EPM solutions from companies
like EchoSpan. A managed solution is different from
off-the-shelf software in several key ways:
No Setup Hassles. You don't have to setup or configure
software. Our solution is fully hosted, and we do 99% of the
setup legwork for you.
No Hardware to Buy. Since our solution is managed and hosted
by us, you don't have to buy any server hardware
Better Results. Because professionally-crafted, online
surveys are shorter and easier to complete, participants can
provider higher-quality feedback in less time.
Free Upgrades. All of our clients receive the latest version
of our tools, free of charge. Because our revenue model
relies on clients renewing service year-over-year, we have a
natural incentive to continually improve our service's
EchoSpan is one of the fastest growing and most valued
Web-based performance management services providers on the
market. Through our comprehensive suite of online tools, we
provide an unprecedented level of insight into companies'
human resource and goal-management activities. Currently,
EchoSpan' suite of tools includes 360-degree feedback, performance
reviews and employee goal management. All of
our tools share a common platform, which means data is
easily exchanged between each module. This provides managers
complete access to employee and company performance metrics
from a single Web-based dashboard.