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Everyone loves a good spreadsheet. But if you have more than a few hundred employees, tracking performance, training, and succession with them is the stuff of nightmares. Spreadsheets and paper-based processes can’t give you deep, real-time insight into how your employees are performing or how to make them—and your company—more successful.

So why make the switch to software?

If you’re relying on spreadsheets to track performance and training, you’re also spending a lot of time finding and filing information. Manual tracking doubles your administrative workload—which leaves less time for more strategic contributions.

With all the manual entry involved in spreadsheets and docs, mistakes are bound to happen. Plus, it’s difficult to track reviews that require approval from multiple people, and there’s always a risk of compliance snafus if you can’t prove training’s been completed.

And if you’re struggling with manual tracking now, imagine the paperwork you’ll have when your company grows. Unfortunately, number of spreadsheets and rate of expansion have an ugly one-to-one relationship; many growing businesses realize their manual processes won't keep up when planning for growth.

It takes time—hours—to compile employee information and you're expected to deliver that information to management in mere minutes. With a PM system, you can immediately access records, reviews, and succession opportunities—the whole kitchen sink. You’re always prepared for that next audit and ready to meet with your management team at the drop of a hat.

Your people are a powerful resource, and recognizing top talent is key to keeping them. Unfortunately if you’re relying on paper-based tracking, you’ll never really know who your top talent is or what they’re contributing. Performance management and training plans should work in tandem, but creating plans from spreadsheets and annual reviews doesn’t ever really work, does it? Without a way to integrate performance with training, annual evaluations simply aren’t actionable.

Spreadsheets can’t bridge the gap between people management and your CEO’s business goals. A smart performance management system helps you find and keep the best talent, plan for succession, and spend less time on data gathering—and more time on strategy. Start by downloading the color paper for the full picture and some helpful next steps, then check this out.