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Insights from our HR Department: Transition from manual to automated performance process

Author: Diana Dima-Balea

Product Owner Harp

We were a growing team of 80 colleagues, soon to reach 100, when we decided to implement Harp. The transition from manual to automated performance process was a significant moment for us.

Our internal processes were becoming tiresome. In HR, we relied on Excel to manage the evaluation calendar for all our colleagues. We had to constantly refer back to it, sending out emails to remind both the colleague and their manager when an evaluation was due to start. We also had to track the progress of each evaluation, updating the next evaluation date once it was completed. On top of that, we were copied on every email related to evaluations, adding to our workload. With evaluations based on employment dates for over 80 people, we spent nearly a week each month managing the process in our Excel spreadsheet, sending reminders, and updating information.

"Out of the 12 months in a year, a solid 3 were spent on tasks that didn't really add much value."

We needed a solution that could keep the calendar in place, automate emails and reminders, bring transparency and more overall friendliness to the process, provide real-time analytics, and save us time.

Ever since we implemented Harp, we've noticed a significant increase in productivity. Not only have our colleagues adapted well to the new automated performance management system, but our managers have also found it easier to track team progress.

The transition to Harp was surprisingly smooth, thanks to the support we received from our entire organisation. The improvements have been invaluable, leading to increased engagement across the board. Of course, there were some initial challenges, including training sessions and trial-and-error processes. However, the positive feedback we received early on motivated us to continue with our HR automation efforts.


Initial thoughts as a user:

"I have a nice app that I can interact with. Awesome!"
"I can review my past performance and pinpoint areas for improvement."
"I can track my evolution over time, including reaching promotion goals."


Initial thoughts as an HR coordinator:

"I have more time to invest in value-added activities."
"I've eliminated tiresome processes that did not bring me joy."
"I have a nice app that I can interact with."
"I can easily access the evaluation calendar and make well-informed decisions about performance processes."
"I can track someone’s performance progress over time."
"I have access to both individual and team performance metrics, allowing me to set meaningful objectives."

Reflecting on our experience, navigating organisational change can present its share of challenges. Still, I think we had an easy transition. It’s safe to say that for us the good timing for the change was one of the most important factors. So, for those of you planning to make any change, we would recommend making sure the time is right and you identify the correct need.

A young woman smiling and giving the thumbs-up sign for automated performance process. The image is accompanied by a text saying Harp redefines efficiency, by automating manual processes that rely on Excel sheets or e-mails. The Harp app saves time and effort for the HR department.

After that, here are the steps to successfully transition to any change, process, or system:

  • Create a compelling story and build strong support around it: start by clearly defining the reasons for the change and make sure you articulate a vision of how it all will look after the change is implemented. This vision should inspire and motivate employees to get on board with the change. Identify key advocates who will support and champion the change so that they help gain buy-in from others in the organisation as well.

  • Communicate effectively and involve the people: develop a comprehensive communication plan that outlines what the change is, why it's happening, and how it will benefit the organisation and its employees. Collect input and feedback from employees who will be affected by the change. Involving them in the process can lead to better ideas, increased buy-in, and a sense of ownership in the change.

  • Provide training, resources, and support: ensure that employees have the necessary training and resources to adapt to the change. Offer support and resources, especially to those who may be key players in the new process to make sure you are aligned with what to communicate, the process itself, and so on.

  • Celebrate small wins: acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and milestones along the way. This helps maintain motivation and keeps the momentum going.

  • Address resistance: understand that resistance to change is natural. Identify sources of resistance and address them proactively. Communicate the benefits of the change and address concerns.

  • Support the change: after the change has been implemented, work to embed it into the organisation's culture and processes. Ensure that the change becomes the new norm. You will need a retrospective of how the implementation of the change went, you will need leadership to still be committed and offer their support. The important thing is that you will need patience. Change takes time and there may be setbacks along the way. Be prepared to adapt your approach as needed.

Consequently, we had good timing, a real need not only from the HR department but also from across the organisation, we developed a story around it which brought the support of many people from within, and that contributed to the change; moreover, we made sure we celebrated with every occasion. This collective effort gained strong backing from the organisation and ensured ongoing commitment from leadership. Apart from all these, our implementation had an easy journey, with little or no resistance, due to the application itself.

Harp has an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Users, including HR, and managers find it easy to navigate, input data, and access information. This positive user experience encouraged our easy adoption. In addition, Harp allows for customisation, so our unique HR processes and policies were easily accommodated. Over time, it even adapted to changing needs and requirements from our side.

In today’s world simplicity wins hearts! So did Harp with our organisation’s heart.

Do you want to find out more about Harp?

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