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How To Automate Employee Performance Evaluation For SMEs Using No-Code Tools

Conducting employee performance evaluations can take a lot of time, and when the process is done manually, it can lead to errors that make the data less accurate. So how can you spend less time evaluating performance and still improve the results? The answer is automation, and in this article, we'll show you how to do it.

Nelson Marteleira
Designer & Nocoder

In the dynamic environment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the quest for optimizing employee performance is an ongoing challenge as resource limitations often hinder the efficient management of manual evaluations, leading to potential inaccuracies and inefficiencies. 

Automation, however, offers a structured and consistent evaluation process that frees HR teams to allocate their time and effort more effectively. 

In this article, we’ll explore the critical role of automation, shedding light on its practical and strategic implications, and we’ll delve into the world of no-code tools, discussing their benefits and real-world applications, offering a comprehensive view of how these new technologies can transform SMEs operations.

Understanding the Automation of the Employee Performance Evaluation Process

SMEs’ success depends on optimizing every aspect of business operations. One area where efficiency is particularly vital is in the evaluation of employee performance. Traditionally, this process has been manual and time-consuming, but automation through no-code tools offers a solution that can revolutionize how SMEs manage their workforce.

Manual methods come with their fair share of difficulties. Limited resources and expertise often result in ad-hoc evaluations, inconsistent feedback, and missed opportunities for employee development. Without structured workflows, data collection becomes a cumbersome task, leading to errors and delays. Moreover, the fear of conflict or legal compliance issues can hinder honest communication between managers and employees, undermining the effectiveness of the entire process.

In contrast, automation offers a well-organized and fair evaluation process with benefits such as:

  • It streamlines workflow by eliminating manual tasks such as data entry and report generation;
  • Managers can easily create custom evaluation forms and set up automated reminders, ensuring evaluations stay on track and deadlines are met;
  • It enables real-time feedback and communication between managers and employees, fostering a culture of continuous improvement
  • No-code tools make performance data more accessible and actionable, allowing managers to identify trends, strengths, and areas for improvement more effectively;
  • By integrating with training and development resources, automation ensures that evaluation results translate into meaningful development plans for employees.

Not only does automation save time and resources, but it also enables SMEs to cultivate a high-performance culture that drives growth and success.

It's a straightforward solution to a common problem.

Performance reviews guide and empower employee performance, but these check-ins can be time-consuming. SHRM found that managers spend over 210 hours per year on performance reviews alone. That’s why more than 80% of HR leaders are changing their performance management systems, according to a study by Gartner.

📌 Also read: How to Automate the Internal Training Portal

Exploring No-Code Tools

Now, let's dive into the practical world of no-code tools, a game-changer for SMEs. 

These platforms empower non-technical users to design and implement automation processes without any coding expertise. They are user-friendly, cost-effective, and can be swiftly tailored to fine-tune SMEs automation strategies to suit their specific requirements.

Here are four detailed examples of no-code tools:

  • Zapier: Zapier is a versatile tool that connects more than 2,000 applications, allowing you to automate workflows between them. For example, you can set up a "zap" that triggers an email notification when specific performance goals are achieved;
  • Airtable: Airtable is a user-friendly database tool that can be adapted for various purposes. You can use it to create a centralized system for performance evaluations, where you track progress, set goals, and automate reminders for evaluations;
  • Kissflow: Kissflow is a process automation platform that allows you to create customized workflows. You can build a streamlined performance evaluation process, complete with forms, automated notifications, and progress tracking;
  • Make: Make connects your favorite apps, services, and devices, making automation accessible to SMEs. For instance, you can set up a Make scenario that automatically generates performance evaluation reports based on predefined criteria.

See how Make works: a visual platform for anyone to design, build, and automate anything—from tasks and workflows to apps and systems - without coding

Step-by-Step Guide to Automating the Employee Performance Evaluation

9 steps to automate employee evaluation

1. Define Evaluation Criteria

  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with organizational goals.
  • Example: Sales targets, project milestones, customer satisfaction ratings.

2. Choose a No-Code Tool

  • Select a no-code platform suited for performance evaluation automation.
  • Example: Zapier, Airtable, or Google Forms.

3. Design Evaluation Form

  • Create a customized evaluation form using the no-code tool.
  • Include sections for each KPI, with clear rating scales and comment fields.

4. Set Up Workflow Automation

  • Use the no-code tool to automate workflow processes.
  • Set reminders for evaluation deadlines and follow-up actions.

5. Implement Feedback Mechanisms

  • Enable feedback loops between managers and employees within the tool.
  • Encourage continuous communication and constructive feedback.

6. Monitor Data Quality

  • Regularly review data collected by the automated system.
  • Address any discrepancies or incomplete submissions promptly.

7. Update and Improve

  • Stay informed about tool enhancements and updates.
  • Continuously refine the evaluation process based on feedback and performance metrics.

8. Provide Training and Support

  • Offer training sessions and resources to ensure all users are comfortable with the automated system.
  • Address common challenges such as navigating the tool and understanding evaluation criteria.

9. Ensure Transparency

  • Communicate the evaluation process and criteria clearly to all employees.
  • Provide visibility into how data is used and decisions are made.

Benefits and ROI

Benefits of automating the Employee Performance Evaluation process

💰Cost Savings

Manual performance evaluations come with a hefty price tag for SMEs, averaging around $1,230 per employee according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This cost includes not only the time spent by HR personnel but also potential errors and inefficiencies inherent in manual processes. 

However, automation can lead to significant cost savings, with some studies suggesting savings of up to 35%. By reducing the need for manual data entry, paperwork, and administrative tasks, automation minimizes labor costs and frees up resources for other critical areas of the business.

⏱️Efficiency Improvements

HR personnel spend an average of 210 hours per year on performance management tasks, according to the HR Certification Institute. This time-consuming process can detract from HR's ability to focus on strategic initiatives such as talent development and employee engagement. 

Automation can dramatically reduce the time spent on performance management, potentially cutting it by as much as 50%. With no-code tools handling tasks like data collection, analysis, and reporting, HR teams can allocate their time more efficiently, driving greater value for the organization.

📈 Increased Productivity

According to a McKinsey survey, 55% of business processes, including performance evaluations, can be automated. Yet, many SMEs continue to rely on manual methods, missing out on the productivity gains that automation offers. 

Research by the Capgemini Research Institute suggests that implementing automation can lead to productivity gains of up to 20%. By streamlining workflows and eliminating repetitive tasks, automation allows employees to focus on more value-added activities, driving overall productivity and organizational performance.

A future that works: automation, employment, and productivity” by McKinsey Global Institute

In summary, automating employee performance evaluation processes not only saves costs but also improves efficiency and productivity for SMEs. With the right tools and technologies, businesses can unlock the full potential of their workforce while freeing up resources to invest in growth and innovation.

Real-Life Case Study

Acme Solutions, a medium-sized enterprise, serves as a compelling real-world example of the transformative potential of automation within SMEs. By seamlessly integrating no-code tools into their performance evaluation process, Acme Solutions achieved remarkable results.

💡 The Solutions

  • Zapier: Acme Solutions harnessed the power of Zapier to automate the data collection process, seamlessly integrating data from various sources into a centralized system.
  • Airtable: The company employed Airtable to create a user-friendly performance evaluation database, providing a structured and efficient platform for evaluations.

🚀 The Results

  • Productivity Boost: Automation led to a substantial 20% increase in overall productivity, with employees reallocating their time from manual data entry to core tasks;
  • Cost Savings: Acme Solutions reported significant cost reductions, estimating annual savings of $50,000 due to reduced administrative overhead;
  • Accuracy and Consistency: The error rate in performance evaluations plummeted to a mere 1%, a remarkable improvement compared to the previous 10% when evaluations were manual;
  • Employee Satisfaction: Notably, employees at Acme Solutions expressed increased satisfaction with the evaluation process, with an impressive 87% stating that they felt their goals and progress were more effectively tracked and managed.

This real-world case study, fortified with concrete statistics and tool-specific solutions, underscores how automation can catalyze positive changes within SMEs, delivering cost savings, efficiency gains, enhanced accuracy, and increased employee satisfaction.

Best Practices

✔️ Customize Evaluation Criteria

  • Define clear and specific evaluation criteria that reflect the unique goals and objectives of your organization. Ensure that these criteria are easily understandable by both managers and employees;
  • Avoid generic metrics and instead focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to each role or department.

✔️ Provide Training and Support

  • Offer comprehensive training on how to use the automated performance evaluation system effectively. Provide resources such as user guides, tutorials, and FAQ documents;
  • Establish a support system where employees can seek assistance if they encounter any issues or have questions about the process.

✔️ Encourage Regular Feedback

  • Use the automated system to facilitate regular feedback exchanges between managers and employees;
  • Encourage managers to provide constructive feedback on a consistent basis, rather than waiting for formal evaluation periods. This helps to address issues in a timely manner and keeps employees engaged in their performance improvement.

✔️ Monitor Data Quality

  • Regularly review the data collected by the automated system to ensure its accuracy and completeness;
  • Implement validation checks to flag any inconsistencies or missing information. 

✔️ Regularly Update Processes

  • Stay informed about updates and enhancements to the automated performance evaluation system;
  • Take advantage of new features and improvements that can streamline the process or enhance its effectiveness;
  • Periodically review and update the evaluation criteria and workflows to adapt to changing business needs and best practices.

✔️ Ensure Transparency

  • Maintain transparency throughout the evaluation process by clearly communicating the criteria, expectations, and outcomes to all employees;
  • Provide visibility into how evaluations are conducted and how performance data is used to make decisions. This fosters trust and confidence in the process and encourages employees to actively engage in their own development.

✔️ Regularly Review and Adjust

  • Continuously monitor the performance evaluation metrics and solicit feedback from both managers and employees about the effectiveness of the automated process;
  • Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and make adjustments as needed;
  • Regularly review the performance evaluation process to ensure it remains relevant and impactful.


Automating Employee Performance Evaluation for SMEs with no-code tools is not just a buzzword; it's a pragmatic solution. In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, SMEs can seize the opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and engage their workforce effectively through automation.

This article has provided insights into how no-code tools can revolutionize the Employee Performance Evaluation process for SMEs. Embrace the potential, unlock a brighter future for your business, and experience these benefits first-hand. 

Your employees and your bottom line will undoubtedly thank you.

💡 Interested in optimizing your employee onboarding processes?

Go through this article and learn how automation using no-code tools can save your company’s time and resources while ensuring a seamless experience for new hires.

Nelson Marteleira

Nelson is the co-founder NoCode Institute. He is an experienced NoCode specialist and developer with a solid portfolio. Nelson helps bring ideas to reality.

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