According to the latest statistics from the U.S. government’s Small Business Administration, more than 99% of U.S. employer firms are small businesses (fewer than 500 employees). Small companies account for nearly half of the nation’s private-sector employment, and almost as much of its high-tech employment and private-sector output. Those numbers make it easy to see that small businesses are an integral part of our economy.

The SBA also reports that only about half of newly established small businesses are still up and running in five years’ time. That is an intimidating statistic, and one that brings home the point that business owners and leaders need to use all the tools and techniques at their disposal to ensure that their small companies survive and thrive.

It also underscores the fact that employee performance management isn’t just a topic for large companies. Leaders of small and mid-sized businesses have to become masters at maximizing all of their resources, and human resources are the most important of those. Well-trained, engaged, and productive employees make the difference when it comes to innovation, efficient operations, and customer service and loyalty.

When it comes to managing employee performance, small businesses often must make do with fewer financial resources and smaller HR departments where professionals have less time to devote to designing programs, training managers to conduct employee evaluations, scheduling performance reviews, gathering data, preparing reports, and the many other activities that go along with performance management or employee evaluation programs.

At the same time, ensuring that employees are working to their full potential is a vital key in moving small businesses up the ladder of success. Perhaps the most valuable performance management tool available to HR professionals in SMBs today is a cloud-based employee evaluation system. Through partnerships with leading developers of SaaS performance management software, BambooHR is able to bring the convenience and effectiveness of automated employee evaluations to its customers in SMBs everywhere.

Well-designed employee evaluation systems include features that allow HR to organize and store performance reviews in a secure, centralized location. Information on workers’ goals, their progress toward achieving those objectives, additions of new skills, identification of training accomplishments and learning needs, records of performance-related communications, and other vital information is always just a few keystrokes away. Reporting capabilities make automated employee evaluation systems a welcome aid when managers and company leaders need workforce data to help them plan for future talent needs. Or when questions arise that require documentation of performance-related issues.

If your SMB is feeling the pressure of growing pains – or if you’d like to be feeling growth pressures – performance management needs to be top of mind for your HR department. And a cost-effective, easy-to-implement automated employee evaluation system offers your HR pros a powerful tool to help drive your company’s productivity and growth. Call your BambooHR rep today to learn more about the performance management products available to enhance your cloud-based HR capabilities and contribute to the success of your SMB.