Top Effective Performance Management Systems for 2023
Here are our expert picks for the best performance management software, key benefits, pricing data, and everything else you need to pick the right system for your business.
Performance Management Software assesses and manages the relationship between employee output and organizational goals to advance company-wide productivity and prosperity.
You might wonder how a single piece of software could do all that. Your inner skeptic may scream, “It’s too good to be true!” But it’s not. This tool is known for its colossal operational impact. Employees benefit from task clarity, and leadership better understands the daily activities that impact the bottom line.
Is that same inner skeptic now trying to find the catch? In this case, it’s not a “gotcha!” but more of an old saw: this tool isn’t magic. It’s a tool. The time and effort you put into using it will be proportional to what you get out.
To help you understand the performance management software landscape, I will share some of my experiences from my years in HR. I have also enlisted the help of Tracie Marie (talent acquisition leader, CEO, and founder of Hire Incentive) and one of our in-house HR experts, CEO Phil Strazzulla.
One benefit of our collective experience is that we can help you avoid the traps others fall into. Another is the hands-on experience of working with these tools.
Keep reading to learn why we love these tools and how to use them wisely.
Best Performance Management Software
The rigorous research methods of our selection criteria result from our deep commitment to helping our readers buy the best software solutions.
Our editorial team, with their firsthand industry knowledge, oversees the research process through product demos and user feedback. We also consult industry experts who view these tools many times a year as consultants. Lastly, we rely on the generosity of HR thought leaders who provide their feedback to help us maintain high standards in our editorial process.
Check out our editorial guidelines article for more details on our general methodology. The process specific to finding the best performance management software is relatively simple to understand, and we’d love to educate you on our methods.
For this guide, we focused on each tool’s capabilities related to performance reviews, continuous feedback and coaching, and goal setting/tracking.
I’m starting with the most important one first because my experience is that the performance review process can overwhelm teams that aren’t ridiculously well prepared.
I’ve seen this play out with teams of all stages and sizes, so take heed!
Employee perception of a company’s performance review process can make or break a business. This may sound hyperbolic, but it’s a touchy subject on its own, and when you add the impact of promotions and compensation incentives, it’s clear why this feature has to be flawless.
HR folks like us know that these data pillars are the foundation of meaningful reviews, so we look for tools that dampen the dread of the annual review by using a steady cadence and bite-size objectives.
The best tools help users make and track highly specific, small goals during 1:1s between managers and employees throughout the year. Sounds simple, right? It can be with the right software.
Continuous Feedback and Coaching
It isn’t enough to simply structure and collect data during these 1:1 meetings, so we also factor in the platform’s ability to guide managers and their reports through feedback and coaching.
Second, only to L&D programs dedicated to management training, performance management software is the best tool for managers of all levels of experience to hone their skills. Regular, structured check-ins, real-time feedback, and tips for constructive discussions about performance, development, and growth are all features of best-in-class software.
Goal Setting and Progress Tracking
We scrutinized each platform’s goal-setting and progress-tracking features because, let's face it, trying to make progress without specifying areas of focus or a way to measure achievements is just a waste of time.
The best tools on this list really shine because they let you see and track individual and team objectives side by side, integrated into your existing calendar program. This offers a clear view of progress at any scale and across time.
We pride ourselves on strict editorial standards and use a thorough process to vet and review software before we publish it on the site (and in fact, most vendors we have to end up rejecting). This process includes having our team of HR and recruiting experts use the tool themselves, getting user feedback, and then evaluating the vendor on key metrics like their financial health, customer retention, and responsiveness to customer queries. You can read more about how we evaluate vendors here.
"SelectSoftware Reviews is the best platform to discover top 1% HR tools. Their 10 years of HR Tech experience makes their reviews the best in the industry! Every time I speak about HR technology, SSR is my number one recommendation to for people pros."
"SelectSoftware Reviews is my go-to place when it comes to researching HR tools. Their product reviews are real time-savers and trustworthy, and the online community is fantastic for bouncing questions and ideas off of others in the Talent space!"
"I trust SelectSoftware Reviews's HR Tech Reviews because they talk to so many experts, know the right questions to ask and uncover during in-depth product demos to come up with their best picks"
Trakstar is notable for adding learning management capabilities to its performance management suite. We love that they didn’t stop there and have integrated employee engagement and succession planning features.
- User-friendly for employees and administrators.
- Responsive live support.
- Extensive knowledge base and video tutorials.
- The automated feature helps schedule reviews on a routine basis.
- Provides unlimited storage.
- Does not provide reports that show progress over time.
- No free trial or free version.
- Undisclosed pricing.
- Doesn’t have a mobile app.
- May take a while to complete the setup.
Trakstar’s performance management solution (Trakstar Perform) allows companies to deploy performance reviews, set goals, and monitor results in real-time. The platform also has learning management, employee engagement, and succession planning capabilities.
Users can customize performance evaluations, import users, design forms, and configure workflows to fit their organization. The 360-degree feedback feature allows managers to control who can access it and request feedback from people inside and outside the team. The 9-box grid is another highlight in Trakstar's succession planning module, which ties in nicely with the performance management one, providing insights into employee performance and potential for advancing within the organization.
Charles River, Beta Calco, Task Rabbit, Chemline, Minsterbank.
The pricing of Trakstar’s plans and services isn’t disclosed on their site. You have to demo with the vendor to get a price quote.
Organizations looking to track performance at the individual and team levels via a ratings-based review format.
ClearCompany offers a holistic approach to performance management, taking employee recognition and satisfaction evaluation into account. The UI is easy to use, and users have had a lot of positive things to say about ClearCompany’s setup process and customer service.
- Great customizable review cycles.
- Users find the UI quite intuitive and easy to navigate.
- Highly rated for speed and helpful customer support.
- Smooth implementation experience and integration process.
- Offers an API available for use.
- Supports ten languages.
- ClearCompany offers a host of HR solutions that work well with another. You can choose the solution you need or combine them all to have a comprehensive talent management platform in your stack.
- The majority of users find ClearCompany’s interface to be quite intuitive and easy to navigate.
- Many users have highly rated ClearCompany’s support team for speed and quality of response. Several users have also reported a smooth implementation experience.
- Undisclosed pricing
- No free plans or free trials
- The reporting feature, according to some users, is limited in customizations
- The search function doesn’t always bring up the correct results
- No mobile app, but the platform is well-optimized for mobile use
- ClearCompany’s pricing is not readily available on their website. You also can’t create a trial account on your own from the website and have to go through the sales team for more info.
- Some users felt that the reporting feature is limited in customizations.
- According to a few users, the candidate search function doesn’t always bring up the correct candidate(s) and could use some improvement.
- ClearCompany doesn’t currently have a mobile app, but the platform is well optimized for mobile use both for hiring managers and candidates.
ClearCompany’s performance management solution comes with a wealth of features that foster a meaningful and transparent experience for your entire team. Users can choose to organize employee performance reviews annually, bi-annually, or quarterly — the frequency that works best for them. The platform’s customizations and pre-built templates allow managers to create a personalized and actionable review experience in less time.
Employee users like that they can do the reviews on their mobile devices and in the language they want. ClearCompany also incorporates goal-planning tools within its performance management product so employers can measure employee satisfaction with continuous feedback loops, employee surveys, and anonymous polls. As a cherry on top, the performance management software even provides features like shoutouts and celebrations to recognize high performers.
Goodwill, Aveda Institute, and Chick-fil-A are some of 2500+ ClearCompany’s customers.
- It has two pricing plans for different types of businesses. The modular access plan lets users purchase certain modules individually, while the platform access plan offers all modules within ClearCompany’s suite.
- ClearCompany’s pricing isn't detailed on their site. According to a few users, however, it can start from $7 per employee per month. For the exact quote, you need to contact their team.
Midsize businesses and large companies looking for customizable performance review rollout.
We like that ChartHop is constantly evolving. It started as an org chart tool and gradually built features for performance management, employee engagement, DEI, and people planning/analytics.
- Integrates well with several existing HRIS and ATS systems
- Strong customization and reporting capabilities
- Transparent pricing. The Basic plan is free for the first 150 employees.
- The Map feature enables remote teams to see where each employee is located.
- Has open API
- Supports Single Sign-On (SSO).
- Charthop nicely integrates with your existing HR and ATS systems. Having everything under one roof means not having to use ten different applications.
- Charthop’s organization chart is its biggest asset. Their drag-and-drop feature to edit the chart is a hit amongst a majority of the users. Overall, the tool makes navigation throughout the company really easy - you can find the people you need, figure out their responsibilities, and track changes after the latest company re-organization.
- Charthop's goal tracking interface is simple, intuitive, and easy to build. There's not much else you can ask for.
- Charthop's Map feature allows businesses to see where each employee is located. For organizations that work remotely, this promotes a feeling of togetherness, which is crucial for employee engagement.
- Organization chart navigation isn't the best. The chart zooms in and out quite quickly, and the gestures aren't intuitive, making it difficult to use.
- Takes time to implement and get used to
- The search function sometimes throws the wrong results.
- The UI is somewhat dated and clunky.
- Charthop's organization chart navigation isn't the best. The chart zooms in and out quite quickly, and the gestures aren't intuitive, making it difficult to use.
- Charthop can be a little complicated to figure out. Also, the fact that there are so many features is a little intimidating.
- Charthop's search function isn't user-friendly. There's not much information on how to use it effectively, and it sometimes throws the wrong results.
- Charthop's UI is somewhat dated and clunky.
ChartHop’s performance management solution helps you conduct different types of reviews, gather feedback and check in with your employees as frequently as you want. Users love its feature coverage and customizability; they can build distinct processes, questions, approval flows, and access controls by department, location, manager, role, and more.
Another thing we’ve in our testing is that ChartHop takes data protection seriously, with fine-grained controls, role-based access, auto-on/offboarding, full encryption, biometric access control, mandatory SSO, and more options included in the security settings.
If you have observed ChartHop for a while, you may have also noticed that they have updated the pricing of the Basic plan to be free as long as the number of employees is no more than 150, which has made the platform a lot more accessible to smaller businesses.
Sequoia, Plaid, Locus, InVision, BetterCloud
ChartHop has three plans:
- Basic: Free for your first 150 employees, $2 per employee per month for every employee beyond 150.
- Standard: $8 per employee per month (billed annually) plus $20,000 minimum annual contract plus a one-time implementation fee.
- Premium: $16 per employee per month (billed annually) plus a $28,000 minimum annual contract plus a one-time implementation fee.
- Add-ons start at $2 per employee per month.
Mid-sized organizations and global teams looking to gather and centralize people data in one place.
Sharply focused on the performance management software niche, PerformYard is best known for being flexible and feature-rich. They also stand out for constantly rolling out new features based on customer feedback.
- Covers nearly all the bases of performance management
- Regularly incorporates new features based on customer feedback
- Supports Single Sign-On
- Highly customizable in terms of content
- High focus on flexibility within performance management, they can handle a myriad of approaches to PM, adapting to your current strategy.
- The PerformYard team constantly listens to their clients, incorporating new features based on their feedback and suggestions.
- Focuses exclusively on the North American market
- Not the most intuitive tool for new users
- Little lengthy in some processes to get where you need to be
- Some of the action-to-do descriptions for performance evaluation lack clarity on what to do and what the next steps are.
- Lacks features to auto-transfer data from HRIS to PerformYard
- As of mid-2022 at least, PerformYard are mainly focused on the North American market, so for businesses in other geographies and with non-English speaking team members, it wouldn’t be the best fit.
PerformYard’s flexible performance management system helps managers and employees stay on top of areas for improvement and track success. Its unique goal management feature allows each team member to define and track their goals, tying them to business objectives and facilitating collaboration.
Performance reviews and check-ins offer customizable content templates, while continuous feedback helps recognize accomplishments, document performance, and track notes. The platform's customer service receives positive feedback, with dedicated success managers guiding users. However, some users feel uncertain about the next steps after completing their evaluation due to the complexity automation features.
Blue Nile, The Catholic University of America, Eggstrategy, College Track, Metro Credit Union, Friedman LLP.
PerformYard has two plans. When billed annually, they cost as follows:
- Professional: $5-10 per employee per month with access to performance reviews, goal management, continuous feedback, 360s, and peer evaluation tools. It also comes with dedicated customer success management, knowledge base access, and phone or email support.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing and unlocks additional perks to what’s in the Professional plan, including senior-lead customer success management, enhanced on-boarding/training, custom implementation, data integrations, custom single sign-on (SAML), custom service level agreement, additional document storage.
PerformYard is best suited for organizations (both for-profit and nonprofit) between 30 to 2,000 employees in the United States.
Leapsome is highly flexible; you can quickly set up your review process from the performance management software’s best-practice templates and frameworks or customize everything — from questions to timelines and anonymity settings.
- The user-centric design makes the platform easy to navigate.
- Integrates personalized learning and compensation management into the performance management system
- The Praise functionality allows users to give credit publicly
- Users found the training videos and articles comprehensive and helpful.
- Great meeting features: reminders, drag-and-drop talking points, tag meeting participants in relevant talking points, and shared and private notes.
- Available in Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. Surveys can be translated into 19 languages.
- There’s no setup fee.
- A free trial is available for 14 days.
- Leapsome is quite feature-rich; the platform packs modules for employee onboarding, learning management, engagement, performance management, goals tracking and much more.
- The majority of users find Leapsome’s UI to be friendly and easy to navigate.
- There are lots of third party integrations options to choose from, including Slack, which many users appreciate.
- The platform has transparent pricing, and you only pay for the modules you need.
- Doesn’t have a mobile app
- Some users found it annoying not to be able to use the keyboard but to use the mouse when switching to the next questions or entering scores.
- A few users integrating Leapsome with Google Meets encountered sync issues when changing a meeting or schedule.
- The org chart isn’t very easy to navigate with multiple layers and can’t be filtered by role.
- Sometimes automatic emotion detection can misdetect positive feedback as negative if it contains "negative" words.
- The customer success team is available to customers with an annual contract of US$6,000 or more only.
- There is currently no way to post or upload an image or file into your feedback.
- Since Leapsome can do so many things, you may need some time to get used to it. The implementation process can also take some time.
- There currently isn’t a mobile app that users can download and access Leapsome quickly on-the-go.
- Free 14-day trials are available but you need to book a demo with the sales team first to sign up for one; you can’t do so on your own.
Leapsome allows companies to measure employee performance across all critical skills and competencies. Through the platform, you can customize and run simple performance reviews, agile project reviews, 360° reviews, and anonymous leadership reviews — all of which are easy to access and complete. The gathered employee data is actionable and linked to learning and development.
Leapsome's platform offers a range of features to support ongoing learning and development, regular feedback and recognition, and structured performance reviews. Employee users appreciate that the performance management software enables them to collaborate with the manager on setting and tracking goals, get regular feedback and recognition from my colleagues, and gain insights into their performance and how it aligns with the company's objectives.
Mercedes Benz, Spotify, Trivago, Eventim, Babbel, Plus Dental
- Leapsome’s pricing depends on the number of your employees, the modules you want to use, and the length of your contract.
- Its modular pricing starts from $8 per user per month when billed annually. To get a detailed quote, contact Leapsome’s sales team.
- You can also test out Leapsome free of charge for a full 14 days with no credit card required.
Leapsome’s multilingualism makes it suitable for teams across different continents. However, with its current pricing and customer service, the performance management software is best for mid-market businesses.
Officevibe helps companies engage employees and increase their satisfaction - all while nurturing managers and improving how they tackle challenges in the workplace.
- Officevibe is easy to use and has a free plan that a team of up to 10 users can use.
- To ensure that feedback is truely anonymous, without the manager, or anyone with higher access being able guess who submitted what response, a minimum of 5 responses need to be sent in before the survey manager is able to access the anonymous feedback.
- The platform has a feature for peer-to-peer recognition, giving your employees the ability to praise one another for outstanding work.
- Some users have reported that Slack integration sometimes malfunctions.
- Officevibe does not include a complete performance management solution among their offerings. They have an OKR tool that lets you set goals but there isn’t a mechanism in place to track those goals or conduct performance reviews.
- There currently isn’t a mobile app that managers and employees can use on the go.
Officevibe is a cloud-based platform that focuses on employee engagement and manager growth. It allows managers to measure employee satisfaction through pulse surveys, then provides them with guidance on how they can improve work environment and culture. The platform packs several pre-made templates and questions to ease the survey creation process. It also offers features for OKR tracking, polls creation, reporting, 1:1s planning, scheduling, and more.
WeTransfer, Dyson, Bose, PayScale, Trivago
Pricing: Officevibe has three plans:
- Free: This plan is free of charge for 1 team with up to 10 users.
- Essential: This plan allows for unlimited teams and costs $5 per user per month.
- Pro: Designed for larger teams, this plan costs $7 per user per month.
- Business: Available for companies with over 500 users, this plan has custom pricing. Contact Officevibe’s Sales team to get a quote.
Officevibe can be used by companies of all sizes.
Eloomi’s offering is quite flexible; you can choose from their employee learning, development and appraisal solutions, or combine them all into a holistic platform that’s all about employee growth.
- Admin and employees can navigate the tool fairly easily with little to no training.
- Users can have all three eloomi modules (i.e. Learning, Development, and Appraisals) in a complete solution or buy each individually.
- Surveys are customizable and private — good for getting specific and honest employee feedback.
- The peer-to-peer feedback feature allows employees to get each other's input on performance.
- Helpful and responsive customer service.
- Eloomi is quite comprehensive, with modules for onboarding, training/learning, performance management, employee engagement, and recognition.
- The platform comes with a library of ready-to-use templates to help you create online training faster. It also has a mobile app for your employees to access training materials on the go.
- Their surveys are customizable and private, helping you get specific and honest feedback from employees.
- You can request other members of the organization to provide feedback on certain skills of employees.
- You can make use of Eloomi’s micro-sized online training content to prevent overwhelming onboarding experiences.
- Isn’t the fastest and simplest setup process due to the number of features it offers.
- Glitches may occur as users generate reports with a large volume of data. But users have noted that Eloomi’s customer support team is quick to resolve such issues.
- The pricing isn’t transparent.
- A free trial isn’t available.
- Because of the sheer number of features Eloomi offers, there’s a steeper learning curve for the average user to get the hang of the platform and understand it to its fullest.
- A few users reported experiencing bugs and speed issues when generating reports, especially ones with a large volume of data, but have noted that Eloomi’s customer support team is quick to resolve such issues.
- The platform’s pricing isn’t transparent and free trials aren’t available at this time.
Widely known for their learning management system (LMS), eloomi also offers a solid performance management solution for employee coaching and feedback.The platform’s features include manager-employee check-ins, reports with insights, automated to-dos, 360-degree feedback, and performance appraisals.
The People Dashboard offers an overview of employees' performance, while 1:1 review and coaching conversations can be initiated with a single click using expert-built templates. Eloomi's ease of use and excellent customer support are also strengths worth noting. Though some glitches may be experienced with certain features like reporting, the eloomi support team is always quick to respond with helpful solutions.
Eloomi’s customer list includes BONUS Vorsorgekasse AG, Breakout Games, Carne Group, ElectricBrands, Nufarm, Domino’s, and more.
Eloomi offers custom pricing, so the best way to find out how much it costs is to request a demo.
Mid-sized and large businesses and NGOs with more than 50 employees.
WorkTango (formerly Kazoo) is best known for its employee rewards and recognition product. Yet, the performance management software is in pretty good shape: it’s feature-rich while maintaining a clean UI plus a simple implementation process.
- Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean.
- Several training sessions make the implementation process much simple.
- Supports anonymous surveys.
- Straightforward UI that’s easy to navigate.
- Flexibility — users can add modules as they go.
- WorkTango is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean, although the latter is only available for the performance management module.
- You can add modules as you go and these will be charged on a prorated basis.
- Billing is only done annually; all plans require a minimum agreement for a 24-month subscription.
- The mobile app isn’t as intuitive as the browser version. Users also reported it takes time to get an issue resolved in the apps.
- There isn’t a free trial or free plan.
- Billing is only done annually and all plans require a minimum agreement for a 24-month subscription (see our FAQs for more and their pricing page for full details).
- Several users have complained about the rewards redeeming process being not very intuitive.
WorkTango combines continuous performance management, employee recognition, rewards, and surveys into one platform to help businesses improve employee experience and, by extension, company culture. Its three-pronged approach allows People teams to seamlessly share data across all three modules — Survey and Insights, Goals and Feedback, and Recognition and Rewards.
Like any other OKR software, WorkTango helps organize, track, and make sure individual goals and business objectives are aligned. What’s special about the platform is its features built around Surveys and Insights. Managers can use pre-built templates to create surveys or make their own with customization. They can also have anonymous conversations with employees. The best part is, based on employee feedback, WorkTango can suggest actions to help leaders spot and tackle worrisome areas more effectively.
WorkTango has over 1000 customers from different countries, including Allianz, Hitachi, Kia Motors, and Patagonia.
WorkTango has three plans. The pricing of those plans depends on the modules included. For example, you can purchase WorkTango's Recognition or Performance solutions individually or have them combined in a single plan (i.e., the entire platform). When billed annually, the pricing of WorkTango's plans is as follows:
- Growth: Designed for companies with 100 - 250 employees, this plan costs $5 per employee per month for the Recognition module, $9 per employee per month for the Performance module, and $12.50 per employee per month for the full platform (Recognition + Performance).
- Standard: Designed for companies with 250 - 1000 employees, this plan costs $4.25 per employee per month for the Recognition module, $7.50 per employee per month for the Performance module, and $10.50 per employee per month for the entire platform (Recognition + Performance).
- Enterprise: Designed for companies with 1,000 or more employees, this plan has custom pricing. Contact WorkTango's Sales team for a quote.
While the majority of WorkTango’s customers are in tech, FSI, healthcare, and business services, the software can work great for mid-sized to large businesses, US-based or otherwise, across most industries.
Synergita helps companies dig deep to understand their employees’ performance and company culture. The platform’s natural language processing (NLP) feature allows you to uncover sentiment, while HiPo Score helps you identify top performers.
- Synergita is affordable and scalable. Users can choose between its modules for employee engagement, performance management, and OKR tracking or combine them as needed.
- The majority of users find the UI user-friendly and relatively easy to navigate.
- NLP feature analyzes the tone of employees’ responses and assigns the team a sentiment score — a valuable data point to improve the employee experience
- Can integrate with HRIS, CRM, ERP, Learning Management Software (LMS), Single Sign-on (SSO) servers
- Has a 7-day free trial, no credit card is required
- Synergita’s platform is affordable and scalable. On top of that, you get to choose between their modules for employee engagement, performance management, and OKR tracking, or combine them as needed.
- The majority of users find Synergita’s UI to be user-friendly and fairly easy to navigate.
- With the help of natural language processing (NLP), the platform can analyze the tone of your employees’ responses and assign team a sentiment score, which is valuable data you can use to improve the experience of your employees.
- Several users noted that the reporting module lacks customizations, and speed/performance issues can be experienced with it, particularly when working with larger reports.
- A few users have also reported that the support team isn’t so responsive
- Doesn’t offer a mobile app.
- Several users noted that the reporting module lacks customizations, and speed/performance issues can be experienced with it, particularly when working with larger reports.
- A few users have also reported that the customer support team is slow to respond and resolve issues.
- The platform currently doesn’t offer a mobile app for on-the-go access.
Synergita is a cloud-based solution for employee engagement, recognition, performance management, goal setting, and tracking. To achieve all of the above, the platform packs a broad set of features, including engagement surveys, AI-powered sentiment analysis, measure culture score, performance reviews, 1:1 meetings, e-communication, peer recognition, HiPo rating, and employee development planning.
Synergita’s affordability and scalability are the top reasons users choose it over other options in the PM software market. As far as user experience goes, while report generation and user adding could be more intuitive, for the most part, both employees and managers like how simple and easy it is to navigate the platform.
Synergita has a page for use cases of the products, yet website visitors need to leave their information in a form to access those documents. However, businesses can always utilize its free trial to see how the software works in action.
More than 150 customers have used Synergita. Some of them are Lotte, Secova, Global Edge, Indegene, and American Micro.
Synergita has three modules, Engage, Perform, and OKR. When billed annually, those modules are priced as follows:
- Synergita Engage: It costs $2 per employee per month and includes basic talent information, continuous feedback, rewards and recognition, e-communication, culture score, and employee and feedback reports.
- Synergita Perform: This plan costs $4 per employee per month, including features like advanced talent information, SMART goals and achievements tracking, performance reviews/appraisals, custom workflows and feedback templates, and people and performance reports.
- Synergita Perform Plus: For $7 per employee per month, Synergita Perform Plus packs everything in Synergita Perform, along with 360-degree feedback, promotion cycle, career aspirations, appraisal letter distribution, skill repository and mapping, HiPo score, employee headcount trends, employee performance trends.
- Synergita OKR: The plan costs $4 per employee per month and includes basic talent information, personal OKR, company/dept OKR, and OKR reports.
Note: Synergita’s modules can be combined. You can take advantage of the price calculator on their website to determine how much your subscription will cost based on the modules you need.
Global, US-based, and India-based organizations looking for a simple PM system with flexibility and configurability.
Quantum Workplace stands out with its hands-on customer service. Once you buy their software, you don’t just get a one-off implementation service but an ongoing support team that helps you make the most of your investment.
- The user interface is intuitive and easy to use. You can easily find what you’re looking for as the most critical items are pinned at the top.
- You can personalize surveys, make them from existing best practices templates, or build them entirely from scratch.
- You can share and review recognition with your teammates in a social newsfeed format. What’s great is that you can make it as detailed and scheduled or as succinct and impromptu as possible.
- Quantum has an ever-present customer service team. Many users have complimented them on their responsiveness.
- Easy to use, the user interface is intuitive, you can find what you’re looking for and still see the most important items pinned on top.
- The option to personalize surveys, make them from the best practices templates, or build entirely from scratch.
- The ability to share and review recognition with your teammates in a social newsfeed format. What’s great is that you have the option to make it as detailed and scheduled or as succinct and impromptu as you please.
- An ever-present customer service team. Many users have complimented on their responsiveness.
- Many users have reported issues with canceling, rescheduling, and the inability to schedule 1-on-1s on short notice.
- Some users have found the goals feature a little confusing to understand because of its extensivity.
- This is a rather unpreceded one, but we found many users wishing for more vibrant colors for the platform.
- No free plan or free trial.
- Many users have expressed their issues with canceling, rescheduling, and the inability to schedule 1-on-1s on short notice.
- Some users have found the goals feature to be a little confusing to understand because of its extensivity.
- This is a rather unprecedented one, but we found many users wishing for more vibrant colors for the platform.
Focused on growth, development, and team alignment, Quantum Workplace’s performance management software is a suite of integrated tools that allow businesses to boost employee performance in myriad ways. Employees can set clear goals and see their progress, and managers and employees can schedule 1-on-1 meetings. Anyone in the organization can request or give feedback. Managers can create different coaching strategies based on talent reviews. And employees can get public recognition for their efforts from their managers and peers alike in a fun and interactive way. What makes this performance management software up a notch, however, is its succession planning tool that helps users find suitable successors for their critical jobs.
Quantum Workplace is used by over 10,000 companies, including Dentsply Sirona, Panera Bread, Fossil Group, DSW, BKD, and Getty Images.
Pricing is not disclosed upfront, but you can get it after booking a demo.
Mid-sized and large enterprises (50+ employees) looking for goals, 1-on-1s, real-time recognition, talent reviews and feedback in their performance management software.
While relatively new compared to other products in the Culture Amp suite, Culture Amp’s Performance Management solution has caught the attention of hundreds of businesses with its helpful customer service and science-backed reviews and surveys.
- A simple interface makes the platform easy to navigate.
- The Skills Coach feature delivers daily micro-learning experiences directly through Slack, Microsoft Teams, or email. Users find them practical, on-the-point, and digestible.
- Lots of pre-built surveys, which users find insightful.
- Follows scientific evidence to provide insights and recommendations, which according to several users, are helpful.
- Product updates and new releases are on a monthly basis.
- No setup fee.
- Responsive and knowledgeable customer service.
- People science team
- Tons of engagement surveys
- The People Science Plus plan is not available for very small companies.
- Billed on an annual basis.
- The onboarding process differs based on the service tier you select.
- The mobile app’s functions are pretty limited compared to the web version.
- Integration options are quite limited.
- Undisclosed pricing. No free trial or free plan.
- Their people science plus offering is not available for very small companies
- Enterprise clients might find that they lack some of the integrations and customizations a bigger team needs.
Culture Amp’s all-in-one employee experience platform runs the gamut from engagement to performance management to employee development and skills coaching. The Perform module is relatively new compared to Engage. Users appreciate that the vendor is very thorough and detail-oriented in every feature of their products, from templates to workflows to science-backed reviews and surveys.
Several users shared they liked how the short daily training is delivered. There is just enough information and practice activities to make it interesting, not too much to make it confusing.
With over 6,000 customers that include some big names across many industries, it's a tried-and-true solution for any company looking to boost engagement efforts.
Culture Amp has been used by 6,000+ companies, including Canva, SoulCycle, Etsy, Oracle, Bombas, Intercom, and McDonald's.
Culture Amp has four different plans.
- Self-service (for 25-200 employees): Includes Group coaching, on-demand resources for training, and 24/5 chat and email support.
- Standard (201-999 employees): Self Service, plus one-on-one coaching and pre-launch review.
- Enterprise (from 1000 employees): Includes all Standard features, manager and executive training, and results call with People Scientist.
- People Science Plus: Enterprise plus advanced guidance and training, linkage, and predictive analytics.
- Culture Amp Perform can be purchased individually or with other modules (Engage, Develop, or both).
- While all of its products are billed on an annual basis and have undisclosed pricing, most companies pay between $3 to $9 per person per month.
Global companies with more than 50 employees, ideally in the 150 - 5,000 range. Another note is that most of Culture Amp’s customers come from tech and white-collar settings like HR and finance.
We utilize both engagement and performance. We use engagement for quarterly pulse surveys that determine metrics for our managerial bonus program, as well as our annual survey. We are starting to use the action planning tool with our ELT. We use performance for performance review and calibration. We plan to use it for goal-setting this year, too!
- I love the action planning capability that action planning has
- I love that engagement allows you to filter so many different ways and the heatmap functionality is fantastic
- I love the calibration view you can share in performance
We decided to purchase Culture Amp as an engagement platform. Later, we added on performance. We needed a tool that helped us act on employee survey results and also had performance capabilities. We chose culture amp because it met the pain points we were having, they have a great customer success team & truly are working toward great product enhancements. I’ve personally used the tool since august 2021. Performance since last October.
- In performance, it’s not as easy as you’d like to exclude individuals from a calibration cycle from a filtering perspective
- In performance, I wish we could filter by division
- In engagement, I wish I could share a link with a leader for their dashboard not just via email
- Culture amp is different than competitors because of the action planning, it really sets them apart.
- I prefer the performance to BambooHR (what I’ve used in the past) because the views are so much better in calibration
- Consider action planning. What are you going to do with the engagement survey info?
- Consider how your performance cycle will be imported back into your point of record (for us it’s BambooHR and that may be a challenge, TBD!)
More filtering & word clouds in engagement! Too soon in using performance to tell.
A medium to large org (one with more data to measure!).
For small organizations, it is tough, as if they don’t receive much data, you can’t view the results when you slice.
Profit.co is more than just an OKR solution. The platform also packs features for performance management, task management, employee engagement, and recognition.
- Provides a broad set of features for an OKR tool
- In-depth customization options
- The OKRs coaching program is highly rated by users for its clear instructions and practical case studies
- Supports multiple languages besides English, including Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa, German, Portuguese, French, and Finnish
- 24/7 phone and chat support
- Offers a free plan as well as free trials.
- The platform has tutorials available that walk you through how to use the system and guide your team onto the platform. There are also examples of different types of goals, objectives and KPIs, so it's easy to see how they work in practice.
- Profit.co offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy for teams to set goals, collaborate and track progress. The tool allows users to set up OKRs for each team member, which can be done fairly fast with the help of step-by-step instructions.
- Users can choose from several pre-defined KPIs that range from sales to customer satisfaction, which helps them visualize their progress over time with just one glance at their dashboard.
- The customer success team is great, but there could have been more online materials for self-service training
- Not all the features in the mobile app are working as well as in the website
- Users find the platform confusing to navigate at times due to its wide feature set
- Connects with several apps, yet according to some users, the Asana integration isn’t easy to set up.
- While Profit.co offers a free plan for up to five users, it has limited features. The only way to unlock more features is by upgrading to another plan.
- One complaint about Profit.co is that there are too many features in one platform. While this might sound like a good thing at first glance, it can actually be frustrating for users who want something simple and straightforward – especially if they’re new to OKRs and performance management.
- As an administrator, you can create and edit tasks and goals. However, there’s no way to edit or upload tasks or goals on a mass scale. For example, if you want to change the title or description for every task, then you’ll have to manually do it one by one.
Profit.co allows companies to create and track corporate, departmental, team, and individual OKRs. The top management defines the corporate objectives and sets them up on the platform with in-app customization. The various departments can create their OKRs to further the corporate vision, while teams and individuals can set their own objectives to serve those larger goals. Through Profit.co’s real-time reporting dashboard, managers can check the real-time progress of their teams, catch potential problems early on, and make decisions as needed.
We appreciate that the software has transparent pricing, a free version, and a free trial. Plus, Profit.co supports multiple languages, making it friendly to distributed teams.
SunTec, Wex, Telmar, Sandvik, CWB Financial Group
- Launch: This plan is free for up to five users.
- Growth: This plan costs $7 per user per month, billed annually.
- Enterprise: This plan has custom pricing.
Note: Growth and Enterprise have free trials with no credit card required.
Startups and small to medium-sized businesses — either office-based or distributed teams can find a lot of value in Profit.co.
Betterworks is more common among large teams due to its sheer amount of features. Businesses choose it to get a wider set of data points and tools for employee engagement, performance, and goal management.
- Supports manager-employee conversations on planning and setting up quarterly objectives and key results
- Users highly praise the e-learnings along the OKR setups.
- Has a user-friendly and clear UI.
- The customer support team gives timely responses and is helpful.
- BetterWorks helps you get the performance data you need, whenever you need it. You can calibrate the system to your standards and objectives – annually, quarterly, monthly, or on demand – or choose from a wide selection of filters to get exactly the information you want.
- There are a few features in place that can help you uncover hidden biases and uphold your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, you can learn if talent decisions – such as promotions – are impacting certain employee populations unfairly.
- The platform is fairly easy to use with built-in analytics that help you understand how well you are doing toward achieving your goals.
- Limited integration capabilities
- Filtering isn’t in the best shape, leading to confusion as users navigate between individual and team goals.
- Its price tag makes it not friendly to budget-minded teams
- No free trials
- It can be difficult to know which goals are active, because the label ‘Active’ is set as the default.
- Betterworks offers considerable integration options with third-party solutions, but its main focus is on sending and receiving employee information between systems.
- Some users may find the Goals and OKR module overwhelming due to the sheer number of features, buttons, and options available. For example, a user complains that there's no need for three separate modules: Goals, Conversation, and Appreciation. The user should be able to click on a Goal and immediately start a conversation with the manager about it.
Betterworks provides a smooth performance journey to end users with an intuitive UI that’s easy to navigate. The software enables employees and managers to understand where the organization is trying to go and how they impact these goals by providing users with regular check-ins, OKRs, feedback, and recognition.
The web-based performance management platform gives visibility into the objectives of both individuals and the whole team, their progress, and how it all ladders to the set goal. Admin users can create regular reports to keep track of all conversations and measure the impact. We heard a lot of positive feedback from users on the tutorials built-in along the OKR setups and also its customer support.
Hulu, Kroger, FedEx, Udemy, Posadas, University of Phoenix.
- SMBs (5 to 1000 people): $7.00 per user per month (billed annually)
- Mid-Market (1000+ employees): custom pricing
- Large enterprises (5000+ employees): custom pricing.
Organizations (midsize or larger) looking for a robust and feature-rich PM software.
Lattice helps managers form a well-rounded approach to performance management, packing reviews, OKRs, goal management, and engagement in single, enterprise-ready platform.
- Has a modern design
- Helps you conduct 1-on-1s and reviews smoothly and in an organized manner
- Allows you to keep track of all meetings’ agendas, action items, and shared notes
- It’s quick and easy to see people directory and org structure
- Seamless integration with Slack and Google Workspace
- Lattice allows managers to record their 1:1 meetings with employees in real time. That way, both parties can go back later and revisit what was discussed during the meeting – as well as make sure nothing gets lost in translation!
- The platform has a host of tools supporting employee development and performance-based compensation setting, which isn’t common for the average performance management product.
- Review templates and survey questions are among several things that can be customized to ensure you’re getting relevant data.
- Updating OKRs is not the easiest. The goal view resets as users add or update a goal.
- Doesn’t have the option to do the feedback/suggestion box anonymously yet
- Sometimes it's not always intuitive when it comes to looking back at old reviews or adding someone to a survey.
- The mobile app has very limited functionality.
- Starting at $11 per person per month, Lattice’s pricing is on the expensive side compared to competitors.
- The platform is feature-rich, which is great but also means that it takes some time for the average user to get acclimated with it.
- The available selection of third-party integrations is rather limited, with a few users complaining that their HRIS isn’t covered. That said, Lattice does have an open API that allows users to plug-in other third party tools.
Lattice’s performance management solution provides managers and HR teams with a comprehensive view of their organization. It features highly customizable reviews, with built-in tools to help users automate review cycles. Engagement is also taken into account, with users having the option to give feedback and appreciation privately or publicly (on integration apps like Slack or Teams), and request feedback from people both inside and outside the company.
Furthermore, the Updates feature connects employees and managers on progress and roadblocks. There’s also a mobile app available on both iOS and Google Play stores, but it has limited functionality compared to the web-based version.
Lattice has over 2,000 customers, including Reddit, Slack, and Asana.
Lattice pricing is very flexible:
- Performance Management costs $8 per person/month
- OKRs & Goals costs $8 per person/month
- Performance management plus OKRs & Goals costs $11 per person/month
- Performance plus OKRs & Goals plus Engagement costs $15 per person/month
- Performance plus OKRs & Goals plus Grow (targeting employee growth and development) costs $15 per person/month
- Performance plus OKRs & Goals plus Compensation (linking performance and compensation) costs $17 per person/month
- Enterprise plan has custom pricing
Growing teams looking for a platform that combines surveys, performance management, feedback, and goals will benefit most from the scalability and feature wealth of Lattice’s offerings.
What Is Performance Management Software?
Performance management software's most commonly used features are structured 1:1s, annual reviews, development plans, and workflow automation. Each of these modules relies on this tool's powerful, underlying function: discerning analytics.
Performance management software is like an employee analytics flashlight. Whether taking it all in from a distance or closely looking at one tiny element, the illumination can help HR and business leaders observe and interpret the entire scope of company activities.
I saw the impact this tool could have early in my career. I was consulting for a bootstrapped startup, helping them identify spending leaks. It was a young company, so their recordkeeping could have been better. By chance, one of the founders had a beta version of a performance management platform she’d been asked to test drive. So we thought, why not? Nobody expected what would happen next.
The software uncovered overspending in multiple areas, including unused software and hardware expenses that were four times higher than necessary. We also found operational redundancies and costly oversights.
It’s ironic that the free software saved the day, but it really did!
This anecdote illustrates an important point. What we were slowly uncovering with hours of work, the platform captured at a glance.
This is the magic of performance management tools. The ability to comprehend all the moving parts, from the whole org to a tiny element, can rapidly empower improvement at any scale.
Not only can these platforms drive significant, systemic overhauls across departments, but they can also work on the individual level. They can provide the context and perspective to help employees understand where they fit into the larger organization, which can lead to performance improvement.
Performance Management Software answers questions like:
- Big picture: what is the entire organization working on?
- Mid-range: what are departments, divisions, and teams working on?
- Small-scale: what are individuals working on?
With the above questions answered, leadership can develop innovative, precise, and effective strategies to enhance the company’s performance.
What Are Use Cases for Performance Management Systems?
Performance management software is helpful to an organization in more ways than we can cover in one article. The following are among the most common, but every company is different, and your mileage may vary.
According to our contributor Tracie Maire, who has used performance management tools for team sizes from 25 to 3,000, the tool can benefit teams of any stature. She notes that the right time to start using one isn’t based on headcount. Instead, factors specific to your business, your culture, and your structure determine the right time to buy.
Among our team at SSR, our collective experience of buying and implementing these systems with companies of all types aligns with her sentiment. Among our staff of writers and HR professionals, I agree that there is no good standard time to start, but luckily, the use case for performance review software is evident.
1:1 meetings: Make the most of these critical interactions by using a tool to fold them into your Big Picture strategy. Performance management software can help managers and employees collaborate to create (and actually stick to!) an agenda and a regular schedule. They can review notes from past meetings, use pre-built conversation starters, and tie 1:1s back to goals and feedback. From either side of the manager or direct report line, I agree: 1:1s with purpose enhance productivity. But in my experience, that’s not all they can do.
When I worked in HR, a new manager approached me for support. He was overwhelmed by his new responsibilities, so I suggested that he use the company's performance management software, particularly structured 1:1s, as a training tool. I encouraged him to look for insights into goal-setting, targeted feedback, productivity measurement, and data analysis. He incorporated these strategies into his fledgling management philosophy, his confidence grew, and he became a well-respected member of leadership.
Objectives and key results (OKRs): Most performance management software contains a goal-setting feature that allows businesses to list their OKRs and record progress toward them.
Goal setting cuts an unambiguous path between an output (whether individual or division-wide) and the organization’s goals. The benefits of clarity around a central purpose and the ability to track progress toward it are conspicuously missing in many organizations, often due to the effect of information silos.
Performance Reviews: Many need help remembering what happened last week, let alone any details from six months ago!
The right platform can facilitate meaningful conversations that stand the test of time. By implementing structure, cadence, and documentation, companies can avoid the two worst types of performance evaluations. First, the rushed, scattershot, far-too-general-to-be-useful type, and the second, the rushed, narrow, we-can’t-remember-last-week-let-alone-details-from-six-months-ago type.
Employee Performance Management: From onboarding to 360-degree feedback and regular check-ins, modern performance management systems provide managers with a complete picture of employee performance. It creates and monitors measurements for productivity and illuminates the connection between daily activities and long-term company goals.
I’ve seen this from both the direct report and the manager's side. While the benefits are not as easy and obvious as the focused 1:1s (more on that later), a well-managed review cycle can be transformative.
People Analytics: Fluent in both process and people, these platforms generate high-value analyses that can illuminate the relationship between the two. Insights on using the platform, the need for more training, adherence to OKRs, and the formalization of 1:1s are abundant.
6 Common Pitfalls of Performance Review Software (And How to Avoid Them!)
Now that you know what it can do, let’s look at a few common mistakes companies make in buying, implementing, and capturing the value of this tool.
1. Limited Product Suite: Some vendors offer stripped-down suites with limited capabilities or single features a la carte. Though they are often more affordable, they should be avoided.
We recommend a feature-rich product with supplemental offerings you can use now or deploy in the future. Your long-term people strategy should always be top of mind, especially when shopping for a tool deeply embedded in a worker's daily activities.
For example, if you plan to roll out an employee engagement initiative in the next 18 months, a performance management platform that lacks this feature is a bad choice.
2. Culture Change Catastrophe: A common mistake to avoid is inadequate planning for this tool's impact on company culture.
I’ve seen things get ugly when this kind of tech is applied at the wrong time or with the wrong message. What do I mean by “ugly”? Ugly is what happens when the effect of buying and implementing new software is net negative either in terms of ROI or in terms of employee engagement.
The topic of worker productivity is well-studied and notoriously complex. The U.S. has a long-established history of laws and institutions created to protect workers’ rights, but a persistent sense of threat remains. Some believe the best interests of workers and the scrutiny of their output are at odds.
While I’m not suggesting that using performance management software requires a company-wide curriculum on the comprehensive history of labor relations, you should be aware that adopting a tool that monitors your worker’s daily activities may cause alarm. Keep reading for our recommendations on handling this, but first, let’s survey the landscape.
If you’re shopping for an enterprise-level tool, the culture change process will be part of the package you buy. In most cases, you’ll have access to a professional change management team to help with messaging and implementation. However, if you are like us and most other small businesses, you can’t afford Deloitte! So focus on what you can control: the message and how you deliver it.
While a white-glove consultancy service may not be your thing, you do have distinguished, dependable, and highly skilled messengers at your disposal: your human resources team.
A known and trusted entity, HR has a tremendous advantage over a consultancy: they are the architects of your culture. No team is more well-suited to bring people on board (literally and figuratively) with enthusiasm and solidarity.
Pro tip: Focus on the development aspects of the tool. Advocate for a frame of mind that sees the implementation primarily as a means to develop each employee’s strengths. To this end, integrations with tools that manage incentives like bonuses, rewards, and recognition can be helpful to the cause.
When I used the words “get ugly” earlier because this critical element was overlooked or under-resourced.
3. Misguided Compensation Alignment: Are YOU ready to question one of the foundational elements of modern capitalism? Sorry if I caught you off guard, but here we go!
Compensation is often tied directly to an individual’s achievement of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). It follows that a person who meets 100% of their OKRs has earned their keep by doing 100% of the job they were asked to do. This makes sense until you consider how one might measure and reward accomplishments that exceed expectations.
The solution: OKRs should only be 60-70% attainable.
The space between 60-70% and 100% is the domain of discretionary effort, and that should be made clear to your employees as you roll out your very OKR-focused program. Let your team know that their compensation and achievement of OKRs are not directly proportional, and support them in the counterintuitive task of creating goals that they won’t meet 30%-40% of the time.
When I’ve laid this out to the various teams I’ve worked with, truthfully, only about half of the minds are blown. The other half have MBAs or have otherwise acquired business acumen that made them immune to the effects of this news.
4. Rushing the Roll Out: Avoid whiplash going zero to sixty with your rollout: don’t redline your implementation! 1:1 meetings with OKRs are an excellent place to start. If possible, you can pace yourself as you shift to a new program by finding a solution that overlaps your current system. The same is true if you’re starting from scratch— avoid the temptation to do too much, too fast.
How do I know this? This advice comes straight from the headlines of the team's real-world experience at Select Software Reviews. In other words, been there, done that: rushed it, regretted it.
I once witnessed a performance management software rollout tank because it was both rushed and scatter-shot. The tool's promise was squandered by pushing too hard: the training was minimal, the expectations needed to be more attainable, and the integration needed to be more robust. The company lost thousands of dollars and invaluable measures of trust from the workers.
You should schedule one to four months per module and dedicate copious resources to education for managers and employees. It’s essential to be patient when asking people to change their behavior. With a thoughtful, phased rollout, you’ll give your team time to adjust and the software the chance to justify itself.
5. Adding Another Login: If you chose a tool that requires your team to log in to anything other than what they already do, you’ve chosen the wrong tool. Many factors contribute to workplace stress, and extraneous tools can be counted among their ranks. Fortunately, many of these systems are built with an open API and integrations in mind.
Your platform should provide seamless integration with email, internal comms tools like Slack, project management tools like Jira, and any other virtual environments where you will likely find your team. Well-integrated tools increase the chances of high engagement and bottom-line impact.
Here’s some water cooler gossip: unless your team is using a password management system like it 100% definitely should all of the time, one of the best ways to introduce security threats to your company is to tempt people to reuse passwords by giving them too many things to log into.
6. Misaligned Goals: Employees will instinctually set OKRs that are directly related to company goals, but sometimes this needs to be corrected.
For example, if an organization aims to cut costs, you can expect to find this item listed among individuals’ OKRs.
But here’s another true story from one of our HR pros who was an eyewitness to this misalignment pitfall: following what they thought was the direction of the company, a person from the marketing team included “cut costs” among their OKRs. Somehow, nobody noticed. The sun didn’t crash into the earth. Still, heaps of time was wasted scrutinizing transactions to cut costs when the company's needs would have been better served by this person spending on initiatives that support creativity and innovation.
The key to goal alignment is education. When structuring OKRs, individuals must be supported by managers who, in turn, were well supported when learning how to educate their direct reports.
4 Key Performance Management Platform Features
The features listed below represent the fundamental functions standard to these platforms. Your company may require more, less, or alternate options, but these four define the baseline.
1. Integrations: Though more of a characteristic than a feature, software seamlessly integrating with your existing tools is crucial for maximizing productivity and reducing operational costs. A tool that integrates with your current stack minimizes the need for manual data entry, avoids potential data errors, and allows for a smooth workflow between different systems. In short, easy integration saves time and resources and provides for a more effective and streamlined operation.
2. Check-ins: Employees want and deserve frequent check-ins with managers. Comprehensive annual reviews have their place too, but OKR-driven 1:1s and regular check-ins keep employees engaged and focused. They can be an opportunity to teach skills that improve performance.
100% of Select Software Reviews employees agree on this one. It’s a no-brainer and should be baked into the platform you buy.
2. Automation & Workflows: Look for a tool with integrated automation options from top to bottom—one must-have feature: automated 1:1's with templated questions and built-in scheduling. Integrations with your other HR tech and internal comms like Slack and Outlook are also critical.
3. Annual Employee Evaluations: The awkward yearly review is quickly becoming a thing of the past (hooray!), but that doesn't mean employee evaluations have disappeared completely – they've simply evolved.
When choosing your software, take a hard look at how the tool streamlines and improves this part of your talent management strategy. Ideally, the tool will ensure the year’s worth of 1:1s and check-ins have been purposefully designed to lead to a meaningful, comprehensive retrospective. The best among the best will also curate a well-informed vision of the future.
Our take on this feature is unified: it is essential to get this right! All roads of your performance management system should lead to this point, and it should be (assuming the best of everyone) a positive experience across the board.
4. Development Plans: Look for a platform with features focused on helping your workforce develop skills to meet company and personal goals. At a minimum, the system must track OKRs to ensure development is headed in the right general direction. On the other end of the spectrum (and, usually, price range), we’ve seen companies reap massive benefits from platforms with built-in learning management capabilities. The more specific the educational material, the better.
About half of our team (all dignified HR professionals, mind you) scoffed at this and said something like, “Okay, we’ll just take the company jet to meet with the dignitaries from the Learning Management Department of the Performance Management Software most small businesses can barely afford.” Point taken, fellow pros. There are not many options for SMBs who want good performance management software. But keep this in mind: while much of what I’ve discussed is specific to (game-changing) software, much of what I hope to get across are tactics that can be deployed for the low price of free-ninety-nine.
For example, here are three things that zero dollars can buy you:
1. A Source to Learn Better People Management Skills
2. A Nuanced Understanding of Performance Management
3. A Way to Ensure a Positive Effect with a Performance Management Strategy
Questions to Ask in a Demo
Ask these questions to each company you speak to. Do your research beforehand, but have these in your back pocket.
- What is your product roadmap? How do employee engagement, recognition, and rewards fit into that vision?
- How does your solution integrate with my existing HRIS or HRMS?
- How does this tool integrate with our project management software?
- What is your change management playbook? How will you help our employees and managers transition to this solution?
- Do you have recommendations for the rollout? Which modules go first, and why?
- If I’m already doing OKRs and 1:1s, how much time will this save my team?
- Is this solution designed for specific types of organizations? Is it best for small businesses, enterprise/knowledge workers, retail, remote teams, etc.?
- Can I export the data to cross-reference with other KPIs kept in other systems? Which systems?
- How does the annual performance review process work?
- How does the tool navigate systematic reviews?
Our #1 Pro Tip: Divvy up the Lift
Don’t underestimate the resources involved in making this choice or the impact of your selection. You’re not simply buying another piece of software.
You are introducing an operational paradigm shift by selecting and deploying a change-making, eyebrow-raising, OKR-activating transformative powerhouse. Don’t do it alone! Build a team for this task.
A cross-functional buying committee is a small team assembled to speak to the needs of the departments they represent. In addition to the benefit of their perspectives, their collective knowledge, skills, and “weight” will help secure the budget you need to support the program. Equally important is the personal connection to their divisions, amplifying the sense of safety and trust needed for a successful implementation.
I have seen firsthand how helpful this type of coalition can be, and I cannot recommend this enough.
Performance Management Software FAQs
What does performance software do?
It does a lot! This includes but is not limited to scheduling and scoring performance reviews, measuring OKRs and goals, scheduling check-ins, and analyzing employee data.
What benefits does it provide?
Increased retention, a better understanding of your organization, easy tracking of performance data, and increased employee engagement.
What are the primary features?As mentioned above, check-ins, workflow automation, annual evaluations, and development plans are the standard functions, but integration is the feature that ranks above the rest.
Performance management software is a powerful tool that operates in the space between behavior change and analytics. For maximum effect, sustained resource requirements must be accounted for.
Buying, implementing, and maintaining this type of software requires a commitment to the continual process of operating it. Out of the box, it provides a framework and analytic capabilities, but it must be tuned into your team’s specific needs to be effective and well-received.
Remember that HR tech is a highly dynamic market, so be patient and prepared to sort through dozens of options on your way to the best fit.
Don’t underestimate the pace of evolution in this space. Fundamental business principles and HR best practices are essentially unshakable, but HR tech tools are in a state of constant, rapid development. Don’t fall behind!
HR pros and decision-makers: subscribe to our newsletter to keep pace with the progress.
Looking for HR Tech Advice?
Join our community
Ask questions, share knowledge, find new job opportunities, network and more in our closed HR Tech Buyers Community
- Our goal at SSR is to help HR and recruiting teams to find and buy the right software for their needs.
- Our site is free to use as some vendors will pay us for web traffic.
- SSR lists all companies we feel are top vendors - not just those who pay us - in our comprehensive directories full of the advice needed to make the right purchase decision for your HR team.