Performance management systems are software applications used by companies to track the performance and goals of their employees. These systems are designed to help organizations evaluate their employees' performance, identify areas for improvement, and offer development opportunities. The goal is that employees will be better prepared for future roles and promotions within the organization.
What is a performance management system?
Performance management is a process of managing employee performance. It helps managers to improve their performance by evaluating the employees and providing them with feedback.
A good performance management system can help employees track their progress and have a better understanding of how they're doing, which in turn makes it easier for them to grow within their roles.
Performance management tools are different from traditional annual reviews because they provide regular feedback on performance throughout the year rather than just one big review at the end of each period
Some organizations use OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) or SMART goals to set objectives, and these can be tracked in a performance appraisal software, although neither of these methods is required at your company.
Key features of performance management solutions.
A performance management system should be part of a complete HRIS system, or it should integrate with your existing Core HR system. This way, you can feed data from your employee self-service portal into the performance management system, which in turn feeds information back to payroll and other systems.
One of the key benefits of having an integrated solution is that employees will feel more engaged since they don't have to switch between applications or enter data again if they submit something through one application but need to see it later in another application.
The second benefit is that managers will find it easier to manage their direct reports because they can view all their employee's data across all relevant systems (e.g., timekeeping records). Managers will also be able to keep track of how each individual is performing against their goals without having to go through multiple systems or asking various people for updates on different aspects of an employee's performance at any given time (remember: no one ever got fired for not asking questions!).
Pros and cons of using a performance management system.
A performance management system can help you:
- Better visibility for managers and employees. With an effective performance management system, managers will be able to see the progress of each employee throughout the year. They'll also be able to give more frequent feedback in a structured way, which is an important part of helping employees grow through regular feedback and coaching.
- More continuous feedback for employees. The right software can actually make it easier for your organization to provide continuous feedback to employees by recording their efforts as they work on projects or tasks, providing reminders when they need it without being disruptive or feeling like micromanagement (which is often the case with traditional methods).
- Better alignment toward goals—and better results! By aligning your people against shared goals you can help them achieve those results faster and better than ever before possible!
Some drawbacks with a performance management system include:
- Additional costs -The initial cost of setting up a system can be high and ongoing maintenance costs can add up quickly. If you’re working on a tight budget, this may not be the best option for you.
- Not always integrated with an HRIS - Some systems are designed to work within an HRIS, but many aren’t. This means that you may have to use two different systems when managing performance and tracking employee data.
Best Performance Management Software.
For those who want high user adoption
With a fresh $45M in venture funding, Lattice is one of the best performance management software systems and is continuing to execute on their mission of building a flexible, easy-to-use platform that can create high performing teams.
Lattice began as a goals & OKRs platform, but has quickly added functionality to support annual reviews, check-ins, engagement surveys and career pathing.
One of the great things about Lattice is their modern user interface which mirrors what we have come to expect from consumer-grade technology. And when employees are excited to use a tool like Lattice, companies can expect better data and better outcomes.
For those who want to empower their managers
15Five helped pioneer the continuous performance review model by building their platform on a simple, weekly pulse-check model. This simple, unobtrusive nudge asks employees to take a few minutes each week to reflect on how they're feeling at work, giving managers better data to understand their employees.
15Five has moved far beyond the check-in model and now supports full annual reviews, peer-to-peer recognition and engagement surveys. But the continuous updates that managers receive in 15Five is one of their strongest features
For those who want to deeply understand their workforce
Culture Amp helped build the modern engagement survey industry. Their psychology-based survey tools can help companies ask the right questions, understand their employee's results and take action in a meaningful way. Although they started off focusing on employee engagement, Culture Amp acquired a performance management solution in 2019 and are starting to bring the two solutions together.
For those who want to build a truly differentiated employee experience
Many companies in this industry are actively developing new features to broaden their offering, while Kazoo can already offer a unified, full suite employee experience platform.
Rather than just being a platform that employees visit to complete performance reviews or surveys, Kazoo is designed to be the cultural hub of your company. This includes not just reviews and surveys, but also rewards, recognition, goals and a newsfeed.
Kazoo is also one of the most enterprise-grade solutions in this area and works closely with businesses during implementation to ensure that their employee engagement hub reflects their company
For those who want engagement built into their HRIS
Almost every major HRIS vendor now offers a performance management and employee engagement module. However, very few HRIS's can offer the modern, dynamic functionality that companies are looking for (which is why the performance management marketplace exists) That is, except for Hibob.
Hibob is a true HRIS with timekeeping, onboarding and benefits management capabilities. But Hibob's HRIS was built with employee engagement and performance management tools at its core, while others make those tools ancillary add-ons.
Many of their peers can report on performance and engagement metrics, but Bob's HRIS capabilities allow them to also add absence, pay and benefits data into the picture too.
For those who are focused on business performance
Smart companies have always known that businesses perform their best when individuals are bought in and rowing in the same direction. The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework has been adopted at thousands of companies to help create greater alignment throughout the organization around strategic goals.
The person who developed the OKR framework sits on Betterworks' board, and all of Betterworks' performance and engagement functionality cascades down from those strategic business goals.
Companies that prioritize performance and alignment find no better partner than Betterworks for bringing those strategies to life.
A performance management system is one of the most important tools a company can have in place. It allows leadership to keep track of all employees’ progress and goals, while also making sure they’re staying on track with their work.