The right performance review software makes it easy for managers or performance management teams to push great feedback toward individual contributors in a clear, consistent way. Conversely, and the wrong performance review software does exactly the opposite, making performance reviews confusing, inconsistent, and difficult for managers to do well.
Annual, or semi-annual, performance reviews are an infrequent and formal way to give and receive feedback, and they certainly have a time and a place. However, investing time and resources in creating a more comprehensive performance management system can provide your company with all kinds of tangible and intangible benefits, especially when a streamlined performance management software is used.
Learn more about creating a meaningful performance management process, and how the best performance management software can improve workflow and achieve company goals, below.
What Features Should Your Performance Management Software Include?
There are dozens of performance management software options on the market, but no two offer the same combination of tools, capabilities, and support. When conducting a search to find the right performance management software for your team, look for those that include:
An Intuitive Platform
Implementing new software can be challenging, especially if it's not intuitive or easy to use. The best performance management software includes an intuitive interface that saves you time and effort. A platform that is user-friendly and customizable will allow you to add performance goals, performance items, and performance strengths quickly and easily.
Easy Integrations with Other Software
Chances are high that your organization already uses other software to make your employees more productive, such as Microsoft Office, GoDaddy, or Evernote. If so, you should look for performance management software that can easily integrate with programs that you already use and love, as this can prevent major headaches when the time comes to download, store, or send performance management data. Before committing to a performance management software, see if you can schedule a demonstration that displays how a software can work with other tools to see if it's right for your organization.
Not everyone feels excited about raw data, and it's often difficult for many employees and managers to make sense of spreadsheets or documents full of numbers and figures. Finding a performance management software that can easily translate raw data into meaningful graphs and charts that show changes over time can help your employees understand what they currently do well, where they could improve, and how far they have come.
Many performance management software programs have at least one of these features, but only a few deliver on all three counts. You should also make a list of the priorities you have when it comes to performance management software before you start searching, as this can help you quickly narrow down your options.
Performance Management Software and Tools
With performance management software, employees can enter feedback for their performance reviews when it's convenient for them, managers can add comments quickly and privately, the performance review process is streamlined, and performance data can be easily shared with other systems.
Performance management software also offers a variety of tools that can help employees improve their performance in the future. Employees can set goals for themselves in order to help measure performance, managers can provide personalized performance feedback, and employees can work with their performance data to pinpoint areas where they could use a little help
Employees who receive performance reviews from their managers tend to be happier in their jobs, and when team members feel that their voice is heard, they are 4.6 times more likely to stay with the company. Performance management data can also be used to track and review performance goals and objectives.
Gusto offers HR and time tracking needs in one place. The platform also features full-service payroll management, and a performance review tool to request employee feedback. With an automated workflow, there are tools for self-evaluations, manager reviews, and career development resources.
Zoho People is HR management software that can handle various processes, including new hire onboarding, attendance tracking, performance evaluations, and a corporate learning management system. Zoho assesses employees with customized performance appraisal processes that include a 360-degree, continuous feedback system.
RallyBright offers comprehensive performance management software that empowers your company to build better teams, identify gaps, and resolve issues. Not only can you collect and analyze data about employee performance, but you can also use it to measure employee satisfaction. This can help your company make changes when needed to avoid burnout or high turnover, which can save your company thousands of dollars per year. RallyBright also makes it easy to identify and address challenges within teams, which can be used to solve problems as they arise.
These are just a few examples of the many helpful HR programs available, and it's important to do your research before investing in these tools.
The Performance Management Process
Many organizations have stuck with the annual or quarterly performance review sessions for decades, and they see no reason to change that. This puts employees in a tough spot, as many of them want more direct feedback about their performance. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, annual reviews aren't as helpful as they seem because, "they're a collection of indirect, out-of-context feedback that a supervisor or boss is supposed to deliver long after a project has ended, so the feedback is no longer educational or useful."
Forward-thinking companies are now looking for ways to create a more active performance management process, which can make the supervisor and employee feel more in sync with one another and the company as a whole. The performance management process is generally broken down into three stages: planning, coaching, and reviewing.
Planning is a logical first step in the performance management process. Productive planning can come in many forms, but many organizations have successfully established a regular performance management cycle that takes place over a number of weeks. At the start of the cycle, the employee and manager have a discussion and collaborate on reviewing past performance (when applicable), and making goals or objectives for the employee to work on throughout the cycle.
This is the stage where identifying key performance objectives can be helpful, as it gives employees and managers a way to measure an employee's skills and progress. Planning should also involve identifying the types of training the employee may need, as well as a discussion of the expected results by the end of the cycle.
The best managers don't micromanage their employees, but instead have meaningful meetings and discussions. Coaching usually involves having a brief discussion on the employee's progress toward their end goals, which can include identifying barriers and strategic problem-solving when necessary. The objective of coaching is less about managers telling their employees what to do, and more about generating ideas and collaborating
The reviewing stage of the performance management cycle is typically the longest in duration, as it requires an in-depth look and discussion of the work that was completed throughout the last few months or over the entire year. Companies that give more regular reviews set their employees up to better understand their expectations, feel more heard and understood, and work more productively. After the reviewing stage comes to an end, the cycle starts over with planning.
Although these are the three key stages to a performance management process, there is room for flexibility in how your company conducts performance management. What works for one company may be disastrous in another, and it can take some trial and error to figure out what benefits employees, managers, and the company most.
Need Help With Performance Management?
A comprehensive performance management system can be tricky and overwhelming to implement in a company. Many organizations look at all the work it could take to build one from the ground up and decide it isn't worth all of the hassle. The good news is that your company can now get all of the benefits that an updated performance management system can bring without having to create it from scratch yourself: performance management software can do most of the heavy lifting for you!