The quest for optimal employee performance is never-ending. With optimal performance comes the promise of happy customers, engaged employees, and even high profitability levels. Conventionally, firms had to use paper-based performance appraisal models that were not only stressful and clunky but also subject to bias. This made the introduction of software that helps streamline performance management a game-changer.
The technology helped to solve the glaring inefficiencies of conventional performance appraisal programs and shifted performance review from broken annual reviews to a more consistent feedback model. However, picking the right tool for performance management can be a daunting task, and choosing the wrong one can easily lead to your reverting back to using the conventional methods. The right tool should be not only be easy for you to use but also intuitive enough to solve your performance needs.
Here is why you need performance review software as well as some of the best software options you can choose from:
Why You Need Performance Review Software
The nitty-gritty details of an employee’s scope of work play a huge role when it comes to the quality of operations. As long as employees understand the scope of their work as well as the goals they are expected to achieve, it can be pretty easy to meet these expectations. Performance review software will simply help your firm outline the expected goals as well as the scope of work for each employee.
This software also helps improve accountability among the members of your team. Given that their performance is being monitored, and that you have outlined everything they need to do for optimal performance, it can be pretty easy for employees to work towards matching this blueprint.
As you measure the performance of your employees, you can easily identify weaknesses and strengths. For instance, in the case of safety training, you might notice that a group of employees are not well aware of the safety standards that they need to meet. The software can help you identify such issues and choose the best ways to eliminate them through proper training.
Types of Performance Management Software
These types of tools help to outline a list of expected behaviors that employees need to follow for optimal performance. In most cases, the behavioral expectations will depend on the job the employee is undertaking. It also allows you to evaluate the performance of the employee without comparisons between the different individual workforce members.
These tools allow for an all-rounded review method. Staff members can get appraisals from team members, managers, and supervisors. They can also offer their feedback to individuals higher in the chain of command. This helps break down the hierarchy which can be toxic to a company’s growth when it impedes on feedback.
Management by Objective
This is an extremely straightforward and simple tactic. In this type of tool, managers set a goal and a deadline with the members of their workforce. The achievement of the goal within the stipulated parameters is a sign of success.
Best Performance Management Software
BambooHR is a great option for small or medium-sized businesses. Its review system will make it easy to make frequent check-ins through a redefined performance management landscape. In using it, you will easily identify high performers as well as staff members with performance issues in real-time.
It also offers 360-degree feedback, appraisal history tracking, objective/goal setting, compensation management, peer appraisals, and self-appraisals. The only downside with the system is that it might be incompatible with some of the systems you use, but you can always confirm this with the vendors if you choose to pick this software.
Zenefits is the best option for firms that need to upgrade their human resource information systems into data that they can use to track employee performance online. It helps to align traditional performance reviews with easy-to-track methods, such as allowing the documentation of one-on-one meetings between employees and managers.
By using the tools, you can easily focus on timekeeping and employee scheduling. It offers the ability to launch review cycles as well as tie compensation to the performance of employees. You can rely on its templates to launch review cycles and set the necessary parameters.
3. Small Improvements
Small improvements is well-known for its customization options that allow firms to turn the software interface into one that matches the feel of the business, making it seem like a part of your employee’s daily operations. It also engages employees in the performance review process, increasing employee morale, and making goal achievement even easier.
It comes with built-in features such as 360-degree feedback, performance review, goals setting, and reporting. You can always rely on it to automate the entire performance review process. As for performance metrics, it has a straightforward scoring systems and easy-to-use review forms that help offer employees performance reviews. Employees are also able to play a key role in the review process, either informally or through structured feedback methods such as the aforementioned 360-degree feedback.
4. Performance Pro
Other than incorporating 360-degree feedback and goal setting, Performance Pro also includes legal checks that help avoid text that could easily lead to lawsuits if used in performance reviews. Though it costs a little bit more than the rest of the tools on this list, it might be the best option for businesses that want to avoid the risk of lawsuits. It also allows you to tie performance to compensation, streamlining the process of offering employees bonuses as well as incentives.
For employers who want to manage employee competencies, it allows you to automate the management of such performance aspects as well as create individual development plans. The software can also seamlessly integrate with other third-party software options, making it easy to implement in your business.
This tool is the best software option for businesses looking to improve the engagement of their workforce. You can use it for employee communication, engagement, and collaboration. It also has a nifty app that makes it easy to offer real-time employee feedback as well as standard reviews. To use it, you will be asked to set goals and performance metrics that your workforce needs to meet.
Other than offering goal-setting features as well as 360-degree feedback, the tools allow employees to ask for real-time commentaries on their work, obtain peer reviews, and even document one-on-one meetings with managers. If an employee needs help, they can easily ask peers through a feature they call “social learning.” This is a great option for companies looking to better integrate their employees.
Lattice was created for non-HR professionals who would like to manage the performance of their workforce. It comes with features like the documentation of one-on-one meetings, collaboration features, goal setting, and performance reviews.
Unlike the other tools that offer quarterly or annually reviews, Lattice reviews can be offered on demand. Managers can easily send feedback in real-time as well as offer documentation that will help improve performance. It also has a “praise wall” feature, similar to those found on social media platforms, that allows employees to provide feedback on the performance of their colleagues, increasing engagement, and employee morale.
7. Zoho People
At its core, Zoho People is an HR tool, but upgrading to the version that offers performance management is ideal. Unlike other HR software that doubles as performance software, Zoho People allows you to customize your experience. You can turn features on and off when the need arises.
It allows you to conduct performance reviews, which includes 360-degree feedback. It also offers a mobile app that allows employees to check their performance rating in real-time and a self-service function. As for goal setting and performance reviews, it allows both managers and employees to create goals and track progress–talk about teamwork!
This is the best option for small businesses looking for a wide range of performance review features at a startup-friendly price tag. It approaches performance reviews from a traditional standpoint that is somewhat similar to paper-based models. It offers 360-degree feedback, performance reviews, reporting, and easy integrations with a bevy of software packages.
It also supports new HR practices such as continuous feedback and employee recognition, all of which can play a pivotal role in enhancing employee engagement and retention. You can always rely on its dashboard to track employee performance and offer insights. As for evaluation schedules, the application provides flexible schedules that allow you to shift between weekly, monthly, or annual review cycles. This can also be done after onboarding a new hire, once a project is completed, or for any other reason.
Why You Need Performance Review Software
Creating a high performing workforce is essential to standardize products and services as well as keep the key stakeholders happy. Businesses like organization design firms and executive recruiters use these software, so it may be in your best interest to do the same. Since a lot of these tools make collaboration simple, improving employee morale can be quite straightforward. The easy-to-use performance review metrics systems also make incentivizing employees easy. Pick the tool that fits your business’s needs and build a high-performing workforce.
Brett Farmiloe is the Founder & CEO of Markitors, a digital marketing company that connects small businesses to customers. He is a published author, workplace wellness enthusiast, and periodic contributor of content to SHRM.org.