​Best Performance Management Software System (Top 10 Compared)

Friday, November 12, 2021
Sandra Petrova
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Can you remember how your employees have performed over the last year? 

Neither do the employees or managers in your company.

Not to mention that annual assessments are imperfect and all too often biased. 

The solution?

A better, more meaningful appraisal process with the help of performance management software!

The best performance management software systems allow leaders like yourself to have more control over their organization by managing employee data, streamlining processes, and reducing time spent on administrative tasks related to performance management.

In this extensive guide, we'll look at the top 10 performance management systems and discuss their best features and downsides. 

Let's dive in!

 

 

Performance management software comparison chart (top 10 highest rated tools)

Product

Best for

Price starts at

Url

BambooHR

Best tool overall

$29.62 for 1 license on 2 computers

Visit

ClearCompany

Customized reviews

$60.90 per month, billed annually

Visit

15Five

Remote teams

$30 per month, billed annually

Visit

Lattice

Productive 1:1s

$28 per computer per month, billed annually

Visit

Reflektive

Goal management

Free

Visit

Trakstar

Ease of use

$60 per license per year

Visit

Namely

Midsize businesses

$10 per month, billed annually

Visit

Workday

Large organizations

$3.39 per month, billed annually

Visit

Eloomi

People development

Contact vendor

Visit

SAP Success Factors

Rigorous employee evaluations 

$9.90 per month

Visit

 

 

What is performance management software?

Employee performance management software is designed to manage the performance of employees. It helps track, measure, and improve employees' progress, abilities, and behavior. Performance review tools provide visibility into which employees are meeting their goals and which need more guidance. They also serve as a communication tool for managers to provide continuous feedback to employees, which can help increase engagement and job satisfaction.

 

How can employee performance measurement tools and techniques help a business?

They can improve a company's profits.

Staff performance appraisals are the backbone of any organization. 

They help establish goals and objectives for an employee, which helps them perform better. For instance, managers can more easily detect employees who are underperforming and work on improving their skills. 

Evaluations also increase productivity and engagement among top performers and reduce turnover while improving company culture. And according to studies, companies with highly engaged employees achieve 22% greater profits

They can guide employees in the right direction. 

Think about this for a moment:

Every employee has their own set of skills. When it comes to professional development plans, managers must recognize each employee's best talents in order to guide them in the right direction. Creating a culture of open feedback where an employee will be properly evaluated can help managers guide their subordinates along a clearly defined and progressive career path.

They offer employees fast and real-time feedback.

Get this:

96% of employees want to get regular feedback instead of waiting for the annual review. 

Here's something else interesting:

45% of HR leaders think that performance reviews that happen once a year are inaccurate. 

Let's be honest for a moment. It's impossible for managers to remember how each of their employees performed throughout the year. They tend to remember more recent events than events that took place a year ago. 

When the focus is on providing real-time employee feedback, employees can get a fairer review and improve more quickly. 

What's more, celebrating wins when they happen means they're less likely to be forgotten by managers. This can increase employee satisfaction and engagement in the long term. 

They help employees achieve their goals.

When managers provide fast, real-time feedback, employees can be on track with what's expected of them. They'll know what they're doing well and what they can improve upon. Having this valuable information at hand can help employees achieve their goals and meet the manager's expectations.

They help employees understand the overall strategy of the company. 

Most often than not, employees are falling short of expectations just because they don't understand the company's overall strategy. 

Human resource performance management systems can help employees see the connection between their goals and the company's strategy. This will give sense and purpose to their work, which can also increase engagement and productivity. 

 

What are the different types of performance management systems?

As we've mentioned earlier, online performance management systems come with a myriad of benefits for the companies that use them. From improved employee performance to higher profits, they can be crucial for the success of a business.

Despite this, only a few companies have mastered the art of performance management. Even fewer know which type of performance management system works best for their type of organization.

If you find yourself in the same boat, let's take a look at some of the different types of performance management systems:

  • Business performance management tools

    • Sales performance tracking system

  • Employee performance management software 

    • Employee performance review software

    • 360-degree employee evaluation

    • Self-performance appraisal

    • Employee ranking tools

 

Business performance management tools

A business-level performance management tool is a software program that helps measure and optimize a company's efficiency. These tools provide insight into how individual employees and teams are performing and offer suggestions to improve efficiency and profitability on an organizational level.

Tools like these allow you to see the big picture and make important decisions that will positively affect your business in the future. Detailed analytics can show you what’s working and what’s not, enabling you to make strategic changes for increased profitability.

They offer features such as customized performance reports, goal planning, KPIs tracking, Kanban boards, time tracking, portfolio management, workload overviews, and more.

Sales performance tracking systems

Sales performance tracking tools are an integral part of any business. 

While most businesses use these systems to measure a salesperson's effectiveness, they can also provide insight into where your business is lacking and how to improve it. They include an assortment of features that help set realistic targets and track your salesperson's progress.

 

Employee performance management software for HR

Employee performance management tools are an effective way to measure and evaluate an employee's level of performance. The best HR software for performance management comes equipped with all the features you would need to assess a person's performance against a set of criteria or standards to provide valuable feedback for improvement.

Employee ranking tools, 360-degree employee evaluation software, and self-performance appraisal tools all fall under this category. 

Employee performance review software

Employee performance reviews software is a type of tool that assists companies in assessing an employee's performance. They also serve to ensure employees' goals are aligned with those of the company. There are many benefits to using such software, including helping employees with career development, negotiating salaries, writing improvement plans, etc. 

360-degree employee evaluation software

360-degree evaluation software comes equipped with all the tools you need to gather feedback from employees, managers, peers, and customers to create an accurate picture of an employee's performance. This type of performance evaluation is different from traditional evaluation methods because it requires getting feedback from more than one person.

Self-performance appraisal tools

Self-performance appraisal tools are a software program that helps employees appraise their own work performance. These self-performance appraisal tools allow managers and employees to assess their skills, competencies, and weaknesses to optimize performance. The results of the self-performance assessment are compared with the manager's assessments. The manager and employee can then sit down to discuss the results and develop a possible improvement plan. 

Employee ranking tools

Employee ranking tools enable companies to rank their employees based on their performance, from the highest level to the lowest. These tools are meant for companies who want to take the guesswork out of determining which employees from a team are best-performing. For example, this tool would allow a company to rank its employees based on who makes the most sales or has the least customer complaints. The goal of these tools is to either give employees an incentive or provide feedback to improve their performance.

Goals tracking tools 

Goals tracking software is a continuous performance management software that helps companies set goals for every employee. They're also called goal-setting software. 

 

What is the best performance management software? Here’s our top 10 list:

Coming to terms with the fact that you need performance management software is the first step.

The second step includes choosing the best system that fits your requirements and budget. 

And this is where it gets tricky. 

How do you pick the right one for your industry and company size among so many top performance management platforms?  

The following chapter will try to clarify what employee performance tools are available and how they compare against each other so that you make the best decision.

Let's dive in!

 

BambooHR (best performance management software overall)

BambooHR is a human resources management software that was purpose-built from scratch to solve the major challenges HR managers have with traditional performance reviews.

Performance management is where this tool shines. Managers can track goals and performance on a daily basis, instead of conducting annual performance reviews that are too often biased or ineffective. 

There are three major functionalities HR managers can benefit from:

  • Manager and self-assessment

  • Peer feedback

  • Goals 

Manager and self-assessments can happen annually, semi-annually, or quarterly. Managers can answer a handful of simple questions that are specifically designed to prompt actionable feedback. Some of the questions include, "How can [name of employee] improve", and "What are some things [name of employee] does well?" 

Self-assessments, on the other hand, give employees a chance to reflect on their own performance and encourage more frequent conversations between the employee and manager. 

Peer feedback is only seen by the manager and helps provide a complete perspective  of how the employee is performing. The manager uses this information to help the employee improve and grow. 

Goals can be set by both the manager and the employee. Progress can be reviewed by anyone at any time, enabling managers to coach and mentor their employees on a continuous basis. Managers can also create shared goals, or align any employee goals to one of their own to ensure everyone is working toward common outcomes. 

Pros:

  • All-inclusive HR management system that comes with plenty of features

  • User-friendly system that is perfect for small businesses

  • Performance management module that includes reviews, reports, and feedback

  • Comes with a good deal of support, including online content, guides, and videos

Cons:

  • Pricier than its competitors 

Pricing:

There are two paid plans to opt for: Essentials and Advantage. 

You'll need to get in touch with BambooHR's sales team to learn the exact cost for your business. 

According to other reviews, the Essentials plan starts at around $6 per employee per month, while the Advantage plan starts at around $8 per employee per month. 

BambooHR  

 

ClearCompany (best performance management system for customized reviews)

ClearCompany landed our list of best performance management software as it's a high-quality solution with powerful functions. It's also a super-user-friendly platform that doesn't require strong tech skills to find your way around. 

The platform is geared towards HR professionals, hiring managers, and executives, offering the following standalone solutions that can also be purchased as a single platform:

  • Applicant tracking

  • New hire onboarding

  • Performance management

The performance management solution lets you design, automate and manage any type of performance evaluation method, including new hire reviews, 360-degree reviews, time-based reviews, competency and role-based reviews, and quarterly, bi-annual or annual performance reviews. 

Managers can easily create reviews and manage review cycles thanks to the clean user interface and navigation.

Even better, the system is fully customizable, allowing HR managers to create their own questions and sections and deploy with one click. What's more, they can see real-time reporting as results come in. 

Even those employees and managers who are often away from their desks can complete a review using the mobile app just as efficiently as they would from their desktops.

Pros:

  • Great for small and medium-sized businesses

  • Custom reviews

  • Real-time reporting

  • Excellent technical support

Cons:

  • Not geared towards large companies

  • No built-in learning management or time and attendance features

  • Steep learning curve

Pricing:

ClearCompany doesn’t publicly display its pricing information. You need to get in touch with the company directly to get a quote.

ClearCompany 

 

15Five (good performance management app for remote teams)

15Five is an evidence-based performance management tool that comes packed with all the frameworks and tools managers need to maintain high-performing teams and see their employees self-actualize.

For instance, the Check-in functionality allows managers to ask employees how they are doing, what they think managers should do to improve, and offer their ideas on how teams can work better.

Another cool feature is the 1-on-1 feature. If there's an item you don't want to forget to discuss at your next meeting, simply add it to the 1-on-1 list. Both managers and employees can add items to the 1-on-1 list up to the moment before a meeting.

Another great functionality is the Employee recognition. For example, managers can give public or private high-fives to employees to celebrate wins and contributions so that employees feel valued.

Pros:

  • Evidence-based performance management solution

  • Great for people management on remote teams

  • Enables manager-employee communication

  • Great tool for busy work environments and/or managers managing large teams

Cons:

  • The large number of features may confuse some users

  • Jira and Salesforce integration is only available with the higher plans

Pricing:

There are four paid plans to choose from:

  • Engage, starting at $4/per user per month (billed annually)

  • Perform, starting at $8/per user per month (billed annually)

  • Focus, starting at $8/per user per month (billed annually)

  • Total Platform, starting at $14/per user per month (billed annually)

A free trial is also available. 

15Five 

 

Lattice (top performance evaluation software for productive 1:1s)

Lattice is the next performance management tool on our list that lets managers track employees' performance, engagement, and satisfaction. 

Using this software, managers can conduct all kinds of performance management reviews, including:

  • 360 Feedback

  • Self, Manager & Direct Report Feedback

  • Project-Based Reviews

  • Automated Reviews

What's so great about the reviews is that managers can use the review templates built into the solution or create their own. 

Another great feature is the One-on-ones (1:1) that helps managers provide feedback and coaching to employees during one-on-one meetings. The Praise functionality is another cool addition to the software that allows managers and employees to celebrate their achievements publicly.

Users can use the feedback feature to give their most honest feedback to any coworker or manager. The feedback can be private, shared with a manager and the other person, or shared publicly with the company.

Some people might be happy to hear that the software also supports OKR and SMART goal frameworks. 

Pros:

  • Handy integrations with other apps like Slack

  • Great tool to appreciate your colleagues

  • Makes weekly 1:1s easy, efficient, and engaging

  • Allows employees, peers, and managers to give concise, focused feedback

Cons:

  • There's a bit of a learning curve for new users

  • The UI can be a little confusing

Pricing:

When it comes to pricing, the company offers three paid plans:

  • Performance, starting at $9 per person, per month, billed annually

  • Performance & Engagement, starting at $12 per person, per month, billed annually

  • Enterprise (custom quote)

Lattice   

 

Reflektive (top tool for goal management)

If well-known companies like Airbnb, Eventbrite, and Squarespace all rely on Reflektive for performance management, then this tool must be worth checking out.

The tool is a great software solution for managers who want to improve one-on-one meetings, track goals, encourage more frequent feedback, and drive continuous performance improvement.

It comes with some neat features like Goal Setting to align individuals and teams around shared goals and OKRS, track business progress, and tackle issues early on. 

Another amazing feature is the option for people to request feedback about their performance. They can ask for feedback from their managers, coworkers, or anyone else from the company. 

The 1:1 Conversations feature comes with all the tools managers would need to run more productive meetings. 

Other noteworthy features of Reflektive include:

  • Check-ins

  • Recognition

  • Surveys

  • People analytics

  • Benchmarks and sentiment analysis

  • Suggested action plans

Pros:

  • Very user-friendly and intuitive

  • Option to export completed reviews option

  • Option to recognize the people that have done stellar work

  • Great for managing goals and achievements 

  • integrates with most major HRIS's and communication tools like Slack and Workday

Cons:

  • The UI can sometimes be slow to load

  • Not always seamless integration with Gmail

  • Pricing is not publicly revealed

Pricing:

Reflektive doesn't provide pricing information. Get in touch with sales to get a quote.

Reflektive  

 

Trakstar (great performance management app for ease of use)

Imagine having a performance review system that's easy to use and comes with a generous set of powerful features. That's Trakstar. 

This tool comes packed with all the features HR managers need to assess and review a worker's job performance.

Some of its most notable features include:

  • Online Performance reviews

  • Real-Time 360-Degree Feedback 

  • Goal Tracking with With Real-Time Reporting

  • Note Taking, Check-Ins, and Automated Email Notifications

  • Self-Reviews

  • Flexible Reports To Identify Top Performers

With the 360-degree feedback feature, you can collect feedback from managers, vendors, and an employee's peers to get a real-time view of an employee's performance.

Another great feature is the Goal Management that lets managers set and track goals, which keeps everyone working toward the same end.

Heck, there's even a tool for measuring employee engagement. System administrators can send surveys on specific topics or create custom surveys to measure and improve employee happiness and productivity.

Pros:

  • Customizable ratings let you design what you want to assess

  • It is very intuitive to use for both users and administrators and does not have a steep learning curve

  • Customer support is excellent and responsive

  • "Coaching tips," which are pre-written feedback statements to help supervisors find the right way to convey their feedback

Cons:

  • Lacks materials on how to set up reviews, surveys, etc. on your own

  • New users may take a while to create appraisals

  • Lacks a mobile app

Pricing:

Trakstar starts at $4,370 per year. 

Trakstar  

 

Namely (top employee performance evaluation tool for midsize businesses)

Namely is an all-in-one cloud-based HR solution with a built-in talent management feature. You can count on the software to take care of all aspects of human resources, including payroll and benefits administration. 

When it comes to performance management, Namely doesn't disappoint. With its 360-degree review feature, employees can receive feedback from coworkers as well as managers. 

There's also a goal-setting functionality that lets managers set and track goals and adjust goals and job priorities when the company's needs change. Employees can also create private goals such as "Be more productive" or "Don't be late for meetings."

Even better, Namely comes with a built-in Competencies feature, which can be a great tool for managers to track employee skills, assign requirements, and create employee profiles.

Pros:

  • Mobile app for iOS and Android devices

  • Great for small and midsize businesses 

  • Easy-to-navigate user interface (UI) and feature-rich functionality

  • Strong employee management and performance review process features

Cons:

  • Might not be the best option for large companies with over 1,000 employees

  • Customized reports are limited

  • Lacks sufficient integration options 

Pricing:

Namely doesn't publicly reveal its pricing model. But according to online reviews, the price ranges between $12 – $30 per employee per month. 

Namely 

 

Workday (good performance evaluation solution for larger organizations)

Workday is a complex HR solution that caters to large businesses and high-growth companies. It comes equipped with all the HR tools you would need to run your HR department and make your processes more efficient. 

The talent management suite offers some great tools to help you onboard new employees, manage goals and performance, as well as with succession planning and career planning.

Workday doesn't fall short on performance management. For instance, there's the option to create talent profiles and fill them out with skills and career interests so that managers can more easily find qualified internal employees for open positions and projects. 

Goal alignment is another great feature that lets system administrators assign team goals, develop personal goals at the worker level, and add trackable goal attributes to provide specificity. Even better, employees can also create, edit, and review goals. 

Real-time feedback is also possible within the software. Users can give or request feedback that can be named or anonymous, free-form, or template. 

Pros:

  • Detailed reports and analytics

  • Suitable for large companies

  • Intuitive user interface and well-organized navigation 

  • Great performance management features like real-time feedback and goal alignment

Cons:

  • Lacks more transparent pricing

  • Live chat support needs to improve

  • More integrations could be useful

Pricing:

Workday doesn't publicly display its pricing. You have to get in touch with sales to get a custom quote. You can fill out an online form or phone them directly. 

Workday  

 

Eloomi (best performance review software for people development)

Don't let the simplicity of this SaaS performance management system fool you into thinking it lacks capabilities. Quite the contrary. 

Eloomi is one of the best systems on the market today that offers both basic and advanced features for performance management.

Some of its most notable features include performance appraisals, employee check-ins, and 360-degree feedback capabilities.

The People Dashboard is where managers can get a quick overview of the current status of their employees. Managers can start a coaching conversation with an employee directly from the People Dashboard. And get this: there are even templates managers can use to initiate conversations. Employees can also start a coaching conversation themselves at any time from their own profile. 

The check-ins feature is another great aspect of the platform. Check-ins can happen via comments, or by using the messages function. 

And here's something else interesting: managers can customize one-to-one templates to fit with their organization's needs or use templates such as SMART or GROW. 

Pros:

  • The platform is robust, well constructed, logical, and easy to use

  • Customization options to fit your needs

  • The platform comes with multiple languages option

  • Personalized service with one person assigned to the set up and the deployment of the system

  • Great tool to seamlessly link performance and learning

Cons:

  • Set up might not be intuitive 

  • The platform can be sluggish

Pricing:

Eloomi offers four paid plans, Learning, Development, Appraisals, and Complete Solution. However, the pricing for each paid plan is not publicly available. You have to contact sales to get a quote. 

Eloomi  

 

SAP Success Factors (top software solution for rigorous employee evaluations)

SAP Success Factors is a top-notch solution for enhancing talent performance and employee development journey at your company.

Middle-to-large companies have the most to gain from this advanced solution that comes with all the features you need to engage and motivate your workforce to perform at their best. 

For instance, managers can track a team's progress against personal and company goals, ensure they are working on the right activities, and easily provide actionable feedback. 

What's more, managers can gain access to real-time feedback and use that data to hold more effective one-on-one meetings with employees.

The 360 Reviews option lets managers capture a complete view of employee performance, while the Team Rater and Team Overview functionality helps leaders identify top and bottom performers. 

Pros:

  • Very comprehensive reporting analytics

  • Supports around 46 language

  • Access to real-time performance metrics that drive smart compensation decisions

  • Best for companies with five to 500 employees

  • Android and iPhone applications

  • Great for rigorous employee evaluations

Cons:

  • Loading can be very long at times

  • UI and visuals look a little bit dated

Pricing:

SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals starts at $4.17 USD/user/month. 

SAP Success Factors  

 

What is the best performance management solution for me? Our key takeaways

After going through this extensive review, you're probably wondering:

What is the best performance management solution for me?

The answer to that question is tricky as it greatly depends on your needs. 

Are you looking for an all-in-one HR solution that combines payroll, benefits planning, and onboarding features with performance management tools? Or are you interested in a standalone solution that's specifically geared towards performance management?

The size of your company is another matter that needs to be taken into consideration, as some solutions are more geared towards smaller companies and others towards large enterprises. 

For instance, BambooHR is the best all-in-one solution, and Eloomi comes with great features for people development. Workday caters to larger organizations, and Trakstar is very intuitive to use for both users and administrators.

If you find yourself thinking between several great options, consider signing up for a demo to test drive each of your preferred software's features. 

 

FAQs

Which practice enables HR professionals to develop performance measures?

Performance appraisals. They are an essential practice for measuring the effectiveness of employees at every level in an organization. Performance management enables HR professionals to set objectives and align them with organizational goals in order to measure performance. It also provides a framework for addressing performance gaps and developing action plans for improving employee performance.

What purpose does performance appraisal serve? 

Performance appraisals are a process of assessing the performance and skills of an employee within an organization. They are also used as a form of feedback to help employees understand their strengths and weaknesses. Performance evaluations exist in many different forms. The most popular methods include 360-degree reviews, self-reviews, and employee ranking. 

What is performance differentiation?

Performance differentiation is when the manager assigns each employee a specific level of performance based on the employee’s job description, skills, abilities, experience, and education. Performance differentiation allows HR managers to easily identify employees who are performing well and those who need improvement.

 
 
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