Is your performance management system working for you? If your performance reviews are inconsistent, difficult or confusing, then the answer is no. The right performance management software makes it easy for leaders and managers to provide clear, consistent, and informative feedback to both individuals and teams.
What Should Your Performance Management Software Do?
Investing both resources and time in establishing a better and more comprehensive performance management system will provide your organization with a wide range of substantial benefits, especially when a cloud-based employee performance management software is used.
Performance evaluation software is one of the best and smartest solutions for for any HR professional to keep their workforce effective. A common denominator across almost every industry is the drive to conduct business operations in a more cost effective and efficient way, recruit and retain talent, and increase employee engagement and job satisfaction. With the right performance management system organizations gain the ability to fast-track and simplify the appraisal and performance review process, giving some power back to their employees in the process.
If you are contemplating adding a performance management software to your management system technology suite, or wanting to upgrade a legacy system to one that is much more modern, it’s important to keep in mind that not all performance management solutions are created equal. We’ve listed below the top 10 must-have features of performance management software.
1. Multi-rated feedback: 360-degree evaluation of employees
The 360-degree evaluation process provides employees with feedback from peers, supervisors, and subordinates, and is a benchmark tool for assessing employee performance that your performance management software should deliver. With 360-degree feedback, employees are better able to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and learn more about the areas where they need professional development. Organizations receive performance feedback from every area within the company when wider employee participation is encouraged. Because 360-degree reviews are conducted anonymously, a more honest picture of important performance metrics emerges allowing leaders to identify and target areas where employees excel, and in what areas they need to improve.
2. Ability to schedule reviews: periodically, and based on the hire dates
The anniversary day evaluation is one of the traditional forms of employee reviews that is still very much in use today. This type of employee review helps managers and business leaders evaluate individual employees on the anniversary of their hire date without the need to do mass evaluations at once. As a result, the individual has the sole focus of their manager and can expect clear, honest feedback that is not directly connected to their wages.
Aside from the anniversary evaluation, simply conducting an annual or bi-annual employee review is no longer considered the only way to best manage employee performance. In order for a business to successfully manage employee performance, it must conduct regularly scheduled periodic reviews instead. These can occur at 30, 60, 90 day intervals or whichever works best for your company. Unlike annual performance reviews, regularly scheduled evaluations encourage better employee performance and create an environment of open communication between managers and their employees.
3. Continuous assessment of employees using real time feedback
Real-time feedback, or continuous employee evaluation, ensures that employees fully understand their job requirements and see a clear path forward for continuous improvement. Continuous assessment in real time results in both better wages for the employees and growth for the business. The best performance evaluation software enables both scheduled feedback and real-time feedback requests that can be sent out automatically weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
4. Support both free-text (qualitative) and rating based (quantitative) responses
The two main categories of question types used in performance evaluation software are qualitative and quantitative.
- Qualitative questions relate to or measure the quality of something.
- Quantitative questions relate to or measure the quantity (amount) of something as opposed to the quality.
Each type of question has its own weaknesses and strengths in relation to the data it yields. This is why it is important that your performance management software delivers both. If your current software only uses one of these categories, you may learn what your responders are doing, but not the reasons why.
5. Mobile apps for on-the-fly evaluations
A good performance management software should include a simple and easy to use performance management mobile app. With this app, team managers and administrators have the ability to access detailed performance reviews, as well as creating evaluations directly through the app. Employees can view their own reports based on their access level, process 360-degree feedback evaluations, and have access to goals directly from the app – regardless of where they are. This is an especially important feature in a business world that is becoming more and more remote or hybrid.
6. Ability to set goals: track progress and give a sense of accomplishment to employees
The influence goal setting has on employee behavior and performance has been widely discussed and researched. By successfully implementing goal-setting strategies into your performance management System, you get employees who are more motivated to complete their tasks efficiently and on time, a work environment that is more effective, and increased employee morale. The ability to set goals in the performance management software should be simple and easy, with goal setting options at both the team and individual level.
7. Options for integration with your productivity suite like Google Workspace, Office 365, HCM software, HRMS and/or Payroll systems
Organizations today operate in a digital and connected work environment, and often make use of various technologies and tools to achieve their goals. It is therefore especially important that your performance management software easily integrate with any other business systems you have in place, including HCM software, HRMS and/or Payroll systems. It should also be able to integrate with any new applications you may want to add in the future. This way, you can continue using your platforms of choice and still upgrade the way you monitor and improve employee engagement and performance.
8. Web dashboards: clear reporting for easy analysis and trend computation for teams and individuals
It’s important that your performance management software provide a web dashboard where individuals, teams, and managers can view clear and easy to understand reports. Not everyone gets excited about raw data, and chances are good many of your employees won’t even understand the vast amounts of numbers and figures within the documents or spreadsheets.
The right performance evaluation software translates this raw data into easy to read reports and computations to help employees understand where they are presently performing well, where they need to improve, and how far they have progressed over time.
9. Data accessibility and data security: availability on all kinds of browsers; encryption of data and dual factor authentication
Companies store a great deal of sensitive and personal information about their employees and customers, making data security a vital concern for any employer. This important information must be kept safe, while still being easily accessible to only those who need it on any number of browser platforms.
It is therefore of utmost importance that your performance management software use world-class, big-data technologies to safeguard all of your important data in the cloud. The entire performance management system must be protected by secure, application level firewalls and dual factor authentication 24/7. All data must be 256 bit encrypted during transit, and sensitive aspects of the data must be encrypted at rest to safeguard sensitive data at all times.
10. Product support: on-demand assistance, employee training, and friendly customer support without a high support fee
After investing in the right performance management software the last thing you want to do is spend a small fortune on support when you need it. An experienced and professional performance management system will provide you with friendly customer support, from implementation and training to just about everything in between. They should provide on-going product support that is available on-demand, right at your fingertips, as well as resources and training materials to ensure you are consistently seeing ROI from your investment.
HR is the foundation of any organization. I have had many opportunities to work with Fortune 1000 companies and SMEs too. I lead the customer support team at AssessTEAM.com, guiding businesses on how to make the most of their performance evaluation systems and helping HR professionals automate employee performance tracking processes.