The Top 5 Best Performance Management Tools in 2023

Summary:Having a top performance management system in place is paramount to drive organizational success. Read more about the best tools here.

The Top 5 Best Performance Management Tools in 2023

Summary:Having a top performance management system in place is paramount to drive organizational success. Read more about the best tools here.

Table of Contents

Having a top performance management system in place is paramount to drive organizational success.

Top contenders in this space include ClearCompany and PerformYard, both offering robust features and tailored solutions. 

These tools enable businesses to effectively align goals, provide feedback, track progress, and foster continuous improvement. 

This article further explores some of the best performance management tools in 2023, along with the significance of such tools. We’ll also navigate the essential factors to consider when looking for a performance management solution for your organization.

Top Performance Management Tools in 2023 

1. ClearCompany

ClearCompany offers an integrated suite of talent management solutions, including performance management, applicant tracking, onboarding, and more. This allows for a seamless flow of data and a holistic approach to managing employees throughout their lifecycle – from recruiting and onboarding to engagement and performance.

With the review cycle creation and administration features, the platform takes an employee-first approach that focuses on developing and growing employees rather than evaluating and ranking them. 

For example, users can easily customize review cycle workflows, questions, formats, and participant communications to align with unique roles in their company or expedite review creation using pre-built templates.

They have templates for all review types, including 360-degree feedback, annual reviews, semi-annual reviews, quarterly progress check-ins, goals & role-based reviews, and new-hire reviews.

It also lets you launch and manage review cycles and track cycle progress to maximize employee participation.

Some of ClearCompany’s key workflows include: 

• Performance review cycle completion: Both you and your employees can revisit and track progress on goals, employee recognition, and saved notes.

• Competency management: ClearCompany helps organizations define and manage competencies relevant to job roles. Users can create competency frameworks, assess employee proficiency, and identify skill gaps. 

• Goal planning: With ClearCompany’s goal-planning tools, you can establish continuous feedback loops, enabling regular communication, informal coaching, and collaborative problem-solving. This ensures that everyone stays on track and can make necessary adjustments to achieve their goals.

• Performance analysis: ClearCompany offers pre-built reports to help you analyze top performance and track performance trends. You can also analyze performance data using review cycles, average scores, and more. 

All in all, ClearCompany is suitable for organizations of all sizes and across various industries. The software’s flexibility and customization options make it adaptable to different performance management processes. 

However, if you’re seeking a standalone performance management tool without additional talent management functionalities, you might find ClearCompany’s integrated suite a bit overkill.

Pros: 

• ClearCompany provides best practices and templates for performance management based on the latest research and expert advice.

• They support multiple languages and mobile devices, enhancing user experience and accessibility.

• The dashboard is straightforward to use, with every feature easily accessible. 

Cons

• While ClearCompany’s interface is user-friendly, some more advanced features may have a steeper learning curve.

• There’s no free trial option available. You have to sign up for a demo or a consultation to see how the platform works. 

• The platform does not mention specific features or solutions to attract, hire and retain diverse talent or college graduates. 

2. PerformYard

PerformYard is a cloud-based performance management software that allows users to build their unique performance management process with reviews, goals, feedback, and data in one place.

From single annual reviews to managing continuous feedback and updating goals after every project, PerformYard helps you keep your process organized. 

The process of launching the review cycle is also simple and takes just a few clicks – and PerformYard handles the rest for you. 

Everything runs on autopilot, with performance data arriving to the right employees at the right time. 

Managers get notified in case some reviews are left incomplete. They can also leave comments or send forms back for changes when signing off on self-reviews or 360-degree reviews. 

Both managers and employees also get a copy of their appraisals and access to performance histories. 

PerformYard also enables goal tracking, allowing you to update them either individually or as a part of a review cycle. Managers can also provide real-time feedback to employees, create private performance notes, or even recognize their achievements in front of the entire company. 

Here’s an overview of PerformYard’s key workflows: 

• Review cycle creation: You can design your own review cycle workflows by choosing the type of review (employee appraisal, 360 reviews, quarterly check-in, etc.), the questions and scales to use, the participants and reviewers involved, and the timeline and frequency of the cycle.

• Review cycle administration: PerformYard helps you launch and manage review cycles using automation tools that send reminders and notifications to participants, track progress and completion rates, and handle exceptions and changes.

• Review cycle completion: Employees and managers can complete reviews online or on mobile devices. They can also access previous reviews, feedback comments, goal updates, and recognition badges.

• Goal management: You can create and align goals across the organization – from the company level down to the individual level. You can also track objectives and key results (OKRs), update progress and status, and provide feedback and coaching along the way.

• Performance analysis: You can analyze performance data like top performers and performance trends over time using pre-built visualization reports or by creating your own custom reports. You can also drill down into various factors such as review cycle, average score, manager, role, department, or employee. 

PerformYard is most suitable for companies looking to drive high-quality performance conversations among employees and managers using various feedback tools and goal management features. 

However, it may not be suitable for companies looking for a more comprehensive talent management platform that covers other aspects of HR besides performance management.

Pros: 

PerformYard simplifies and automates common performance management tasks, including launching and tracking review cycles, sending reminders and notifications, and generating reports and analytics.

It integrates with ADP marketplace and other major HR platforms like Rippling, BambooHR, Workday, and more, enabling seamless data transfer and synchronization. 

It’s simple and intuitive to use, with a user-friendly interface and easy navigation.

Cons

The tool may be unable to handle complex or unique performance management processes requiring more customization or integration options.

PerformYard does not have a lot of bells and whistles, like gamification, social recognition, or learning management features that some users may expect from a performance management software tool.

They don’t offer 24/7 support, which may be inconvenient if you need assistance outside of business hours.

Pricing:

Pricing starts from $5-10 per person/month when billed annually, depending on the number of employees. It includes features like reviews, goals, feedback, reporting, ADP integration, and unlimited forms.

3. Trakstar

Trakstar is an all-in-one HR Performance Software that comes with a suite of tools for performance management, applicant tracking, learning management, and workforce analytics. 

Some of its key performance management features include the ability to create performance reviews, engagement surveys, 360-degree feedback to get a complete picture of your employees, and set SMART goals. 

Trakstar dashboard

Trakstar also offers unique goal alignment and cascading features. For example, it allows users to set and cascade goals across different levels of the organization. This ensures that individual objectives are aligned with team and company goals, promoting a unified focus on organizational success. 

One of Trakstar’s notable features is its emphasis on employee development. The software allows users to create and manage personalized learning plans, enabling employees to track their skill development and career growth.

Some of its key workflows include: 

• Performance Tracking and Evaluation: Trakstar lets you track ongoing performance through regular check-ins, 360-degree reviews, and progress updates. Managers can provide feedback and evaluate employee performance based on predefined criteria and performance metrics.

• Development and Learning Plans: You can create and manage personalized development plans for employees. This helps you identify skill gaps, set learning objectives, and track progress toward individual development goals.

• Performance Documentation and Notes: Trakstar provides a platform for documenting performance-related notes, conversations, and feedback throughout the review period. This helps you keep a record of performance discussions and contributes to a more accurate and objective evaluation process.

Pros

The UI is simple to navigate and use. Its intuitive design reduces the learning curve for both managers and employees.

Trakstar uses the SMART framework to help with goal management, tracking, and configuration.

Trakstar facilitates feedback and reviews by allowing managers and employees to give and receive continuous feedback.

Cons

There’s no free trial or freemium plan available. 

Trakstar can be expensive for some customers, especially for smaller organizations or non-profits.

4. ChartHop

ChartHop is primarily a people analytics software that brings segmented data sources together under one roof. It consolidates information from various systems, ensuring that you have a comprehensive and accurate view of your organization’s workforce.

One unique feature of ChartHop is its ability to create and share interactive organizational charts. This dynamic visualization tool showcases the inner workings of your company, including important data like OKRs/KPIs, 30/60/90 day plans, job descriptions, reporting structures, benefits/salary details, training completion rates, and more. 

This provides a holistic view of your organization’s operations, resulting in better understanding and collaboration across teams.

ChartHop also allows you to collect employee feedback on topics like engagement, satisfaction, culture fit, and performance. You can also create surveys to gather input from candidates or customers, allowing you to take data-driven action actions.

In addition, you can generate customized reports and analytics tailored to your specific needs, enabling you to gain deep insights into your workforce dynamics and make data-driven decisions that are both actionable and impactful.

Other key workflows include: 

• Org Chart: ChartHop lets you create and update your org chart with drag-and-drop functionality, so you can easily see who reports to whom, what their roles and responsibilities are, and how they fit into the bigger picture. You can also view historical and future scenarios of your org structure and collaborate with others on org design.

• Headcount Planning: ChartHop helps you plan your hiring strategy with real-time data and budget constraints. You can model different scenarios of growth or contraction, align your headcount plan with your business goals and OKRs/KPIs, and track the status of your open roles.

• Compensation Reviews: ChartHop enables you to manage your compensation process with transparency and fairness. You can set up compensation bands based on market data and internal equity, automate salary adjustments based on performance and tenure, and communicate compensation changes to employees.

• Performance Reviews: ChartHop helps you streamline your performance review cycle with customizable templates and workflows. You can set up goals and expectations for employees or team members, track their progress and achievements, and provide feedback and recognition. You can also link performance outcomes to compensation decisions.

• Recruiter Experience: ChartHop improves your recruiter experience by integrating with your ATS and other hiring tools. You can see all your candidates in one place, along with their status, resume, feedback, and scorecards. You can also automate tasks like scheduling interviews, sending offer letters, and updating hiring managers.

Overall, it’s suitable for organizations looking to enhance employee experience with data-driven people insights and a way to act on those insights. It’s especially useful for people leaders, people ops teams, finance leaders, talent acquisition teams, managers, employees, and executives. 

That said, it may not suit organizations with simple or static people operations or that are not comfortable with sharing their people data across the org.

Pros

ChartHop helps you improve your recruiter experience by integrating with your ATS and other hiring tools.

It allows you to create and share an interactive org chart that visualizes company operations and data.

It helps you manage your employee compensation process with transparency and fairness.

It’s free for up to the first 150 employees.

Cons

It may be costly for some organizations, especially if they need additional modules or features.

ChartHop can be complicated, and the extensive list of features can overwhelm some users.

Some users have complained that zooming/ scrolling with the mouse function can be complicated.

Pricing:

Pricing starts at $8 per employee per month (billed annually). It includes features like people analytics, Custom HRIS / Payroll mapped fields, compensation reviews, surveys and feedback forms, and more. 

5. Culture Amp

Culture Amp is a cloud-based employee experience platform that offers tools for employee engagement, performance management, and development. 

A unique feature of Culture Amp is its ability to assess and measure company culture. The software offers surveys and analytics to help organizations understand their culture, identify areas for improvement, and align their performance management practices with their desired culture.

It combines surveys, feedback, turnover prediction, goal tracking, personalized plans and analytics to help employees grow and perform better. 

The software provides tools and ready-to-use templates for conducting surveys, pulse checks, and performance reviews, allowing you to gather insights on employee sentiment and engagement levels. 

Initially, Culture Amp started as a survey platform to help companies measure and improve their culture. 

However, it has expanded its product offerings over time to include performance management and employee development features like goal tracking, feedback, reviews, 1-on-1s, calibrations, personalized plans, and skills coaching.

Key workflows include: 

• Multi-source feedback: Giving and receiving multi-source feedback anytime from peers, managers, or direct reports to recognize strengths and identify areas for improvement.

• Performance reviews: Culture Amp makes it easy to conduct performance reviews and evaluate employees’ achievements using customizable templates and rating scales. You can also have regular 1-on-1 conversations with employees to discuss progress, challenges, feedback, and development.

• Goal tracking: Setting and tracking individual and team goals using the OKR framework and aligning them with the company’s vision and strategy.

• Performance development and coaching: Culture Amp supports ongoing performance development through continuous feedback and coaching. It allows managers and employees to have performance conversations, set development goals, and monitor progress toward those goals.

Pros

Culture Amp excels in collecting and analyzing employee feedback, helping you gain insights into employee sentiment, engagement levels, and overall satisfaction.

Culture Amp has an intuitive, user-friendly, and visually appealing interface that is easy for employees and managers.

Culture Amp has powerful analytics and reporting features that help customers understand the data, identify trends and insights, and take action.

Cons

There’s no free trial or freemium plan to help you try the software beforehand. 

Some users have complained about the inability to customize reports to their specific needs.

Benefits of Using Performance Management Tools

Using performance management tools offers several benefits to organizations. Here are some key advantages:

Improved Performance Monitoring

Performance management tools help organizations track and monitor employee performance more effectively. You can gain real-time visibility into individual and team performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions using automated systems to collect and analyze performance data.

For example, a sales team can use performance management software to track sales targets, analyze individual performance metrics, and identify high-performing sales representatives.

Helps with Goal Alignment 

As many as 90% of businesses fail to reach strategic goals due to poorly defined goals and unattainable objectives. Using performance management tools is a great turnaround to these issues. 

Performance management tools help align individual goals with organizational objectives. By cascading goals from the top down, employees understand how their work contributes to the larger organizational goals. 

For instance, an employee’s performance goals can align with the company’s strategic initiatives, ensuring everyone is working towards the same objectives.

Continuous Feedback and Coaching

Performance management tools facilitate ongoing feedback and coaching conversations between managers and employees. 

Regular feedback helps employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement, enabling them to enhance their performance. 

For example, a manager can provide constructive feedback to employees using the tool’s feedback feature, allowing them to course-correct and improve their performance in real time.

Enhances Employee Engagement 

A 2022 report by Gallup states that only 21% of employees feel engaged at work.

And that’s where performance management tools can help. They improve employee engagement by fostering a culture of transparency and open communication. 

When employees have access to their performance data, goals, and feedback, they feel more connected to the organization and clearly understand their progress. This transparency encourages engagement and motivates employees to actively participate in their own development.

Streamlined Performance Reviews

Performance management tools streamline the performance review process by automating tasks like scheduling, reminders, and document storage. They provide a centralized platform for managers and employees to document performance-related discussions, track achievements, and set future goals. 

This streamlining saves time, reduces administrative burden, and allows for more meaningful performance conversations.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Performance management tools provide data and analytics that enable organizations to make data-driven decisions. By leveraging performance data, organizations can identify trends, patterns, and areas of improvement. 

For example, organizations can analyze performance data to identify training needs, address performance gaps, or make strategic workforce planning decisions.

Key Features That Your Performance Management Software Should Have

When looking for performance management software, it’s essential to consider key features that align with your requirements and can support your company’s performance management goals.

Here are some essential features that your performance management software should have:

• Goal Setting and Alignment: The software should come with built-in tools to configure and track goals at both individual and organizational levels. It should allow for cascading goals, ensuring alignment between employee objectives and broader company goals.

• Continuous Feedback and Coaching: Look for a performance platform that enables ongoing feedback and coaching conversations between managers and employees. It should facilitate timely and constructive feedback, allowing for real-time course correction and development opportunities.

• Performance Reviews and Appraisals: The software should support the entire performance review process, from scheduling and conducting reviews to documenting performance discussions and capturing ratings or evaluations. It should also offer customizable review templates and workflows to suit your specific needs.

• Competency and Skills Management: Performance management software should include features for tracking and managing competencies and skills. This allows organizations to assess employee capabilities, identify skill gaps, and plan targeted development initiatives.

• Data Analytics and Reporting: Look for software with data analytics and reporting capabilities. It should offer comprehensive dashboards, visualizations, and reports that allow you to analyze performance trends, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.

• Integration with HR Software: Seamless integration with other HR systems, including payroll, learning management, and talent management, will come in handy to streamline data. This also ensures data consistency, reduces manual data entry, and streamlines the overall HR processes.

• Employee Engagement Surveys: Consider performance management software that includes employee engagement survey capabilities. This allows you to gather feedback on employee satisfaction, engagement levels, and overall organizational culture.

• Development and Succession Planning: The software should support employee development and succession planning initiatives. For example, it should provide tools for development plans, tracking progress, and identifying high-potential employees for future leadership positions.

• Mobile Accessibility: In a remote work environment where everyone seems to have their mobile devices glued to their hands, it’s becoming increasingly important to have performance management software that can keep up. It will enable employees and managers to access and use the software’s features anytime.

• Customization and Flexibility: Your performance management software should flexibly configure workflows, templates, and performance criteria to accommodate your specific requirements. You should also ensure the software provides the flexibility to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals, track progress, and link them to broader company goals.

These are just some standard key features to consider. Remember, the key features you consider may vary based on your organization’s specific needs and goals.

Questions to Ask Vendors on Demos

When evaluating performance management software vendors, asking the right questions during demos is crucial to ensure you buy the right product for your organization. Here are some important questions to ask:

How does your software support goal setting and tracking? For example, can employees set both short-term and long-term goals? Does the system allow for cascading goals from organizational objectives to individual contributors?

Can you demonstrate how we can facilitate feedback and coaching within your software? How does the system enable managers and employees to provide ongoing feedback and coaching? Are there features for in-the-moment feedback, performance journals, or one-on-one meeting tracking?

How much training will be required for our employees? What support can you provide?

What kind of support do you offer customers after the purchase? Are there training options available? Do you have online documentation that we can access at any time?

How does your software handle performance reviews and appraisals? You can specifically ask, “Can the system accommodate various review formats like self-assessments, manager assessments, or peer evaluations? Is there flexibility in configuring review cycles and performance rating scales?”

How does the software facilitate employee development and succession planning? Are there features for creating individual development plans and tracking progress? Does the software identify high-potential employees or succession candidates based on performance data?

Can you demonstrate the types of reports and dashboards available? Can the system generate visualizations on performance trends, engagement levels, or goal attainment? Are customizable reports and data exports possible?

How will your solution work with our existing systems? Can the software integrate with HRIS, payroll, learning management systems, or other third-party tools? Are there pre-built integrations or APIs available?

Common FAQs

What is performance management software? Performance management software is a digital tool designed to streamline and automate various aspects of the performance management process. It helps organizations set goals, track progress, provide feedback, conduct performance reviews, and make data-driven decisions to enhance employee performance and development.

Why should I use performance management software? Performance management platforms help improve employee engagement and retention at your organization. It also provides the ability to create consistent processes so that every employee is evaluated in the same way. This will help with compliance and make it easier for managers to know what they need to do when it comes time for their next review.

How does performance management software enhance employee engagement? Performance management software enhances employee engagement by fostering a culture of transparency, open communication, and continuous feedback.

It allows employees to:

• Participate in their own performance management process

• View their goals and progress

• Receive timely feedback

• Have meaningful performance conversations with their managers.

This level of engagement leads to increased motivation, job satisfaction, and a sense of ownership over their performance.

Can performance management software support remote or distributed teams? Yes, most performance management tools support remote or distributed teams. It provides a centralized platform where employees and managers can collaborate, communicate, and manage performance regardless of their physical location.

Just make sure the platform you choose provides mobile accessibility, remote feedback exchange, and virtual performance reviews to enable seamless performance management for remote teams.

What are the implementation considerations for performance management software? Implementing performance management software requires careful planning and consideration.

Some key factors to consider include:

• Aligning the software with your organization’s performance management processes

• Ensuring data security and privacy compliance

• Providing sufficient training and support for users

• Integrating the software with your existing HR systems if necessary.

It’s also essential to have a clear implementation strategy and involve key stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition and successful adoption of the software.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Performance Management Software Tool

Here are some pitfalls to avoid when buying a performance management tool.

  • Not doing your research: Performance management is about more than just choosing the right tools. You also need to know how it works and get value from them.
  • Not asking for demos from multiple vendors: When choosing a new software tool, it’s tempting to go with the first option that looks good on paper and seems easy to use. But to ensure you get the right tool, ask for demos from multiple vendors and evaluate them side by side. That way, you can compare their features and find one that suits your needs best!
  • Neglecting mobile accessibility: Employees and managers should be able to access and engage with the software’s features on their smartphones or tablets, enabling flexibility and convenience in the performance management process.
  • Failing to take the time to understand your employees’ needs: If you don’t understand what your employees want from the system and how they work, you won’t be able to choose the right tool for them.
  • Not researching support options before purchasing a product: Some vendors offer phone support while others offer only email or online chat – so make sure you know which type of support is available before purchasing.

Performance Management Software: The Performance Boosters You’ve Been Waiting For!

When considering performance management software, there are several options to meet the diverse needs of organizations.

For example, ClearCompany stands out with its integration options and user-friendly interface, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes, prioritizing alignment and continuous feedback.

PerformYard offers flexibility and a focus on employee development, making it a good fit for mid-sized to large organizations that value ongoing coaching and personalized development plans.

Trackstar differentiates itself with its simplicity and affordability, making it an ideal choice for small to mid-sized organizations.

ChartHop’s unique differentiator lies in its integration with HR (human resources) tech stacks and visual org chart capabilities, making it beneficial for organizations that prioritize data-driven decision-making and workforce planning.

Culture Amp focuses on employee engagement surveys, culture analytics, and performance insights, making it suitable for organizations that prioritize employee feedback, engagement, and continuous improvement.

Consider the unique features, scalability, and suitability for your organization’s specific needs before picking an option that best aligns with your goals.

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One Comment

  1. Superb. Keep sharing valuable information. To evaluate performance trends and pinpoint areas for improvement, Stratus-io offers sophisticated analytics and reporting options. Users have access to helpful information about both individual and team performance through its user-friendly interface.

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