With so many performance management tools available, figuring out which is best for your company is tough. You want software to track goals, solicit meaningful feedback, and measure long-term employee development, but you need to figure out which tool is best. In this article, I'll help you make this choice simpler and easier by sharing my insights on the top performance management tools based on my personal experience preparing over 1,000 performance reviews.
What is a Performance Management Tool?
Performance management tools are software systems that organizations use to conduct employee performance reviews, collect 360-degree feedback, set and track goals, and monitor employee development over time. They can also help with succession planning, and identify potential skill gaps to support long-term strategic workforce planning.
Performance management tools offer numerous benefits, including improved employee performance, increased productivity, and better goal alignment across your organization. These tools also ensure that no performance reviews will slip through the cracks by automating key portions of the review process, such as collecting 360-degree feedback from key stakeholders and scheduling meetings.
Trakstar is for organizations interested in comprehensive performance appraisal and employee engagement software that comes with an interface that’s easy on the eyes and looks quite like some of today’s social networking sites.
Trakstar helps your organization manage performance reviews, employee engagement surveys, 360-degree/multi-rater feedback, and goals across hundreds or thousands of employees. You can also build customized appraisal forms, set SMART goals, and create flexible workflow processes to meet the needs of your organization.
What Trakstar lacks in third-party integration support it makes up for in usability and UI. Trakstar is a streamlined performance management tool without all the fluff. They can accommodate SMBs and enterprises with their volume-discount pricing plan.
Trakstar integrates with Google Workspace, Okta, and OneLogin.
Pricing details and a free live demo are available upon request.
Deel is a comprehensive HR platform that offers payroll, onboarding and offboarding, workflow and document management, and other helpful tools. It enables businesses to hire and manage employees and contractors from over 150 countries. The company acts as an employer of record (EOR) so you can hire internationally without setting up a local entity.
You can ensure employees and contractors are set up for high performance from day one with the system's onboarding workflows. To manage performance on an ongoing basis, you can use the integrated 1-on-1 meeting tool in the platform. Managers and employees can document meeting notes, and refer back to what they discussed during formal performance evaluations.
The software's Slack integration allows you to track all your 1-on-1s right in Slack. This helps keep key information centralized for easy access and reference. In addition to 1-on-1 conversations, you can monitor employee engagement levels using the pulse surveys and facilitate important team- and company-wide communications through the software.
Deel integrates with a handful of popular HR software systems, including Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, SCIM, Slack, Xero, Workday, and Workable. They also have an Open API that supports additional custom integrations as well.
Pricing information is available upon request, and a free demo is available.
Officevibe is an employee experience platform focused on improving performance management and employee engagement. Their software is designed to help managers and teams stay connected, promote continuous feedback and effective communication, and track individual and team goals and OKRs. You can use it to automate your performance review cycle, and easily link data from their other modules to create a holistic picture of your employee's performance. Plus, you can rate performance your own way with customizable ratings and scales.
I included Officevibe in this list because I appreciate how their features work together to foster a stronger company culture. For example, their performance and engagement platform includes a unique blend of tools such as pulse surveys, eNPS scoring, peer recognition, anonymous feedback, performance management, and leadership support tools. These work together to encourage meaningful feedback and 1:1 conversations which are crucial for enhancing team performance and gathering valuable insights.
Officevibe’s data-driven performance reviews support unbiased and fair reviews by automatically pulling performance data and insights—notes, recognition, and goal progress—collected throughout the year into the review process. They let you access a rich record of performance generated by managers and employees using Officevibe in their day-to-day.
Some standout features include their tools for measuring overall employee satisfaction, such as their pulse surveys and eNPS (employee net promoter score) capabilities and reporting features. Plus, Officevibe supports anonymous feedback, which gives employees a chance to really voice true concerns without the fear of facing negative repercussions. Meanwhile, Cycle reporting gives you a real-time view of reviews and checkpoints completed and Officevibe takes care of the nudges and reminders to reduce admin time and increase participation.
Integrations are available with numerous HRIS systems, as well as with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, or popular single sign-on (SSO) applications.
ClearCompany is an easy way to bring all of your employee performance review processes into a single, automated solution. ClearCompany's easy-to-use performance review software lets you quickly set up reviews, including custom scoring tables, weighted sections, and free-form responses.
ClearCompany's flat-rate pricing model allows you to send as many performance reviews as you need, as frequently as you need, without worrying about price.
ClearCompany is best for companies based in the U.S. and Canada.
ClearCompany integrates with tools for assessment tests, background checks, calendars, job postings, payroll and benefits, and SSO.
ClearCompany's flat-rate pricing model allows you to send as many performance reviews as you need, as frequently as possible, without worrying about price and customized pricing available upon request.
Paycor is a comprehensive SaaS product that offers a suite of human resources (HR) tools, including payroll, time and attendance, recruiting, onboarding, and performance management. It's designed to simplify HR processes, making it easier for businesses to manage their workforce and stay compliant with labor laws.
I chose Paycor because it offers a wide range of features that are specifically designed to streamline HR tasks. It's not just a payroll system, but a complete HR solution that covers everything from recruiting and onboarding to performance management and compliance. This makes it a one-stop-shop for your HR needs, saving time and effort in managing multiple tools.
It has a user-friendly interface and robust functionality. The dashboard is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it simple to access and manage all the different features. The performance management tool, in particular, is a game-changer. It allows you to easily track and evaluate employee performance, set goals, and provide feedback. This not only helps in identifying top performers and areas for improvement but also fosters a culture of continuous learning and development.
Standout features for Paycor include their detailed analytics covering employee pay and benefits. By tracking this data, employers can identify trends and make informed decisions about compensation strategies. You can also generate reports that show employee pay by job title, location, or department. Additionally, you can analyze data on employee benefits usage, such as vacation days and health insurance coverage.
Integrations include HireTech, Emburse Certify, Zillion, Points North, FMLA, Tapcheck, Instant Pay, Sterling, Wageworks, Ignite, and other digital workforce tools.
Businesses can choose from various pricing plans based on the number of employees and the level of service required.
PerformYard's performance management software provides flexible features for HR and a simple employee experience. HR teams will get the tools they need to build out any performance management strategy while employees get a streamlined experience so they can focus on quality feedback and effective performance discussions.
With PerformYard you can customize their software to fit the strategy that's right for your organization: 360s, project based reviews, ratings scales, continuous feedback, and/or cascading goals.
PerformYard provides a simple employee experience that facilitates feedback and quality conversations. PerformYard provides dedicated customer success managers for every customer to manage them from onboarding, to employee trainings, to ongoing support.
PerformYard integrates with most major HRIS/Payroll systems including ADP, BambooHR, Gusto, Rippling, UKG, Paycom, Workday, and Paylocity.
PerformYard costs from $5/user/month.
Leapsome is an all-in-one performance management and employee engagement tool that helps organizations enhance their management processes. Chosen by companies like Spotify, Northvolt, and Babbel, Leapsome enables a continuous cycle of performance management and personalized learning that powers the growth of your people and business.
Their 360-reviews are fully customizable and easy to set up. Highlights include anonymous/non-anonymous feedback, expert templates, skill frameworks, development paths, automations, and powerful analytics. Leapsome's OKRs & goals module helps you manage objectives at the company, team, or individual level. Thanks to its ease of use and intuitive visuals, the tool helps you connect the big picture to the tiny details using flexible metrics, easy visualization of dependencies and goal progress, and goal trees.
Leapsome's employee engagement surveys can identify engagement drivers and measure your employees‘ satisfaction over time. Whether through custom questions or Leapsome's expert templates, the tool helps you turn company sentiment into action. Key features include customizable questions, frequency, participants; segmentation by department, performance; and automated analytics.
Leapsome also offers meeting management to conduct effective 1-on-1s or team meetings with any employee in your organization, driven by a well-structured agenda and talking points.
Leapsome integrates with Personio, BambooHR, HiBob, Workday, Rippling, PayFit, ADP, Active Directory, SFTP Integrations, Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams, calendar apps, and Single Sign-On (SSO).
Leapsome costs from $8/user/month (billed annually) and comes with a free 14-day trial as well as a free demo upon request.
Lattice’s people management platform is designed to help organizations develop employees into high performers and with tools to help them set, monitor and achieve their personal and professional goals. In addition to their performance management module, Lattice also offers integrated solutions to manage objectives and key results (OKRs) and goals, employee engagement tools like surveys, pulses and eNPS ratings, and employee growth tools that help staff and their managers develop career growth plans and track skill competencies.
Lattice’s performance management software includes modern features such as continuous performance management feedback loops, 1:1 templates, and 360-degree feedback. This means performance reviews prepared within Lattice incorporate a blend of feedback sources from managers, colleagues, direct reports and the employee themselves, creating a well-rounded profile of how each employee is performing. Lattice also supports project-based reviews too.
Lattice integrates with many commonly used human resource information systems (HRIS), including ADP, BambooHR, Namely, Personio, Rippling, Workday, and Zenefits, as well as other popular software platforms such as Gmail, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Slack and others.
Lattice’s Performance Management module costs from $11/employee/month with additional add-ons available for Engagement, Growth and Compensation tools. They also offer a free demo.
Peoplebox is an employee evaluation software backed by Y-combinator that makes it super-easy for HR leaders to identify, reward and retain top performers and make compensation decisions that are aligned with business success.
Their performance management solution helps both HR and business leaders to drive better team performance, retention and execution through better ways to do performance reviews, aligned goals (OKRs), 1:1s, surveys, compensation, KPIs, initiative management and strategic meetings.
Using Peoplebox your HR team can effectively streamline the performance review process to ensure everything remains on track. It also provides a dashboard for centralized goal-setting and tracking, keeps goal progress auto-updated with native integrations, auto-reminds employees and managers, and gives real-time visibility into performance review cycles.
Integrations are available with a number of tools, including Asana, BambooHR, Google Sheets, Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Teams, Zoho People, and Slack. Unlike other tools, its integration with Slack/Teams goes beyond notifications and lets you do entire performance reviews, engagement surveys, and OKR check-ins right within Slack/Teams.
Peoplebox offers three pricing plans starting at $7/user/month, but their performance management feature is only available in their Premium and Enterprise packages. Additionally, non-profit organizations and educational institutions can get a 30% discount on paid plans by submitting qualifying documents. They also offer a 14-day free trial as well.
Connecteam is a workforce management solution designed to help you manage, communicate, and train your employees in one place, regardless of where they’re working from. The software is tailored for businesses and HR departments managing remote employees and deskless teams.
Connecteam provides you with the tools to create custom training courses that can be targeted at different HR process and performance requirements, including courses for onboarding new hires and training existing employees to help them develop new skills and knowledge that will be critical to their professional development. Connecteam can serve as a document management platform for your HR department. HR managers can leverage the platform to store employee data securely in the cloud and then use the user permissions function to control who, within the organization, will have access to those data.
In addition to the document management system, Connecteam is also equipped with tools for creating customized quizzes and surveys. Your HR manager can use custom surveys to check in on company culture and learn about the employee experience. The survey results can be used to improve workforce morale and employee retention. Surveys can be completely anonymous, or they can be configured to display results in real time. The custom employee quizzes, on the other hand, can help you identify opportunities for improvement as well as the training requirements of your staff members and teams.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, and others.
Connecteam offers three main modules: Operations, Communications, and HR & Skills. A free plan is available, plus a 14-day free trial.
Best for connecting all the stages of the employee lifecycle
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for having continuous performance discussions in 1-1s
Free demo available
|Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people||Website|
Best for gathering continuous feedback including anonymous options
14-day free trial + free plan available
Best for simplifying and automating HR workflows
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best for efficient performance management solutions
90-day free trial + free demo available
|From $5/employee/month + $99/month base fee||Website|
Best for customized performance review processes
Free demo available
Best for employee development-oriented performance management
14-day free trial
Best for incorporating multiple feedback sources
Free demo available
Best for linking OKRs & Performance Reviews
14-day free trial
Best for leveraging rewards & recognition tools to promote high performance
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Website|
Best performance management from an HCM software and service provider
Best for collecting and analyzing 360 degree feedback
Best overall performance management solution
Best agile performance management software
Best for peer-to-peer recognition
Best for scalability
Best for continuous feedback and deep HR analytics
Best for performance reviews, goal setting, and 360 feedback in one
- Ascender HCM
Best personally-tailored development plans
Best integration with Microsoft Teams
Best performance management for enterprises
Best for employee growth plans
Best for managing team performance via goals and weekly scorecards
Best for gathering performance management feedback via integrated forms
Best for automating performance review cycles and feedback reminders
- iSpring Learn
Best for skill-based competency analysis
Best for publicly highlighting top performing employees
Best performance management tool for hybrid workforces
Best continuous performance management with people analytics
- Kallidus Learn
Best user-friendly continuous performance reviews
Selection Criteria for Performance Management Tools
Wondering how I selected the best performance management tools for this list? I'm happy to explain my methodology. First, I reviewed recent market data on performance management systems to determine the largest players in this software space for my initial long list. With that in place, I set about on a meticulous process of comparing all the systems against each other using the selection criteria below as my guiding framework.
To add more expertise to my assessments, I also drew on my years of previous experience organizing my company's performance review process. This experience gave me an in-depth understanding of the features that add the most value and ensure a smooth and unbiased evaluation process.
To satisfy your curiosity even further, here’s a summary of the main evaluation and selection criteria I used to create this list:
For a performance management tool to land a place on my longlist, it needed to fulfill the following basic functionalities first and foremost:
- Offer either standalone performance management features, or the same functionalities as a module within an HRIS, HRMS, or HCM system
- Have the ability to track and store performance management data over time, including individual goals, OKRs, and KPIs
- Offer built-in reporting and analytics capabilities of some kind, to save managers and HR professionals from the hassles of manual data calculations — my biggest pet peeve of all time!
After confirming the core functionalities above were present in each system, I then assessed each performance management tool using these additional key features to see how each one compared to the rest:
- Performance review templates: Having pre-built employee evaluation templates can help you jumpstart your performance review process quickly. I checked to determine whether the employee performance reviews were engaging, flexible, and customizable.
- Career development plans: Since every employee always has their eyes on their future, career development plans are an important part of performance management since they outline a clear path forward to achieving each individual’s career aspirations.
- Performance improvement plans: Some employees may be underperforming and need a bit of extra assistance to reach their full potential. Most robust performance management tools offer templates for performance improvement plans so you don't have to start this process from scratch.
- Feedback collection mechanisms: Ideally, the best performance management tools can collect feedback in many ways, including 1:1 check-ins and 360 degree feedback. I also assessed whether each system included any employee recognition tools that allow employees to give shout-outs to their peers for top performance.
- Training & e-learning: Since performance and learning go hand-in-hand, it's handy to have learning and development capabilities housed within your performance management tool, to help with employee upskilling.
- Reporting and analytics: To help you get the most out of your performance-related data, you'll want a system with robust reporting tools that are customizable, flexible, and visually appealing. But, the most important aspect of analytics is that the system creates them on your behalf, rather than you having to resort to manual calculations.
- Automations: These are features that help companies execute their performance review cycles at scale by automating time-consuming processes like scheduling review dates, sending out reminders, or requesting additional feedback.
- Notifications: These help you improve your workflows to ensure no one’s performance review falls through the cracks. With notifications in place, your managers will always know when performance reviews are coming up or overdue. Similarly, your HR team will also be notified whenever system data is updated, so they can keep tabs on all aspects of the process too.
Other Assessment Criteria
I also always dig into the following assessment criteria no matter what type of software I'm reviewing:
- User Interface (UI): I selected systems with clean, colorful, and intuitive user interfaces that make the performance review process easy to follow. To determine this, I paid close attention to the structure of each tool's menus and workflows to confirm the ease of use each system offered.
- Usability: I chose systems that simplify the performance-tracking process and include easy-to-understand performance-based visuals like historical charts and comparison graphs. All of these features work together to help employees understand their performance and get the most out of the software.
- Integrations: I picked systems that either integrate directly with common HR management systems (HRIS, HCM, HRMS, etc.) or are modules within one of those systems. These integrations are important because they greatly reduce the need to manually transfer data from one system to another, saving your HR professionals from a lot of needless grunt work.
- Value for Price: While I always prefer software with pricing that's clear, transparent, and flexible, sometimes those details are only available upon request. However, you can still get a sense of the ROI each system offers by visiting the pricing details page on their website. There, you'll be able to review the different packages they offer and the features that are included in each. I also recommend requesting a free trial before you commit to a particular vendor. If that isn't available, request a free demo as a bare minimum.
Why is performance management important?
What is a performance appraisal?
How much does a performance management system cost?
How do performance management tools work?
What are performance management techniques?
How have performance management tools adapted for remote and hybrid teams?
Other Types of Performance Management Software
If you're looking for another type of performance-related software, look no further. To save you time, here are some links to my other performance-related reviews:
- Performance Appraisal Software
- Performance Management Software
- Talent Management Software
- 360-Degree Feedback Software
- Employee Experience Software for Engagement & Performance
- Succession Planning Software to Develop Future Leaders
- Mentoring Software for Mentors and Mentees
- Goal Setting Software for Keeping Teams on Track
- Productivity Tracking Software for Hybrid Teams
- Employee Engagement Software
- OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Software
Additional Resources for Performance Management Best Practices
In addition to our software reviews, we have a lot more how-to resources to help you amp up your internal performance management processes. Before you go, take a look at these other resources from our industry experts too:
- Continuous Performance Management: Why & How To Do It
- How to Conduct a Better Performance Review
- 3 Ways to Optimize Performance Management in Your Org
- Top 7 Techniques for Effective Performance Management
- How to Choose the Right Performance Management System for You
- 5 Powerful Performance Review Questions to Tap Your Team’s Potential
- 54 Essential Performance Review Phrases and Best Practices
- 5 Simple Steps to Manage an Underperforming Employee
I hope this article got you one step closer to finding the right performance management tool for your organization. These systems are an important tool in every HR team's operational tool belt since they'll automate large portions of the process, taking the stress of running a performance review cycle off your shoulders for good. They'll also help your staff reach their full potential while documenting their career progress towards their individual career development goals.
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