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10 Performance Management Tools Every HR Pro Should Know

HR and non-HR professionals are in the profession because we love working with people, and performance management tools can help us do one of the most important and rewarding parts of our job: help people do their work better.

Employee performance evaluations are a crucial way to ensure effectiveness and productivity within the workplace. This is a form of performance management tool that assists in identifying areas of improvement to help streamline and target organizational goals.

Employment performance appraisals are just as helpful for employees themselves as they are for management. After all, how else would employees know where they can best address efforts for improvement? Plus, any employee review should spend some time praising the employee in areas where they have excelled, which is an important way to keep morale up. 

This article will help you quickly evaluate the best performance management tools and other talent and development software applications.

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Performance Management Systems

What is the best type of performance management system? Is it one with a robust onboarding solution or something with engaging, interactive employee reviews? What exactly you need will be up to you. This list of performance measurement tools can help in your decision-making.

Best Performance Management Tool List

These are the top performance management solutions on my list.

  1. Inspire - Best integrated continuous performance management
  2. Trakstar - Best for deep customization options
  3. Betterworks - Best performance management for enterprises
  4. intelliHR - Best continuous performance management with people analytics
  5. Kallidus - Best user-friendly continuous performance reviews
  6. PeopleStreme - Best personally-tailored development plans
  7. OrangeHRM - Best for advanced metrics such as OKRs
  8. Eloomi - Best pre-made appraisal templates
  9. Kissflow HR Cloud - Best for integrations
  10. PeopleFluent - Best for scalability

Performance Management Tools Comparison Criteria

What are we looking for when we select performance management tools for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
  2. Usability:  Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
  3. Features & Functionality: 
    1. Review and Feedback – Are there pre-built evaluation templates to help with the review process? Is the employee performance review engaging and flexible? Do is there a way to positively call attention to top performance?
    2. Training & eLearning- Does the software have the means to create and implement training/eLearning courses for employees? Is content creation easy? Do any courses come with the software?
    3. Improvement Plans- Does the software have the capability to design and execute performance plans? Does it offer templates with which to do so?
    4. Reporting and analytics – Are the reporting tools robust, customizable, flexible, and visually appealing? Can they be used to provide employees with relevant performance metrics?  
  4. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
  5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?

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Overviews of the 10 Best Performance Management Tools

Keep reading to get a basic outline of each of the top performance management tools on this list. I will go over their strengths and weaknesses as well as general features and software pricing. 

  • Upon request
  • From $5-11/user/month depending on number of employees and contract term

Inspire - Best integrated continuous performance management

Inspire Software integrates continuous performance management features and methodology with OKRs, complete recognition and feedback capabilities, learning, and leadership development. Inspire Software aligns the strategy to actionable processes—like goals or OKRs and feedback—with integrations employees are already using.

You can perform goal-driven 1:1 conversations that address real needs in real time, utilizing built-in collaboration, feedback, and recognition features so your teams plan and stay focused on what’s important, and then celebrate their success all in one place.

Formal performance management capabilities can be customized to your needs, including flexible templates and headers, grading, and more. They also offer a complimentary software orientation or “guided trial,” with multiple how-to videos. Longer pilots or trials are available upon request.

Inspire Software integrates Workday, ADP, and other HRIS tools, as well as productivity tools like Slack, Microsoft Office, Google, JIRA, or your CRM.

Inspire costs range from $5-11/user/month depending on number of employees and contract term.
  • Free live demo upon request
  • From $4370/year based on the number of employees at your organization

Trakstar - Best for deep customization options

Trakstar has space for professional goals, self-review, manager feedback, and archived entries.

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.

Trakstar costs from $4370/year and is priced based on the number of employees at your organization. They offer a free live demo upon request.

  • Free trial and demo
  • From $8/user/month

Betterworks - Best performance management for enterprises

Betterworks continuous performance management methodologies combine OKRs (objective and key results), ongoing performance conversations, real-time feedback, and recognition. Betterworks also offers insights and analytics, performance calibration, employee engagement, and best practices for program design, change management, and adoption.

Performance conversation cycles can be managed by HR teams with manager self-service options for off-cycle conversations. Performance management driven by goal transparency and alignment are prioritized on Betterworks, allowing team members to track and coach on cross-functional objectives just as simply as their own.

The design, configuration options, and rollout could be overkill for organizations looking for a simple replacement to their existing annual performance review process. Betterworks is best suited for midsize and enterprise organizations that need to do an organization-wide shift from annual performance reviews to a continuous performance management process.

HRIS integrations include SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Ultimate Software, ADP, BambooHR, and Oracle. Integrations to productivity and communication tools include Google, Microsoft, Slack, Jira, G Suite, Asana, GitHub, Salesforce, and Udemy.

Betterworks costs from $8/user/month. They also offer a demo and free trial.

  • 30 days free trial and free Demo
  • From $3.90/user

intelliHR - Best continuous performance management with people analytics

intelliHR offers a performance summary dashboard for each employee, which tracks goals, training initiatives, and achievements.

intelliHR is a continuous performance management and analytics platform built for organizations to centralize performance management, employee engagement, and people data analytics. intelliHR provides best-practice performance tools for HR and managers to align, manage, and enable a people and culture strategy to encourage employee engagement and performance.

intelliHR allows organizations to automate performance review cycles, cascade business goals, and drive sustainable performance. Performance improvement plans, streamlined check-in records, and automated performance reports are all recorded on each team member’s profile so it won’t be lost or forgotten in their next review. intelliHR’s performance tools help reduce recency bias, manager burden, and ensure more satisfied review completions.

Another feature highlight is performance analytics, which collects real-time data through features like goals, feedback and check-ins. Leaders can use performance analytics to identify high performers and support those who need a little help – all without running a single excel report.

intelliHR has an industry-leading NPS of 61, with an award-winning customer support team experienced in HR and change management. The team uses design thinking workshops, tailored to each customer, to ensure the software is launched smoothly, with a high adoption rate.

intelliHR costs from USD$3.90/user. They also offer a free demo and a 30-day free trial of the employee engagement product tier.

  • Free demo
  • From $8,000/year

Kallidus - Best user-friendly continuous performance reviews

Perform lets you set, check, track, prioritize, and archive objectives with simple and effective visuals.

Kallidus Perform is a continuous performance management tool that lets managers and team members check in, comment, and track progress throughout the year. Team leaders can modify objectives and book in short conversations as and when they are needed. Used by brands like JYSK, Co-op, Tesco, and DHL, Perform was designed to make the employee appraisal process easier to access and therefore more likely to achieve results.

Kallidus Perform’s UI is designed to meet the needs of the modern organization and the new world of work, enabling check-ins and reviews anytime and any place. With Perform in place, traditional paper-based appraisal systems can be quickly and completely replaced, reducing costs, saving time, and increasing security.

Kallidus Perform boasts features like flexible objectives, frequent feedback, collaboration tools, coaching solutions, a manager dashboard, and customizable notifications. They also integrate with other Kallidus software for HRIS, recruitment, learning management, talent and succession planning, and BI reporting.

Kallidus Perform starts at $8,000/year and they offer a free demo.

Pros

  • Modern user interface
  • Award-winning customer support
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not suitable for small organizations
  • No on-premise installation
  • No freemium version
  • Free trial
  • Upon request

PeopleStreme - Best personally-tailored development plans

Schedule reviews with your team.

PeopleStreme performance management software allows you to manage performance development, goal setting, and alignment of your employees with the strategic plan to drive better performance improvement. Access 1 on 1 session and feedback and real-time reporting.

PeopleStreme has a sleek, modern, and intuitive interface that scored them highly in the UX category of the evaluation criteria. Everything from the color scheme to the charts is visually appealing and the app will look right at home on any smartphone or tablet device.

Integrations include GO1, The Australian HR Institute (AHRI), Broadbean, CT Management, Indeed, Intercheck, Seek, and Workpro.

One downside to Peoplestreme is the system’s inability to identify the same candidate applying for multiple roles within the company. Duplicates like this are not grouped or flagged in any way, which can be a challenge to sift through.

PeopleSteme offers pricing upon request and has a free trial.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $6/user/month

OrangeHRM - Best for advanced metrics such as OKRs

Visualize employee distribution and leave.

With OrangeHRM’s HR performance management software, you can provide peer to peer feedback, alongside performance reviews, and encourage engaged employee growth. Features include advanced performance tracking by OKRs, revisions and 360° workflows, and more.

With a fair monthly price and a generous free trial, OrangeHRM evaluated well in the Value for Cost section of the review criteria. This performance management software would do well for small to midsized businesses looking to get a good deal.

Integrations are not listed on OrangeHRM’s website.

One weakness to be aware of is that OrangeHRM does not have any third-party integrations or add-ons available, which will be limiting for anyone hoping to connect with their preexisting workflow software.

OrangeHRM starts at $6/user/month and has a free 30-day trial.

  • Free demo
  • Upon request

Eloomi - Best pre-made appraisal templates

Managers are guided to have quality conversations with their team members resulting in meaningful outcomes.

Eloomi’s performance management platform consists of solutions for 360-degree feedback, digital to-do’s and reviews, targeted objectives and check-ins, performance appraisals, and automated checklists to streamline operational routines and optimization suggestions.

One of the best elements of Eloomi’s performance software is their learning capabilities, which are engaging whether you are an admin, content creator, or a student. They use top tier gamification strategies to activate learning.

Integrations are not listed on Eloomi’s website but they have integrations with Microsoft, LinkedIn, Workday, BambooHR and SAP AG for user data and learning data through open API integrations.

One critique to note is the lack of project management features

One critique to note is the lack of integration options for third-party software like accounting tools, chat, and project management. Thus, the tool lost some marks in the Integrations category of the review considerations.

Eloomi offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.

  • Free trial
  • From $690/month

Kissflow HR Cloud - Best for integrations

Easy review templates and rating systems.

Kissflow HR Cloud offers methods to collect, measure, and manage employee performance data to spot performance gaps, identify top performers, and reduce turnover. When dips or disappointments are spotted, leaders can choose to initiate a performance improvement plan.

Kissflow is flexible and easy to use with user-friendly performance management tools like qualitative reviews, performance action plan templates, and a tailor-made reward and recognition program. Thus, they scored well in the Usability review criteria.

Integrations include Quickbooks, Google solutions, DocuSign, Dropbox, Webmerge, SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, IBM tool, and more.

A modest critique of Kissflow HR would be that it seems to be more tailored for simplistic workflows; the more complex your workflow, the less likely this software will be the right choice for your business.

Kissflow HR Cloud starts at $690/month and has a free trial.

  • Free demo
  • Upon request

PeopleFluent - Best for scalability

Analyze retention, productivity, and development.

PeopleFluent is a set of digital tools designed to give structured feedback, measure performance based on preset qualifications, and achieve present goals. Features include robust goal setting, objectives, and competency management, and dynamic, continuous feedback.

This software does one thing really well: being able to create custom performance plans and workflows and offering high levels of flexibility, like the ability to move reviews ahead or backward in the workflow chain as needed.

The PeopleFluent LMS can integrate with any third-party systems via APIs. There is a built-in mechanism to allow real-time data import and export through the APIs, which are HTTP-based, and make use of widely-supported web data formats such as XML, JSON, Atom, and RSS.

People Fluent has a bit of a steep learning curve, as seen even in their integration options, all of which require some level of coding skill. This software lost a few points in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria because of this.

PeopleFluent offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.

Best Performance Management Tools Summary

Other Performance Management Tools

Still haven’t found the right performance management tool for your team? Here are some performance software options that didn’t make the top 10 list but still deserve a special mention. Check them out!

  1. Factorial – Best customized review questionnaires
  2. SAP – Best for those already in the SAP software ecosystem
  3. Employment Hero – Best peer-to-peer recognition and user happiness surveys
  4. Traqq – Best performance management tool for remote work
  5. Reflektive – Best goal alignment with gamified engagement
  6. Lattice – Best for SMBs
  7. BambooHR – Best onboarding system
  8. Leapsome – Best performance management with personalized learning
  9. Zoho – Best for those already in the Zoho ecosystem
  10. Engagedly – Best proactive succession planning
  11. 15five – Best for startups
  12. CakeHR – Best visual goal charts
  13. PiiQ by Cornerstone – Best easy-to-use performance and learning solution
  14. Namley – Best for mid-sized companies

Performance Management FAQ

Here are answers to some general questions before diving into the best performance management software.

What is performance appraisal?

Employee performance appraisal is a type of performance management process that assesses the productivity and effectiveness of an employee that serves both administration and development purposes. This type of performance appraisal process allows you to provide feedback and identify areas for improvement.

How much does a performance management system cost?

Pricing depends on the tool itself, although tools typically follow a pricing model of pay-per-user, pay-per-employee, or pay-per-appraisal. The cost per employee or user can range anywhere from $3 to $10 with implementation fees ranging from $800 to $2000.

How do performance management tools work?

Performance Management tools are a type of HR software that helps organizations track employee performance in a consistent and measurable way. It ensures that cross-functional departments are working effectively and collectively towards achieving the same goal. Having a performance management tool in place speeds up the performance process to deliver reports faster.

What are performance management techniques?

There are many performance management tools and techniques to ensure steady success within your organization. Such techniques include: setting SMART objectives, Performance Appraisals, Providing Coaching, Objective Management, Personal Development Plans, and Reward and Recognition.

Want more insights into the staffing and recruiting industry? Check out our other lists of staffing tools and info:

  1. Performance software is often accentuated by OKR software (Objectives and Key Results), so you know what to align goals around. Try Top 10 OKR Software To Jumpstart Your Business.
  2. You can also find performance management modules in a lot of larger software suites designed for larger HR departments—check out the 10 Best Talent Management Systems.

What Do You Think About These Performance Management Tools?

Have you tried out any employee performance evaluation vendors listed above? What performance management software company do you prefer during your day-to-day? Let us know in the comments.

If you find that you’re not quite ready for the help of a software, here’s something we’re sure can be of help: How To Optimize Your Performance Management.

Need expert help finding the right Performance Appraisal Software?

We’ve partnered with the software comparison portal Crozdesk.com to help you find the right solution. Crozdesk’s Performance Appraisal Software advisors can give you independent advice and shortlist software products that best fit your specific needs. Our partnership gives you free access to their tailored software selection advice and community negotiated discounts, taking the hassle out of the research process.

It takes just a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a call at no cost or commitment. You’ll get custom product shortlists covering the top solutions that best fit your specific needs from their team of software experts (via phone or email) and they can even connect you to your choice of the selected vendors. To get started, please submit the form below:

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