image

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. intelliHR - Best continuous performance management with people analytics
  3. Betterworks - Best performance management for enterprises
  4. eloomi - Best for performance appraisal goals and feedback culture
  5. Profit.co - Best agile performance management software
  6. PeopleStreme - Best personally-tailored development plans
  7. OrangeHRM - Best for advanced metrics such as OKRs
  8. Kissflow HR Cloud - Best for integrations
  9. PeopleFluent - Best for scalability
  10. ADP - Best for coaching and targeted training

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?

People Managing People is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

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.
  • 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 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.

  • Free demo
  • Pricing upon request

eloomi - Best for performance appraisal goals and feedback culture

Managers can have a full overview of the department performance or the single employee’s progress, set goals and get reports easily.

eloomi’s performance management solution is an intuitive and user-friendly platform that helps organizations around the world to support their employees’ development. The tool empowers team leaders to build a great performance culture with features like appraisal goals, pre-made templates, targeted objectives, continuous feedback, operational checklists, and automated reports/insights. The platform is fully customizable and allows organizations to create a digital tool that perfectly reflects the company’s identity.

eloomi allows you to set visible strategic goals, access historical data, and have performance dialogues based on employee individual development. Managers and platform admins can get a full overview of team members’ progress and create meaningful conversations to support employees.

With eloomi, users can request trusted feedback and get a complete understanding of their performance and potential. In this way, eloomi enables people development by offering a clear skill analysis for future improvements. Managers can support their teams with an effective personal development plan, better 1-on-1s, and coaching sessions.

You can enhance your company’s feedback culture using my360+ or integrate eloomi LMS to engage employees with inspiring content and unique learning modules.

eloomi offers pricing upon request and a free demo is available.

  • freemium version
  • 30 Days. No Credit card required
  • From 7/user/month (billed annually)

Profit.co - Best agile performance management software

The Profit.co performance management dashboard flags overdue or upcoming self/manager/peer assessments.

Profit.co performance management software (PMS) utilizes the power of OKRs to drive unbiased performance appraisals and enables organizations to align employee development goals with the corporate objectives. Continuous performance management brings agility to have a customizable review cycle—annual, half-yearly, quarterly, and even project-based.

Profit.co boasts affinity-based reviews and 9-box matrix evaluation which helps to provide a 360-degree assessment of employees. The other key features like performance calibration, employee engagement, CFR, individual development plan, and performance improvement plans make it a comprehensive Agile PMS platform for companies of any size.

Profit.co is best suited for any organization looking for a simple replacement to their existing typical PMS and for those who leverage the concept of OKRs already. Managers can leverage step-by-step custom OKR creation for corporate, department, team, and individual goal setting. That way, self-reviews and 1-on-1s with team leads have a solid basis for performance measurement for each review cycle.

Profit.co integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Gmail & Google Workspace, MS Excel, JIRA, monday.com, Salesforce, Azure DevOps, Tableau, Favro, Snowflake, My SQL, Google Big Query, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Okta, and Bamboo HR. Additionally, connections can be unlocked through a paid plan with Zapier.

Profit.co offers the PMS module at absolutely no cost for 5 users. The regular pricing of the PMS module is just $7/user/month (billed annually) which includes OKR management & task management modules.

  • 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 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.

  • Free demo
  • From $10/user/month

ADP - Best for coaching and targeted training

Track key performance indicators, like skills and certifications.

ADP Workforce Now is an all-in-one platform for payroll, HR, time, and benefits, and talent management. Specific features include performance reviews, hiring tools, people analytics, real-time employee feedback, social platforms for peer-to-peer support, engagement surveys, and goals management.

One of ADP Workforce Now’s best qualities is the robust list of third-party integrations offered for additional solutions and services. Whether you need accounting or chat capabilities, ADP Workforce Now evaluated highly in the Integrations review consideration.

Integrations include Quickbooks, Wave, Xero, FinancialForce, Infor, Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, ClockShark, Deputy, Homebase, TSheets, Avionte, ClearCompany, iCIMS, Jobvite, TalentReef, Docufree, Microsoft Teams, Pingboard, Slack, and more.

A few critiques to note: 1) clicks are not used sparingly and users may find themselves hunting through 3 or 4 layers of links before coming across what they need, 2) more reporting options for admins would be welcome.

ADP starts at $10/user/month 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.

Did you know that how engaged an employee is plays a huge factor in their performance? Check our list of the 10 Best Employee Engagement Software for a happy workplace.

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:

Join Our Community Of People Managers & Culture Creators

The People Managing People blog, podcast, and community exists to help you become a better leader of people and catalyst for healthy company culture. Our community is a space for experienced people managers and culture creators to develop as leaders and connect with other like-minded individuals.

Learn more about the People Managing People community here.

You can also subscribe to the newsletter to get updates when we publish fresh articles and podcasts with the latest thinking in HR from leadership and management experts from around the world.