5 Features to Ask from Your Performance Management Software


Performance Management is Evolving

Is your performance management software ready?

What are the top 5 features that performance management software & systems should possess to be in sync with the current needs of the industry?

All over & across, leading corporations are ringing in the changes surely & swiftly to evaluate employee performance.

Popular terms like annual appraisals are slowly going out of vogue. Bell curves & forced employee rankings are words to be avoided at all cost in this age of vocabulary correctness.

Sample some of those who are scrapping the annual performance review process – General Electric, Accenture, Adobe & Microsoft. In favor is a less formal process to track how employees are doing their jobs.

A strong belief is growing that a continuous process of regular feedback to employees should be at the core of the new age performance management system.

Performance reviews rank right up there with answering email and going to meetings as one of the most despised chores of the workplace.

Closer home, in the last year, we have seen companies like TCS, Wipro & Infosys too deciding to move to a more holistic performance management process which places individual employee development as the core objective and an attempt to delink the annual increments to the core development oriented process.

5 Most Important Features for Performance Management Software

In such an evolving landscape, the tools that support performance management processes should evolve to meet the current needs & today we reveal the 5 absolutely key features that such tools should have.

1) Instant & Anytime Feedback

Performance Management is not a one-way process. Most often employees quit because of their Managers. Thus, companies should encourage a system of two-way anytime feedback.

This is a key feature that performance management software should possess where employees can give or request feedback anytime.

HR can make available templates on specific scenarios where feedback can be given or sought on. This also helps to provide a structure to the forms of feedback that can be exchanged.

The focus should be on transparency but even more on honest feedback. Thus, the anonymity of feedback should also be possible such that employees can speak out without fear of repercussions.

Keywords: Open, Anytime, Two Way, Feedback, Templates, Anonymity supported

2) Vault of Performance Artifacts

A critical flaw in annual performance reviews is the recency effect. Managers mostly fail to recollect an employee’s achievements beyond the most recent few months.

Providing a repository of performance artifacts is a key feature that performance management software should possess where employees & managers can store performance artifacts like client feedback emails, peer recognition.

This vault thus removes the need to rely only on an already overloaded Manager’s memory to recall all that an employee has done over the review period.

Providing ease of use is a core requirement here. For example, a Manager can take a quick note during an employee one on one on an app on his smartphone & quickly upload to the vault.

Keywords: Vault, Performance artifacts, Ease of Use, Quick Reference

3) Dynamic Goals & Simple Measurements

Gone or going are the days when job descriptions were set in stone for the “factory” worker. In a dynamic matrix responsibilities setup where employees wear multiple hats with different managers, it’s natural that KRAs evolve through the year.

Performance Management software should thus allow for dynamic goal setting where employees & managers alike can update job goals specific to the role that the employee is playing for the duration of the engagement.

Measurements should be clear & simple too. If there are quantitative targets, goals should allow for recording of targets as well as achievement figures. On the other hand, subjective KRAs can be measured on simple questions like “What was done well?”, “Areas for improvement”

Keywords: Dynamic, Real Time, Goal Setting, Easy & clear measurements

4) Social Recognition

When Facebook & Twitter have become as integral as oxygen to our existence, why should organizations not leverage the power of social to boost employees morale & performance?

A company-specific public wall where managers can socially recognize achievements of employees and allow for comments from peers thus serving the purpose of encouraging the employee & others to follow suit too.

If already available as part of an existing company intranet, performance management software should provide APIs to source such recognition to be included in the performance vault too.

Keywords: Wall, Feeds, Social Recognition, Integrations

5) Easy Scheduling & Recording of One-on-Ones

As the focus is on feedback & personalization, managers should be able to schedule regular one-on-ones with employees. Such check-ins can happen on time-based frequencies or at the beginning or end of a project or key tasks.

Performance Management software should thus allow scheduling one-on-ones one-time or on a repetitive basis with reminders triggered ahead of the schedule.

Recording of key pointers of the discussion should be available for ready reference during future sessions as well as pushed to the vault if necessary.

Keywords: Schedule, Reminder, Recording, One-on-One Sessions


Disclaimer: Performance Management is evolving. The 5 key features identified here are of course not set in stone. The core message is that tools should be flexible to adapt to the dynamic needs of the process. As always, tools only exist for processes for the current needs of people.

People at Adobe said, that the new Performance Management System made them believe that the organization takes care of them, their future, and their present work.

Innovate with respect to Performance Management that will contribute to your company performance, growth and success.


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