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Best Performance Management Software 2019

By
Adam Uzialko
,
Business News Daily Staff
| Updated
Apr 05, 2017

Human capital management and talent management are essential parts of human resources operations. We took a look at some of the best performance management software to help you better manage your most important asset: your employees.
Best Stand-Alone Software
Affordable, subscription-based pricing
Easy to use
Open API allows for simple integration of third-party applications
Best for Small Businesses
Halogen TalentSpace
Fully customizable for any workflow
Comprehensive features
Highly scalable for growing businesses
Best for Midsize and Enterprise Businesses
UltiPro
Full HCM suite with other modules to improve performance management
Highly customizable system
Intuitive user interface
Human capital management and talent management are essential parts of human resources operations. We took a look at some of the best performance management software to help you better manage your most important asset: your employees.

Performance management systems are an essential tool for modern human resources departments. A single module in larger human capital management (HCM) software suites, performance management specializes in the ongoing evaluation of employee performance, offering an avenue for constant feedback from managers and opportunities for self-reflection by the employee. Succession planning software, which help managers analyze the trajectory of an employee within the organization to make promotional and termination decisions, is also commonly associated with performance management software. Salary and bonus management is typically closely tied to performance management as well, ensuring top performers are rewarded for their hard work and incentivized to stay on board.

While performance management centers on employee evaluation, extending it beyond just the annual or quarterly review, these functions taken together optimize the performance management process. Business News Daily analyzed some of the top HCM vendors to determine which performance management system will help you get the most out of your employees and retain your top talent, ultimately translating the best performers into leadership roles.

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Our Reviews

BambooHR Performance Management Software: Best Stand-Alone Software

BambooHR offers a sleek, intuitive performance management module that hits all the sticking points: ongoing multi-rater feedback, an effective goal management component, automated reminders, and a visual matrix tool to easily and quickly see how an employee stacks up. BambooHR's system is simple to use and seems focused primarily on reducing the stress associated with performance reviews. The software lends itself to a day-to-day style, rather than a quarterly or annual appraisal process, and it's geared more toward a question-and-answer system than a numeric rating system. A benefit of this method is that it makes the manager's job easier and allows other supervisors to quickly understand where an employee stands, but the potential drawback is that it opens the door for additional subjectivity in the review process. What ultimately sets BambooHR apart from the pack when it came to offering the performance management module as a stand-alone piece of software is the open API, which makes it easy to integrate with other existing HR software or any tools that were previously developed in-house. For a stand-alone solution, integration is absolutely essential, so BambooHR's versatility scored the software big points.
Read BambooHR Performance Management Software Review

Halogen TalentSpace: Best for Small Businesses

Halogen Software is a highly navigable, user-friendly performance management system complemented by an effective talent management suite. Halogen boasts an automated workflow that helps users engage with a tailor-made, customizable performance review process that draws on both subjective and objective feedback. A primary consideration of ours was the ability for multiple supervisors to offer feedback to an employee on an ongoing basis, and Halogen has a simple-to-use interface that helps connect every stakeholder in the process – it almost works like a social media messenger app. Halogen's succession planning component is especially useful, color-coding candidates who are ready for promotion compared to those who require further development, in addition to placing them on the visual "9-box grid" matrix. Halogen's system features customization options in almost every facet of the process, the only drawback being that the back end can be rather complicated depending on how the system is built and implemented. However, it also means your end product will suit the specific needs of your business and that you can purchase a scalable solution that will stay with your company.
Read Halogen TalentSpace Review

UltiPro: Best for Midsize and Enterprise Businesses

UltiPro is a powerful and comprehensive performance management solution within a family of similarly effective HCM software. Ultimate Software, the company behind UltiPro, was a pioneer in the HR SaaS space, and it shows. UltiPro is relatively easy to learn and navigate, but what makes the software truly attractive is the level of customization available for performance appraisals and goal setting. In addition to these standout features, UltiPro does a nice job of covering all the bases, from offering additional career development and educational opportunities to soliciting regular feedback from multiple supervisors. UltiPro is most useful when showcasing its business intelligence capabilities, which generate detailed reports and offer predictive analytics. This tool is only improved with the integration of the full HCM software suite; for this reason, we chose UltiPro as the best solution for midsize and enterprise businesses, because it would be easiest for these larger companies to implement the entire suite and thereby get the largest benefit possible from the system. The full implementation includes features like time and attendance, pay and benefits management, and workflow automation, to name a few. Companies with the capital and desire should consider exploring the full suite to see if a full implementation is right for them.
Read UltiPro Review

Features of Performance Management Software

"When it comes to performance management, there are two other components that go hand in hand: some level of succession planning … and pay for performance," said Bob DelPonte, VP and general manager for Workforce Ready group, the company behind the Kronos HCM software suite. "Performance management, succession and compensation are really the three-legged stool; without each of those, you can't effectively measure the employee."

Many performance management systems also operate in close quarters with goal management modules, which allow managers to assign and track tasks through to completion. Performance management is also closely related to career and skill development, so managers can help bolster employees' strengths and shore up their weaknesses by offering educational opportunities.

When looking for the best performance management software, we took all of these features and factors into account:

  • Pricing: Cost of the systems played a part in determining our best picks. Pricing was considered in tandem with the number of and robustness of each feature.

  • Performance appraisals: The core of any performance management system is the appraisal or review process. We looked for the ability for multiple supervisors or managers to offer feedback on an ongoing basis, the ability of the employee to respond and interact, as well as the ability to incorporate objective or statistical information into subjective reviews.

  • Customizability: Every system has a different level of customizable workflows. Some allow you to change a few parts of the review process, while others offer a level of control over much of the system. More customizability was viewed favorably, as every company has its own unique HR needs.

  • Compensation management: Integrating a compensation management module was also considered alongside performance management, as these modules often work in tandem.

  • Succession planning: Much like compensation management, a company's succession planning offerings were also considered, given these modules proximity to the performance management process.

  • Career development: We considered career development and continued education opportunities available through the software. Systems which had robust methods of helping employee's grow and feel more engaged scored well in this criterion.

  • Goal management and tracking: We also considered goal setting and tracking components of these systems. Performance reviews are made easier when objective measurements, such as progress toward specific work-related goals, and so those systems with comprehensive goal management components scored better.

  • User feedback: We considered user feedback, positive and negative, from a variety of sources before making our final picks.

  • Customer service and tech support: We engaged as a customer with our finalists' customer service departments and rated our overall experiences. Friendly, knowledgeable and forthcoming representatives earned a higher score for their company.

Our Methodology

To determine the performance management systems we think are best for businesses in 2019, we spent dozens of hours researching the top platforms. Here is an explanation of our selection process.

Locating the Best Services

To choose the best performance management systems for business, we created a list of 38 reputable human capital management and talent management companies. Our selections were based on user feedback, previous reviews, and the available features of each product. From there, we eliminated vendors that didn't provide a basic level of necessary services and features or that focused primarily on other aspects besides performance management.

Choosing the Best Services

To select the final candidates for each category of best for small business, best for midsize and enterprise businesses, and best stand-alone performance management system, we analyzed the following candidates in depth, taking part in free trials and engaging in discussions with company representatives: ADP Workforce Now, BambooHR, Cornerstone OnDemand, Engagedly, Halogen Software, Kronos Workforce Ready, Lumesse, Namely, PeopleFluent, PeopleSoft, Ramco HCM, ReviewSnap, TrakStar, UltiPro, and Workday.

Researching Each Service

After narrowing down our initial list, we explored the features of the remaining candidates even further and conducted interviews with industry insiders and experts to determine what aspects of performance management are commonly most important to entrepreneurs. We watched demo videos when available and compared pricing. We also considered the ability of each system to be integrated with common applications or other human capital management systems. Ultimately, we were left with a final pool of 15 candidates to consider for our best picks.

Analyzing Each Service

We analyzed each candidate on the following criteria: pricing, performance appraisals, customizability, compensation management, succession planning, career development, goal management and tracking, user feedback, and customer service and tech support.

Ready to choose a performance management system? Here's a breakdown of the rest of our coverage:

Adam Uzialko
Adam Uzialko
Business News Daily Staff
Adam Uzialko is a writer and editor at business.com and Business News Daily. He has 7 years of professional experience with a focus on small businesses and startups. He has covered topics including digital marketing, SEO, business communications, and public policy. He has also written about emerging technologies and their intersection with business, including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain.
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