10 Great Performance Management Software Platforms

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This Week:  Top 10 Performance Management Solutions

Do you feel like your existing performance management protocol doesn't cut it? You're not alone: According to Deloitte, only 8 percent of companies feel their performance management processes are highly effective when it comes to driving value. On the other hand, 58 percent of companies say performance reviews are not a good use of their time.

Want a performance management process that actually drives employee performance and creates value for your organization? Try adopting one of these tools:

1. iRevü

The real-time performance management platform iRevü gains strong praise from its users, among them the prominent HR/recruiting thought leader and CEO of Red Branch Media Maren Hogan, who calls it "the ultimate performance management tool."

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"iRevü is a mobile and desktop performance management app that allows you to provide real-time feedback to your employees while also receiving replies and upward feedback from them, both positive and negative," Hogan says. "At Red Branch, being on the smaller size, we use this app to stay connected during work-from-home days, to provide management and feedback in between performance reviews, and to keep track of performance goals."

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2. Reflektive

"Lightweight" and "easy to use" are two qualities commonly associated with Relektive – and for good reason. It's a fully functional performance management software, but it sure is agile! Consider, for example, Reflektive's Gmail and Outlook plug-in, which allows managers to give feedback right from their inboxes. That's real-time feedback in action.

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3. HighGround

When Waypoint Homes needed a performance management tool, the company invited employees into the selection process to ensure it ended up with something everyone could agree on. The tool Waypoint's employees settled on? HighGround.

"The product we selected wasn't the best known or most broadly used; it didn't have a direct interface with our core HCM," says Andrew Bartlow, head of HR at Waypoint. "What set it apart was a high-quality comprehensive offering, an effective mobile-first user interface, and a very strong email interface. Our users want to operate in as few platforms as possible. Since our users already live in email, chat, and several business applications, we selected a tool that helped us rein in platform proliferation – allowing us to meet users where they are."

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4. Clear Review

Instead of annual reviews, Clear Review traffics in "continuous performance management." Essentially, that means Clear Review treats performance management as an ongoing conversation between employee and manager, rather than an annual event. The platform promotes and tracks frequent check-ins to make sure that course-correction happens when it needs to – instead of a year after the fact.

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5. Trakstar

One of Trakstar's coolest features is how easy it is to bring other voices into a performance conversation. Managers can invite other managers, peers, and even clients to give feedback; all they need to do is enter an email address. Also cool is how Trakstar helps with succession planning. The software doesn't only track employee performance, but also employee potential, allowing managers to shepherd employees into the proper advancement pipelines.

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6. Reviewsnap

There's a lot to love about the web-based performance management platform Reviewsnap, but one feature in particular bears mentioning: the compensation dashboard. This handy dashboard can be used for building budgets and setting up pay scales, and it offers an automated approval process for performance-based pay changes. Heck, it can even analyze employee performance data and make compensation recommendations!

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7. BambooHR

BambooHR's performance management capabilities are an optional add-on, but they're worth it. Reviews are set up to be totally objective, with a template that facilitates observational, fact-based feedback, rather than emotional, subjective responses to an employee's work. For example, instead of "How do you feel about Employee X?" or "How would you rate Employee X's overall performance?", managers are asked "What would you do if Employee X were offered a job by another company?"

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8. Saba's Performance@Work

Where Saba stands out is its intelligent coaching and development. Managers can create performance-driven development plans, and the platform itself uses machine-learning algorithms to recommend classes, mentors, and educational content for employees based on how they're doing.

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9. IBM's Kenexa Skills Manager

What's unique about the Kenexa Skills Manager is, as the name suggests, the fact that it really zeros in on specific skills. Sure, all performance management platforms deal with skills to an extent, but Skills Manager is all about identifying skills gaps, assessing employees' proficiencies in specific areas, and setting up succession plans that make sense given the composition and capabilities of your workforce.

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10. SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals

SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals comes equipped with a goal library of more than 500 SMART goals, which makes employee goal-setting much easier. Managers can also set cascading goals and keep an eye on individual, team, and company-wide progress from their dashboards.

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