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Top 10 Performance Management Solutions
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of performance management solutions available? Here’s our breakdown of what we think are the top 10.
When an organization is doing well, it’s usually because employees are engaged in their work and have a clear sense of direction as to where the company is headed. That only happens when organizations make a concerted effort to manage performance, both for the business as a whole and individual employees.
That’s where performance management solutions come in. Some are dedicated specifically to organizational performance (strategic planning) while others are designed to handle personnel performance. (At ClearPoint, we think the best performance management software should be capable of handling both, but we’ll get to that later!)
There are many software performance management tools available in both realms; we created this list to help you sort through your options. Below you’ll get our take—the pros and cons—associated with what we believe to be five strong contenders in each category. We also offer some guidance around key features to look for as you shop around.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about ClearPoint and how it can help improve your organization’s performance, just ask!
Organizational Performance Management Solutions: 5 Options
Organizations use performance management software to track and manage the progress of their strategic plan. Leadership and strategy teams typically use it monthly or quarterly during strategy review meetings to show how each department or division is contributing to overall business performance. Most of the information (except confidential financial information) is accessible across the organization—transparency is a key aspect of performance management software.
Key variables and features to look for:
- Granular tracking—It should allow you to track all levels of your strategic plan, from the corporate and department levels to smaller teams, and have the ability to roll up information from bottom to top (or vice versa).
- Automation—Automation features like email reminders, report scheduling, data uploading, and notifications help you save time.
- Advanced reporting—Every audience needs a different type of report, so make sure the solution you choose has flexible and customizable reporting options.
- Data visualizations and dashboards—It’s much easier to absorb data when it’s in a chart, whether it’s quantitative information or Gantt charts for projects.
- Qualitative data fields—Make sure the tool has the ability to share your charts next to qualitative analysis so you can tell the story behind your data and results.
- Branding and customization—You want your reports to look professional and in line with your organization’s branding, whether you’re sharing them internally or externally.
ClearPoint is a SaaS performance management software solution that helps organizations manage their strategic plans, and all the projects and KPIs that go along with them. It is used by for-profit corporations, local governments, healthcare organizations, utilities, nonprofits, and more.
- It offers a wide variety of report types and customization options. ClearPoint generates impressive, presentation-quality reports that match your organization’s branding.
- It captures all relevant information—strategy objectives, projects, measures, and financial information—as well as projects your organization is taking on to reach its goals, providing a holistic picture of your performance.
- It automates data collection, report generation, and the evaluation of objectives, reducing reporting time significantly.
- It’s easy to roll your data up and get a view of your organization’s performance, or drill down and evaluate a single project, program, or individual.
- Customer service is best-in-class.
- Data is aggregated and typically displayed monthly or quarterly. It does not store transactional information.
- ClearPoint does not have line item budgeting capabilities. It can show budget results, but it does not track the transactions that make up a budget.
- It exports to PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF, but not to Word or Illustrator.
AchieveIt is another strategic planning tool that helps organizations connect, manage, and execute their plans and initiatives, giving you big-picture visibility across all your initiatives.
- You can see at a glance the organization’s progress toward meeting strategic initiatives.
- It is user-friendly and intuitive.
- Its customer support team is highly rated and quick to resolve issues.
- AchieveIt’s reporting functionality is limited. Some users note the need to create workarounds to get the data views they prefer, particularly when it comes to combining data or managing metrics across multiple plans.
- It was not designed for doing financial calculations within the platform itself.
Planful is SaaS performance management software that focuses on financial planning and analysis (FP&A). Specifically created for enterprises, Planful helps you collect and consolidate your financial information, align financial data with strategic business objectives, and simplify monthly financial reporting.
- Its Excel-based interface is familiar to users, which makes it easy to get up to speed.
- There are multiple checkpoints for administrators to define user permissions; permissions are simple to set up.
- Reporting functionality is good, offering easy drag-and-drop ad-hoc reporting in addition to recurring reports; overall, users say Planful speeds up report production.
- Its tables, graphics, and dashboard visuals aren’t as flexible or as attractive as some customers would like.
- Report formatting options are somewhat limited.
- Users have reported that some aspects of the system can be slow, including slow load times for high volumes of complex data.
Board bills itself as an all-in-one solution for business intelligence, performance management, and analytics. Essentially, it serves to unify data from across the business, which can then be explored and leveraged for analysis and planning activities.
- Especially useful for finance departments, who can use it to gain deeper insight into financial and operational results.
- Interface is attractive and features easy-to-use drag-and-drop functionality.
- Great for creating compelling visual analysis and analytical applications around customized datasets in a matter of seconds.
- Its broad functionality (with some users noting it has too many features) makes the learning curve less straightforward and somewhat steep.
- Users have commented that the support team is slow to resolve issues.
- Integrations with existing systems are limited.
Vena is a corporate performance management tool that turns Excel into an enterprise-class business solution. Vena users continue to leverage their existing Excel templates, models, and reports, but gain the advantage of having a centralized repository for data from disparate sources for business planning purposes.
- It automates components of the budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes, significantly reducing the time spent on these activities.
- It’s easy to create customized data pulls for ad-hoc analysis.
- Audit functionality is excellent, making it easy to see who made changes and when.
- Many users note the slow speed for loading templates.
- Integrations can be challenging to configure and update.
- Without advanced Excel skills, this product would be challenging to use.
Next, let’s take a look at software performance management tools that were designed specifically to help you evaluate performance on an individual level.
Employee Performance Management Solutions: 5 Options
Individual and team performance software helps managers track and report on the work of teams and individual employees. It houses all the quantitative and qualitative data associated with performance, and can be used during 1:1 meetings as a basis for providing feedback.
Key variables and features to look for:
- Permissions—Permissions and security features are important in this case, as managers should only have access to performance data associated with their direct reports.
- Feedback loops—Managers, employees, and peers should be able to use it to share feedback.
- Individual goal tracking—The performance management tool you use needs to scale easily so every employee can track their individual goals. Bonus if they can see how their goals link up to corporate-level goals!
- Workflows for employee performance reviews—It should include approval processes and notifications to enable easy information sharing.
- Dashboards—Managers need reports and dashboards to see how their entire department is performing overall.
This SaaS performance management software tool is one of the most popular for tracking and managing all kinds of employee information, including performance data. It’s primarily used by small and medium-sized businesses that want to simplify their approach to HR.
- Its BambooHR Peer Reviews feature provides insights from the coworkers and stakeholders who interact with employees every day.
- It has a very intuitive user interface and is easy to use.
- Employees and managers can set and track multiple goals inside the software, creating a constant feedback channel. Automated reminders and notifications keep people informed of new comments, goal progression, and goal completion.
- Many items in Bamboo (including the Performance module) are “canned” and offer minimal opportunity for customization.
- Its primary function isn’t performance management; its strength lies in its ability to handle all things HR.
- Customer service, according to some users, is lacking.
7Geese is a goal setting and performance management software that helps organizations improve goal visibility, engage talent, and focus on career growth. Based on the OKR framework, it emphasizes continuous coaching and recognition over traditional yearly evaluations. It is best suited for organizations with between 100 and 500 employees.
- Users can align strategic objectives with individual goals, keeping employees motivated and engaged in their roles.
- It has the ability to manage OKRs, recognize employees, track 1:1s, get 360 feedback and do reviews, all within the platform.
- You can make as much information as desired visible to everyone within the organization (or not).
- It makes the review process faster and easier to manage.
- Its 1-on-1 meeting template poses a challenge for most users.
- Individual metrics do not roll up to update team OKRs they are aligned with.
- Many users feel the interface on most pages is too busy, which can be confusing.
Lattice aims to connect performance management, employee engagement, and employee development in one unified solution, using whichever goal framework suits your business. Its emphasis is on helping you create a high-performing, engaged workforce and promoting career growth.
- It integrates with multiple apps you use every day, like Gmail, Outlook, and Slack.
- It allows for ongoing input and conversation around goals and accomplishments, rather than once or twice a year, increasing manager/employee interaction.
- Most users learned the essentials of the tool quickly.
- Some users find the feedback metrics too simplistic (however, written feedback can make up for this).
- The performance management questions are static and tend to get frequently reused.
Reflektive is a performance management platform that empowers employees to take ownership of their wins at work. It helps people highlight one another's successes and get coaching; it allows managers to set individual goals, team goals, and OKRs that prioritize the organization’s most important objectives.
- Reflektive is easy to use from an employee perspective and has an attractive user interface.
- Employees can create goals and OKRs that align with the company’s goals.
- The whole organization is aware of recognition given to a particular person, a factor that may (or may not!) be motivating to others.
- Employees are trying to get validation for their work through thanks and shoutouts, but some users point out that the need for excess validation could be a demotivator.
- Exporting data for some types of presentations or reports may involve copying and pasting into different programs.
Another continuous feedback platform, 15Five’s technology platform is developed based on the latest research in positive psychology to help people lead happier, more fulfilled lives. It structures your performance management process using OKRs, ensuring that everyone’s activities align with company-wide objectives.
- Users like the ability to recognize employees for work well done and provide encouragement through the platform.
- It’s easy to use and engaging for employees.
- Managers can gauge employees’ motivation and engagement levels on a continuous basis.
- It keeps OKRs top of mind.
- Some users note they had to do double reporting on their work because 15Five doesn’t integrate with project management software or ticketing systems like ServiceDesk.
- Reporting isn’t as robust as some users would like.
- Too-frequent shout-out notifications can be annoying and lowers their value.
Is there a performance management solution that manages both organizational and individual performance?
We’re glad you asked, and the answer is yes: ClearPoint does both!
You don’t need separate personal or team performance software; in our view, the software tool you’re using for personal performance management should be the same one that helps you manage your organizational performance, simply because they are so closely intertwined. That’s why our strategy management tool has the capability to handle both aspects. We keep you on track with all aspects of strategy execution—from big picture views down to individual goals and targets—to give your organization the greatest chance of success.
We’d love to show you how our performance management tool works. If you’re interested in seeing a demo of ClearPoint, let us know!