Continuous Performance Management Software: A Buyer’s Guide for HR Professionals

By TechFunnel Contributors - Last Updated on June 16, 2020

Guest Contribution by Stuart Hearn

If you’re looking to give your modern organization a competitive edge, you will likely look at the efficiency of your performance management system. You’ll also need to research relevant HR performance management software to complement the running of this system.

Purchasing performance management software represents a serious investment. You want to find the right solution to help you boost engagement, improve employee performance and facilitate communication. To streamline the process, we have compiled this HR buyer’s guide to continuous performance management software.

Why Your Company Needs Effective Performance Management

Due to outdated performance management tools, such as the annual performance review and stacked ranking, performance management doesn’t always enjoy the best reputation. But effective performance management is critical to the success of your company in terms of employee engagement, productivity, performance, and morale — not to mention organizational growth.

Performance management techniques, such as regular performance coaching conversations can keep employees on track and motivated to achieve their SMART objectives. With the right performance management system, these SMART objectives will support and complement organizational goals, meaning the entire company thrives. To truly benefit from performance management, however, companies must ensure they are forward-thinking and progressive while keeping up with the latest and most promising performance management trends.

You Need Performance Management Software to Support Your Processes

As companies become more agile and fast-moving, you need the right technology to facilitate growth and keep you competitive. The proper performance management software can help you track, manage and analyze employee performance while promoting in-the-moment feedback and communication. If you’ve been relying on pen and paper to support your performance management system, it is high time for an upgrade.

You should consider investing in continuous performance management software for the following reasons. CPM software can:

  1. Improve business outcomes.
  2. Help to develop employees by tracking employee development objectives.
  3. Provide the ability to give and receive real-time feedback.
  4. Help you align individual SMART goals with company objectives.
  5. Make work more meaningful for your employees.
  6. Support regular performance conversations to improve employee-manager relationships.
  7. Provide instant reports to keep you updated with the performance of your employees and teams.
  8. Identify opportunities for employee advancement and succession planning.

Analyze Your Company’s HR and Performance Management Needs

Before you can decide what continuous performance management platform to invest in, you need to address and analyze your company’s unique HR and performance management needs. Your research could take the form of a comprehensive survey to highlight and uncover pain points. Make this survey company-wide to show your employees everyone’s feedback is valued and important. 

You can ask your employees questions, such as:

  • Do you understand what’s expected of you at work and in your role?
  • Do you know how your particular goals support company objectives?
  • Do you feel you receive constructive and consistent feedback?
  • Do you have an honest, authentic and transparent relationship with your manager?
  • Do you feel your feedback is valued?
  • Do you think you are being kept up to date with the goings-on of the company?
  • Do you think you are improving and advancing in terms of your skills?
  • Does the company provide the right support for training and development?
  • Are you happy with your opportunities for advancement, while understanding how to advance?
  • Do you feel appreciated and acknowledged?
  • How do you feel about the current status of performance reviews in terms of frequency and efficacy?

Features to Look for in a Performance Management Software Solution

Above all, we’d recommend you find a solution that is simple and clear. Many software solutions boast many bells and whistles you will likely end up not using. They could even only serve to confuse and frustrate you. Software that is simple and streamlined has been shown to result in fewer delays while decreasing human error. Ideally, performance management software should be so intuitive and user-friendly you don’t even need to invest the time into training. The right solution should be as simple as setting up and go.

We’d also recommend a solution that works across all devices, particularly if your company is an organization that accommodates remote working. You want your employees to be able to check-in on the software from their tablets, phones, laptops, and PCs. 

Buy a Performance Review Software That Aligns with Your Company’s Culture

There is no sense in investing in software that doesn’t align with your company culture. If you have decided to incorporate agile, continuous performance management, then you need a CPM software to support it. You don’t want to select a software that complements the more old-fashioned annual performance appraisal system. When you are doing your research, be mindful of picking a platform that supports frequent, qualitative feedback and discussion.

Prepare a Business Case for Performance Management Software

Now you have analyzed your needs and conducted your research into what software solution you want, it’s time to build and prepare a busi­ness case for per­for­mance appraisal soft­ware. To make this case, you will need to create and submit a document that lays out exactly what software you are seeking to buy. This document should also detail why the solution is required, how much it will cost and — importantly — how the company will benefit from the purchase of such software. If you need help formulating this document, you can always get in touch with the software providers to discuss how their product can benefit your bottom line. They might even provide case studies to impress management and gain executive buy-in.


Stuart Hearn

Stuart Hearn is a speaker, writer and performance management expert. Stuart founded Clear Review, an HR tech startup that helps companies improve individual, team and company performance.

TechFunnel Contributors | is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

TechFunnel Contributors | is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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