Employee performance management has never been more important.
Knowing what someone needs to do, and seeing themselves make tangible progress towards those goals is incredibly motivating.
Doing so used to take a lot of manual time and effort, but thanks to these employee performance management tools and platforms, performance management is a piece of cake.
Performance management tools are a type of employee management software that helps you set clear performance goals, track progress, and analyze where people are overworked and where coaching conversations may be needed.
As making progress is key to employee engagement, more platforms now offer some level of performance management functionality.
Here's my selection based on hands-on experience, expert interviews, and user feedback.
The Best Employee Performance Management Tools
Investing in Culture Amp for performance management means prioritizing development and high performance through structured, bias-mitigated reviews and consistent feedback loops.
Culture Amp provides tools for goal tracking, self-reflection, and various 360-degree feedback options, which sets the foundation for a culture of continuous improvement.
Key features include:
- Goal Tracking: Tap into proven methodologies for setting and managing goals and OKRs for individuals and teams – traditional and cross-functional.
- 1-on-1s: Set managers and employees up for meaningful, regular conversations that foster connection, ensure alignment, and drive progress.
- Performance Reviews: Powerful calibrations are essential to effective performance reviews. Track and understand employee performance ratings with custom views for each stakeholder.
- Continuous Feedback: Don’t wait for formal reviews to let people know how they’re doing. With Culture Amp, anyone can give and request feedback throughout the year.
- Shoutouts (Recognition): Foster a culture of feedback while boosting employee motivation and engagement by making it easy to recognize and amplify employees within the flow of work.
- 360 Feedback: Give individuals at all levels a comprehensive understanding of their performance based on diverse perspectives.
With a customizable platform, you can align your performance management with your unique organizational values and objectives. Empower your team with the resources to reach their full potential while aligning their growth with your company's success.
Culture Amp stands out for its robust features and adaptability to real-world scenarios. Bombas Chief People Officer Myke Mansberger said:
"Culture Amp's customizability allows for a fair and relevant performance evaluation, ensuring that each individual's success is measured appropriately. With Culture Amp, you can listen to your employees, understand their unique contributions, and set tailored goals, creating a truly equitable and high-performing workplace culture, just as Bombas did."
15Five is a dynamic platform geared toward revolutionizing performance management. Designed to foster communication between managers and employees, it emphasizes continuous feedback through weekly check-ins and the effective use of OKRs (Objective and Key Results) to keep teams aligned with organizational goals.
The idea is to craft online feedback that replaces in-office meetings. With strong Slack integration and engaging features that deliver reassurance to remote and hybrid workers, 15Five provides more of a comprehensive solution for giving necessary feedback to improve performance.
- Regular weekly check-ins
- OKR tracking
- Performance reports
- Feedback management
- Goal setting
Best for: Teams aiming for transparency and alignment through frequent touch points and structured objectives through continuous feedback online systems.
- User-friendly interface
- Comprehensive reporting capabilities with mobile devices
- Promotes transparent communication to encourage engagement
- It might be overwhelming for smaller teams
- Requires commitment to weekly check-ins for optimal results
- Not as feature-rich as you may prefer
Offers a free 14-day trial or customized pricing starting at $4 per user per month, according to team size and features needed.
G2: 4.6/5.0 from 1,758 reviews
Capterra: 4.7/5.0 from 881 reviews
Betterworks seamlessly blends goal setting with performance reviews. By emphasizing team alignment and individual development, it provides a holistic view of the team's and the company's objectives, promoting strategic execution.
Here the platform features emphasize the employee experience first. It outlines how any size or level of the company can help align or retain workers based on their individual needs. In addition, this is a lightweight SaaS solution for getting the proper feedback your management team needs, so engagement remains top of mind during any up or downscaling.
- Continuous performance management
- Peer feedback system
- Integrated goal setting
- Performance review cycles
- Progress tracking with user-friendly interface
Best for: Mid to large-scale businesses looking for a comprehensive tool that bridges the gap between strategy and execution.
- In-depth feedback tools
- Clear goal visualization
- Integrates seamlessly with other popular work tools
- A slight learning curve for newcomers
- UI can be overwhelming at first glance
Includes a free demo and diverse paid plans tailored to team requirements. There is no “set fee,” as everything is based on the custom needs of your business model.
Lattice redefines performance management with a keen focus on 1-on-1s and individual reviews. Designed for genuine employee-manager relationships, it promotes continuous feedback, ensuring everyone in the team feels seen and heard by leveraging OKRs and individualized goals through pulses and surveys.
One of the more critical aspects of this platform is the 360-degree feedback that blends sources from team leaders, peers, reports, customers, and the target individuals. This cultivates a much more rounded feedback loop, so employees feel more aligned with the company's overall goals instead of comparing themselves to one another all of the time.
Lattice Performance Review Features
- Personalized one-on-one agendas
- Structured performance reviews
- Feedback management
- Goal setting and tracking
- Employee engagement surveys
Best for: Companies committed to nurturing employee-manager relationships through regular personal check-ins and evaluations from various sources.
- Highly intuitive interface
- Customizable review cycles
- Actionable feedback mechanisms
- Diverse source information for reviews.
- Limited integrations
- Lacks advanced analytics features
Custom pricing based on team size and requirements starts at $11 per employee per month as well as a free demo.
G2: 4.7/5.0 from 3,711 reviews
Capterra: 4.5/5.0 from 111 reviews
Reflektive’s real strength lies in its advocacy for continuous feedback. By championing real-time communication, it ensures that performance management isn’t just an annual event but an integral part of the company's culture. That is probably why this software has maintained a strong reputation for improvement in performance management, retention rates, and overall employee engagement.
Multiple Fortune 500 companies are leveraging Reflektive as their HR management suite. Even though this may not be the heaviest “feature-rich” option on our list, it provides plenty of tools that increase efficiency and give quality feedback on performance factors needed to grow company culture.
- Real-time feedback tools
- Goal management capabilities
- Performance Analytics
- Check-ins and 1-on-1s
- Employee recognition features that increase productivity
Best for: Dynamic teams that value instantaneous feedback and adaptive performance management. Does work with companies of all sizes due to scalability.
- Seamless third-party integrations
- User-friendly feedback tools
- Detailed performance analytics
- Initial setup can be time-consuming
- More suited for medium to large businesses unless a team member is already familiar with the suite
You can get the basics for $6 per month per employee, and there is a demo version to get started.
Cornerstone is renowned for its learning management capabilities. By fostering skill development and growth, it ensures that employees are not only productive but also evolving in their roles.
When you consider highly engaged employees help companies become 21% more profitable, it doesn’t hurt to focus on a skills-based platform for employee management software.
You’ll find many organizations in tech-heavy fields like manufacturing and healthcare using Cornerstone. It has training management features that help onboard your various employees, no matter where they are in the world.
- Comprehensive learning modules with customization
- Personalized training paths and internationalization
- Performance management features with mobile friendly interfaces
- Analytics and Reporting
- Collaborative learning tools
Best for: If your company prefers to leverage skills internally instead of focusing on goal achievement.
- A vast library of training resources
- Customizable learning paths
- Deep analytics on learning outcomes
- Strong centralized dashboard for reporting and interoperability
- It can be overwhelming for beginners
- Hard to implement without previous training
There is no free plan, but you can use a trial, and pricing starts at $6 per user per month.
G2: 4.1/5.0 from 490 reviews
Capterra: 4.3/5.0 from 216 reviews
WorkTango, previously known as Kazoo, integrates recognition and rewards into its core, promoting motivation and deepening employee engagement. By celebrating milestones and achievements, it fosters a culture of appreciation. That kind of interaction with positive reinforcement goes a long way to breaking down barriers between different experience levels of employees.
The critical aspect you want to leverage here is motivation. Employees love to be appreciated for their hard work. This software helps you focus on those achievements and celebrate them throughout your larger, remote workspace. In essence, you put everything else aside to emphasize an employee experience first.
- Peer recognition platform
- Customizable rewards system
- Performance feedback tools
- Engagement Analytics
- Continuous check-ins
Best for: Companies keen on boosting morale by recognizing and rewarding outstanding employee contributions.
- Enhances team morale
- Customizable rewards
- Seamless integration with other HR tools
- The reward system requires periodic auditing
- Relies on active participation for effectiveness
There is a free trial, but it is based on demo versions that may not show everything you need. Your best bet is to schedule a customizable demo and then get pricing based on your size, number of employees, etc.
G2: 4.6/5.0 from 639 reviews
Capterra: 4.9/5.0 from 129 reviews
The Bottom Line
The evolution of employee performance management shows a real shift from old-school annual reviews to continuous feedback, goal alignment, and enhanced engagement, facilitated by innovative software solutions.
Platforms like 15Five, Betterworks, Lattice, and our partner Culture Amp each offer unique features to simplify performance tracking, foster communication, and align individual objectives with organizational goals.
These solutions, chosen based on my hands-on experience, expert interviews, and user feedback, cater to various needs—from enhancing team transparency and enabling real-time feedback to promoting skill development and celebrating achievements.
The emphasis is on creating an engaging work environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and connected, regardless of their physical workplace.
This transformation in performance management, powered by recent AI innovations, makes it more accessible and effective, ensuring that businesses can maintain a competitive edge by retaining and nurturing top talent.