Top performance management software features you need to have

Aug 24, 2023 | Performance Management Discussion

Shopping cart full of performance management software

 Are you looking for the best performance management software, but you are unsure what features you need? Well, this conversational article walks you through the process and suggests the top performance management software features you need to have and why.

Performance management is a crucial aspect of any organisation’s success. It involves setting goals, tracking progress, providing feedback, and evaluating employee performance. To effectively manage performance, organisations often rely on performance management software like
PerformanceHub. In this article, we will explore the top features that you need to have in your performance management software to ensure you can manage a successful performance management process.


I think the easiest place to start would be to walk through a typical performance review cycle and create a little shopping list.


Performance Management Review Cycle

Let’s walk through a typical review cycle and collect ideas for what we will need in our performance management software.

First up, we need a performance appraisal form (or performance review form if you prefer). How else are we going to document the review?

We will need something in that form to review! What better than objectives – the things the employee has been working on during the review period.

We probably want to add questions in the appraisal too, things to help guide the conversation. We are also likely to want to capture performance data against other things like values, behaviours and competencies. Put that all together and we better make the appraisal form configurable.

We shouldn’t rely on feedback from just the manager either – so let’s add peer-to-peer feedback to our shopping list of features.

So far, so good, but we don’t have a way to plan and action things like training and qualifications. After all, we want to improve employee performance over time. So, we best add in a performance development plan feature.

It’s good practice to keep on top of performance management throughout the performance review cycle. This ensures that it’s not a one-off annual exercise full of surprises. So, let’s add 1-to-1 check-ins to our shopping list.

OK, now we have all the basic features and we’re collecting lots of information as part of our performance management cycle. But what are we going to do with the data? I think we need to add some reporting and analytics features for that.

One last thing – there’s no point in having all these features if no one will engage with our new software. So, we need to make sure that the system is easy to use and employees get told what they need to do, AKA notifications.


Top performance management software features – a shopping list:

OK, with all of that said, here’s what’s on our little shopping list:

Now, let’s take a look at all those features in detail to explore how they should work.



Objective Setting and Tracking

Typically set at the start of a review cycle, it is important that employees have objectives to work towards during the review period. Ideally, these should be linked to the organisation’s objectives. So what things should we look out for in our new software?


SMART Objective Setting

  • Ability to create and update SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives based on individual, team, and organisational objectives.
  • Flexibility to align objectives with different timeframes and priorities.
  • Option to link objectives together, all the way up to the organisational objectives to ensure alignment
  • Ability to review performance against objectives and optionally include a performance rating for each one
  • Built-in tools to make the creation of objectives super quick and easy. For example, mass creation and re-use of previous objectives


Real-time Progress Tracking

  • Real-time tracking of objective progress to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • Visual representation of progress through charts, graphs, or dashboards.
  • Automated reminders and notifications to keep employees on track.


Continuous Feedback and Communication

Ongoing Feedback

  • Capability to provide continuous feedback to employees on their performance.
  • Options for both formal and informal feedback channels.
  • Ability to request and receive feedback from multiple sources, including peers, managers, and subordinates.

Performance Reviews

  • Conducting regular performance reviews to evaluate employee performance.
  • Customisable review templates to assess performance based on specific criteria.
  • Integration with 360-degree feedback to gather comprehensive insights.



Personal Development Plans 

  • Creation of individual development plans to identify areas for improvement and growth.
  • Integration with learning management systems to provide access to relevant training resources.
  • Tracking progress and completion of development activities.


1-2-1s and Check-ins

One-on-one meetings, or 121 check-ins, play a vital role in performance management. In these short, structured sessions, managers and employees openly discuss progress, goals, and areas needing enhancement. Managers use templates to steer the conversation, offer feedback, set goals, and address concerns. Meanwhile, employees can ask questions and get advice to boost their performance. These meetings can be paired with coaching and mentoring to further skill development. To ensure effectiveness, managers should monitor and adjust their strategies based on the outcomes of these discussions.

  • The ability for the manager and their direct report to add notes for each meeting held
  • Option to create agendas
  • Option for the manager to set agendas and meeting frequencies
  • Option for ‘formal’ check-in meetings, potentially with a performance rating



Configurable Appraisal Forms

The appraisal is where it all comes together at the end of a review period. It should show the manager and employee all the things that have been done over the period, so should have sections for that. But there should also be an ability to add your own sections so that you can tailor the form to meet your needs.

  • Ability to add questions
  • Option to add ratable sections such as Behaviours, Values or Competencies
  • Option to have different forms for different employee roles
  • Option to add overall performance rating(s) where the ratings themselves can be configurable. For example, a simple rating like “Overall performance” or a 9-Box Grid style rating like Performance vs Behaviour




Performance Analytics and Reporting


Data-driven Insights

  • Advanced analytics to analyse performance data and identify trends and patterns.
  • Ability to generate reports on individual and team performance.
  • Benchmarking capabilities to compare performance against industry standards or internal benchmarks.

Performance Dashboards

  • Interactive dashboards to provide a holistic view of performance metrics.
  • Customisable dashboards to display relevant performance indicators.
  • Real-time data updates for immediate visibility into performance.




Employees will need to know what to do and when. Email notifications and user dashboards are a must. These functions help to drive employee engagement and will significantly increase your process adherence. They are particularly important for managers so that they can keep on top of their team’s activity.


Easy to use and simple navigation

A no-brainer really – whatever performance management software software you choose needs to be intuitive for all employees. Remember that some of your employees may not be as computer savvy as others. Users may avoid using the system if the software is complex, whereas a simple interface will drive employee engagement. One way to check this would be to look at customer reviews of the software you are looking at.

Look for performance management software that has plenty of help built in so that employees can self-serve. Video tutorials are a great thing to look out for.


Bonus Material

Just a few more things to throw into the mix:

  • Make sure that the performance management platform you pick is secure and adheres to the appropriate laws (think GDPR here).
  • Check that the supplier has a fantastic customer support track record.
  • A nice to have is integration with your HRIS system. Although you only really need this if you have a larger organisation




In conclusion, when it comes to performance management software, there are several top features that you should look out for. These include straightforward and easy-to-use tools, customisable templates and reports, integration with your HRIS system, and a secure and compliant platform.

Investing in performance management software with these top performance management software features can greatly enhance your organisation’s performance management process. By enabling effective objective setting and tracking, continuous feedback and communication, performance analytics and reporting, and employee development and learning, you can ensure that your organisation is equipped to drive high performance and achieve its goals.

And if you’re looking for performance management software that ticks all of these boxes, then look no further than PerformanceHub. With its user-friendly interface, customisable templates, and seamless integration with your HRIS system, PerformanceHub is the ideal solution for any organisation.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out PerformanceHub for yourself and experience the benefits firsthand. With its honest and transparent approach to performance management, you can trust that your organisation’s needs will be met.

So why wait? Take the first steps towards better performance management in just minutes. Visit PerformanceHub today and see how it can transform your organisation’s performance management processes.

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