How to Choose the Right Software for Performance Appraisals

On what basis should you choose a software provider that supports the conduct of development and performance interviews?
How to change software provider?
What processes can be simplified with the help of software?
How much time does the software save in the process of development and performance interviews, and how does it pay off?
What to know about implementing chat software?
We will find answers to these and many other questions in the article below.

Performance Review Software Standalone Or Part of HRIS?

In the world, there are numerous HR software solutions available for personnel management, payroll and leave management, time tracking, recruitment, employee goal setting, and development. Some functionalities may also be part of a larger information system known as HRIS (Human Resources Information System).

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of solutions specialized in one or multiple HR processes. For example, among talent management and performance management software, there are solutions designed to support various employee and manager conversations (development discussions) throughout the employee lifecycle, goal-setting (OKR) solutions, feedback tools, applications designed specifically for the onboarding process and conducting satisfaction surveys, among others.

It is clear that acquiring separate software for each aspect of employee development or feedback collection would be too costly, and employees would find it challenging to adapt to different programs. Therefore, it would be beneficial if one solution could encompass as many functionalities as possible.

What HR Processes Can be Digitized and Simplified Using Performance Review Software?

HR managers and leaders typically aim to digitize the following processes with the adoption of software: management of conversations between employees and managers, setting personal goals for employees based on organizational strategic objectives, performance assessment, identifying development needs, assessing competencies, soliciting feedback (such as 360-degree feedback), or conducting surveys (e.g., commitment and satisfaction surveys, risk analysis, etc.).

Effective conversations help set goals and inspire. With the introduction of software, face-to-face conversations between employees and managers will still take place, but the software helps to streamline the technical aspects. Without the appropriate software solution, it is difficult to have an overview of conversations taking place across departments, and conducting conversations tends to become merely a formality. Not to mention that preparation for conversations, formatting summaries, and later summarizing them can take unreasonably long without the right software solution. Managers receive automatic notifications when an employee has prepared for the conversation, and managers can familiarize themselves with the employee’s input before the face-to-face meeting. Additionally, all agreements are recorded, and they can be reviewed at any time.

HR managers have the opportunity to provide leaders with a valuable tool for meaningful conversations and provide them with important talking points or topics to address during the conversation. Modern conversation software solutions offer options for generating reports and summaries. The HR department can retrieve consolidated results with just a few clicks, rather than having to search for necessary information in individual conversation files and copy it to another file.

What to Consider When Choosing Performance Review Software?

  • Security: Ensure that the software meets security standards and offers controlled user access with audit log. For cloud-based solutions, inquire about data storage location and backup frequency. If your organization’s security policy stipulates that work-related information systems can only be used in the internally, then the software must be able to be installed on-premise.
  • User Management: Look for software that offers simple and efficient user management functionalities, such as importing and managing user data and integration with existing user management systems like Active Directory.
  • Flexibility: Opt for software that is adaptable to different types of reviews and allows for future expansion to accommodate evolving needs.
  • Reports and Summaries: Choose software that provides easy-to-use reporting tools for extracting data, viewing reports, and generating summaries efficiently.
  • Usability: Prioritize software with an intuitive interface to minimize the need for extensive training and ensure ease of access for both employees and managers.
  • References and Customer Support: Research provider references and experiences with similar organizations, and ensure reliable customer support, preferably in your native language.
  • Language Support: Confirm which languages the software supports, considering the linguistic needs of your organization.
  • Demos and Trials: Take advantage of demos or trial periods offered by providers to assess the software’s capabilities and suitability for your organization’s requirements.

What to Know About Implementing Performance Appraisal Software?

Software selection is actually quite straightforward when considering the points mentioned above. Once the decision is made, the implementation of the conversation software can take place within a few days or weeks. Typically, the most time-consuming aspect is the substantive preparation – the larger and more complex the organization, the longer the implementation period should be planned, just in case. If it is known that there is a need to discuss and agree on the content of conversations or surveys to be conducted with managers across the platform, it is advisable to do this work before signing a usage agreement with the software provider. However, if the HR manager has more autonomy and already has a vision and idea of the content of the conversation forms, the entire process will proceed more quickly.

Technical setup and integration with user management systems usually do not take much time, and this is usually done by the software provider. An experienced conversation software consultant will assist throughout the implementation process: in addition to providing technical support, they will help develop the appropriate form for your organization and conduct training for key users. If desired, a separate presentation of the software’s usage can also be provided to managers and regular users, but generally, this is not necessary.

You can read more about the process of implementing the conversation module here.

Switching to a New Software Solution

Switching to a new software solution for reviews doesn’t have to be a daunting task, especially with experienced consultants guiding the process. If your organization is already using a solution for development and/or performance reviews but wishes to upgrade to a more capable one, it’s likely that data from the old platform can be exported for easy migration. This may include downloading previous reviews as individual files or extracting agreed-upon goals from the last review into an Excel sheet. Before making the switch, however, it’s essential to ensure that the new software supports data migration.

Does Implementing Software for Performance Reviews Pay Off?

When evaluating the cost of implementing performance appraisals software, it’s essential to consider the potential time savings and efficiency gains. For example, in an organization with 100 employees, implementing a minimum appraisal program where each employee undergoes one or two performance reviews per year, along with onboarding and probationary reviews for new hires, could easily justify the cost of the software. The time saved for both managers and employees far outweighs the software’s cost. Furthermore, once review software is in place, it becomes easy to add additional processes such as exit interviews, regular satisfaction surveys, or 360-degree feedback assessments, which might have been previously overlooked due to a lack of suitable digital solutions.

In conclusion

In conclusion, careful consideration of factors such as functionality, usability, integration capabilities, support, and language support can ensure that you choose the right review software for your organization. Implementing review software is a significant step toward improving HR efficiency. By selecting a solution that meets your organization’s needs, you can ensure a sustainable and convenient solution for your organization’s development and performance review processes.

PlanPro offers a free demo, an integration with Active Directory or Azure AD (with Office 365), which saves you from creating and managing the manual structure and users. We support the customer throughout the implementation period and also help with the development of chat forms.

PlanPro software has been developed with the help of many personnel managers, and the logic of its use is based on long-term experience of evaluating work results and conducting peformance interviews. You can learn more about personnel evaluation module HERE.

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