What features should you expect to find in purpose-built performance management software?
How relevant is technology to the smooth running of a modern business? Do you really need software in order to be productive and successful? The fact of the matter is: software is an incredible investment that can give your organisation a competitive edge. It can improve employee engagement, facilitate communication and help you revitalise your performance review process.
If you’re already sold on these many benefits and preparing a business case for performance appraisal software, you will need to know what to look for before making your purchase. Doing your research is critical, as not all software is created equal.
Below are the key features to look out for when picking out your performance management software.
Performance review software should be straightforward and simple
Performance management should be simple and straightforward, so the same is true of performance management software. The package should be streamlined and intuitive, as recommended in the 2014 eReward performance management survey. Such simplicity results in fewer delays, decreased human error and improved productivity.
Although you might want software with all the bells and whistles, when you’re searching for a package, remember that less is more. Try to find software with a modest number of effective features. This will be less distracting for your employees and will help them focus on what they really want to achieve. A great test for determining whether or not a given software package is user-friendly and intuitive is the amount of training required. The ideal software will be so obvious to use that you won’t need to invest any time into training at all.
Pick a performance review software package that works across devices
More and more businesses are making use of tablets and smartphones for a variety of purposes. The days of relying solely on PCs or laptops is over. As such, you will want software that functions properly across a range of different devices. The software should be mobile responsive, meaning it adjusts automatically to the device and screen size. Such adaptability will decrease employee frustration, while the increased flexibility means your employees can work from anywhere and access critical information at any time.
Your performance review software should protect your data
As mentioned above, software accessibility is a key feature, which means your performance management software should be cloud-based. This does present security questions which you should consider before committing to a particular package. When you’re in talks with your software provider, find out who hosts their software and data and where it is hosted. Do they use a reputable hosting company such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace or Microsoft Azure? Are they ISO 27001 data security certified? Be sure to ask these questions for your peace of mind. You don’t want to risk losing or exposing critical, confidential business information.
Ensure the culture of the performance review software aligns with your company’s
Performance management is a changing field. It’s constantly evolving and shifting, depending on recent studies on what affects motivation and behaviour. As such, there are a variety of software companies out there, all of which have different performance management systems and approaches. Some strongly adhere to modern performance management trends, while others are more traditional in their outlook.
It is critical that you find a performance management system that supports your company culture and values. At Clear Review, we are proponents of continuous performance management. We believe that employees need and deserve regular performance discussions. For this reason, our software is centred around frequent, qualitative feedback and discussion, whilst allowing organisations to measure performance where necessary.
Make sure the suppliers of your performance review software are experts in their field
When you buy software, you’re not just buying the package itself. You’re investing in the team that provides it, so it’s important that you get to know your software provider, what they stand for, how qualified they are and what they can do for you. Is their customer service support based in your country, or is it overseas? Does the supplier understand performance management best practice? Will they be on hand to help you to implement the performance review system?
Research questions to ask your software provider and develop a rapport with them before buying into the product.