Performance Management Resources

A practical look at building and implementing your perfect performance management process.

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Microsoft’s New Approach to Performance Management

Microsoft employees recently ranked the company’s culture higher than any other company with over 500 employees. Microsoft even beat out HR darling Google for the top spot.

The software giant’s high ranking is due to factors including fairness and trustworthy management. These two factors play a big role in performance management, which is one of the keys to Microsoft’s success.

This article will show you what Microsoft’s performance management process looks like now. We’ll also show how their willingness to change processes has helped them get to where they are today.

How to build a flexible performance management system like Microsoft.Learn More

Out with the Old: How Microsoft Has Changed Its Performance Management Process

Annual performance reviews are the norm at many organizations, and they used to be the norm at Microsoft. There’s something intuitive about meeting once a year to talk about employee contributions and goals for the upcoming year.

Yearly performance appraisals seem like the natural way to review employees. That doesn’t mean they are the best way to review employees.

Annual appraisals can feel heavy, and they rarely impart useful or actionable information. Here are some of the common complaints about annual reviews:

  • Take too long 
  • Tend to be one-sided
  • Too formal
  • Too general 

These annual reviews end up becoming another thing management has to check off their to-do list. Employees do what they can to get through the meeting, then return to work without internalizing any of the information.

Annual reviews were driving many of the Microsoft performance management issues in the past, so the company made some changes. The new process focuses on each employee’s role in the future of the company rather than their past performance.

Microsoft’s Performance Management Process

Microsoft’s performance management process includes:

  • Creating a performance journal
  • Setting goals
  • Conducting flexible performance reviews

The key to this performance review process is its flexibility. There are three components to the process, but employees don’t have to complete every component in order, or at all, before a performance review. 

microsoft performance management
Source: Microsoft Documentation

Employees don’t have to write detailed performance journals to create goals. The team doesn’t have to set up goals before conducting a performance review either. This approach creates a nimble process.

PerformYard's flexible software can help you build your own performance management system.Learn More

Microsoft’s Performance Journals

Performance journals provide employees with a place to gather information during a review period. The employee can catalogue work-related activities and events, as well as future projects. Employees create journals for themselves, and can decide whether to share them with a manager.

Microsoft’s performance journals include a 360 review process. Employees can send feedback to any employee in the organization. The employees involved and their managers will be notified of the review and the review is stored in the employee journal.

Journals are an example of the laid back approach to performance management. Employees and managers aren’t required to share their performance journals with others. There are no rules for word count or number of entries ahead of a performance review. The journals are a tool for employees to support their performance.

How Microsoft Uses Goals in Performance Management

Microsoft provides employees with a platform to manage and track their goals. Management and employees can assign goals, and the performance journal links to goals.

Goals are not required for performance reviews, although managers may choose to include them as part of the review process. This approach enables managers and employees to conduct reviews whenever they are convenient, even if there isn’t enough time to create or review goals in-depth.

microsoft performance goals
PerformYard's cascading goals feature

Modernize your performance management strategy with PerformYard.Learn More

Microsoft’s Performance Review Process

Microsoft calls reviews “discussions.” This approach reflects the company’s informal nature. Because Microsoft’s modern review process is so flexible, it can support continuous feedback and more formal reviews.


Managers can create small meetings for two people by entering a few details in the company’s online platform. Like formal reviews, these meetings are a chance to share personal or team progress, goals, and feedback. Unlike formal reviews, check-ins let employees and managers have ongoing dialog about performance whenever it’s convenient for both parties.

Semi-Annual Reviews

Much of this Microsoft performance management case study shows that their review process is meant to be informal. It caters to the needs of each team. That doesn’t mean Microsoft has abandoned the more formal review process.

Microsoft nestles semi-annual reviews into their continuous feedback approach. One employee on Glassdoor mentioned there is a wide range of ways Microsoft makes sure employees understand and exhibit company values. One of those ways is a semi-annual review.

Ratings have also fallen by the wayside at Microsoft. Employees can focus on opportunities to grow because they aren’t worried about hitting an arbitrary rating number

Annual Surveys

Managers have their own performance journals where others can submit reviews. Because of this, employees already feel like they have a say in the review process. Microsoft also uses an annual survey that asks employees to share their feedback.

One employee recounts the changes that took place after a survey, 

“I remember my first year on my current team. We were all very overworked and stressed, and in our yearly survey, our team and org put very low scores for work-life balance. The shift in work-life balance after that was astonishing, and 1.5 years later, I'm still happy with it.”

Ties to Compensation

Microsoft has always had a generous rewards budget. Now they are investing even more in boosting pay and stock compensation to help keep talent. Microsoft doubled their budget for employee salary increases. They also boosted the range of stock compensation by at least 25%.

According to Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, says the higher budget helps, "recognize exceptional impact and support retention of our most competitive talent pools."

Key Takeaways For Your Organization

You don’t have to copy every aspect of Microsoft’s performance management process. Pick and choose what you think will work for your business.

Some of the standout features of the Microsoft process include:

  • Performance journals allow employees to organize work-related activities and events impact their performance
  • Employees can o provide feedback to every other employee in the organization
  • Employees and management can create and track goals at any time
  • Semi-annual reviews take place between check-ins throughout the year
  • Performance journal entries and goals are not required to have a performance review

Find More Inspiration

Other top companies are doing performance management in innovative ways. You can use their techniques in your own performance management strategy.

Articles to check out include:

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9 New Performance Management Tools for Modern HR

The more performance management tools you have, the easier it is to run a great performance review process. It’s hard to run an effective review process if you’re just relying on annual reviews. 

Your toolbox might already include classic HR tools like self-evaluation forms, cascading goals, and 1:1 feedback. When you’re ready to take a more modern approach, you can add continuous feedback, data visualizations, and goal progress tracking.

Before using any of these tools, you should understand how they fit into your performance management strategy. Let’s dive into the six components of performance management, then explore nine tools you can use to run amazing performance reviews.

PerformYard's built-in tools can modernize your review process right away.Learn More

What Are the Six Components of Performance Management?

Performance management is a broad term. Breaking it down into six components will help us think about how our HR tools can be more useful.

Human resources

The human resources (HR) department creates and implements the performance management process. HR is also responsible for making sure every employee follows the set process. That involves reviewing the performance management process after each cycle. HR should also train managers and employees so that each group understands its role in the performance review process.

Succession planning

Part of performance management involves documenting each role’s responsibilities and processes. A new employee should be able to step into the vacated role and have documentation to guide them. 

Succession planning means having a plan to replace employees who leave. The plan ensures other team members can cover an employee’s responsibilities on short notice. Succession planning is especially critical during uncertain times, as SHRM reports. With workers quitting at a higher rate, succession plans ensure the company can continue running without missing a beat. 


Informal feedback offers employees constructive information about how they’re doing in the short term. Formal feedback can be a debriefing process after a project, or it can occur during the formal performance review. 

Companies should document both types of feedback as part of the performance review process. Most companies only document formal feedback. PerformYard’s continuous feedback documents informal feedback and rolls it into formal reviews.

performance management feedback tool
PerformYard can roll feedback into annual reviews

You can use one dashboard for goals, reviews and feedback.Learn More

Goal setting

Goals provide employees with direction and expectations. The more you can tie individual goals to company goals, the easier it is for employees to understand their impact. At a minimum, you should be able to track goal progress in a dashboard. If you want to further align your organization, you can use PerformYard to tie employee goals into department goals into organizational goals.


Reviews, feedback, 1:1, and check-ins are the most common forms of performance management communication. Remote work has shifted 1:1s and formal reviews from the office to the screen, but the shift hasn’t stopped companies from collaborating. 

A 2022 survey by Futurum Research and Microsoft found that “almost (of companies) 80% feel like they collaborate as well now as they did before.” 


Motivation can  be intrinsic; many employees find motivation in their relationships with colleagues and customers. Motivation can come also from the promise of increased compensation, promotions, or bonuses. 

The employee should know how these incentives tie to their reviews and goals. There’s a lot to be learned from gathering data on employee motivation. For example, you may find that employees with lower salaries are more motivated by compensation than employees with higher salaries. 

To access this type of data, you’ll need a software platform that can show employee data alongside review data. PerformYard does just that.

What are the 9 best performance management tools?

Performance management interactions provide direction for employees and documentation for managers. The process can be cumbersome when companies try to use manual systems. That has long been the case for many organizations. 

Modern software can streamline the process through automation, centralized dashboards, and notifications. Check out this list of tools and think about how they’ll work within your organization.

Reviews and Check-In Tools

Review forms are only as useful as the data they capture. If you’re using paper forms or Google Docs, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re capturing and analyzing the data from every review.

1. Review Forms

Review forms are the formal documents (now usually electronic) that document employee performance. The best performance management review tools are customizable because every company needs different kinds of data. 

Your forms should allow the HR department and managers to choose different variables such as:

  • Question Types
  • Form Authors
  • Form Subjects

Your forms should also offer the ability to swap out questions and adjust wording without too much heavy lifting.

review management tools

2. Review Completion Tracking

One of HR’s biggest responsibilities is making sure everyone has completed their reviews. This is easy when the company runs one annual review at the same time for every employee. It’s harder when the company starts to get serious about great performance management. 

More review cycles lead to more work for HR. Annual reviews are easy to track; bi-annual or quarterly reviews are harder to track. HR’s job gets even harder when the company runs reviews based on the employee’s work anniversary. 

Performance management software tracks which employees and managers have completed reviews on time. Tools like PerformYard show review progress in a live progress dashboard that eliminates the need for follow-up from HR.

performance management dashboard
PerformYard's dashboard shows which employees have completed reviews.

PerformYard is the simple, efficient way to track review completion.Learn More

3. 360 Reviews

The more people you ask to review an employee, the better you’ll understand how an employee contributes to the company. That’s the purpose of 360-degree reviews. 

Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger/Folkman, reports that “more than 85% of all the Fortune 500 companies use the 360-degree feedback process as a cornerstone of their leadership development process.”

The problem is that 360 reviews come with extra forms. More forms mean more work for HR unless you’re using software to automate the process. Tools like PerformYard make it easy to send out reviews, gather results, and analyze the findings. 

Read this case study to learn how one mid-sized

4. Data-Rich Performance Management Reports

Reporting is a critical part of the performance management process. PerformYard software produces data-rich reports with visual layouts, making it easy to understand the performance management data. When you understand data, you can act on it.

Goal Management Tools

Goal progress and completion are fundamental elements of effective performance management. It’s critical to have one place where employees and managers can track goal progress in real-time.

5. Cascading Goals

As we’ve discussed, individual employee goals should tie to the team and organizational goals. This creates a direct line of sight into how employee actions impact company success. It’s not easy to do this without the help of software. Software tools track goals and sync goals so that when an employee completes a goal, the company’s goals update too.

goal management tools
PerformYard can cascade organizational goals into individual goals.

6. Goal Progress Tracking

HR, managers and senior leaders want to know what kind of progress is being made toward goals at all levels. The best performance management tools allow every member of the team to define and track their own individual goals. Your performance management process should also provide the opportunity to collaborate; employees should be able to share goals and view progress.

7. Goal Visualization

A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s true when it comes to communicating progress and expectations. The best tools let you create easy-to-read charts and graphs that show progress towards goal completion.

tracking goals for performance management
PerformYard tracks individual goals alongside reviews.

Continuous Feedback

Ongoing feedback is effective feedback. Feedback is useless if it only comes at the end of the year when it’s too late to make changes. Formal reviews aren’t the only time when supervisors and managers need to provide feedback. 

The best performance management tools create opportunities for feedback year-round. Tools like PerformYard also store feedback so you can use it in formal reviews.

8. 1:1 Feedback

Your performance management tool should let you share and document immediate feedback. That includes feedback from peers and direct supervisors. Everyone should have the ability to recognize others and choose to share information with teams or individuals. Performance management software can document the feedback as part of the employee’s performance record.  

9. Public Feedback

Public feedback tools are another important feature to look for in a performance management tool. PerformYard offers public feedback and lets people “tag” their feedback. The tags are searchable, so managers can locate the public feedback when it’s time for a formal review.

All nine of these tools are available with PerformYard.Learn More

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Automated Performance Reviews | 5 Reasons to Switch

Automated performance reviews can help solve the persistent problems businesses face in 2022. Organizations worldwide are grappling with worker shortages caused by the pandemic.

In years past, a business could replace a worker who wasn't performing well. Now, businesses need to work with the employee to elevate performance. In other words, the business needs to develop a performance management strategy.

Annual reviews are no longer enough to motivate and empower employee performance. According to SHRM, more frequent reviews yielded the best results. 60% of HR professionals prefer semiannual reviews and 86% prefer quarterly reviews. An astonishing 90% of HR professionals are using ongoing reviews

Frequent performance reviews are resource-intensive. That’s why so many companies only do them once a year (or never). Large companies face a particularly daunting challenge. These organizations may have hundreds or thousands of employees to review. 

So how can HR professionals use technology to meet this challenge? Switching to an automated performance review system increases efficiency and accuracy. It also improves communication between employees and managers.

This article will reveal why you should switch to an automated performance review system. We’ll also explain how the best performance evaluation software can save you time and money. 

A quick demo can show you how automated reviews will work for your organization.Learn More

What is Automated Performance Management?

Performance reviews guide and empower employee performance, but these check-ins can be time-consuming. SHRM found that managers spend over 210 hours per year on performance reviews alone. 

Automated performance management tools make it easier for managers to assess employee performance. These tools show data to track employee work patterns and progress toward goals.

Automated Performance Review vs. Manual Reviews

The job of reviewing and monitoring employee performance is never done. Managers must review their employees' work and provide feedback on an ongoing basis. 

While many companies still use manual reviews, the manual process has several disadvantages. 

Manual reviews are less accurate than automated reviews

Bias is a major factor in the validity of manual reviews. Automating the review process helps you score employees based on completed goals. Reviews are less likely to show bias when you use data to fill out reviews.

Manual reviews are more time-consuming and resource-intensive than automated reviews

Manual reviews are a heavy lift for HR departments, and most HR departments are already stretched thin. Automated reviews rely on software to gather employee data. Manual reviews force HR to send many emails and reminders to get the same information.

Manual reviews are more expensive than automated reviews

It’s no secret that automated reviews are only possible through software investment. Still, manual reviews are more expensive when you consider how much time HR spends on the process

Anyone who uses manual reviews is already familiar with the method’s shortcomings. You may have even considered switching from manual to automated reviews

Switching from manual to automated performance reviews may seem is as simple as uploading manual forms into a software tool like PerformYard. Let’s talk about why you may want to switch to automated performance reviews in your organization. 

5 Reasons to Switch to Automated Performance Reviews 

Automated performance review software helps you streamline and simplify your performance review process. The software lets employers assess work, provide feedback, and track progress.

1. It’s Easier for HR to Run Automated Reviews

HR departments have responsibilities that extend well beyond performance management. Automating the performance review process can help to ease the burden on HR. 

Performance management software notifies employees when they need to fill out reviews. It also alerts managers to sign off on reviews. Every employee can sign into one platform to fill out reviews. That means HR doesn’t have to email reviews to individuals

PerformYard's performance review tool streamlines the review process. This tool lets you build custom forms and schedule their distribution. You can also assign forms to employees and use notifications to tell people that the form is ready for completion. 

Ready to move on from spreadsheets? PerformYard can streamline your process.Learn More

2. Review and Approval Notifications

Tracking performance reviews for a large organization can become an overwhelming task. HR has enough to do without having to bug people to fill out reviews. PerformYard sends updates that let employees and managers know when it's time to fill out reviews.

The tool sends the completed reviews to managers for approval when they are ready. Worried how you'll keep track of all the reviews? PerformYard stores every review, piece of feedback and goal in the employee’s profile. 

3. Automated Review Systems Produce Actionable Data

Automated performance review software compiles employee data from multiple review cycles into one report. From there, managers can see positive and negative trends. These trends can help inform future reviews.

PerformYard reports provide a comprehensive view of employee performance over time. PerformYard makes it easy for employees, teams, and managers to identify opportunities for growth. These types of reports aren’t an option when you use manual processes. 

Do more with your employee reviews with data from PerformYard.Learn More

4. Focus on the People Instead of the Process

Conducting performance reviews has long been a time-consuming process. Now, HR professionals can use automated review tools to assess employee performance. This shifts the focus from a difficult review process to the actual employees going through the reviews.

Automated performance review tools allow HR professionals to focus on the people rather than the process. Automating the review process helps managers, employees and HR focus on giving great reviews.

5. Store Every Review Interaction to Use in Annual Reviews

Unlike manual reviews, automated review systems store every employee's interactions within the system. For example, PerformYard stores one-off feedback notes, quarterly check-ins, 1:1 meeting notes, and goals in one place. This information is stored in the employee's profile and used to create a report for the annual review. 

The employee report shows how well the employee performed over the year. It also includes data on how often the employee received positive or negative feedback. This information helps managers decide if an employee needs more training or if they are meeting expectations.  

First Step to Switching to Automated Performance Reviews 

If you're ready to make the switch, you're not alone. A study by Gartner found that more than 80% of HR leaders are changing their performance management systems.  

So what’s the first step to transitioning to an automated performance review system? It starts with finding a platform that can work with your existing review process. PerformYard is the best performance review software for small companies and large organizations.

With PerformYard, you don't have to conform to anybody else's vision for success. PerformYard is a flexible performance management tool that lets you decide what to measure and when. You can set individual and team goals and measure success on an ongoing basis, according to a manageable, predictable schedule. 

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Four Tips on How to Measure Employee Performance

How can you tell whether your employees are working harder or working smarter? Employees should work on the tasks that impact the bottom line. How do you measure employee performances it relates to company-wide objectives?

This article examines how to measure, what to measure, and how PerformYard’s performance management software can help.

What are four ways to measure employee performance?

You can measure employee performance in four primary ways. First, you can use both qualitative measurements and quantitative measurements. You can also track their professional development and contribution to company goals

Quantitative Measurement

How to Measure

Qualitative measurement consists of input received from others. That includes peers, supervisors/managers, customers, and clients. These inputs provide insights into the experiences of those who have interacted and worked with the employee. This input can come in the form of:

  • 1:1s – These are conversations between supervisors and employees. Supervisors share feedback that is positive and/or constructive.
  • 360 reviews – This is input from those other than an employee’s direct supervisor or manager. It can come from peers, team members, or other managers.
  • Continuous feedback – PerformYard allows you to provide real-time feedback and track employee performance.

What types of things can you measure through qualitative inputs? You’ll be measuring things related to employees’ soft skills.

how to measure feedback

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What to Measure

Employees should have the ability to work with and through others. To do this, the employee must have a range of soft skills. These skills affect collaboration and relationships with coworkers, customers, and vendors. For instance

  • Culture fit. To what extent do an employee’s actions and behaviors support the desired culture? Let’s say the culture values quality. How do employees’ efforts show a concern with quality? Are they efficient and effective? 
  • Collaboration. Communication skills are critical for any position. They’re even critical for individual contributors who have limited interactions with others. All employees get work done by working with others.
  • Attitude. Attitude can relate to a willingness to work with others or a willingness to share expertise with others. It can also relate to a willingness to help a colleague who is struggling.

Different organizations will value different types of qualitative attributes. 

Qualitative insights also can help identify quantitative employee performance measurement examples.

Quantitative Performance Measurement

Quantitative performance management offers more unbiased insights than qualitative feedback. Quantitative measurements might include such things as sales, production, and error rates.

How to Measure

The first step in quantitative performance measurement is establishing performance goals. What do managers expect of the employee? You can provide employees with the opportunity to define their own goals in consultation with their managers. Employees will feel a new level of ownership. When employees feel ownership, they’re more committed to their work. They will also be more likely to achieve goals because they set the goals themselves. 

Once you establish goals, you can track them with PerformYard. The platform is a 24/7/365 resource for employees, managers, and HR. It allows you to track goals on a quarterly, monthly, or even more frequent basis. For instance, you may measure sales goals monthly but measure safety goals quarterly

Ditch the spreadsheets and track performance metrics with PerformYard.Learn More

What to Measure

Quantitative measures of success will be different for every employee. The measurement will depend on the position they hold and their past performance.

Here are a few examples. 

A salesperson might the following quantitative measures: 

  • Calls made 
  • Leads generated
  • Total sales revenue

An employee whose attendance has been poor might have the following quantitative measures:

  • Days showing up on time 
  • Hours worked

Professional Development Performance Measurement

Modern employees want opportunities for professional development. Your workforce will appreciate opportunities to continue to learn and grow. One of the best ways to increase engagement is to establish professional goals. You can track progress towards professional development goals within your performance management platform. Employees who grow at your organization will end up being more loyal to the company.

How to Measure

You can define training goals at the beginning of the year and incorporate them into annual goals. Training goals relate to specific goals employees will be working on during the year. They may also relate to individual career aspirations for the employee’s future. PerformYard allows you to categorize goals into different “buckets.” You can move goals into buckets such as professional development, sales, safety, and more. 

PerformYard also allows you to measure progress on training goals. You can check in with employees during 1:1s or conduct scheduled meetings to discuss progress. PerformYard’s data will tell you if the employee needs support to achieve professional development goals.

What to Measure

You can measure professional goals by tracking the number of training sessions completed. Companies can also track how many new skills the employee acquired. You can also outcome measures such as scores on tests or the success of projects that use new skills.

Contribution to Company Goals

HR professionals use performance management to align goals. Aligning goals means tying the company’s goals to the goals of employees at every level of the organization. 

How to Measure

PerformYard makes it easy to track employee contributions through cascading goals. Cascading goals show how employees’ performance drives important company outcomes.

how to measure employee goals

Here's an example of cascading goals: Customer call center staff contribute to customer satisfaction.

You can measure how employees handle calls and the number of calls they answer each day. Those are the employee’s bottom-line metrics, but they’re tied to the company’s customer satisfaction metrics. 

What to Measure

Some examples of company goals include:

  • Company revenue numbers
  • Company revenue growth numbers
  • Profit vs spending

Employee performance goal contributions might include:

  • Individual revenue growth
  • Individual profit contributions
  • Individual spending levels

Cascading goals align everyone based on organizational goals. This approach breaks up big-picture strategies into clear tasks and deliverables. It’s easy to communicate and track these goals with a software platform like PerformYard.

Align your organizational goals with PerformYard's goal management dashboard.Learn More

Company leaders can use the platform to see how goals align throughout the organization. The leadership team will be able to see how individual employees contribute to desired outcomes. Leadership can also see when employees need to move to new projects that have more of an impact on company goals. 

How to measure employee performance with PerformYard

An online performance management system takes the hassle out of formal performance reviews. PerformYard fuels ongoing feedback and review throughout the year. The platform offers all-the-time access to performance management information. This access has become vital as remote or hybrid offices become more popular.

PerformYard removes the administrative burdens of traditional review processes. It also helps with automation and documentation. The platform ensures employees receive positive and constructive feedback throughout the year. 

Take 20 minutes to learn how PerformYard can help your organization.Learn More

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What Do Performance Management Systems Look Like in 2022?

Performance management systems align an organization's goals with its employees' behaviors and efforts. The systems drive feedback, celebrate achievements, motivate, and set expectations. They show employees where to focus their efforts. The processes also help employees understand their role within the organization.

What are the purposes of performance management systems?

Performance management systems provide a framework for managing, tracking, and rewarding performance. The formal process ensures employees get the feedback they need to improve their performance. Feedback can come in many different forms, but should always help employees grow and learn how to become more effective.

Feedback lets people know how they're doing on the job. Without this information, staff members may not understand what they're doing wrong. They may think everything is fine when it's not. 

Feedback is most useful when it is timely. Imagine that your organization waits until annual reviews to assess an employee's job performance. In that case, even constructive criticism will come too late for anyone's benefit. Because the evaluation is too late to be beneficial, it can even cause resentment. 

PerformYard is performance management software that can help you implement any performance management system. The platform offers continuous feedback functionality, making it easy to deliver timely feedback.

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

A performance management system can alsohelp you hire, develop, and reward employees. It also helps celebrate employee achievements. 

Example: Your company has a sales goal for the year. One of your employees has been working hard towards that goal. You could give them a gift card or recognition certificate when they reach it. 

This achievement will let them know they were able to do something great for your organization. Seeing others achieve success can also be very motivating for other employees. 

What are the different types of performance management systems?

The best performance management system for your organization is a flexible one. It should adapt to your structure, goals, and culture

Most performance management models fall into three categories. 

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Silicon Valley Approach

Each of these systems can focus on accountability or development. 

Traditional Performance Management Systems

Traditional performance management systems rely on annual and semi-annual check-ins. This type of performance management model has minimal touch points. The lack of touch points can hinder performance improvement. The traditional approach tends to look backward instead of forward, as employees and managers rarely meet.

Quarterly Check-Ins

Managers have a short meeting with employees every three months (or something similar). In this meeting, they’ll discuss what went well and what could improve in the next quarter. This is also a good time for both parties to upcoming projects that might need extra attention or support.

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

Annual Reviews

Once per year, the manager and employee will discuss the employee’s performance over the past twelve months. This annual review is a great time to set goals for the next year and develop a plan to reach those performance benchmarks.

Performance Ratings

Performance evaluations help motivate employees to perform at the highest level. The ratings help managers identify strengths and weaknesses. Rating systems, such as those described in this article, give a numerical value to employee performance. Managers can use the ratings to reward employees or identify candidates for performance coaching. 

Modern Performance Management Systems

Modern performance management models offer a framework for improving employee performance. Traditional performance management relies on annual or quarterly reviews to identify deficiencies. The modern performance management system uses frequent touch points to help employees improve.

Continuous feedback

Consistent feedback creates an environment where people feel happy and appreciated at work. That kind of buy-in will also make it easier for your company to make changes or improvements down the line. Your team will be more likely to welcome new ideas if they already feel valued by management.

Continuous feedback is a great way to support your employees' professional growth. Rather than waiting for annual or quarterly reviews, you can offer timely feedback that can improve performance at any moment.

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

360 Reviews

You can build trust in a working relationship by having an open dialogue where people feel comfortable speaking their minds. Asking other employees for feedback on their team members can provide a holistic view of the employee's performance. 360 reviews build a well-rounded profile of an employee's performance. 


The 1:1 meeting is an important opportunity to foster a positive and productive relationship with employees. It's also a great time to get feedback on managerial performance, which can help managers improve.

The meeting should be a two-way conversation. Managers can talk about the things that are going well and how the employee can improve. The best way to do this is by talking about organizational goals:

  • What does the organization want to achieve?
  • What would success look like for the organization?
  • How is the employee contributing toward this organizational goal?

The Silicon Valley Approach

Tech companies popularized the Silicon Valley approach. Intel developed it in the 1980s, and it has since been adopted by many other companies including Google, Facebook, Adobe, and .

The main advantage of this system is its simplicity. All you need is a list of monthly goals for each employee. The goals could be about improving customer satisfaction, process performance, or business performance. The only criterion for success is whether it helps the company grow over time.


OKRs are a powerful component of the Silicon Valley approach. OKR stands for objectives and key results. The system provides a way of setting and tracking goals. Intel invented them, but some other successful companies use them too. At Google, OKRs are used to set objectives for each quarter and year. Google assesses the achievements at the end of each period.

The first step in setting OKRs is selecting your team's most important goal; the objective. The second step is to define key results that will help you achieve your objective. Break the objective down into smaller, more easily measurable, time-bound pieces.

Example: You want to improve company sales. A good objective would be: "Double our annual sales revenue by 2020." There are some guidelines for setting good objectives:

  • Challenging but not impossible. 
  • Specific enough for others on your team to understand what you mean
  • Measurable so you can track its progress over time
  • Time-bound so you can set a target date of completion 

After establishing an objective, teams must develop several key results. The company will use these results as benchmarks for achieving each goal. Each key result should align directly with one of these three questions: 

  • What do we want? 
  • Why do we want this? 
  • How do we measure success?

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Example: You’re part of your company's marketing department. You’ve been tasked with helping double sales revenue by 2020. Your key results might look like this: 

  • “We will double our website traffic within six months" 
  • "Our lead generation campaign will increase conversion rates by 20% over three years."

Accountability-Based Performance Management Systems

Accountability-based performance management systems tend to be straightforward and uncomplicated. This doesn’t mean they’re the most effective. An accountability-based performance management system evaluates past performance. 

This type of system can be beneficial because it gives employees a clear understanding of what is expected of them at work. However, accountability-based systems don’t provide feedback that helps improve performance.

Development-Based Performance Management Systems

Development-based performance management systems focus on employee growth. The system is designed to help employees improve their skills and capabilities. Managers are responsible for evaluating their direct reports based on how they’ve improved over time.

For example, let's say that you're working in an IT department and your manager has given you access to a new tool for managing your projects. The first time she gives it to you, she tracks how long it takes you to learn how to use it. This will help her evaluate whether or not her teaching methods were effective. 

PerformYard lets companies set employee development goals and track progress in one place.

What are the key features of performance management systems?

The best performance management systems offer flexibility and functionality. Your company's performance management system should help you answer questions like:

  • Are we meeting our strategic goals?
  • If not, why? And how can we fix it?

PerformYard is a performance management software that can simplify the employee review process. The platform works whether your company uses a traditional system, a modern system, or OKRs.

Simplicity and accessibility keep managers and employees engaged in performance management. PerformYard’s flexibility ensures that you can adjust the process. Each adjustment will help you get total buy-in from every member of your organization. 

See how PerformYard's flexible approach to performance management will work for your organization.Learn More

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Useful HR Tools for Performance Management in 2022

Do your HR tools for performance management help employees improve?

In one survey, just 14% of employees strongly agree that they were inspired to improve their performance after a review. When employees don’t improve, performance reviews are a waste of time for HR, management, and employee.

If you’re conducting reviews without seeing improvement, it’s time to rethink your process. In this article, we will explore four useful tools for performance management, You’ll learn how your HR team can use each strategy within your organization.

First, let’s define performance management tools and learn how HR influences the performance management process.

What Are Performance Management Tools?

When thinking about HR tools for performance management, consider three questions:

  1. What do you want to measure?
  2. What will the measurement process look like?
  3. How will you support employees as they reach for professional goals?

Using the right tools, such as those offered in PerformYard software, will allow you to answer the first two questions. PerformYard is designed to support HR professionals as they move from a manual review process to a more formalized review process.

The platform can help you determine which metrics you're going to track and provide you with a streamlined process for tracking those metrics. Without a tool like PerformYard, it's very hard to keep track of all the review cycles, goals and data points for each employee.

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So, why is it so important to use the right performance management tools?

For starters, using the right tools can reduce employee turnover and improve organizational alignment.

Below, you’ll find information on four types of performance management tools:

  • Reviews and check-ins
  • Goal management
  • Continuous feedback
  • Performance management reporting

Once you understand the HR performance management process, you can use PerformYard to its full potential.

How Does HR Play a Role in Performance Management?

The role of HR in performance management is to facilitate the review process. HR develops performance management strategies that support the goals of the company and its individuals. HR can have a positive impact on employee motivation by understanding staff talents and finding ways for them to use those talents. 

A well-developed HR performance management process can also identify performance gaps and develop strategies to fill in those gaps.

HR is a mediator between management and employees. The HR department is responsible for creating a fair and accurate process. HR people also ensure employees feel heard and supported, and that management can track employee performance.

What is HR performance monitoring?

Not only does HR facilitate the review process, but the department can also help continuously monitor performance. That might be done through the use of a 90-day review for new employees or more informal check-in meetings with long-time employees.

A continuous strategy fosters an environment of learning and development. Through the use of performance monitoring, HR can correct assumptions or tweak processes mid-course instead of waiting months for the next official performance review.

Top HR Tools for Performance Management

HR tools for performance appraisals go beyond a one-time survey or a single yearly review. The best tools are used throughout the year to support the goals of the organization. 

Reviews and check-ins

Reviews, and their more informal counterpart, check-ins, evaluate an individual's performance. Reviews can identify strengths and weaknesses, allow management and HR to provide feedback, and help employees set new goals or adjust existing goals.

The more often reviews are conducted, the more likely employees will reach the goals they set.

That doesn’t mean you have to have weekly reviews. We know you’re busy. Instead, try these HR tools for performance management:

  • Annual reviews
  • 360 Reviews
  • Quarterly check-ins

Annual reviews

An annual review is the most comprehensive of the performance management tools and techniques. It should assess a wide variety of skills including:

  • Communication within teams and the organization as a whole
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Quality and accuracy of work
  • Punctuality and reliability, which also includes attendance
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Accomplishment of goals

An annual review may also include key performance indicators (KPIs) that are specific to your organization or the position. 

You might start the review process by asking each employee and manager to fill out a form. An annual review should also include a face-to-face meeting with transparent feedback and specific examples. The meeting should include time for the employee to ask questions and provide feedback of their own.

360 Reviews

360 Reviews can be conducted on their own at any time throughout the year. They are designed to give managers and employees a broader perspective on performance by enabling peers to provide feedback to colleagues.

These types of reviews are especially effective for teams in which managers don't work directly with employees on certain projects. They also work for organizations in which employees have cross-functional relationships with different departments.

HR can get the most out of the 360 review process by asking the right questions:

  • What does the employee do well? Share examples.
  • What can the employee improve on? Support with examples.
  • Share examples of how the employee lives up to x or y key values.

Conducting a 360 review is often the hardest part of the performance management process from an HR standpoint. You'll have to coordinate multiple reviews for every employee, remind people to fill out the reviews, and gather the data in one place. That's hard to do over email, but it's easy to do with PerformYard's 360 review management process.

PerformYard will send reminders to each employee who needs to fill out a review, track review completions, and compile the data into easy to read reports.

Find out how a performance management software tool can make your job easier. Learn More

Quarterly check-ins

Employee check-ins aren’t that different from traditional performance reviews. Both include meetings that are meant to discuss progress, goals, and share feedback. The difference is the frequency in which they occur.

Quarterly check-ins are conducted every three months. They feel less formal than an annual check-in, putting employees and managers at ease and enabling a free flow of ideas. 

Employees can sometimes feel like they’re being “checked on” instead of having someone who is just “checking in”. You can avoid micromanagement by establishing clear, meaningful goals. Be sure to provide employees with the autonomy to decide how they want to meet those goals.

Goal management

For reviews and check-ins to be successful, HR must track the goals set during the review process. PerformYard is one of the best HR tools for performance management in terms of tracking goals. The platform makes it easy for employees and managers to monitor goal progress and use this data in every review cycle.

HR should also promote continuous evaluation of those goals at the individual, departmental, and organizational levels. This process is a lot easier with a tool like PerformYard, which ties company goals to individual goals.

Different goal management techniques include:

  • Link employee goals to reviews
  • Cascading goals
  • Tracking KPIs

Link employee goals to reviews

It's not enough to review the performance of employees. You have to make improvement tangible. That’s why the role of HR in performance management also includes linking employee goals to reviews.

Helping employees set goals that are based on information from the review process ensures that their goals align with the company’s goals. This approach also clarifies expectations for employees.

Cascading goals

Cascading goals align the organization from the top to the bottom. They are broken down into clear deliverables that are personalized for every employee. Cascaded goals are easy for HR to document because there’s a clear line from one employee’s goals to the next. PerformYard's software platform is designed to make it easy to cascade goals.

hr tools for performance goals

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Managers and employees will always be able to see how their goals line up with organizational goals. When an employee checks off a goal, the organizational goal will update to show progress. This type of alignment ensures the entire company is moving in the same direction.

Tracking KPIs

KPIs are the way performance is measured. They can be used to see how well individual employees are performing or to evaluate the success of a particular departmental effort. 

For example, you might challenge one sales employee to increase the number of new contracts they sign within a certain timeframe. This is easily measured and can be compared to how many new contracts they signed before the goal was implemented.

Software is the best way to track KPIs. It allows you to combine goal-setting, the review process, and KPI tracking in one place. A software dashboard can help HR dive into performance and compare it to your business's core mission.

Continuous feedback

Continuous feedback includes any kind of feedback that is delivered regularly. Its broad definition allows companies to modify it to meet their needs. 

You could schedule structured reviews as part of the continuous feedback process, or you could use an informal system of check-ins that take place randomly.

A few different feedback options include:

  • 1:1 Feedback
  • Employee recognition

1:1 Feedback

The quality of the feedback you provide to employees is important. Sending a memo or a quick email isn’t enough. We recommend 1:1 feedback.

A one-on-one meeting can be as informal or as formal as you would like. Whether you’re meeting in the office or catching up over a cup of coffee, make sure your meeting has an agenda to ensure both parties stay on topic.

For example, you may want to determine if you want to have a goal-setting meeting or if you want to discuss a recent performance review. Once you determine the goal for the meeting, you can determine what information to bring and what types of questions you should ask.

It's also important to document these meetings. PerformYard has specific tools for meeting documentation, allowing managers and employees to track meeting discussions and refer back to them during annual reviews.

With regular one-on-one meetings, you can build a trusting relationship where both parties feel like they can relax, Meeting more often provides both parties with the ability to discuss topics that sometimes get overlooked, like professional development.

Employee recognition

Employees want to know that their hard work is appreciated, but don’t assume you have to pass out prizes. 

A genuine thank you card can have an even bigger impact than a gift card. If you do want to go the prize route, make sure you choose things your employees want. For example, most employees would love to earn an extra day off, while they are likely to roll their eyes if they find out they have won a free lunch.

Performance management reporting

Performance management reporting includes defining trackable metrics that define and measure the company's overall success. It also includes creating reports for teams, departments, and individuals

These reports allow you to record metrics that are relevant to company goals, identify activities that will help you grow, and pinpoint weaknesses that can be addressed. PerformYard reports can show where employees stand in relation to the rest of your team. 

These reports can be kept confidential, shared with managers, or shared with the whole team. It all depends on how you want your performance review process to function.

It is important to review the information in these reports neutrally. The information is not meant to be taken personally. Instead, it is meant to provide a snapshot of where the employee is so they can see where to go next.

Performance Management Software Can Help

Developing the right HR tools for performance management is a huge job, but it pays off. When you take the time to create an effective performance management process, your company will thrive because its employees feel challenged, supported, and motivated.

The right performance management software can make managing all the aspects of your strategy easier. 

Check out our case studies to see how PerformYard custom performance management software can meet your organizational needs.

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Building a Business Case for Performance Management

It’s hard to make a business case for performance management when the CEO only thinks about old-school review processes. Some traditional performance review processes are so bad that they make performance worse one-third of the time

CEOs and CFOs think about how ineffective reviews can be. It’s understandable that they would hesitate to start a new performance management process. 

Modern performance management makes a difference. The right strategy with the right software can boost employee performance, but you’ll have to make a business case for it. CEOs and other leaders may not understand how important and impactful the right performance strategy can be.

This article can be your guide to making a business case for performance management. Use the facts and case studies below to build a convincing business case for performance management.

First, let’s talk about what good performance management looks like in a business.

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What Does Performance Management Look Like in a Business?

Bad performance management techniques are like a one-sided interview. The employee feels like they are being judged. These reviews are so bad that 22 percent of Millenials have admitted to calling in sick rather than face a review. Another 59% say that their manager wasn’t prepared to give meaningful feedback.

A performance review should feel collaborative. Feedback should be clear, the next steps should be laid out, and employees should have plenty of time to offer feedback of their own.

But, how does that work?

There are many types of performance appraisals you can try:

  • Check-ins create a more consistent time and space for discussions about long-term performance
  • 360 Feedback incorporates input from coworkers, as well as managers
  • Project-based reviews focus on employee contributions to specific projects

The key is selling your management team on the fact that your performance management process needs an overhaul

Here’s everything you need to know about building a business case for performance management.

Building a Business Case for Performance Management

Building a business case for performance management is all about presenting accessible statistics. These facts will show how the right strategies and software can impact your organization in positive ways.

A few benefits of overhauling your performance management strategy include:

  • Reduced administrative cost
  • Reduced turnover
  • Reduced liability
  • Improved organizational alignment
  • Reduced succession gaps
  • Improved workforce optimization

Reduced administrative cost

Poor management leads to lost productivity. It has been estimated that U.S. employees who aren’t engaged cost businesses and organizations a whopping $960 billion to $1.2 trillion per year.

A good performance management strategy saves money. This is true even if you pay for performance management software.

The right performance management software can reduce administrative costs. It does this by automating review distribution, collection, and recording. The software saves time, which saves money. Strong performance management systems motivate your employees to perform their best.

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Reduced turnover

Employee turnover is a serious problem. When an employee leaves their position, it costs over 20% of their annual salary on average to replace them. 

It pays to get to the bottom of employee discontent. An effective performance management strategy reveals problems before they arise. It also encourages employees to stay.

In 2012, Adobe had a revolutionary idea that led to a revolutionary approach to performance management. This approach influenced big-name companies from Microsoft to GE along the way. The companies chose not to continue slogging along with traditional performance appraisals.

Instead, they implemented regular performance check-ins. These check-ins provide employees with ongoing, real-time feedback. There are no forms to fill out and no deadlines. The companies can now respond to organizational or market adjustments more quickly. 

This Adobe performance management case study shows how Adobe achieved a 30% decrease in employee turnover. 

Crunch the numbers for your particular organization. You’ll be amazed at how much you will save when you choose a performance management strategy that works for your business.

Reduced liability

Decentralized performance reviews can lead to false statements appearing in employee reviews. That can spell real trouble for your organization. Managers may report false or confidential information to third parties without employee consent.

These mistakes can lead to costly litigation. The mistakes also reflect a lack of respect that can lead to decreased productivity among employees.

A formal approach to performance reviews fixes this. It features measurable objectives, self-assessments, and reliable data storage. These features reduce the chances of your organization experiencing a lawsuit. 

Improved organizational alignment

Do your employees understand what their performance reviews are trying to achieve? Chances are, they don’t. A measly 14% of employees understand the organization’s strategy.

This disconnect happens when organizations fail to use cascading goals.

Cascading goals strategy requires that you first identify organizational goals. Next, break them down so each member of the team can contribute to the same common goal. With cascading goals, everyone in the organization knows what to do, how to do it, and why they’re doing it. 

Everyone’s actions align with the goals of the organization.

Software for cascading goals does cost time and money. Employees who spend time on misaligned activities cost time and money too. You’ll save in the long run if you ensure the actions of every employee align with your organization’s big goals.

business case for performance reviews

Reduced succession gaps

Do your top performers know who they are? Do they know that you have plans to promote them in the future?

Without a clear system for performance reviews, you aren’t communicating your appreciation. That comes with expensive consequences. Nearly 80% of employees who quit their jobs say that a lack of appreciation is one of the major reasons they left.

Top performers who don’t stick around can leave a huge hole in your business. For example, executives can cost over 200% of their annual salary to replace. 

Telling your top performers that you have plans to advance their career path helps prepare them for leadership positions. Employees are more likely to stay in organizations when they see a clear path to leadership positions. This will reduce the costs associated with searching for and interviewing new candidates.

Improved workforce optimization

Some business leaders and managers fall into the trap of thinking that performance management is a waste of time. They think that time would be better spent on letting employees do their jobs. In fact, the right performance management strategies optimize the time your employees spend on work.

The key is choosing performance reviews that improve workforce optimization.

They are reinventing performance management at Deloitte. Their case study demonstrates that performance management doesn’t have to be a lengthy, complicated process. Instead, they ask four questions — questions managers can answer. Deloitte now spends less time than ever on reviews. The company does conduct more often though and has more accurate data as a result.

What Are the Stages of Performance Management?

Once you’ve built your case for performance management, it’s time to show the leadership team exactly how a new strategy is implemented.

Check out the three-step process below. It will help you choose performance management tools that get leaders excited about changes..

Choosing a performance management process

Nine out of ten managers are dissatisfied with how their companies conduct annual performance reviews. When deciding on a new performance appraisal strategy, ask for manager input. Discuss the five modern alternatives to annual performance reviews. Determine which one your team thinks will best support individual, team, and organizational goals.

No matter what process you choose, make a plan to check in on how it’s serving your business. If the performance management plan isn’t supporting your employees, try something different.

Implementing a performance management software

No performance management process is complete without the right software. The software allows you to manage goals and check-in with employees according to the process you have chosen. Performance management platforms also create reports. These reports allow you to compare employee performance over time. The reports also provide data to track the effectiveness of the performance reviews themselves.

business performance management reports

PerformYard is a favorite among leadership teams, managers, and employees. Its flexible, streamlined system makes it easy for everyone to use the performance review process. The platform can be slimmed down for simple annual reviews or built up for more complex strategies. 

PerformYard’s visual reporting makes it easy for every member of the team to see how the results of each review impact your organization.

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Getting buy-in from managers and employees

There are two ways to get manager buy-in when choosing a new performance management process. You can start by gathering manager input when selecting a new process. Next, be sure to show them the process with a demo.

The best way to get managers and employees on board with the new process is to let them experience it for themselves. 

Managers will be glad to give up the old way of doing reviews once they see the benefits of modern performance management. These benefits include clearer expectations, more aligned goals, and an open dialog about progress. 

You should also reward employees after the reviews are complete. Clear data will help you identify top performers and reward them for their efforts. The reward will make them look forward to performance reviews instead of dreading them.

A revamped performance management process may be what your organization needs. Show your leadership team the statistics and case studies from this article. It will help you build an irresistible business case for performance management. 

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5 Perks of an Online Performance Management System

An online performance management system take the hassle out of formal performance reviews. That matters because most performance review systems are a hassle. According to SHRM, 95% of managers say they’re dissatisfied with the performance management process. 

The process becomes more complex as organizations increase review frequency and add employees. Not only is it hard to conduct the reviews, but also to document the reviews—a critical part of the process for employee performance management and compliance.

Online performance management systems like PerformYard can help.

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What is an Online Performance Management System?

An online performance appraisal system is a digital platform that gives HR leaders, managers, and employees all-the-time access to performance management information. Tools like PerformYard help companies conduct and document performance management meetings while tracking goals and progress. 

Most of these systems exist in the cloud, accessible wherever employees and their managers may be. Remote access has become a major benefit of these systems since the shift to remote work, but there is a range of other benefits that companies and HR leaders gain through the use of an online performance management system.

What Are the Benefits of an Online Performance Management System? 

Traditional performance reviews rely on tedious administrative processes to track, document, and communicate performance review information. HR leaders have to remind managers to fill out reviews. The HR person may have to collect reviews in their email or a cloud storage drive. It's hard to see data from all the reviews in one place, which means it's difficult to gain any insights.

Online performance management systems remove that administrative burden and provide additional benefits. 

1. Promote a more transparent company culture

Online performance management systems allow broad access to information about employee performance—and how it aligns with company performance. This transparency ensures everyone knows how they and their colleagues contribute to company success. More transparent company culture is created through:

Continuous feedback

Though some companies still conduct formal reviews annually, online employee performance management systems allow for continuous feedback throughout the year. Continuous feedback is a best practice contributing to organizational success. Managers, employees, and HR leaders have 24/7/365 access to feedback on employee performance.

Clear goals

Having an in-person performance management conversation is a great idea, but only if you can document the discussion. Leaving it to chance that both manager and employee will recall specifics leads to miscommunication. Online performance management systems track goals to ensure everyone understands what needs to be accomplished.

PerformYard's digital performance management system displays goals on employee dashboards. Every employee and manager can see goal progress throughout the year and use the data as a reference point in meetings.

online performance management goals

Frequent feedback

Employees need frequent feedback to perform effectively. Online employee performance appraisal systems provide a convenient, seamless, and accessible way to document that feedback. Some companies default to using email to provide feedback, but that approach fails to tie feedback to the overall review process.

In PerformYard, it's easy to give feedback within the platform. That feedback is stored in the employee's dashboard where it's available to view during the employee's annual or quarterly review.

performance management feedback

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2. Align individual goals with company goals

In some organizations, employees may work hard but fail to align their work with company goals. That’s a waste of resources—both time and money. Online performance management systems ensure that individual and company goals are aligned

Real-time goal setting helps employees work on tasks that support department, division, and organizational performance. Dashboards with progress tracking allow employees and managers to monitor performance and make course adjustments. Reports provide quick visual insights into progress.

Cascading goals

Optimum performance management happens when goals cascade from the top of the organization down to the front lines. 

  1. The organization’s strategic objectives drive goal-setting for senior leaders. 
  2. Senior leaders create and assign goals to their direct reports, and so on, down through the organization. 

Cascading goals can also be viewed horizontally to quickly visualize and track interdepartmental dependencies. 

Goal progress tracking

Online performance management systems provide a clear line of sight into individual and organizational performance, visible to everyone in the organization. Traditional methods of goal progress tracking are often siloed and not up-to-date. Online tracking provides visibility, real-time reporting, and easy access for all. 

3. Get manager buy-in on the review process

We admit it; performance review and evaluation are not at the top of most managers’ lists of the things they enjoy most. In many organizations, there are good reasons for that. Performance management can be burdensome— especially when managers are responsible for multiple employees. 

Online performance management systems reduce the friction of performance management, leading to manager buy-in and enhanced value for all.

Email notifications

Email notifications help keep managers on top of the deliverables and dates associated with managing their staff members and providing regular feedback. PerformYard updates employees and managers with email notifications every time a review is due, as seen below.

performance management system notifications


Online performance management systems automate the administrative elements of the performance management process. These systems ensure documentation and provide easy access to information when needed.

PerformYard is designed to turn your existing review process into a simple system. The platform doesn't force you into a complex performance review system; it makes it easier to run your existing system. Click here to learn how easy it is to set up PerformYard.

4. Streamline review scheduling

Coordinating the calendars for two people—let alone two dozen—can be challenging. Online performance management systems use automation to take the complexity out of the review scheduling process. No more struggling to run reviews on work anniversaries

Using an online performance management platform like PerformYard relieves the administrative burdens of needing to remember work anniversaries and schedules around them. The platform will always let you know when an employee is ready for their next review.

Track multiple review cycles in one dashboard 

What are performance management systems good for if they don't make your job easier? The more employees you have to track, the more challenging the process can be. Tracking multiple review cycles in one dashboard lets you quickly see which reviews are coming.

5. Birds-eye view of employee performance

Managers often struggle to track performance across teams. 

  • Who’s contributing the most? 
  • Who’s lagging behind? 
  • Who needs course correction? 
  • Who needs more kudos? 

An online performance management system gives you a birds-eye view that you can see at any time, wherever you may be. The reports will highlight top performers and reveal which employees need help.

Managers can see historical review data

Having access to historical data can help track employee progress. It can also be a significant aid when a manager is taking on a new employee or taking over another department. With traditional systems managers would need to request and access hard-copy files that may not be complete, thorough, or up-to-date.

Managers can see employee metrics in a report

Employee metrics can help you track individual employee performance. These metrics can include goal completions, sales metrics, or anything else you can dream up. Metrics and reports also give you insights into how employee performance may vary. You can compare employees across teams or compare one department to another.

You’ll have best practices to share with others and see who may need additional training, resources, and support to improve performance. 

PerformYard helps you track and monitor the following metrics in reports:

  • Reviews completed
  • Employee ratings
  • Goals attained
  • OKRs
  • KPIs
  • 360-reviews
  • Self-assessments
  • Exit interview information
  • ...and more.

What Are the Best Online Performance Management Systems? 

When choosing an online performance management system some important criteria stand out: simplicity, flexibility, and the ability to tie into your existing review process are key. 

PerformYard offers this functionality and more. Whether you need a simple solution for annual reviews or a platform that can help you manage more complex performance management needs, PerformYard has the features and flexibility you need. 

PerformYard can help you upgrade from a manual review process. Learn More

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2022 Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart, Tips & Timeline

Performance management systems focus on the most important resource in a company; the people. Yet, a study by Deloitte found that over 50% of companies surveyed did not feel their performance management system was worth the time and effort.

This statistic shows HR professionals must be thoughtful about performance management. What are you measuring? How are you measuring it? Why does it matter?

A well-designed performance evaluation process flowchart helps organizations clearly define goals and expectations while providing a path for employees to improve.

This article contains  resources to help you develop your performance evaluation process. Start with the flowchart then work your way down through the detailed explanation.

What are the Steps of the Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart?

performance evaluation process flowchart

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1. Setting goals

First, you must clearly articulate the responsibilities and core functions of each role in your organization. According to SHRM’s Guidelines for Establishing Effective Performance Goals, the goals you set for employees must be:

  • Clearly defined
  • Directly linked to organizational goals and values
  • Measurable and reasonable
  • Targeted – no more than three goals at a time

Defining and tracking goals can be difficult if you're relying on emails and Google Docs. PerformYard allows companies team to define and track their individual goals in a dashboard. You can tie employee goals to company wide goals. The software simplifies the process for managing goals  throughout the year, and has functions for documenting conversations between employee and manager.

2. Quarterly check-ins

Meeting one-on-one with employees every three months gives you a window into their strengths, weaknesses, and needs. In these check-ins, you will discuss short-term goals for your employee, defining milestones and benchmarks for success.

Check-ins are also a great time to offer feedback on how employees can improve their performance and offer coaching to meet any gaps in their skills.

3. Post Check-in Review

After the check-in, the manager and employee should fill out a survey detailing how the process went and how it could improve. You can collect this feedback via a brief used to refine the process for the next quarterly review.

4. End of Year Review

The end-of-year review, often tied to compensation, is a time for employees and managers to review long-term goals for professional development and set goals for the coming year. These longer-term goals can align with job functions or relate to personal growth. 

While the end-of-year review tends to reflect on the previous year’s performance, the most effective end-of-year reviews are future-focused. Think about how the employee can improve in the coming year.

5. HR Evaluation of Review Process

Because the performance review process often relies on qualitative performance assessments, HR needs to evaluate how assessments are performed and how employees are rated. Evaluator bias can unfairly impact an employee’s professional growth and the opportunities they are afforded. Including HR oversight in your performance evaluation process can prevent bias from negatively impacting your organizational culture and impeding growth.

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What is the Purpose of the Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart?

The employee and manager can both uncover valuable information by following the performance management process flowchart. For the employee, performance evaluations are an opportunity to get feedback on their performance and clarify the expectations they must meet.  

For the company, the performance evaluation process measures the value of an employee’s work. The organization can use the results of an employee’s performance evaluation to inform salary negotiations and identify candidates for promotion.

HR can use negative evaluations to identify employees who need additional training or referrals for performance improvement plans. When managers flag deficiencies in performance in the evaluation process, they can plan for the next steps including coaching, retraining, demotion, or even firing.  

Example Performance Review Process Timeline

A robust performance review process combines multiple elements:

  • Scheduled annual and quarterly reviews
  • Goal setting
  • Coaching
  • Ongoing informal feedback and evaluation

Each of these elements contributes to a growth-oriented work environment that elevates performance by encouraging employees to develop their skills.

Annual Reviews

Annual reviews are the most common type of performance review. These reviews can be scheduled around company-wide evaluation periods or tied to individual employees’ work anniversaries.

In these reviews, employees and managers discuss all that has been accomplished in the previous year, highlight opportunities for improvement and create a plan to meet goals for the next year.

Disadvantages of Annual Reviews

While annual reviews have an important role to play in your overall performance review process, they aren’t enough on their own. Engaging in meaningful and productive performance management requires frequent evaluations and feedback opportunities.

Leaders in large organizations may feel there isn’t enough time or resources to review employees more often. Failing to invest in your organization’s continuous improvement may save time in the short term but it will cost you the opportunity to increase productivity in the long term.

Another disadvantage of annual reviews is that, instead of fostering ongoing dialogue between employees and managers, yearly evaluations feel like a final grade.

How can a manager accurately measure an entire year of performance for even one of their direct reports?

What is the value in telling an employee in December that they failed to meet expectations in June?

Research shows that these summative evaluations can cause real problems for retention. In one poll, 85% of Americans said that a negative review would be enough to make them start looking for another job.  

A lot can change in an organization in a year. Organizational changes can impact how an employee’s performance is perceived and measured, even if the employee hasn’t changed how they do their job. How do you evaluate employee performance if the goals are always changing?

Examples of this type of organizational change include:

Changes in the organizational structure can result in the realignment of teams and direct reports.

Introducing new software can expose weaknesses in technical competence that can negatively impact performance.

Shifts in organizational culture can change what skills and qualities are valued and which are to be discouraged.

When to Use Annual Reviews

Annual reviews work best when manager and employee work to set goals for the year and establish a plan for reaching those goals with defined milestones and measures of success.

These reviews are also an opportunity to revisit quarterly evaluations and discuss further opportunities for growth. Finally, this more comprehensive performance review should give HR the information it needs to determine salary increases or award other performance-based incentives.

Annual reviews work best when the employee and manager can see data from all the 1:1s, quarterly reviews and 360 reviews that happened throughout the year. Without this data, annual reviews turn into an exercise in remembering what happened. PerformYard stores all data from all review cycles in every employee's profile.

This data makes it easy to conduct annual reviews based on the data from the past year.

Quarterly Check-Ins

Quarterly reviews are opportunities for managers and their direct reports to discuss short-term goals and opportunities for growth. These performance reviews offer more useful feedback than annual reviews simply because they happen more often.

When employees and managers check in regularly and discuss expectations, this open dialogue creates an environment where employees feel supported. Plus, employees who feel that their managers are invested in their success are more engaged and committed to growth.    

Continuous Feedback

Quarterly and continuous feedback can indeed be resource-intensive, but these frequent interactions are essential to improving productivity and elevating performance. Not to mention, no employee wants to wait a year to find out their manager has noticed that they have been doing their job wrong. Why would a manager be willing to wait months to address something that could be corrected today?

Some employees want to do a better job but are afraid to ask for help. They may be afraid to ask a manager or coworker for help because it may make them appear incompetent. Without timely feedback and support, these employees will continue to make the same mistakes.

When managers offer constructive feedback to employees, they empower them with greater clarity about expectations for their performance. The feedback empowers employees to ask for additional guidance.  

Implementing the Performance Evaluation Process Flowchart

Managing a robust performance evaluation process is simple if you have the right tools. PerformYard’s Performance Management software makes it easy to support employee development.

The simple dashboards show a range of performance data in one place, from annual reviews to quarterly goals, self-evaluations, and competencies. With this comprehensive tool, managers can easily track performance and generate reports and data that support HR decision-making.

Performance management is more than just a tool to evaluate success or failure. With effective performance management process steps in place, you can encourage ongoing dialogue, clarify expectations, and develop your employees by encouraging personal growth. The process ensures employees and managers continue to align their work with your organization’s values and goals.

Start your performance management process with the right tools. Learn More

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The Perk of Modern Performance Management

The landscape of perks is shifting. Today’s HR leaders do more than add a list of perks to their offer letters, they design employee experiences.

The Perks People Want

The landscape of perks is shifting. Today’s HR leaders do more than add a list of perks to their offer letters, they design employee experiences.

This new world is bringing together compensation, benefits, perks, culture, role design, style of work and much more to create a comprehensive package that is more closely aligned with the priorities of people today.

That’s because people are less swayed by all the extras adjacent to their work; office spaces, catering, on-site massage, etc, and more focused on the experience of the work itself; personal growth, strong working relationships, impact on their organization and the world.

It’s not uncommon to hear a parent or grandparent say something like, “I can’t believe she left Fooble, the benefits were amazing! and to join a 5 person non-profit!?!”

Today’s best jobs offer people a meaningful and fulfilling professional life with the flexibility to also pursue a fulfilling personal life.

So then how can HR deliver professional fulfillment and better compete for top talent?

What is Professional Fulfillment

Professional fulfillment is a vibe, and no one passes the vibe check better than WeWork. Yes they’ve got their issues, but their slogans speak to the modern workforce better than anyone else. 

WeWork offices are plastered with neon signs like, “Do what you love,” “Make a life, not just a living,” “Can’t believe this is my job,” “The future is yours to create,” “Pursuing my life’s work,” “Don’t just exist.” 

What WeWork has identified in people is a desire to do what they’re good at, and passionate about. A desire to pursue work that has meaning and impact. A desire for strong professional relationships. A desire to grow and try new things. A desire to be seen and recognized.

It can be tempting to write off these ideas and think they’re reserved for people who start a YouTube channel, or quit the corporate grind to found a dog rescue, but this is the new expectation for more and more people at more and more jobs.

Despite the loftiness of “professional fulfillment” it is easier to support than you might think.

The Performance Management Perk

Helping your people find professional fulfillment at your organization starts with good communication.

People who have clarity on what success looks like, can see the impact of their work, understand their trajectory, and feel heard by their manager are far more likely to feel fulfilled at work.

Enter modern performance management.

Performance management has evolved from a compliance exercise to a foundational part of the employee experience. HR and leadership are becoming increasingly involved in ensuring employees get what they need from their managers. 

While traditional performance management was focused on ratings and rankings, today’s processes are as much focused on inspiring quality performance discussions, increasing the frequency of feedback, driving alignment and uncovering opportunities for development.

All of this comes from prioritizing and making time for conversations when an organization adopts modern performance management practices. It’s not enough to tell managers that this matters. Today organizations direct these activities from the top to ensure the best employee experience for everyone.

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Setting Up PerformYard is Easy—Here’s Why

Implementing performance management software is simple with PerformYard. Hear from our Director of Customer Success on how we make sure you are successful during implementation, training, and growth.

When looking into performance management software, many people feel overwhelmed by the thought of implementation. 

How do you translate your process into a system? How do you set everything up so that it’s intuitive to use? And what about training employees? 

There’s a lot to consider. And because performance management touches every person in your organization, the stakes are high. How can you ensure a successful implementation process? 

We asked PerformYard’s Director of Customer Success, Lauren Staley, what her team does to help our customers get onboarded smoothly and efficiently. 


PerformYard is simple to set up, so you can do it on your own if that’s your style, but you won’t ever be left without support. Every new customer gets a dedicated Customer Success Manager who’s an expert on our software. They strategize with each customer to figure out how their individual process can be set up in PerformYard.

“We want our customers to feel empowered to use the software for their unique needs,” said Lauren. 

The first step of the implementation process is a kickoff meeting where your Customer Success Manager. In the kickoff meeting, your Customer Success Manager will ask questions to get a detailed understanding of your current process. Our Customer Success Team sees a wide variety of approaches, ranging from simple annual reviews to complex strategies with check-ins goals and continuous feedback.

Your Customer Success Manager can then collaborate with you to create the roadmap to launch PerformYard and invite all your employees to the platform. This can include everything from reviewing relevant functionality to scheduling training.

The primary steps to getting PerformYard launched are building your forms, configuring your cycles and adding employees to the system. 

Training for the Entire Organization

Once you’ve nailed down your process in PerformYard, your Customer Success Manager will discuss a training plan with you.

Training at PerformYard isn’t a one size fits all approach—we do what’s best for your unique organization and situation. Your training plan will be catered to the priorities of your performance management process. We’ll also consider if any elements of your process are specific to different teams, roles, or even regions to determine how the training should be presented.

Your training plan will then be catered to the priorities of your performance management process. We’ll also consider if there are any elements of your process that are specific to different teams, roles, or even regions to determine how the training should be presented.

Our Customer Success Managers often host live training sessions for entire organizations. These trainings are recorded in order to train new hires who join an organization after PerformYard has been adopted. That way every employee has a training resource that’s not only about PerformYard but about how your organization uses PerformYard. In addition to video training, we also have a robust support site, handouts on specific features, and other training resources for our customers. 

Ongoing Support at No Additional Cost

Even after customers have fully implemented the software, PerformYard offers ongoing support at no additional cost.

Your Customer Success Managers will stay with you and is committed to the success of your process. If you’re collecting feedback from employees, we can collaborate on improvements to make your process even better before the next cycle.

Lauren shared that “all our customers are working on meaningful projects and often there is a lot riding on a successful implementation. I love giving them the confidence that comes with having a partner who has been there before.”

If you decide to roll out additional features or make changes to your performance management process down the road, we’ll continue to be there to help you get the most out of PerformYard. 

We’re also here for quick questions or when challenges arise. You won’t need to worry about logging cases or chatting with a bot, support at PerformYard means working with a Customer Success Manager who knows you.

What Our Customers Are Saying

As you can see, we believe in excellent support and make implementation go off without a hitch. But don’t just take our word for it . . . Here's what our customers are saying.

“The hands-on direction, support, and lift received from our Customer Success Manager was beyond any experience I've had with vendors. He was a collaborative teammate from point of contact to roll-out and constantly went above and beyond to ensure I met the milestones set for implementation and had the answers I needed for last minute changes.” 

"I can't say enough great things about our Customer Success Manager. We had a complex review process and she enthusiastically helped with any questions we had. Not only is PerformYard a great product (especially because of the customization aspect), but it's the incredible customer support that made PerformYard stand out for us." 

“Our Customer Success Manager really strives to know us as a company and provide a tool that allows us to develop our employees. PerformYard has become a great tool for our organization and I truly view our Customer Success Manager as a crucial partner." 

“Our Customer Success Manager was fantastic and made it so that the implementation of PerformYard was seamless. She took the time to meet with us to ensure we understood everything, would go more in depth if we had any questions, etc. I appreciated the help through the set up of PerformYard, as well as the resources they have on their website that provide step by step instructions.”

If you’d like to see more examples of how PerformYard accommodates our customers, check out these case studies

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Free Employee Goal Setting Template

Our free employee goal setting template will help employees set clear, effective, and inspiring goals to pursue and provide them with a wealth of goal-setting knowledge.

Need to help employees set and manage goals, but unsure where to begin? Download our free employee goal setting template.

Why Goal Setting Is Critical for Organizations

Goal setting is one of the most important tools that an organization can use to create change in the workplace at the individual, team, or organizational level.  

Well-set goals are the key to ensuring that change is enacted within an organization. It isn’t enough to express a desire for an outcome without setting some sort of goal to achieve it. Goals must be set and progress must be measured.

Tips for Effective Goal Setting

Setting effective goals can be difficult—especially if you’re not used to setting goals frequently. The tips below will help you to create an effective goal-setting strategy. 

1. Specify Goal-Setting Criteria

When your employees and their managers sit down to set their goals, it’s critical that they understand the criteria their goals should meet.

Criteria will vary from organization to organization, but any criteria set should ensure that goals will lead to positive change within the workforce.

Ineffective goal setting leaves you with unfocused goals that are difficult to measure and track. When criteria is specified, it’s easier for managers and employees to set realistic goals that will lead to improvement and development.

2. Ensure That Goals Are Challenging

Calibrating the difficulty of goals can be complicated. Employees will want to achieve, but they may be concerned that setting goals that are too difficult may set them up for failure. They may try to set more conservative goals for themselves in order to consistently hit their goals. 

This can be tempting, especially if your organization makes critical business decisions based on how your employees hit or miss the goals they set. However, it is important to remember that the end result of effective goal setting is positive change. 

Conservative goal setting often leads to a continuation of the status quo. If a recruiter made 20 hires last year without breaking a sweat and sets their new goal as making an additional 20 hires, it's likely that no change or employee growth will occur by achieving that goal.

Goals need to be challenging. They should push employees slightly beyond their current skill set. 

Conversely, these goals should still be attainable and realistic. If an employee worked diligently one year and made 100% of their target for the year, doubling their target for next year may not be realistic.

This calibration takes time and is best done through partnership between the employee and their manager.

3. Set Up a Process to Track Goals

Goals need to be tracked throughout the process. And tracking should be more than simply checking in at the end of the process to determine whether or not the goal was achieved. This does not set up the employee for success.

There are several different ways to track goals, but the most important thing is to make sure the system you use is used across your entire organization. 

If one team is using Excel spreadsheets, another Google Docs, and another the Notes app, it will be difficult for HR to compile everything when review time rolls around. Here are two options for setting up a system to track goals across an organization:

Manual Methods

HR can implement a manual system across the company to set and track goals. An example of this would be spreadsheet software, such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. 

Each employee could have an individual spreadsheet that they and their manager had access to. These sheets would then be saved within a team folder that is then nestled within an organizational folder. These sheets could be easily accessed by those who need the information (managers, HR) while being housed in a centralized location.

Dedicated Performance Management Software

Building out multiple spreadsheets, making sure everyone has the right permissions, and following up on progress via email can quickly get complicated.

Performance management software lets employees set and track goals, complete frequent check-ins and formal reviews, and solicit and complete feedback in one dedicated, centralized platform.

With performance management software, employee goal progression can easily be turned into clean charts and dashboards. This provides executives, management, and team members the understanding of where employees are at in relation to their goals.

4. Frequently Revisit and Reassess Progress

Imagine that you had a goal of saving $10,000 this year. You checked your bank account on January 1, then didn’t check it again until December 31.

What are the odds that you saved that $10,000? Probably almost zero.

Just as it's difficult to hit financial goals without checking in on your progress, the same is true for organizational goals. It’s important for managers and employees to discuss goal progress regularly. 

Frequent check-ins will also help employees recalibrate their goals. Maybe the original goal was to create 48 email campaigns in 6 months, but after the first monthly check-in, the team determined this was unrealistic, and the goal was altered to 24.

Goals are dynamic concepts that ultimately drive positive change. If they are no longer driving that change, they are no longer effective. Use these frequent check-ins to make sure the goals are serving employees and their development. 

Gain insight into goal progress with PerformYard. Learn More

These tips will help you create an effective goal setting process for your organization. But the best way to create any goal-setting process is by setting really effective goals. 

The power of goals starts with what you choose and how you word them. Getting that step right is necessary to see any value from your goal-setting process.

Download our free employee goal setting template to get a step-by-step guide of how to set clear, effective, and inspiring goals.

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A Playbook for Aligning Employee Goals with Corporate Objectives

Goal alignment in performance management ensures that everyone in the organization, at all levels, are working together to accomplish the same business objectives.

When employee goals aren’t aligned with corporate objectives, employees may be working hard and may appear to the casual observer to be exceptional at their jobs, but what are they working to accomplish? 

Goal alignment in performance management ensures that everyone in the organization, at all levels, are working together to accomplish the same business objectives.

What Goal Alignment Should Accomplish

Goal alignment should promote shared values, provide greater transparency into what’s happening at an organizational level, and provide context to help employees to define individual and team goals.

PerformYard is designed to help companies align organizational goals. Learn More

Promoting Shared Values

Employees don’t—or shouldn’t—work in isolation. They should understand what the organization’s mission, vision, values, and strategic objectives are. 

Why does the organization exist? What does success look like? How do their individual efforts contribute to that success?

Goal alignment helps promote shared values by making sure employees’ contributions have an impact in ways that are meaningful and measurable. 

Shared alignment leads to stronger collaboration across departments and teams and creates a sense of camaraderie that can increase morale, reduce turnover, and boost productivity.

Providing Greater Transparency

All employees need insight into how they’re doing. That insight can come through direct feedback they receive from their managers, along with information about how their team, department, and organization as a whole is performing. 

Goal alignment offers greater transparency in order for employees to see the impact that their efforts—and the efforts of their colleagues—are having. Providing greater transparency ensures that goals and initiatives are taken up by everybody in the company.

Providing Context

Most employees can’t achieve success independently. They work as part of teams to achieve specific goals or objectives. 

Goal alignment helps employees understand how their individual work contributes to team and organizational goals. This context helps employees to feel more satisfied with their work and become more effective.

How to Align Personal Goals With Organizational Goals

Effectively aligning personal goals with organizational goals requires a few steps to help ensure understanding, support, and engagement. Here are three keys to aligning personal goals with organizational goals:

1. Set Cascading Goals

Starting with organizational goals, the first step in aligning personal to organizational goals is to set cascading goals that will flow down through the organization. This can be something that is done once, twice, or even four times a year. Leadership sets the direction for the organization, then departments, teams, and individuals set their goals based on that direction.

Goal Alignment in Performance Management

Betterment, an investment firm, found this approach to be extremely effective. They focused on just two overarching company goals:

  1. Grow net deposits
  2. Increase efficiency

CEO Joe Stein said, “We thought it was perfect, having one revenue-driving metric and one efficiency metric. It was a clear signal to the team what was most important.”

Objectives were broken down across teams, each with 1-3 goals that tied back to the objectives. Teams came back with their own numbers that were aligned to the overarching plan.

2. Track Everything in One Place

As noted earlier, providing employees with the ability to see how they’re doing on an ongoing basis is an important part of goal alignment. After cascading goals are set, set up a system to track individual, team, and organizational goals all in one place. 

Tracking everything in one place ensures that metrics are accurate and everybody is looking at the same numbers. It also helps employees remember what the organizational goals are and how their contributions are making an impact.

3. Make Metrics Available

Making metrics available for everyone to see helps every employee understand how they and their team are progressing towards company goals. Betterment did this in a couple of different ways. They sent out a regular email to all employees sharing current numbers and also posted top-line metrics on walls for the whole company to see.

This broad level of awareness “built in the ethic that there was no opportunity for teams to deviate from their goals to help another toward theirs,” said Stein. Instead, making metrics available created “a shared sense that it was all hands on deck to make sure everyone got where they needed to go.” 

The more robust the system a company has to track metrics, the easier it can be to make these metrics available to everybody. 

But even without an automated system, companies can simply email updates to employees or highlight them in recurring company meetings. 

The most important thing is that  metrics are widely and regularly made available to all employees in order for them to see how they (and the company) are doing.

Case Study: Goal Alignment in Performance Management

So what does aligning employee goals with corporate objectives look like?

InvestiNet is a full-service accounts receivable management firm. Bob Collins, the company owner, wanted all of his 100 employees to consider InvestiNet the best place they had ever worked. He recognized performance management as offering an opportunity to align work around company goals and individual strengths.

InvestiNet used a tiered system of diverse and frequently updated goals. At the highest level, the company will set thematic goals. These have a period of about 6 months and set the direction for the company. They include both core success metrics and transformation projects.

Individuals will then have semester goals. These set special focus areas for employees over the next 90 to 120 days. Everyone has up to 3 semester goals.

In addition to semester goals, individuals will also have 1-2 job specific goals. These define what the organization expects from the employee’s position over the course of a year.

Finally, everyone has at least one professional development goal. The focus of development is almost always “strengths based.” Occasionally someone will spend some time improving on weaknesses, but most often these goals are about doubling down on what already makes you special. 

Weekly touchpoints between employees and their managers focus on what employees were working on and how their work supported their goals. In these meetings, any misalignment is addressed with a focus on making a connection between daily work and the broader organizational purpose.

An annual review included employee self-appraisal with their managers’ review, but the approach they take is a litter different, Collins said, “The question is ‘did we, the organization, have you working on the right things and what were our results?’” 

InvestiNet’s process illustrates how companies can strategically drive better business results by aligning individual goals with team and organizational goals. Doing so gives employees insight into what’s important to the company and how their efforts can make a positive difference.

PerformYard is designed to help companies align organizational goals. Learn More

Resources for Goal Alignment

Looking for additional resources? Here are some resources we recommend to start your search on goal alignment. 

Betterment Tested Three Performance Management Systems So You Don't Have To

What are Cascading Goals & How to Use Them

What Is Organizational Alignment? (And How to Achieve It)

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How Apple Does Performance Management (And Ideas for You to Consider)

Apple’s performance management techniques can provide inspiration for your own strategy. Here are a few elements that Apple has incorporated into its performance management strategy.

Many people dream of working at Apple—and for good reason. Aside from providing discounts on its products, Apple works consistently to increase employee retention and prioritize its workers.

So how does Apple help its employees feel valued? One way is through a strong performance management process. 

Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t make it easy to recreate their process. The company mostly keeps its performance review system under wraps, but they’ve let a few secrets slip to give some ideas for your own performance management process.

Streamline your performance management process with PerformYard. Learn More

Apple’s Performance Management Practices

Apple’s performance management process relies on strong communication to create a snapshot of how every employee contributes to the organization.

It includes three main features that set it apart:

360 Annual Performance Reviews

Apple’s annual performance review process includes a semi-annual review and an end-of-year review. Each employee is reviewed by three or four executives, in addition to being reviewed by direct reports and peers, making it a 360 process. This helps Apple to get a broader view of every employee’s performance, creating new perspectives on how each employee impacts the organization and where improvements can be made.

Employee performance is measured against three categories: teamwork, innovation, and results.

Based on those categories, employees will receive one of three ratings: exceeds expectations, met expectations, or needs improvement.

Not only does this help employees understand how management and other team members believe they’re doing, but it also helps HR determine skills gaps among employees.

Managers can then work to help underperforming employees develop the skills needed to excel, or HR can focus on recruitment efforts to find new employees with skills that are missing among current employees.

Employees' annual raises are directly tied to their performance reviews, ranging from 0-8% of their current salary. 


Apple is tight-lipped about their specific feedback practices, but based on our research, we’ve found that feedback is a key component of Apple’s performance appraisal system.

Apple incorporates continuous feedback, and employees receive feedback once a week. Whether feedback is delivered through check-ins or written in their performance management system, continuous feedback provides insight into performance and helps Apple employees understand where they can improve in their daily efforts.

Cascading Goals

Apple’s performance management strategy focuses on how individuals meet organizational goals through the use of cascading goals.

Cascading goals begin with the company's ultimate vision and are reinterpreted for every department and employee to ensure individual and team performance are aligned with those goals.

What Apple Employees Are Saying

Communication, employee engagement, and high levels of achievement are all important to Apple’s performance management process. 

Their strategies sound good on paper, but only Apple employees can tell us whether these methods actually work. Let’s take a look at a few anonymous Glassdoor reviews to see what Apple employees are saying.


"Everything is driven toward a common vision that our fearless leaders cast extremely well.”

"Others are so incredibly supportive. You are surrounded by people who care to be the change in the world and value your well-being."

"Most of the people at Apple are very smart, but luckily, not in an intimidating way. Everyone has been very welcoming and willing to let me in."


"Lack of transparency between various organizations can cause unnecessary overlap in work or common shifts in priority."

"Promotion and progression are completely dependent on your manager's desire to be your champion, which is sometimes divorced from your results, hard work, or historical track record.”

"They should reduce unnecessary processes, streamline the employee review process, and make it more transparent."

Takeaways for Your Organization

Although we don’t know every detail of the Apple performance review process, you can still use its general tactics to inform your organization’s process.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Apple gives employees weekly feedback so employees are always focused on achieving their goals.
  • Apple uses a 360 process, illuminating new perspectives and uncovering creative strategies for improvement.
  • Apple measures employee performance against three categories: teamwork, innovation, and results.
  • Goals are set from the top down, with each goal being broken down into cascading sets of goals that are personalized for each department and employee.

More Inspiration

Apple’s performance management techniques can provide inspiration for your own strategy. Check out these articles to see how other top companies are doing performance management:

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The Purpose of 90-Day Reviews for New Employees

New hire reviews—specifically 90-day reviews—can make a big difference in average tenure for employees, manager-employee relationships, and saving time at your organization.

New hire reviews are one of the most frequently overlooked and grossly underrated parts of a functioning performance management strategy. 

Whether well-meaning managers allow new hire reviews to fall through the cracks or companies choose to skip them altogether, the idea behind new hire reviews often gets lost in the onboarding process. 

But new hire reviews—specifically 90-day reviews—can make a big difference in average tenure for employees, manager-employee relationships, and saving time at your organization.

In this article, we’re outlining what 90-day reviews should and shouldn’t provide—no matter what your organization does for performance management.

A 90-Day Performance Review Should Provide . . .

1. A Benchmark for Measuring Performance

90-day reviews function as an important checkpoint for an employee’s progress. In order to fully understand the importance of 90-day reviews, it helps to analyze the patterns of new hires.

Employee retention numbers today are critically low. According to a study from an HR technology company, approximately 17% of new hires leave within the first three months at a new job, while 30% leave within the first six months.

These statistics prove that a new employee’s first 90 days are critical. Organizations that choose not to implement 90-day reviews into their performance management strategy must rely on annual reviews to evaluate employees. If the above statistics are true, annual reviews either occur after one quarter of an employee's entire tenure or after an employee has already left the organization.

90-day reviews serve as an excellent benchmark during onboarding to measure a new employee’s performance in a realistic timeframe. After 90 days, new employees should feel independent enough to be held accountable for their performance at the company.

2. An Opportunity to Ask Questions

A successful 90-day review gives employees the opportunity to assess themselves while simultaneously giving and receiving feedback. 

The review provides employees the chance to discuss any questions, requests, or concerns that may have surfaced during their first 90 days at their new job with their managers. They can receive feedback on their initial performance to help them understand what’s working and where they can make improvements. 

The 90-day timeframe gives them a chance to make changes early, ultimately setting them up for success in their annual performance review.

3. A Solid Foundation for Manager-Employee Relationships

While the 90-day review could technically be considered a formal discussion for managers to communicate and clarify their performance expectations for new hires, this review can also be an important opportunity for managers to build a solid relationship with their employees. A well-planned 90-day review can help solidify long-term employee engagement at your organization.

Connecting socially can also help your new hire to better understand the culture of your company. While a large percentage of starting a new job has to do with tasks and projects, there’s also a large social component to a new hire’s first 90 days. A 90-day review can help your new hire ask questions to better understand the lingo, meeting dynamics, and general culture of your organization that they’ve observed.

Ultimately, 90-day reviews help managers assess a new hire’s potential success going forward. After 90 days, managers have had ample opportunity to observe a new employee’s progress, and a formal discussion can help managers more quickly evaluate whether a new hire is a great fit for the organization or not. This step can help save time and resources at your company, which is one reason that 90-day reviews can be an effective part of any performance management strategy.

A 90-Day Performance Review Shouldn’t Be . . .

1. A “Probationary Period”

The first 90 days of a new hire’s employment are often dubbed a “probationary period”—a phrase that has led to many common misconceptions about 90-day reviews. 

Employees can misinterpret their first 90 days in a new job to be a correctional period that they are immediately placed in on their first day of work. This can potentially harm their view of the company, leading employees to believe that they must “hit the ground running” instead of taking the time that they need to get up to speed.

Instead, 90-day reviews should be adopted into performance management strategies with the intention to structure the review as a reflection of the position. The reviews should be designed to get new hires up to speed in a thoughtful and deliberate way, ensuring that the new employee is able to add value to the company as soon as possible while also feeling valued as a contributor.

2. A One-Sided Q & A

If your approach to 90-day reviews consists of nothing more than a checklist of questions for your new hires, chances are you won’t get much out of using them in your performance management strategy. It’s important that managers treat 90-day reviews as a performance review for both employees and management. 

When the review consists of nothing but feedback from management, a new employee may feel that the effort they put into their first 90 days was overlooked. Because new employees are often stressed by the multitude of new tasks and responsibilities on their plate, overloading them with feedback can cause them to feel overwhelmed.

Giving new hires an opportunity to share both positive and constructive feedback can help new hires feel that their opinions are heard and their voice matters. It also helps the organization understand what is and isn’t working, which can lead to improvements for the overall organization. 

Feedback for both parties is a key component of ensuring that both managers and employees get the most out of 90-day reviews. 

3. Postponed or Shrugged Off

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes that companies make regarding 90-day reviews. When managers promise to conduct a 90-day review and then fail to follow through, employees miss out on a formal opportunity to understand how they’re performing and share how things are going from their perspective.

It’s important that management puts forth the effort to create an organized agenda when it comes to 90-day performance reviews. Studies show that organizations that follow through with 90-day reviews see direct benefits in increased employee engagement and tenure. 

The key to achieving a well-structured onboarding program that sets your new hires up for success may be as simple as sticking to your 90-day review plan.

90-day reviews can be a highly effective tool to add to any performance management strategy.

No matter what your process looks like, conducting 90-day reviews with new employees can increase productivity, extend employee tenure, and help new hires reach their full potential at a quicker pace.

Check out our 90-Day Employee Performance Review Template to get inspiration for what your 90-day review process should look like.

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How to Implement Manager Performance Appraisals—Best Practices

Here's how to successfully implement manager performance appraisals, along with the key benefits of having employees review their managers.

Most organizations have some type of performance review process for employees. But what they don’t always consider is a performance review process for managers. 

Manager performance appraisals are different from employee appraisals . . . or at least they should be. 

In order for these appraisals to be effective, you won’t just be able to use your standard employee review form. Manager performance appraisals will have their own process and questions that are specific to managers. 

In this article, we’ll share how to successfully implement manager performance reviews, along with the key benefits of having employees review their managers.

Benefits of Employee Feedback for Managers

Feedback is important for employees at every level of an organization to help improve performance, identify strengths, and determine opportunities for personal growth and development. 

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For managers, this kind of feedback can be especially insightful, especially when it comes from their direct reports. Managers can benefit from employee feedback in a number of ways, including the following:

More Sources of Feedback

It’s likely that managers receive feedback from their own managers, but it can be difficult for a manager’s manager to see how they interact with their direct reports. 

Since most managers will have more than one direct report (and often many), additional feedback from a manager's direct reports can help company leadership, HR, and the managers themselves see how they’re performing from multiple perspectives.

Better Communication

Manager performance appraisals give employees the chance to share how effective their managers are in providing them with the coaching, resources, and support they need to perform effectively. 

When given the chance to provide upward feedback, employees feel that their input matters. Upward feedback also provides a formal opportunity for employees to openly share their thoughts and feelings with their manager, helping improve communication between managers and employees.

Improved Leadership

Manager performance appraisals can help managers tap into opportunities for growth that might otherwise never have been uncovered. Feedback from multiple sources should provide managers with many ideas and opportunities to improve their leadership skills. 

Like any employee, managers can benefit as much from learning about what they’re doing well as they can from learning about opportunities for improvement. Getting feedback from their direct reports will help managers understand what they should keep doing and where they need to make adjustments. 

How to Implement Manager Performance Review

Manager appraisals are different from employee appraisals in a couple of key ways:

  • Manager appraisals focus more on employees' interactions with their manager than on a manager’s operational performance.
  • Manager appraisals assess how effective the manager is at getting work done through others, rather than how they get their own work done.
  • Manager appraisals typically include multiple sources of feedback, which can be helpful in seeing different perspectives.
manager performance appraisal

Because of these distinctions, there are some best practices that can help you establish an effective manager performance appraisal process. 

The process you implement should provide HR with the information it needs to assess managerial performance, managers with the knowledge they need to continually improve their management skills and approaches, and employees the opportunity to share their voices. The following three best practices for implementing manager performance reviews will help you to accomplish those objectives. 

1. Consider Soft Skills

Management is primarily about interactions, relationships, and engagement, all of which require soft skills that can be challenging to measure. 

Collecting information on these critical management skills requires a thoughtful approach for gathering feedback. 

As mentioned earlier, multiple sources of feedback is a major benefit of employee feedback for managers. 

Because of these multiple sources, it’s possible to compare “outlier” responses. For example, 8 of 10 employees may rate their manager as a 10 when it comes to “communicating in a respectful manner,” but the other 2 employees may rate their manager as a 1. HR may do a deeper dive into what’s behind those ratings in order to find out why the 2 employees responded differently than the others. 

Additionally, HR should measure the soft skills that are specific to the manager’s role and type of work. Employees in IT and financial services have different needs for interaction and support from their managers than employees in customer service or marketing.

2. Ask Questions That are Unique to Managers

The questions you ask in manager performance appraisals should be unique and specific to a manager’s role. This isn’t just a matter of repurposing your standard employee performance evaluation form and asking employees to use the same form to evaluate their managers.

Carefully considering the types of competencies effective managers need will help you develop an assessment that’s specifically focused on managers and not just general questions that could apply to anyone. This will also provide you with richer input to identify competencies across the organization that need improvement.

3. Use Performance Rating Scales

While open-ended questions in manager performance appraisals can be useful, not all employees know how to give high-quality feedback. Because of this, you may consider using a performance rating scale to quantitatively measure managers' performance.

While the responses will be based on personal opinions, having them on a scale allows HR to consider collective responses and make comparisons between individual competencies across departments.

Google’s manager survey is a good example of how to assess managers’ soft skills along with company-aligned strengths. Google gives 13 quantitative “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” statements addressing eight competencies.

For example, a statement like: “My manager gives me actionable feedback on a regular basis” can effectively indicate how communicative a manager might be. A statement like: “My manager assigns stretch opportunities to help me develop in my career” assess more Google-specific corporate goals related to their managers’ roles in driving employee development through stretch opportunities.

Google then uses two open-ended questions:

  1. What would you recommend your manager keep doing?
  2. What would you have your manager change?

These open-ended questions give the employee a chance for qualitative responses. 

You may consider adopting some of Google’s practices and adding both a quantitative and qualitative way of gathering feedback to your manager performance appraisals.

By considering soft skills, asking questions that are specific to managers, and using rating scales in your manager performance appraisals, you can implement effective manager performance appraisals in your organization. 

If you’d like to learn more about manager performance reviews, here are a few of our favorite articles to get you started:

Examples & Questions for an Upward Performance Appraisal

What is Upward Feedback?

360 Reviews: Self, Manager, Peer and Upward, Which Ones Do You Really Need?

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Implementing Continuous, Real-Time Performance Management

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll provide a deep dive on how you can implement continuous performance management in your organization.

Performance management has changed drastically over the years.

Major companies like Adobe, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM have abandoned traditional performance reviews, opting for continuous, real-time performance management instead. Thousands of other organizations, both large and small, have followed suit.

While this shift has undoubtedly left many inspired to implement a continuous performance management process, HR professionals should understand that a fair amount of foresight and planning is required to successfully put a continuous process in place.

We’ve helped a great deal of companies implement a continuous, real-time performance management process. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll provide a deep dive on how you can implement continuous performance management in your organization.

Streamline your continuous performance management process with PerformYard. Learn More

What Is Real-Time Performance Management?

Real-time performance management is a system where employees and managers engage in frequent, trackable communication about an employee’s performance. This includes discussing progress on goals, correcting suboptimal performance, celebrating wins, and sharing performance notes. 

The Benefits of Real-Time Performance Management

Real-time, continuous performance management yields significant benefits for organizations.

Real-Time Performance Management Helps Employees Hit Goals 

Continuous performance management provides frequent check-ins and documentation. This can be especially beneficial when it comes to achieving goals. 

For example, if an employee set a high sales goal and they only met with their manager twice a year, it would be difficult to correct the employee’s sales tactics if they weren’t on track to achieve their target. 

But when real-time performance management is practiced, managers frequently discuss progress with employees and help them understand where improvements can be made to ensure goals are achieved. 

Real-Time Performance Management Gives a Clear Picture of the Data 

Continuous performance management provides transparent data that helps managers understand how their employees are performing. 

Managers can see a full track record of their employees progress through the year with continuous feedback. This provides insight on where employees are excelling, and where they might be falling off track. Managers can then use the insights gathered to adjust resources and change direction as needed to meet goals and expectations.

Real-Time Performance Management Simplifies the Annual Performance Review

When only one or two reviews are held every year, it’s easy for managers to overemphasize an employee's most recent wins and losses. 

Continuous performance management ensures that performance is accounted for throughout the year. 

When annual reviews come around, managers already have check-in and feedback notes written down in one place. They can use data and insights from these notes to inform the annual review and ensure an employee is being evaluated on their performance over the entire year, not just the last month.

Implementing Continuous Performance Management: A Step-by-Step Process

Now that you know some of the benefits of continuous performance management, it’s time to learn how to implement it.

The steps below outline everything you need to implement a continuous performance management system, including training, feedback standards, and a unified system. 

continuous, real-time performance management

1. Create Feedback Standards

The first step to implementing continuous feedback is to create standards for what the process should look like. 

How will feedback be delivered? Do you drop a note to somebody in a system? Do you first talk to them in person and then document the conversation? A clear standard needs to be set. 

Next, expectations should be defined around how often feedback is given. Will it be once a week? After every project? Six times a month? 

Organizations may consider setting a quota around how often employees must give feedback in order to ensure that it’s actually happening. 

But as expectations around the frequency of feedback are set, it’s important to help employees understand the purpose of continuous feedback. The reason is not to call out others–it’s to help them improve. Organizations should emphasize that feedback needs to be constructive and not punitive. 

HR has the responsibility to make sure people are actually giving continuous feedback. This is done by setting crystal-clear expectations for both managers and employees. 

2. Set Up a System

After standards around continuous feedback are set, you should set up some sort of system to solicit and collect the feedback. 

The system may be extremely simple, like a document to track everything, or more robust, like performance management software. 

But no matter what the system looks like, it should be easy for every employee to use. If the system is complex and difficult to figure out, employees will be less likely to use it, resulting in less frequent feedback. 

The key is to implement a system that’s able to effectively solicit and collect feedback while remaining accessible to all employees.

3. Provide Training

Now that you have a feedback system in place, you need to teach employees how to effectively deliver and receive feedback. This means providing in-depth training for the entire organization.

Training doesn’t just mean sending an email to everybody at the company and holding a one-off meeting. Training should be an ongoing process. 

After employees are coached on how to provide and receive feedback, managers should ensure that employees are giving effective feedback to others and following the feedback standards that have been set. 

In order to make sure employees are providing high-quality feedback, managers and employees may review feedback the employee gave to others during a check-in. They can then discuss what went well when providing the feedback, how it could have been better, and ways to improve in the future. 

Employees may also practice delivering constructive feedback by providing feedback to their manager. This would provide an excellent opportunity for managers to coach employees in real-time. 

4. Model Expectations

HR and company leadership need to walk the walk by publicly demonstrating continuous feedback practices. 

By modeling expectations, management will set the tone and tenor for the frequency and composition of continuous feedback. Managers and employees will quickly pick up on what’s expected of them and be able to replicate the modeled behavior with a little practice.

5. Tie Feedback to Long-Term Discussions

Continuous feedback works best when it supplements long-term discussions, such as annual reviews. 

When real-time feedback is given consistently, you and your organization will have a stack of actionable data at your fingertips. 

Then when annual reviews roll around, you can collate that data to make informed assessments based on employee performance over the course of the year.

Real-time feedback brings transparency and objectivity to the process, ensuring that an employee’s comprehensive performance is taken into account—not just the last quarter or final month before the review.

6. Improve, Expand, and Evolve Your Process

Chances are, you’re not going to get this right the first time. And that’s okay. 

Solicit and gather employee feedback in order to improve your process. Discover where the pain points are, then evolve your process to correct previous issues.

Continuous performance management is dynamic, and the evolution of your process should be as well. Welcome any adjustments and continue to evaluate your process over time.

Real-Time Performance Feedback Case Study

So what does implementing real-time performance management look like? 

NGM Biopharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Historically, NGM tracked mid-term and annual reviews with Microsoft Excel and Word. 

NGM always had a culture of continuous improvement and learning from mistakes, but feedback wasn’t being tracked. The organization needed a system to store and track continuous feedback so that it could be effectively leveraged for their mid-year and annual reviews. 

After implementing a performance management system, NGM’s performance management process now focuses on real-time performance management with a formal annual review and an informal mid-year conversation.

The annual review occurs at the end of the year and includes a self-review, a 360 review with three raters, and a meeting between employees and their managers. Because NGM has fully adopted a culture of continuous performance management, they can use the annual review meeting to focus on just three questions: 

  • What are you doing?
  • What areas of improvement do you want to have?
  • What do you want to continue doing, start doing, and work on? 

Meanwhile, the mid-year reviews are more casual and informal conversations between the manager and their direct reports and are not required to be recorded.

By setting up a system that solicits and stores feedback, NGM has found that they have more time to spend on training managers on how to provide feedback because they are spending less time on administrative tasks.

NGM has also seen how continuous performance management keeps the annual review process transparent and free of surprises. 

Kristen Townsend, Manager of Culture and Rewards at NGM, summed up the effectiveness of their new real-time performance feedback:

“Now that we have a process focused on continuous feedback, it creates an easier review cycle because nothing is new to the employee. I think the most impact has come from continuous feedback—having a platform that continues to support us on an ongoing basis helps everyone at NGM be more successful.”

Continuous Performance Management In PerformYard

Many organizations use PerformYard to easily manage real-time performance feedback. 

With PerformYard, you can request, store, and track any kind of feedback throughout your organization—360 feedback, weekly check-ins, continuous feedback, and more. 

All feedback is centrally located in PerformYard, so you won’t have to search through your email to find notes from past check-ins. You can easily pull up feedback from the entire year. 

And the best part? It’s extremely intuitive for employees to use. No matter how tech-comfortable your employees are, PerformYard is easy for everybody to navigate. It’s a simple, streamlined system that makes real-time performance management easier than ever before.

Streamline your continuous performance management process with PerformYard. Learn More

Resources for Continuous Feedback

Looking for additional resources? Here are some resources we recommend to start your search on continuous feedback.

The Value of Real-Time Feedback Tools

How To Create a Feedback Culture

What Is Continuous Feedback? Real-World Examples from Adobe & Typeform

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How Netflix does Performance Management

Netflix's no-holds-barred approach to HR has gained the attention of many. Here's how Netflix has overcome 4 common performance management challenges with their unique methods.

Netflix's no-holds-barred approach to HR has gained the attention of many. They’ve not only succeeded in retaining prime talent, but also in achieving a high-performance culture.

The methods Netflix applies could be called radical, but they address challenges that all organizations face. 

Below we’re sharing four common performance management challenges and how Netflix has overcome them.

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Challenge #1: Do as We Do, Not as We Say

According to Netflix, leaders and managers need to live and breathe company values into everything they do. Your mission statement and company values are not supposed to just sound nice, they’re supposed to be displayed throughout the work of your employees.

Netflix wants to strictly reward and promote employees that demonstrate its values and let go of those who don’t. It’s that simple, but it’s a big deal. 

This strategy works well for Netflix because of its strong, well-defined company culture. Netflix’s famous culture doc clearly outlines what the organization’s values are. 

If you want to set expectations around living company values and modeling behaviors at your organization, make sure your values are well-defined and communicated clearly to every employee.

Challenge #2: Feedback Is Given Too Late

Several years ago, Netflix revamped its performance management by completely doing away with annual performance evaluations. Instead, Netflix opts for a 360 degree review process

With this new structure, employees are advised by their colleagues on what they should stop doing, start doing, or continue doing. The reviews are frequent and informal. 

At first, the reviews were anonymous to avoid awkwardness. Netflix has since shifted to signed feedback, and most recently, face-to-face 360 reviews. Opting for full transparency, Netflix believes people can handle anything as long as they’re told the truth.

While this approach works well for Netflix’s employees, it may not be effective for certain organizations and specific job types. But there are several other feedback strategies to consider.

Many companies combine 360 feedback with traditional performance appraisals to ensure that participants receive the developmental feedback they need to flourish. Others write down 360 feedback, rather than delivering it in-person. Some don’t use 360 reviews at all, but provide frequent feedback using other methods. 

Ultimately, the most effective strategy for giving feedback will depend on the needs of your employees and organization.

Challenge #3 - Needing the Dream Team

Netflix believes that in order to build a dream team, an organization must “foster collaboration, embrace a diversity of viewpoints, support information sharing, and discourage politics.” 

The company’s goal is to have one large dream team full of highly effective collaborators who are incredible at what they do, rather than a few small groups spread throughout the company. This can’t be done without hiring well.

Managers use what they call a “keeper test” to build their team. Essentially, they’re asked the question: “Would you fight for that employee?” The end goal is to give ownership of building great teams back to managers.

Netflix itself acknowledges that being on the dream team isn’t for everyone. This approach isn’t right for companies whose orientation is more about stability, seniority, and working around inconsistent employee effectiveness.

Challenge #4 - Understanding the Full Context

Netflix wants its employees to think independently and make decisions on their own. 

At every level, the leader’s main job is to provide clear and complete context to create autonomous thinkers. With the right information, employees are given the confidence to make great decisions.

Former Chief Talent Officer and co-author of Netflix’s culture doc Patty McCord said, “The best managers figure out how to get great outcomes by settling the appropriate context, rather than by trying to control their people.” 

Netflix believes it is most effective and innovative when employees throughout the company make and own decisions, but that doesn’t work for every organization. Steve Jobs’s micromanagement is what made the iPhone a great product. 

Top-down models work for many companies, depending on what they’re working to accomplish. But at Netflix, managers provide a framework for employees to make their own decisions.

How Do Employees Feel About Netflix's Approach?

If you work at Netflix, it seems that getting fired is never really far from your mind. 

The keeper test in itself is not always a source of comfort for employees. Managers also say it makes them feel pressured to fire people or risk “looking soft”. 

According to Glassdoor, the culture of fear is actually one of the most frequent cons. Many employee reviews mention the highly competitive environment makes work-life balance difficult to achieve. 

Other cons focus mostly on the transparency of the 360 review process: learning the details about why someone was let go or watching the politics carried out after uncomfortable feedback is made public.

So how does Netflix maintain a seemingly average score? What are the pros that make working at Netflix a positive experience? 

Most reviewers seem happy about the perks: free lunch, free coffee, and flexible schedules. However, the most resounding pros listed repeatedly are compensation, freedom, and responsibility. 

Netflix’s theory of responsible people thriving on freedom really works here, and employees seem to love it.

Can the Netflix Approach Work for You?

Netflix holds strong to the belief that if you talk simply and honestly about performance on a regular basis, you can get good results. 

Opting for full transparency is certainly not for everyone, however. Employees chime in on the company’s path, price increases, logos . . . literally everything. 

But can Netflix’s approach work for other organizations? 

Ultimately, creating the best performance management strategy isn’t about copying Netflix. It’s about understanding the needs of your employees and organization.

McCord’s own advice would tell managers to think like business people and ask: “What’s good for the company?” 

If you’re ready to figure out what’s good for your company, check out our Guide to Creating a Modern Performance Management System. You’ll get a step-by-step plan that shows you how to diagnose your organization’s needs, and then how to build a performance management process that’s specific to your organization.

More Inspiration

Netflix is not the only organization creating its own performance management process. These days, many organizations are thinking critically about performance management and coming up with innovative processes. 

Here are a few more examples to inspire your own strategy:

Google’s Performance Management Playbook: Inspiration for Your Organization

How Does Uber Do Performance Management?

Deloitte's Radically Simple Review

How Does Amazon Do Performance Management

How Does GE Do Performance Management Today?

3 Approaches to Performance Management: Google, Betterment and IBM

How Does Facebook Do Performance Management?

Performance Management at Tesla: What We Know

How Regeneron Build their Performance Management System

How Does Asana Do Performance Management?

And if you're ready to take the next step, check out our guide to creating your own modern performance management process.

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Google’s Performance Management Playbook: Inspiration for Your Organization

Here’s an overview of Google’s performance management process to inspire ideas for performance management at your organization.

Google has been ranked by Glassdoor as one of the best places to work since 2013. As one employee said: “All of the good things people say are true—great culture, great pay and benefits, fun projects, and awesome offices.” 

That’s an enviable position that any company would like to hold, especially in an environment characterized by high turnover and growing employee dissatisfaction.

So what about Google helps it hold onto its position as a great place to work, even during the uncertainty of the great resignation? 

There’s a number of reasons, but its great performance management practices are high on the list.

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Google’s Performance Management Practices

Google has what some say is the world’s most progressive human resource organization. Its “People Operations Practice” includes a strong focus on a merit-based reward/incentive program and developing employees to reach their fullest potential.

google performance management

Google has a robust process full of performance management practices, including:


The employee evaluates themself on five criteria and highlights their main accomplishments for the last review cycle. This gives employees an opportunity to be introspective and also to give some consideration to their own performance in preparation for a discussion with their managers.

360-Degree Feedback

Employees and managers discuss and decide together who will provide 360-degree feedback for the employee. Peer feedback is sought for input on strengths, weaknesses, and contributions to specific projects. Having a broader range of input can help employees put the feedback into perspective and gain a more well-rounded sense of how their work is perceived.

Annual Performance Review

Google’s annual performance review is split into two parts: a mid-year checkpoint and end-of-year review.  The end-of-year review uses data from the employee’s self-assessment and the 360-degree feedback provided. Managers also draft a rating for employees as part of the annual performance review. Two main things are taken into account when assigning employee performance ratings:

  • Results attained, or what the employee accomplished
  • Behaviors, or how the employee attained these results 

These two factors help maintain a focus on both hard and soft skills as part of the annual review.

Monthly Performance Check-Ins

In addition to the mid-year and annual review, Google employees meet monthly with their managers for regular check-ins. These check-ins address career development, coaching, and an opportunity to address any personal issues. They facilitate open communication between employees and managers and help both parties stay on top of developing issues or need for course correction throughout the year.

Googlegeist Engagement Survey

The Googlegeist is an annual survey given to all employees where they are asked to rate their managers and life at Google. The survey allows leaders to manage and monitor trends as well as to make comparisons across the company to spot trends, best practices, and areas that may need attention.

Upward Feedback Survey

In addition to the Googlegeist for gathering broad input on employee sentiment, Google also conducts annual upward feedback surveys where direct reports have the opportunity to rate their managers. Like the Googlegeist, this input allows leaders to identify trends, best practices, and areas that may need attention or improvement.

OKRs: How Google Sets Goals

Every quarter, Google assigns about 4-6 Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to help provide the company with clear focus and to ensure that employees understand how their work impacts their work area and the company overall. OKRs also encourages team effort. Overall targets drive the creation of sub-objectives and are set annually. 


Google has a strong focus on meritocracy, striving to compensate people based on their contributions through bonuses, equity stock option grants, and prizes.

What Google Employees Are Saying

Google has a robust ​​performance management process that encourages employee engagement, feedback, and a strong performance culture. But what do its employees think? Let’s take a look at a few anonymous Glassdoor reviews to see what Google’s employees are saying. 


“The company is amazingly open: every week Larry Page and Sergey Brin host what's called TGIF where food and drinks are served, a new project is presented, and an open forum is held to ask the executives anything you want. It's truly fair game to ask anything, no matter how controversial.”

“Google has incredible resources for learning high-tech and managing teams. There is outstanding onboarding, process documentation, and shadowing for new joiners. The community of individuals is top-notch​​—amazingly smart, driven, and courteous colleagues.” 

“Google is a fantastic company with its heart in the right place. The real gem, though, are the people. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with some of the most incredible people on the planet.”


“Sometimes being that it is such a big company it is sometimes hard to be heard when you need to voice concerns or comments.”

“Product culture is bewildering sometimes.” 

“Very flat organization structure creates for highly ambiguous roles.”

Takeaways for Your Organization

Like any organization, Google has both its cheerleaders and its detractors. But Google generally has a great reputation among both employees and customers. 

So, what can you take away from Google’s practices to consider for your organization? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Google has “Googleyness”—it places a big focus on company values and how employees adhere to them.
  • Employees are heavily involved in the performance review process. They help decide who provides 360-degree feedback, set their own OKRs, and provide upward feedback to their managers.
  • The peer feedback process is simple and focuses only on strengths, weaknesses, and contributions to specific projects.
  • Google’s OKRs are shared publicly with the entire company—everybody knows how and where they fit in and have the opportunity to know what others are working on.
  • Upward feedback is used to give employees an opportunity to rate their managers.

Having a robust performance review process with a number of elements designed to provide feedback throughout the year, engage employees in the process, and ensure a well-rounded perspective of both employees and leadership have helped Google position itself as a place where employees have a voice and an opportunity to make a difference.  

More Inspiration

Looking for more inspiration and ideas for performance management at your organization? These articles show how other top companies do performance management.  

How Does Uber Do Performance Management?

How Does Asana Do Performance Management?

How Netflix does Performance Management

Deloitte's Radically Simple Review

How Does Amazon Do Performance Management

How Does GE Do Performance Management Today?

3 Approaches to Performance Management: Google, Betterment and IBM

How Does Facebook Do Performance Management?

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14 Types of Performance Appraisals for 2022

Here's a list of 14 of the most common performance evaluation methods, along with the pros and cons of each method.

There's nothing more fundamental to the success of an organization than employee performance. Maybe that’s why there’s a seemingly endless number of performance appraisal processes for evaluating, measuring, driving, and developing employee performance.

Because there are so many options, choosing the right performance appraisal approach for your organization can be daunting. 

What are the types of performance appraisal?

The PerformYard software platform has helped thousands of organizations run hundreds of performance management processes. In this article, we'll review 14 of the most common performance evaluation methods ranging from traditional methods of appraisals like competency assessments to more extreme appraisal techniques like human resource accounting. We’ll also share when it is most effective and appropriate to use each approach. 

When building out a complete performance management system, organizations will often choose to combine a few of the following appraisals. Be sure to think about what outcomes are most important to your organization when considering the following examples.

PerformYard makes it easy to run any type of performance appraisal process. Learn More

1. Check-Ins

Performance check-ins are often confused with other types of performance reviews, but they’re not exactly the same thing. Performance check-ins happen more often, they are more informal, and they give managers the opportunity to build rapport and find out what employees are working on between cycles.

Check-ins can have set agendas or be completely open-ended. Most often, employees and managers will discuss progress towards company goals, overall performance since the last check-in, and the employee’s aspirations.

The primary role of check-ins is to create a consistent time and space for discussions about long-term performance. Managers should consistently take notes after check-ins throughout the year. Then when employee reviews come around, managers can use notes from check-ins to evaluate the employee’s performance and guide the conversation. 

Documenting the check-in is vital to the success of the performance review. PerformYard's software can remind you about check-ins and store the goal updates and discussion points. The image below shows how check-in data is stored in PerformYard where it can be referenced in quarterly or annual reviews.

performance appraisal

When to Use Check-Ins

Check-ins are less complex than many types of performance appraisals, but more frequent. They usually take place between more intensive appraisal processes to spread out performance discussions throughout the year without overburdening employees and the organization. 

2. 360 Feedback

360 feedback involves getting broad feedback from an employee’s coworkers. This can mean peer reviews, self-reviews, manager-reviews, secondary manager reviews, or upward reviews. PerformYard gathers 360 review responses and stores them in the employee's review dashboard for easy access, as seen in the image below.

360 types of performance appraisal
PerformYard's 360 Review Feature

The idea is to increase the sources of feedback in order to get a more accurate and holistic view of employee performance. 360 feedback will often be open-ended or thematic with the employee’s manager reviewing and aggregating the feedback into a single more cohesive picture of performance.

PerformYard makes it easy to run any type of performance appraisal process. Learn More

When to Use 360 Feedback

360 feedback is a great option for when employees regularly work collaboratively on different teams. 

When an employee’s primary role is working with others outside the view of their manager, 360 reviews can bring up feedback that might not otherwise be raised. Peers are often hesitant to give negative feedback outside of a formal context, but 360 reviews provide that context.

360 reviews can be a great source of feedback, but they also require a lot of coordination. The administration of 360 feedback can be a burden on both managers and employees, so it’s important to have a process in place for every stage of the 360 process.

Another key to successful 360 reviews is to train everybody in the organization to deliver effective feedback. When employees don’t have experience giving feedback, what they share may be more destructive than constructive. Giving effective feedback is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced.

3. Narrative Appraisals or Essay Appraisals

As its name suggests, the narrative performance appraisal (or essay appraisal) is created when a manager writes a freeform essay about an employee’s performance over a specific review period. 

Essay appraisals allow reviewers to discuss anything they feel is pertinent to the employee without being locked into certain questions. 

In a perfect world, this approach would allow managers to focus on exactly what an employee needs to hear and provide the most relevant feedback. But in reality, managers don’t always express themselves clearly. Essay appraisals can leave employees feeling confused on where they stand. 

The narrative appraisal is also customized to each employee, which makes it nearly impossible to make comparisons across employees. Essay appraisals are often paired with another appraisal method, such as graphic scale rating, to draw more accurate conclusions. 

When to Use Narrative or Essay Appraisals

Essay appraisals are best for employees with loosely defined jobs or who do very individualized creative work. If it's hard to quantify the inputs and outputs of employees’ work or you feel like every employee would need their own custom appraisal questions in order to get relevant feedback, the narrative appraisal could be right for you.

But a word of caution: essay appraisals can quickly get off the rails and become unnecessarily complex. Setting a standard for the style and length of essay appraisals can help keep reviewers on track.  

4. Competency Assessment

Competency assessments measure an employee’s capabilities against their critical job skills. These assessments show the gaps between where an employee needs to be and where they are now.

Competency assessments often flow naturally into a concrete learning plan focused on the competencies with gaps. 

This type of appraisal can be conducted in a variety of ways: through observation, interviews, or forms. The key is to choose the right competencies for every role at your organization.

When to Use Competency Assessments

Competency assessments are great for jobs where success is dependent on well-understood skills. It usually helps to have many employees in a similar role so that you can begin to understand the competencies that matter through experience. 

Focusing on a specific set of competencies can lead you down the road of only recognizing employees who succeed in one specific type of way. Employees who drive great outcomes but do so in unexpected ways may find it difficult to progress when they are evaluated on competencies, rather than outcomes.

To combat this issue, Western National Insurance Group paired competency assessments with open-ended questions, such as:

  • What is the employee doing well?
  • What are some of their notable accomplishments?
  • What do they still need to work on?
  • What stretch goals are they working on to improve?

They then track responses to both competency assessments and open-ended questions using performance management software.

5. Project-Based Reviews

Project-based reviews are unique in that they focus on the most recent work an employee has completed. These reviews include questions that are directly related to an employee’s contribution to a project. 

Feedback cycles can be quicker with project-based reviews, as projects often cycle more frequently than traditional review cycles. Because of the frequency, it’s important to have a system that helps project-based reviews run smoothly.  

When project-based reviews are used, employees have the opportunity to receive and internalize feedback before getting into the next project where they can then demonstrate any improvements.

When to Use Project-Based Reviews

Project-based reviews are best for companies that work on distinct projects one at a time (or almost one at a time). These reviews work best when these projects last from a few weeks to a few months. Typical examples are accounting audit teams, consulting teams, and some types of law firms. 

Project-based reviews are especially useful when organizations are bringing together new groups of employees for each project.

6. Stack Ranking Appraisals

Stack rankings and forced distributions are a controversial method of performance appraisals that rely on ranking employees against each other.

Sometimes this is a top to bottom list, and sometimes it’s sorting employees into buckets of high-performing, low-performing, and the middle with quotas for each. 

Rankings force managers to differentiate between employees to find out which ones actually have the highest performance. It also makes it very clear where employees stand in relation to their peers.

When used in combination with continuous feedback and tracked in a system like PerformYard, stack rankings can be a powerful tool to create a more productive workforce overall.

When to Use Ranking Appraisals

Ranking appraisals can work great for competitive environments like up-or-out consulting firms. In these situations, everybody knows they need to be a top performer to stay with the firm, so it’s healthier to make this process transparent and open.

Forced distributions can also be a useful approach in the short-term for organizations that have become stagnant and are being dragged down by low performers. Sometimes letting employees who have checked-out move on to a new job and bringing in fresh talent is the best decision for everybody involved. 

Rankings are not great for companies that are focused on innovation or creativity, as moments of creativity can be uneven and unpredictable. Pushing employees out after one underperforming year probably doesn’t make sense in that context. 

Stack ratings also aren’t great for organizations that need to be extremely collaborative, as they create tension and competitiveness between employees.

7. Grading/Rating Appraisals

In a grading/rating performance appraisal, managers use a numerical (1-5) or descriptive scale to record an employee’s performance in specific areas of their job. 

Because they are easy to fill out and create quantitative data, rating appraisals are very popular.

One of the keys to rating appraisals is making sure managers aren’t just doing the minimum amount of work necessary to get them done without having the difficult and important conversations needed to accompany these types of appraisals. 

Ratings send a very clear message of where an employee stands, but do a very poor job of telling an employee where they need to go. Companies may choose to combine ratings with qualitative comments and feedback to give employees a clear understanding of why they received the ratings they did. Ratings can be useful for seeing how employees stack up against each other. PerformYard's reporting software can show ratings with clear visuals, as in the below example.

When to Use Grading/Rating Appraisals

Rating scales work well at organizations that need to create more accountability because it’s impossible to spin a low rating. 

Ratings feedback is quantitative, but organizations can struggle to stay organized and manage the data. It’s important to have a system to manage all of the feedback received from rating appraisals so you can make full use of this approach.

PerformYard makes it easy to run any type of performance appraisal process. Learn More

If you’re wondering whether or not you should implement rating appraisals, remember that you'll need to do more than just tell employees they’re underperforming if you want them to step up their game. Analyzing performance data and helping employees understand where they can improve is key. 

8. Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS)

Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales (also known as BARS) uses behavior “statements” as a reference point for rankings. BARS measures employee performance against specific examples of behavior that are given a number ranking. See below for performance appraisal examples from the BARS system.

For example, a pizza place could use a Level 1 ranking to describe an employee who takes more than 10 minutes to make a pizza, while a Level 5 ranking would describe an employee who makes a pizza in under 5 minutes.

BARS is helpful because it combines qualitative and quantitative assessments. The behavioral definitions can also aid in eliminating ranking bias.

When to Use BARS

Because BARS creates the ability to design a unique performance management experience for every position within an organization, it’s typically best for organizations that have groups of positions or departments made up of similar types of jobs. 

BARS is also helpful for companies that struggle with bias challenges in their current performance management process. The emphasis on behavior produces objective ratings that are difficult to distort.

One of the biggest challenges of BARS is being able to articulate exactly what great performance looks like in advance. Using BARS may mean that you have people who live up to your expectations, but not people who surprise you and surpass your expectations in new ways.

9. External/Client Appraisals

External and client appraisals involve bringing in third parties from outside the company to help with performance reviews. 

For employees that primarily engage with customers or clients, this can be the most important source of feedback.

When to Use External/Client Appraisals

Client appraisals are great for service roles where an employee's primary job is to interact with customers. Gig-economy companies like Uber rely exclusively on client appraisals to manage their contract workforce.

External appraisals are also a good option for employees that work as closely with a client as they do with their coworker, like a consultant on site with a client for an extended period.

Keeping track of the process is one of the most challenging aspects of client appraisals. Managers and HR professionals have enough on their plate without emailing questions, sending reminders, and following up with clients to keep the process moving. 

If you’re considering client appraisals, make sure you have a process in place to keep track of all of the moving parts.

10. Management by Objectives (MBO)

Management by objectives (MBO) measure employee performance by how employees achieve specific objectives. These objectives are decided on with equal input from employees and managers. 

Effective objectives should align with organizational goals. Managers and employees should equally participate and communicate to ensure the objectives are met.

When to Use MBO

MBO can be an effective method for many organizations. This method isn’t difficult to implement and can truly suit the needs of most organizations without incurring major costs.

The most difficult part of MBO is the communication required. 

To set and achieve successful goals, a substantial amount of input and feedback is needed from both managers and employees. 

It’s helpful to have all of this feedback stored in one place for both parties to refer back to. This helps managers and employees easily track progress and see what’s needed to meet the objectives.

11. Checklist Appraisals

In checklist appraisals, managers are asked to answer “yes” or “no” to a series of questions or statements about an employee. These appraisals tend to be easy to complete and can help an employee know where they stand across a broad set of domains.

Google famously uses this approach to review their managers. Employees answer yes or no for a long list of actions Google believes good managers should be taking with their reports.

When to Use Checklist Appraisals

Because checklist appraisals are binary, they’re best used for traits where levels of gray are less important. Checklists are also great when you need to provide a lot of feedback in many areas but need to keep the appraisal easy to complete. 

A major con of checklist appraisals is that they don’t allow for explanations or detailed answers. This method is most effective when combined with a more detailed method, such as narrative appraisals. 

12. Critical Incident Appraisals

For critical incident appraisals, managers keep a log of specific examples of both negative and positive behavior exhibited by employees. The standard for behavior can be based on company values or an employee’s job description. 

After a period of time, managers and employees meet to discuss the log and evaluate performance. A continuous log makes sure that performance reviews focus equally on performance across the year and concrete moments, rather than general sentiments.

When to Use Critical Incident Appraisals

Critical incident appraisals are simply descriptions of events and that can make it hard to compare employees or make decisions based on them. 

They can also be overwhelming and hard to interpret. We recommend pairing critical incident appraisals with some sort of quantitative method.

13. Human Resource Accounting / Cost Accounting

Also called cost accounting, human resource accounting analyzes an employee’s performance through the monetary gains they bring to the organization vs. the cost to retain the employee. 

When to Use Human Resource Accounting

Human resource accounting is most useful when employee contributions and costs are measurable. This can happen in situations where executives are judged on their P&L, or for positions like sales where the ultimate measure of success is revenue generated.

Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to perfectly understand all of the costs and benefits an employee has on an organization. Human resource accounting also doesn’t account for technology, which can greatly reduce the overall costs in an organization by automating processes that were previously done by employees. 

14. Psychological Appraisals

Psychological appraisals are unique in that they consider an employee’s future performance, rather than focusing on their past. 

In this appraisal, psychologists look at the employee’s internal traits and qualities that could affect their performance in the future. 

The psychologists can look at specific scenarios when performing their appraisal to discover how an employee is likely to perform in similar scenarios in the future.

When to Use Psychological Appraisals

Psychological appraisals can help organizations see employees’ potential. They can be used in specific scenarios, such as determining which employees should be pushed toward leadership roles or managing reorganizations of the org chart.

While useful, psychological appraisals can be time-consuming and costly, especially for small organizations. They are also difficult for organizations to manually administer. There is also controversy over how well the psychological traits will actually predict future performance as people are not static.

Choosing an Approach and Next Steps

Hopefully you’ve been inspired by one or more of the types of appraisals we’ve outlined above. Which ones you choose to implement will all depend on the needs of your own organization. We have a number of other articles that can help you determine which is the best fit and how to implement it: 

No matter what direction you take, it’s vitally important to get your process right. Most appraisals fail because employees resent how cumbersome and irrelevant they are. Choosing the right type of appraisal should make them more relevant, but you still need to make them more streamlined.

Look for ways to automate form assignments and generate real-time alerts for employees when they need to complete self or manager review forms. 

Simplify the sign-off flows so everyone knows when a form is ready for sign-off and can easily send forms back for changes.

Track cycle progress so you can quickly intervene when managers are falling behind; even better, automate reminders.

The more you can rely on a well-designed system to run your review process, the less you’ll force your managers to deal with the administrative minutia they resent.

Once you’ve nailed the approach and the process, you’ll be well on your way to effective performance appraisals.

See how organizations use PerformYard to streamline their processes. Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best form of performance appraisal?

The best performance appraisal is the one that serves your organization’s needs. If you’re just getting started, consider a narrative appraisal with a few simple rating questions that focus on overall performance.

What type of performance review provides the best feedback?

Checklist appraisals can provide a broad array of feedback quickly, however, for the best overall feedback, it’s hard to beat a well-written narrative review. Unfortunately, not all managers will take the time to write comprehensive and thoughtful narrative reviews.

What is the best way to evaluate employee performance?

If you’re looking to generate quantitative data on employee performance, consider using ratings appraisals that ask simple questions managers likely already have conviction around. Good questions include, “Is this employee ready for promotion?” and “How hard would you fight to keep this employee at our organization?”

What should I include in a performance evaluation?

One thing to include in every performance evaluation is space for context and ways for the employee to improve their performance going forward. It’s important that employees have enough information to understand their feedback and know what to do with it.

What is the most common performance appraisal method?

Formal check-ins, narrative appraisals, and competency assessments are the three most common appraisal methods used today.

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Best Goal Management Software for 2022: Top Tools to Track Goals

Goal setting is one of the cornerstones of organizational and individual development in the workplace.

Goal setting is one of the cornerstones of organizational and individual development in the workplace. But setting goals is simply the first step in the process of achieving results. Progress needs to be measured, goals need to be met, and shortcomings need to be examined. 

The best way to ensure that your organization is completing its goals is through goal management software. Choosing the right goal management software for your organization often boils down to understanding what you want to focus on: performance management, project management, goal tracking, individual development, or something more generalized. 

To help you sort through which software is best for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best goal management software, broken down into categories based upon function. As you start setting organizational goals for 2022, you can use these goal management software systems to help measure your progress through next year and beyond. 

Let’s take a look at the best goal management software systems we’ve found. 

Performance Management Systems

Performance Management Software allows organizations to easily evaluate employee performance through a host of goal-setting features, check-ins, performance reviews, and data analysis. In a nutshell, this software lets you connect goal-setting with the formal review process in a single space. 

Instead of using one piece of software to track goal progress and another software to set up, fill out, and track employee reviews; you can use one program to run both. This reduces time spent ferrying information from one software to another come review time, and it reduces the likelihood that information will get lost in the shuffle.

Performance management software excels in supporting cascading goals for your company, tracking KPIs for employees, and driving employee development by connecting goal tracking to employee performance reviews. Employees see how attaining concrete goals equates to positive performance feedback, which ultimately drives positive compensation decisions. 

One of the great aspects of performance management software is that you can track goals at all different levels of your organization -- from the team to the individual -- across monthly, quarterly, and annual bases. This flexible approach to performance management allows you to tailor the software to your organization’s needs -- expanding or contracting the goal setting and review processes as you see fit.  


Performance Management Software is one of the most robust and integrated types of goal management software on the market. One of its key selling points is its ability to connect goal management with performance evaluation. Let’s take a look at other key features that make performance management systems some of our favorite softwares for goal setting. 

Integrate Goals into Performance Review

The primary goal management feature of performance management software is the ability for employees and managers to set trackable, quantifiable goals that are easily integrated into the performance review process. Employees set reviews and update their progress throughout the year. Managers, conversely, can see their employees’ progress on their goals, and easily bring the completion of goals into review decisions. 

This is the heart of performance management review. Employees are empowered to set individual goals and then are held accountable for those goals come review time.

Flexible Feedback

With performance management systems, managers can customize the feedback process to turn goals into positive day-to-day actions. Feedback can be provided annually, quarterly, and monthly; but it can also be provided on a continuous basis and for specific projects. 

This ability to scale up feedback can increase productivity through positive encouragement and shout-outs; it can also help draw attention to areas that need more attention before these become significant problems. In this way, continuous feedback prevents surprises come annual review time.

Streamline Your Processes 

Performance Management Systems automate and integrate so many steps in your goal setting and performance review process. Goals are set and managed within the system that handles reviews, so examining pertinent goal data for a review is a breeze. Goal setting itself can be further streamlined through automatically messaging and reminding employees that goals need to be set, along with further messages that remind employees of their goal completion progress.

The review process itself can easily be streamlined through customizing permissions and automations -- reducing the back-and-forth needed to nominate reviewers, complete reviews, and set up in-person check-ins. By automatically sending necessary forms and goal information to appropriate parties, Performance Management Systems can further cut down on unnecessary layers of red tape. 

Performance Management Systems: Our Picks

Performance Management Systems are robust softwares that automate and streamline your goal management process. Here are out top two choices for Performance Management Systems.


PerformYard creates a custom performance management system that works for you. 

From continuous feedback to annual goal-setting meetings, PerformYard measures progress and gets your whole organization on track with goals.

PerformYard really shines when it comes to the sheer amount of customization it offers clients. You have the flexibility to structure your review process as holistic as you’d like, from simple manager-direct hire reviews to 360 feedback processes. You can create cascading goals that communicate your company-wide strategy from the executive suite to the most junior position, and ensure that individual goals support your vision. 

The data insights that PerformYard provides at the individual, team, and company level help your organization get a crystal-clear picture of your present performance as well as your performance over time. 

These data-powered insights, along with a streamlined and customizable review process and an integrated goal management system, make PerformYard the best performance management software on the market. 

Read how Investinet used PerformYard to keep their teams running in the same direction.

Performance Pro

PerformancePro is another formidable Performance Management System that streamlines your entire performance management process. From check-ins to annual reviews, PerformancePro automates and integrates each step of your review cycle. 

PerformancePro stands out with their unique configurable goal library that lets you tie compensation to goal achievement through merit increase modeling.

Performance Management Systems Tie Goals to Reviews 

Performance Management Systems like PerformYard excel by tying goal setting and goal completion to performance reviews. These types of software are ideal for any organization looking to streamline their review process, gain insights into employee productivity, and turn the abstract concept of goal setting into a critical part of employee development. 

Project Management Software

Project Management Software breaks goals into smaller tasks that employees can track from inception to completion. 

So if your team is working on something complicated, like producing the Super Bowl, you can use project Management Software to break this up into smaller tasks (complete Dr. Dre’s contract), and then track those tasks as you complete them. 

Project Management Software is ideal when you need to focus on organizing, tracking, and completing projects -- particularly projects involving multiple colleagues. These are project-based goals, as opposed to developmental goals or quota-based goals. 

Developmental goals (I want to take 5 LinkedIn courses in my field this month) or quota-based goals (I need to hit $300,000 in sales this year) aren’t trackable in project management software. Instead, the individual projects and steps that make up these goals (complete demo for prospect, send contract to client) are the focus of project management software. 

Therefore, we believe that project management software is a good goal management option for organizations who have a strong focus on completing projects -- particularly projects that require large teams working together. 

Project management software can also complement other forms of goal management software such as performance management systems. Your overarching, yearly goals can be comprised of projects that you can track through project management systems. It all depends upon your organizational needs. 


Project Management Software excels at helping multiple teammates collaborate on their projects. Let’s take a look at some of the key features that help teams collaborate to break projects into manageable tasks. 

To-Do Lists and Team Assignments

Project management software revolves around to-dos -- be they lists, cards, or tasks. On a user’s project board, to-do lists (comprised of tasks) can be assigned to different teammates, moved between teammates, and moved between different steps of completion. This helps all teammates understand who is working on what, what still needs to be completed, and what can be marked as completed. 

Team Communication

Project management software enables easy communication between teammates. In project dashboards, teammates can comment, attach files, affix due dates, and provide updates on each task within the goal. These updates are often automatically communicated via email or a messaging software, such as Slack, to ensure that no update is missed. 

Project Management Software: Our Picks 

Two project management software suites stand out to us: Asana and Trello. Let’s take a quick look at each to see which project management system may be best for you. 


Asana is a project management tool best at showing how team goals ladder up to organizational goals. In Asana, you have a centralized screen for each project -- and projects are comprised of tasks that you move from “ready-to-do” to “done.” Asana has some unique ways of viewing tasks, such as in list, board, calendar, and timeline view. Additionally, Asana has an inbox feature where all of your notifications related to projects are stored. 


Trello is a flexible task management system that stores projects on boards. Each board is comprised of columns (to-do, doing, done), and your columns are populated by “cards,” which equate to tasks you must complete to finish your project. Workflow-wise, it is quite similar to Asana. 

Asana does offer more features, but Trello’s free plan is available to unlimited teammates, while Asana’s free plan is only available to 15 teammates per organization.

HR Suites

HR suites are one-stop-shops for everything HR. This means compensation, time off, recruiting, onboarding, and performance management are all housed in one single portal. 

HR suites can be a godsend for a company looking to centralize a lot of disparate features. It is very helpful to have all your HR data housed in one piece of software. When it comes to goal management, however, we’ve found that HR suites are not as robust as the dedicated goal management softwares. Goal management isn’t the focus of these softwares; it just happens to be one feature.  

Having said that, if you’re looking to incorporate goal management into your organization -- and you already have one of these fine HR suites -- then trialing out goal management through your HR suite is a great idea. 


HR suites are one-stop-shops for everything HR for the entire lifecycle of the employee. This means hiring, onboarding, compensation, and employee development. 

As mentioned, the key feature is that this is a one-login solution for HR. You don’t need a separate system for applicant tracking, a separate system to process PTO requests, and a separate system to track goal setting. You log in to your HR suite, and you are all set. 

Because these suites cover such a vast amount of ground, they also collect a great deal of data, meaning that they can provide quite robust data analytics, as they pull from so many departments. 

There are two HR suites that have goal management tools that are worth examining: BambooHR and Sage HR. 

Let’s take a quick look at each.

Bamboo HR

BambooHR calls itself HR software with heart. It helps you through your entire employee lifecycle -- from hiring to performance management. As a one-stop-shop, it functions a little as a jack-of-all-trades, and therefore markets itself to small-and-medium businesses. This makes sense, as it allows small-to-medium businesses to handle all of their HR needs without buying a whole host of specialized software. 

For goal management, BambooHR specializes in reports. BambooHR provides managers with status reports for each employee’s goals, and it offers company-wide performance reports. It’s ideal for getting an objective view of how your employees are performing relative to their goals. 

Sage HR

Sage HR is a complete HR solution that aims to automate your HR processes and provide you with valuable data insights. It lets you handle PTO requests, track overtime, manage employee shift schedules, manage company expenses, and manage goals. 

Sage HR’s performance management software lets you break goals into three levels: individual, team, and organizational. Like BambooHR, you can track how these goals are being achieved at all three levels, providing you with some nice clarity as to the productivity of your organization. 

Goal Tracking Software

Goal Tracking Software is designed purely for tracking goals -- with no connection to performance management. These types of software can track a variety of goals such as OKRs and S.M.A.R.T. goals. We’ve found that these softwares are ideal for companies who are deeply committed to tracking and completing goals, but are less interested in tying goal completion to the formal performance review process. 


Goal tracking software is a great way to align team goals and employee performance with a company’s vision. Goal tracking software achieves this by sharing your company strategy across the company in a central location. From there, teams and individuals can set and track goals that align with the company vision. 

These goal tracking softwares allow management to examine the goals of teams and individuals, so that your organization can see how team members' progress contributes to your overarching goals. In some cases, you can make every employee’s goals and progress viewable to their respective team or entire organization, providing transparency for your organization. 

There are two stand out goal tracking software systems we’ve found: Perdoo and Ally.

Let’s take a look at both. 


Perdoo is an OKR platform that promises to turn strategy into results. With Perdoo, you can share your organizational strategy, align your overarching goals with individual goals, and gain valuable data insights thanks to their robust reporting.

Perdoo also has a visual strategy planner, and lets you combine KPIs with OKRs to create detailed and focused goals. Perdoo also prompts weekly check-ins so employees are aligned on their progress for their individual goals. 

Ally (recently acquired by Microsoft) wants to turn your goals into results. Like Perdoo, it focuses on aligning your team with the grand company strategy. Where Ally differs from Perdoo is with their target: Ally is aimed at helping remote and hybrid teams stay aligned through the use of custom OKRs and integrations into apps such as Trello, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. 

Personal Apps

Our last category of apps are Personal Goal Tracking Apps -- we’ll call them personal apps for short. 

These apps are not organization-wide apps. They’re not great for setting a company strategy, tracking performance for a team, or helping in compensation discussions at a year end review. Instead, personal apps are used for setting and achieving personal apps. 

These apps don’t even need to be work related! They could be about running a marathon, learning a new language, or just getting more consistent at cleaning the house. 

Let’s take a look at how these apps function. 


Personal apps provide easy-to-use and mobile-friendly interfaces that enable you to set and track goals quickly and easily. 

What type of goals? Saving money, training for a race, getting enough sleep, writing a novel -- any goal you can think of! 

These goals are typically broken down into daily progress that you track and input (how many miles did you run today?) that you can visualize across a calendar to see how your progress stacks up. 

Two of our favorite Goal Management Softwares are Strides and Habitica. 

Let’s see how they stack up. 


Strides (iOS) is a popular goal tracking app that helps you track your goals and build your perfect routine -- one that gets you in the habit of achieving your goals. It allows you to track four different types of goals: Habits, Targets, Averages, and Projects. These types are customizable, so that you can modify their names and tasks to fit the goal you wish to achieve.


Habitica (iOS, Android) turns your goal into a game -- literally! Completing tasks in Habitica levels up your retro 8-bit avatar. When you level up enough, you unlock rewards such as gold and battle armor. Then, you can battle monsters in-game with your fellow Habitica players or spend your gold on more tangible rewards like streams of your favorite TV shows. 

Performance Management Software: The Integrated Solution to Goal Management

Performance management software integrates goal management seamlessly into your employee review process. This way, you tie the completion of the goal into a tangible result, which both motivates goal completion and provides deeper employee development. 

To learn more about how Performance Management Software can help your organization develop your employees and vision, click here to learn more about PerformYard.

Is a Performance Management Software the right solution for your goal management leads? Learn more about PerformYard.

Related Questions

What Should I Look For in Goal Management Software?

Don’t get lost focusing on features you don’t need. Consider whether you want to tie goals to performance management, list subgoals for a project, or visualize your organization’s progress. Then, look for a software that provides the reports you’ll need.

Why Should I Use Goal Management Software?

Goal management software is more efficient than spreadsheets and email chains. Software gives your team accountability and offers features like progress visualization and feedback.

What Goals Should I Put In My Goal Management Software?

Goal management software can be used for any type of goal, be it project, performance, or personal. The best goal management tools can handle any goal that your organization needs to track.

Does Goal Management Software Increase Productivity?

Yes. Goal management software allows your employees to spend less time managing goals and more time achieving them.

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HR’s Guide to Effective Performance Reviews

A great performance review cycle can calibrate employee performance, identify top performers, reward excellent work, and help a company in its strategic planning.

Few company-wide strategies are so critical, yet ineffectively implemented as performance reviews. 

A great performance review cycle can calibrate employee performance, identify top performers, reward excellent work, and help a company in its strategic planning. 

On the other hand, poorly implemented performance reviews can lead to confusion, frustration, endless meetings, and a real dip in company performance.

So how can you ensure that your organization implements effective performance reviews?

As you develop or update your performance review cycle, there are a number of steps you can take to focus, modernize, and streamline performance reviews so that each review cycle works for your employees.

We’ll take a look at those steps in this article to help you create and implement effective performance reviews.

See how PerformYard can streamline your performance review process. Learn More

What Makes an Effective Performance Review?

Effective performance reviews don’t just happen—they are the product of thoughtful and proactive systems that stress objectivity, achievement, and transparency.

When aligned, they powerfully reinforce good performance and help course correct where necessary.

Below are seven components of an effective performance review for your organization to consider. 

1. Reviews Should Be Frequent

Ineffective performance reviews happen rarely or sporadically, leaving employees surprised when suboptimal performance is called out months after an event occurred. Effective performance reviews happen frequently and build upon each other.

In an effective review, excellent performance is reinforced and feedback is given to correct suboptimal performance. Employees then have a chance to correct their mistakes and discuss progress by the next review.

Frequent performance reviews help employees feel more comfortable discussing goals, receiving feedback, and talking about performance. 

2. Reviews Should Be Objective and Performance-Oriented

Effective performance reviews should leave little room for interpretation and should be based on specific criteria, rather than opinions or feelings.

To ensure objective reviews, an organization may develop performance review rubrics that can be consistently used across the company. These rubrics should grade employee performance and competencies, not personalities.

3. Reviews Should Incorporate Goals

Performance reviews take place to help employees drive positive change. Goals are the best way to ensure that change actually takes place. 

Ideally, direct reports and managers will work together after a performance review takes place to set achievable goals that will guide an employee’s development. These goals should then be discussed and followed-up on during check-ins and subsequent reviews. 

Performance reviews and goal setting come together to create a system where performance is discussed, next steps are agreed on, and progress is reviewed.

4. Reviews Should Be Transparent

Performance reviews shouldn’t hold any surprises for employees. Managers can improve transparency by sharing rubrics and evaluation questions ahead of performance reviews. This helps employees understand ahead of time where their manager believes their strengths and weaknesses lie and gives them time to prepare for a discussion. 

Transparency also builds trust between a manager and employee. When performance reviews are transparent, employees know how their manager views their performance and clearly understand where expectations lie. 

5. Reviews Should Be Conversational

Every performance review should be a two-way conversation. Reviews are not inquisitions—they are opportunities to look back on past performance and position an employee for optimal future performance. This is best achieved by striking a conversational tone.

Managers should begin performance reviews by asking the employee how they think their performance has been or to highlight their wins and their shortcomings. Once the review is underway, managers can add in their findings. 

6. Reviews Should Take a Holistic Approach to Feedback

Most reviews are made up of two parts: self-evaluations and manager evaluations. Depending on your organization, this may be the best way to evaluate an employee. But many organizations are supplementing these two components with peer feedback. 

Combining feedback from multiple peers and stakeholders (also known as 360 reviews) allows managers, employees, and organizations to get a holistic view of how an employee’s performance impacts the company. This holistic view helps managers and HR make more objective decisions about scoring and compensation, leading to improved employee morale.

7. Reviews Should End With a Clear Understanding of the Future

An effective performance review should end with a good plan of action for future performance. 

Coming out of a review, employees should understand their strengths, weaknesses, and what’s expected of them in the future.

In turn, managers should provide employees with actionable ways that performance can be improved, as well as an appropriate timeline for improvement.

Tips for an Effective Performance Review

As HR manages the entire performance review process, it’s critical to train managers on how to complete performance reviews effectively.

Ideally, you should hold training sessions with managers throughout the year to provide clarity on what is expected of them during performance review cycles.

Here are some tips that you should communicate to managers that will help make their performance reviews as effective as possible.

Set Expectations Early

We believe that an effective performance review is a continual process, not a one-day meeting.

Managers and employees should meet at the beginning of the year to set goals and expectations. Expectations should be crystal clear.

Then, when quarterly or end-of-year performance reviews come around, the conversations should reflect the effort and feedback that was given over a period of time.

Use Performance Notes as a Guide

Managers should not leave a performance review to the mercy of their memory. 

Instead, managers need to take notes throughout the performance cycle on their direct report’s performance—both positive and negative.

This will ensure that an employee’s strengths and weaknesses are accurately and fairly incorporated into the review.

Give Specific Feedback

Specific feedback ensures that the review is objective. 

Instead of saying, “You don’t check your work before you send it in,” a manager could say, “When you turned in that PowerPoint on spending in our department, there were some incorrect figures and a few spelling mistakes. It is important that you check your work in the future.”

This allows direct reports to better internalize feedback and sets them up to make necessary changes in order to improve performance.

Managers should be sure to call out specific wins. When employees see their performance being recognized, they understand that their hard work directly benefits the company. This encourages positive future performance.

Encourage a Discussion 

Reviews should be a discussion, not an interrogation. 

Ideally, the employee should lead the conversation, or at least direct the conversation around their own strengths and weaknesses. 

This can be accomplished by a manager asking open-ended questions to get the employee to arrive at conclusions on their own.

Managers shouldn’t be silent during a review. They should affirm conclusions that seem accurate and push back on conclusions that don’t seem correct.

By the end of the discussion, both parties should feel that their views have been heard and acknowledged.

Effective performance reviews are critical for identifying and rewarding top talent, recalibrating employee performance, and guiding company strategy.

With some foresight and proactive planning, HR can create an effective performance review process that emphasizes frequent meetings, stresses objectivity, and incorporates holistic feedback.

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Why Is Performance Management Important?

An effective performance management system reduces turnover, lowers liability risk, and improves organizational alignment.

Over the last few years, major companies like Adobe, Deloitte, and GE have abandoned traditional methods and created their own performance management processes—bringing performance management to the forefront of many organizations’ minds. 

But performance management can be a big investment. Why should an organization invest time and resources into performance management? What difference does it make?

In this article, we’ll provide a framework for why performance management matters and discuss how implementing a strong performance management process can benefit any organization.

Performance Management Reduces Turnover

An effective performance management system can help with many of the reasons turnover occurs—unrealistic workloads, unclear expectations, poor compensation, lack of feedback, and limited opportunities for progression.

Today’s employees are making it loud and clear that development matters to them. If they aren’t given opportunities to learn and grow, they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere for those opportunities. 

Even prior to the pandemic and the “great resignation,” research from organizations like Gartner were pointing to the “lack of future career development” as a key driver of employee attrition. In fact, Gartner’s Talent Monitor report indicated that this was a factor reported by 40% of departing employees.

Performance management offers a formal opportunity for managers and employees to have conversations not just about past performance, but about future opportunities based on employees’ interests and competencies.

Performance Management Reduces Liability Risk

When organizations have a centralized and consistent process for performance management across the organization, they minimize the risk that can come from the following:

A Lack of Objective Criteria

The inconsistency that comes when managers are allowed to create their own criteria or opt out on evaluating employees entirely can lead to trouble across an organization. 

Managers need to use objective criteria to evaluate employee performance. The organization (and its HR department) needs to be able to trust that evaluations are based on consistency criteria to support decisions related to promotions, disciplines, and even termination.

Failure to Use Self-Assessment

Self-assessment is an important part of the performance management process, allowing employees to share insights into their own perceptions of their performance, strengths, and areas of opportunity for improvement. These assessments may be skipped in an effort to reduce administrative costs, which can lead to potential risk. 

If an employee has documented areas of concern related to their own performance that are consistent with areas of concern noted by managers, a disciplinary or termination decision can be readily justified. But when self-assessment is lacking, this justification can be much more difficult to support.

A Lack of Transparency

It’s impossible to understand the risks of a performance management process when the steps, criteria, and documentation are vague and poorly communicated (or not communicated at all).

That lack of transparency will also make it difficult to justify employment decisions in a valid way.

Inconsistent or Nonexistent Documentation

When records of feedback are not stored centrally and consistently, they can become lost and unavailable when they are needed to support and justify decisions related to promotions, job assignments, discipline, and termination. Documentation is a critical part of an effective performance management process.

Having a consistent and documented process for performance management that is applied across the organization can help organizations minimize risk, while improving their ability to provide employees with the feedback and development support they need.

Performance Management Improves Organizational Alignment

If an organization has strategic objectives focused on maintaining key customers and lengthening the customer life cycle but employee performance criteria are primarily focused on gaining new customers, there’s a critical disconnect that could hinder the organization’s ability to achieve its objectives.

This situation is not uncommon. Effective performance management systems can minimize these disconnects by ensuring that everybody’s performance is aligned with organizational direction.

why is performance management important

That direction, of course, may change frequently. The increased speed of business means that company and employee targets are changing faster than ever before. 

The ability to ensure that goals can be cascaded through an organization quickly and consistently provides a fundamental competitive advantage.

Leaders expect their vision to be adopted across the entire organization. But if the importance of the cascade of goals isn’t articulated, it will be impossible to know if that alignment is occurring. 

An effective performance management process helps deploy cascading goals from the executive suite to divisions, departments, and individual employees. This ensures transparency, goal progression on a continual basis, and the ability to evaluate how overall strategy is being achieved through individual performance. 

As the Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Kent State University said, “Having a systemic process provides employees and management with the understanding of potential talent gaps and provides an avenue for linking development plans to fill specific skill or performance gaps.”

What is the Main Goal of a Performance Management System?

The main goal of an effective performance management system is to drive the achievements of organizational goals and objectives. 

That’s a tall order, especially in large organizations. 

HR departments must oversee a lot of moving parts across a wide array of people and a variety of departments and roles. That burden can be both costly and time consuming.

The burden on HR is minimized and organizational effectiveness is improved when performance management software is used to manage the process.

A performance management system also ensures that documentation is being stored, encrypted, and easily accessible for the analysis of individual, department, division, and organizational performance.

See how PerformYard can streamline and automate your performance management process. Learn More

Even if you’re not Adobe or Deloitte, performance management is worth investing in. An effective performance management system reduces turnover, lowers liability risk, and improves organizational alignment. 

If you’d like to learn more about implementing performance management, here are a few of our favorite articles to get you started:

Creating a Modern Performance Management System

3 Elements of Performance Management (And Why You Should Focus On Them)

The Purpose of Performance Management: 5 Options

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The Value of Real-Time Feedback Tools

We’re sharing the key benefits and features of real-time feedback tools to help you better understand the value they bring to organizations.

Real-time feedback creates a culture of continuous feedback that helps direct employee efforts, helping them understand where they’re succeeding and where there’s room for improvement.

But in order to consistently provide real-time feedback, it’s critical that your organization has real-time feedback tools that can solicit, distribute, and store feedback effectively. 

Real-time feedback tools should allow feedback to be accessible to managers, requestable by employees, and shared in 1-on-1 meetings. 

In this article, we’re sharing the key benefits and features of real-time feedback tools to help you better understand the value they bring to organizations. 

See how PerformYard's real-time feedback tools can help your business. Learn More

What Is Real-Time Feedback? 

Real-time feedback is a modern approach to performance management where managers and colleagues provide frequent, trackable feedback to guide and develop employees and their performance.

When real-time feedback is given, employees are more aware of where their successes and shortcomings lie. With this awareness, they are able to adapt their performance as needed to better meet expectations. 

PerformYard: Manage Real-Time Feedback

PerformYard’s performance management software is the leading real-time feedback software. PerformYard helps organizations manage, track, and maintain any kind of feedback. 

Real-time feedback software differs from traditional feedback software in that it allows employees to request and complete feedback frequently and repeatedly. 

This feedback functions similarly to weekly check-ins or 1-on-1s with one distinct difference: this feedback is trackable. 

During a typical 1-on-1, a manager may convey positive feedback to an employee directly, which can be great for employee morale and direction. 

By using real-time feedback software, the employee still receives this direction, but the feedback is stored on the employee’s profile—allowing managers and HR to pull up the feedback at any point. 

With PerformYard, a manager has flexibility to provide instantaneous feedback through custom templates or quick comments that can be shared among many different stakeholders. 

In turn, employees have the ability to request feedback from anyone in the organization. All of this feedback is stored and easily accessed in PerformYard’s single sign-on platform.

The key benefit that PerformYard brings to real-time feedback is feedback management. 

With PerformYard, employees get feedback fast. Organizations can store, track, and analyze feedback all in one place.

Key Features of Real-Time Feedback with PerformYard

PerformYard’s real-time feedback tools are a great way to fine-tune employee performance, boost morale, and track employee performance over time. 

Here are the top real-time feedback features you’ll get when you adopt PerformYard.

real-time feedback tools

Give Feedback at Any Time, to Anyone

Rather than waiting until review time to share feedback, PerformYard makes it simple to give real-time feedback at any time. 

And because feedback can take all different types of forms, PerformYard allows you to share your feedback with a number of different groups, including:

The Entire Company

It’s important to recognize employees who go above and beyond expectations. With PerformYard, a colleague or a manager can write a public comment for everybody in your organization to see.

The Subject

1-on-1 feedback can be a great way to document wins, works-in-progress, and opportunities for improvement. PerformYard allows any employee to provide private feedback to another employee with ease.

The Subject’s Manager

When an employee has an excellent win, it can be great to share that feedback both with the employee and their manager. 

And in instances where an employee hasn’t performed optimally and the situation needs to be addressed, the feedback should only be shared with an employee’s manager who can then discreetly address it with the employee. 

PerformYard provides a way for employees to share real-time feedback directly with an employee’s manager, or both the manager and subject. This helps keep managers informed about employee performance in a privacy-conscious manner.

Keep Performance Notes 

PerformYard allows you to keep private notes about any employee in your organization (including yourself). These notes are particularly helpful when it comes to completing holistic reviews. 

For example, if a manager and employee are working on a project in March but annual reviews aren’t held until December, the manager can stash away a series of private notes on the employee’s performance to draw from months later. 

These notes can be organized by topics and company-suggested hashtags, making the notes easy to find months after being written.

Send Feedback Requests

A formal feedback request is a great way to promote a culture of growth and feedback. 

Employees in a company may have feedback about another employee, but not think to write it down and submit it to the subject or their manager. 

With PerformYard, employees can request feedback on their performance from anybody in the company. This feedback helps both employees and managers understand how an employee’s contributions are being seen from others in the organization.

Store Feedback in One Place 

The great thing about PerformYard is that all feedback and reviews are stored in one convenient, single sign-on platform. 

Each employee can easily see every review they’ve completed or received, as well as every piece of real-time feedback they’ve requested or received. PerformYard centralizes all of this feedback and makes it easily accessible for employees, managers, and HR.

real-time feedback tools

This means no digging through emails and Google Docs to find random notes and feedback for every review cycle. 

Instead, all pertinent feedback is readily accessible, so managers and HR can cleanly see an employee’s performance over time. This makes completing annual review cycles and compensation decisions simple and informed.

The Benefits of Using PerformYard for Real-Time Feedback 

Employees can’t be expected to perform optimally without feedback. 

There’s nothing more frustrating as an employee than to be working for months, thinking that your work has been excellent, only to hear otherwise in a performance review.

Real-time feedback fixes this problem. Through real-time feedback software like PerformYard, employees immediately know what they’re doing well and where they need to improve. 

This real-time feedback gives employees validation, confidence, and direction. They see their wins being called out and understand that good work will be documented and rewarded. These same wins can then be highlighted in annual performance reviews, building compelling cases for compensation. 

See how PerformYard can streamline and automate your feedback process. Learn More

Managers can see all of the feedback their direct hires receive, giving them evolving and accurate views of how their employees’ performance impacts the organization. This helps steer how managers develop their employees, along with helping managers create more accurate annual reviews.

Great Resources for Real-Time Feedback 

Interested in learning more about real-time feedback? Here are some excellent resources we recommend to start your search.

How To Create a Feedback Culture

What Is Continuous Feedback? Real-World Examples from Adobe & Typeform

A Short Guide to Giving Feedback

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