According to a 2023 Gallup survey, employee disengagement is on the rise, and employers are struggling to find innovative ways to keep employees invested in their work. Even employers who understand the importance of performance management in aligning employee expectations with company priorities often lack the time and tools necessary to make this a reality for their teams’ workflows.
However, performance management software helps HR teams address these concerns by offering natural ways for employers to clarify employee goals, combat burnout, and meet employees’ rising demand for continuous feedback. Although there are many choices on the market, explore our top picks below for solutions to create a more motivated and goal-driven workforce for your business.
If none of these options seem the right fit, browse our Performance Management Software Guide for alternative solutions.
In this article...
What is the best performance management software?
These top performance management solutions offer a wide range of features for employers concerned with various aspects of talent management in their organization, such as customizable performance metrics reporting to training and development modules.
BambooHR is best for businesses needing an all-in-one human resources information system (HRIS) integration to streamline their performance management across their entire HR tech stack.
Leapsome is best for businesses needing robust performance management analytics to identify employees and organizational processes in need of improvement quickly.
PerformYard is best for companies that value a personalized customer experience for administrators and employees.
15Five is best for promoting career development for organizations wanting to upskill their current talent.
Lattice is best for organizations needing compensation management tools to align employee performance with company budgeting goals.
BambooHR: Best all-in-one HRIS integration
BambooHR is one of the top HRIS on the market for a reason; its people-first approach to HR software attracts small businesses with little to no HR or IT departments. For companies already using BambooHR, it is easy to add their performance management module to their existing HRIS framework.
BambooHR’s native performance appraisal solution lacks some of the more advanced, customizable features—like career development and continuous feedback meeting options—compared to other top solutions.
Instead, BambooHR focuses its performance management capabilities on manager and employee self-assessments, peer feedback, and goal setting. As a result, BambooHR’s simplified approach allows for a more accessible and efficient user experience, even for companies just adding performance review flows into their company processes.
In addition, BambooHR’s performance management module also seamlessly integrates with its current mobile application. Employers already using BambooHR’s mobile app for employee information, time tracking, or document sharing can seamlessly add performance management to start tracking and updating their goals from anywhere. Both managers and employees can add or respond to comments on goals through the app, so managers and employees can be held accountable, even in roles not typically tied to a desk.
BambooHR pros and cons
- Customizable review cycles
- Automated reminders
- Mobile app
- Simple, out-of-the-box reports
- 120+ integration partners
- Need to call for a price quote
- Must already have a Bamboo HRIS plan to use
- Reporting is not customizable
- No continuous feedback or employee recognition features
Add-On Modules: As an all-in-one HRIS at its heart, users can leverage other BambooHR modules for a more well-rounded employee experience. With additional modules like employee training tracking and payroll, employers can capture employee data in one centralized source of truth. In turn, employees remain informed about their performance throughout their tenure at the company for a more transparent and consistent experience.
Performance Management Integrations: Bamboo’s popularity as an HRIS means users are not limited to its native performance management add-on. Through BambooHR’s marketplace, users already subscribed to BambooHR’s Essentials or Advantage plans can integrate with other top performance management solutions. Thus, scaling businesses don’t have to sacrifice their core HRIS as they outgrow BambooHR’s native program in favor of more advanced functionality.
Leapsome: Best for performance analytics
Leapsome, unlike BambooHR, is a dedicated performance management software without traditional HRIS capabilities like payroll, time tracking, or applicant tracking systems (ATSs). However, Leapsome has significantly more advanced and customizable performance management features, such as objective and key results (OKR) management, one-on-one management meetings, 360-degree reviews, and engagement surveys.
Instead of a performance management software, Leapsome frames itself as a people enablement platform that gives employees the tools to exceed their goals. To do this, Leapsome offers five different modules, Perform, Align, Learn, Engage, and Reward; customers can either choose them à la carte to address specific business needs or use them together for a more holistic approach to performance management.
Although the modules are priced separately, they are meant to interlink, so every area of performance management is addressed, from employee-manager feedback to compensation management and career planning and development.
While other performance management solutions include standard performance management reporting like visualizations to identify achievers and underperformers quickly, Leapsome takes its analytics further with multi-language support and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
For instance, multinational corporations can use Leapsome to track the performance data of their international employees in the language of their choice. Meanwhile, Leapsome’s AI can track employee sentiment across the organization based on engagement survey results and predict departments at risk of turnover. By combining this data, employers can determine where they can focus their retention efforts, address poor performers, and drive engagement on a global scale without needing to leverage multiple platforms.
Leapsome pros and cons
- Single sign-on (SSO) capabilities with integrated apps
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Available in 13 languages
- 5 different modules to choose from: Perform, Align, Engage, Learn, and Reward
- Platform backed by evidence-based research
- In-house organizational psychologists
- AI turnover prediction and sentiment analysis
- Need to call for price quote
- Customer success teams’s services limited to customers with a $6,000 annual contract
- Learning curve
Review Analytics: Leapsome includes multiple ways for employers to engage with performance data following review cycles, including visualizations like heatmaps, 9-boxes, distribution charts, timelines, and radar charts.
HR teams can customize the data to track an individual’s performance over time and even compare performance data among teams. Employers can then make data-driven decisions when determining the best players for particular projects to improve overall company performance.
Engagement Survey Benchmarks: Leapsome users can conduct employee engagement surveys and set internal company benchmarks to track employee sentiment, satisfaction, and employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPSs) over time.
HR teams can also use benchmarks to compare their engagement data with similar companies that use Leapsome based on location, industry, and size. By comparing their data to others, Leapsome provides insights for employers on areas of their business that need improving while remaining competitive in their field.
PerformYard: Best for customer experience
PerformYard is at the top of many performance management software lists because of its intuitive user interface (UI), transparent pricing, and attentive customer service. PerformYard has a limited breadth of features, like career development and compensation management, compared to other performance management solutions on our list.
However, PerformYard provides users with just enough customization within its modules to tailor their performance review cadences into their dynamic workflows without overwhelming employees in the process. As a result, employees, in particular, praise PerformYard for its ease of use and ability to quickly tie their goals to performance.
In addition, PerformYard gives employees a sense of ownership over their performance through self-assessments, private performance notes, anonymous reviews, and constructive feedback requests. Managers can even create their own review questions and cadences to monitor employee progress and support underperformers.
PerformYard pros and cons
- Easy to use
- Continuous feedback emphasis
- Upfront pricing for Professional Plan
- Dedicated customer success manager
- 360 reviews with external stakeholders’ input
- No mobile app
- Integrations only available on Enterprise Plan
- No onboarding or learning and development modules
- No monthly billing
Continuous Feedback: PerformYard emphasizes continuous feedback in every aspect of its software, from one-on-one meeting cadences with managers and peers to immediate feedback and 360-degree review cycles, including input from external stakeholders.
Peers and management can even recognize other employees by broadcasting their wins to the company on PerformYard. By keeping employees informed on their performance, employers can address performance issues quickly while encouraging employee career development and growth.
Customer Service: In addition to traditional customer service support options, PerformYard provides a dedicated customer success manager to every customer to answer questions and address any challenges they come across. PerformYard also has an extensive support page with how-to articles and in-depth videos. For companies without an IT team or little technological know-how, PerformYard’s support ensures companies are set up for success, even past the implementation stage.
15Five: Best for career development
Like PerformYard, 15Five uses a simple user interface and weekly feedback structure to foster employee transparency and continuous improvement. However, 15Five stands out for its holistic approach to performance management and emphasis on career progression.
15Five includes four different products—Engage, Perform, Focus, and Transform—that companies can pick and choose to address the areas of performance management most vital to them. However, 15Five intends for all four products to work together, as each builds upon the previous.
For example, employers can identify what areas of the company need improvement in Engage, tie this with employee performance in Perform, address problems with goal setting in Focus, and give employees opportunities to grow with Transform.
Because of this approach, 15Five documents employee progress throughout their time in the organization, so employers can make calculated decisions on fostering employee career development. This allows managers to upskill their current staff to address recruitment challenges and aid in succession planning strategies when employees leave or retire.
15Five pros and cons
- Platform based on positive psychology research
- Transparent pricing
- Templates, topic-based, and customizable assessments
- Coaching dashboard
- Competency assessments
- Talent Matrix performance visualization tool
- Transform solution price is quote-based
- Limited integrations and only on higher-priced tiers
- Some users find the required weekly feedback tedious
Role Clarity: With Role Clarity, managers can outline an employee’s job description and responsibilities, so employees understand what is expected of them from day one on the job. Employees can also engage in two-way conversations about their assigned tasks and work together to adjust their responsibilities as needed. Managers can then tailor employee responsibilities as they watch their employees grow in the role, so they remain energized and motivated to succeed.
Career Vision: Through Career Vision, employees can access a vision board to identify their ideal days, what things they want to do more, and what things they want to do less. Managers can then adjust their meeting cadences and workflows to maximize employee efficiency while aligning employees’ career goals with manager expectations.
Coaching Sessions: 15Five’s Transform add-on allows employees to engage with career experts to grow in the areas most important to them. As a result, turnover reduces, as employees feel encouraged and supported by their managers and companies to succeed personally and professionally.
Lattice: Best for compensation management
Lattice is a top favorite performance management solution among employers and employees because it offers the most comprehensive selection of features, such as continuous feedback cadences similar to PerformYard, career development features like 15Five, and robust analytics like Leapsome.
However, Lattice is an expensive solution, with a minimum annual contract of $4,000, and a steep learning curve among administrators and employees alike. Therefore, it may not be the best option financially for teams with limited budgets or just starting with a performance management solution.
Despite this, Lattice is optimized to handle large, diverse teams while providing customized and granular insights into their performance. Notably, Lattice differentiates itself from the other solutions on this list by offering a Compensation product dedicated specifically to measuring performance to inform promotions and raises.
Besides setting up compensation review cycles, Lattice also allows users to create compensation guidelines and benchmarks to maintain consistent and fair compensation practices among employees with similar roles, experience, and tenure. As such, Lattice may be perfect for organizations needing to implement equitable compensation strategies that directly correspond with employee performance-based metrics instead of a manager’s gut feelings.
For a more in-depth analysis of Lattice’s features and top competitors, check out Lattice Alternatives & Competitors.
Lattice pros and cons
- Integrations available on all product tiers
- One-on-one meeting agendas and tracking
- Employee praise and recognition in each plan
- Mobile app
- Customizable performance and compensation review cycles
- 360-degree reviews
- Expensive and confusing price tiers
- Difficult to navigate UI
- Overabundance of notifications
Benchmarking Data: During employee compensation reviews, Lattice allows managers to access compensation market data according to the employee’s role, location, and industry. Companies can remain competitive and reduce turnover by comparing an employee’s compensation to similar positions. Moreover, it helps companies reduce internal pay disparities by ensuring employees in the same role follow similar pay schemes.
Budget and Spend Tracking: Managers can review compensation changes over time to determine an individual employee’s return on investment. In addition, Lattice provides merit and promotion raise guidelines, so companies can easily tie employee performance with appropriate compensation changes while staying within budget.
How to choose the best performance management software
A performance management solution can significantly improve employee engagement and retention while supporting career growth and development. However, the best option depends on what areas of performance management are top-of-mind for the business as well as company size and budget limitations.
For companies looking for solutions to integrate with their current HRIS solutions, choose BambooHR or Lattice. Both companies offer various integrations with standard tech stacks, including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Suite, and Outlook. BambooHR, in particular, is an excellent option for teams already using the platform, as it allows companies to integrate with other performance management software outside of the native solution for more advanced functionality.
For its simple user interface and emphasis on continuous feedback, PerformYard is best for companies that value employee experience. Likewise, 15Five’s platform fosters training and development, giving employees a sense of ownership over their career paths.
Finally, for companies that prioritize data-driven insights, Leapsome or 15Five’s reporting features allow companies to identify top performers and employees who need more support quickly. Leapsome, especially, gives multinational companies the tools to compare talent performance on a global scale and pinpoint locations to focus their efforts as they scale.
However, if none of these vendors meet your unique needs, visit our Performance Management Software Guide to browse other solutions.
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Peoplebox is an OKR and Performance management platform designed for enterprises.
Backed by Y Combinator, Peoplebox helps companies align, track and achieve their strategic priorities and cross-functional goals without the friction of a new software.
It integrates with all your work-tools (SQL, Jira, Hubspot, Asana etc) to make goals alignment and tracking (inc. business review meetings & performance reviews) magically easy.
Leapsome is the all-in-one tool that helps organizations enhance their management processes.
Chosen by companies like Spotify, Northvolt, and Babbel - Leapsome enables a continuous cycle of performance management and personalized learning that makes your people and business thrive.
Highlights from Leapsome's Performance & 360° Reviews: fully customizable and easy to set up, anonymous/non-anonymous feedback, expert templates, skill frameworks, development paths, automations, powerful analytics.