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Performance Management Software: 3 Common Problems and Complaints

Businessman getting frustrated with his performance appraisal system.

HR tech­nol­o­gy is fre­quent­ly a source of frus­tra­tion amongst employ­ees and employ­ers. Here are the main cul­prits (which we at Clear Review have worked tire­less­ly to avoid).

Tech­nol­o­gy plays a huge role in mod­ern busi­ness. It’s even been termed The Future of Work” by a recent Adobe study. Tech­nol­o­gy can bring tremen­dous ben­e­fits, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the form of per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware. It can help to improve employ­ee per­for­mance, engage­ment and com­pa­ny com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It can even help to build stronger work­place relationships.

How­ev­er, before you invest in a per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware plat­form to sup­port your per­for­mance appraisal soft­ware, it’s impor­tant to be aware of their com­mon pit­falls. Not all solu­tions will fit your needs and some will fall far short of your expec­ta­tions. If you pick the right soft­ware and you can expe­ri­ence a huge upsurge in pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and per­for­mance. Pick the wrong one and you’ll suf­fer from wast­ed time, frus­trat­ed man­agers and con­fused employees.

Below are the three biggest bug­bears we’ve encoun­tered with regards to per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware. When we built Clear Review, we had these issues at the fore­front of our minds to ensure that own soft­ware didn’t fall foul of them — this is why our cus­tomers tell us that we have the sim­plest per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware in the world.

1. A lot of soft­ware is dif­fi­cult and frus­trat­ing to use

In every area of our lives, we strive towards sim­plic­i­ty. It gen­uine­ly is the key to suc­cess. Sim­pler work­flows and per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es result in greater effi­cien­cy and more con­tent employ­ees. Just because you’re deal­ing with advanced tech­nol­o­gy, this doesn’t mean your per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware shouldn’t be incred­i­bly sim­ple to use. In fact, the more straight­for­ward and intu­itive your pack­age, the better.

HR depart­ments, man­agers and employ­ees tend to run into prob­lems as a result of fea­ture creep’. This is when soft­ware pack­ages gain too many fea­tures over time, need­less­ly com­pli­cat­ing the tech­nol­o­gy. Gen­er­al­ly, the more fea­tures you add, the less val­ue you get from them and the less user adop­tion you achieve. Plus, hav­ing lots of options means you’ll need to train your staff in how to use the soft­ware — some­thing that your busy work­force won’t appre­ci­ate and may active­ly resist.

Of course, if you’ve already cho­sen an out­ward­ly impres­sive soft­ware pack­age with all the bells and whis­tles, you can be for­giv­en for your choice. Accord­ing to one study, dis­cussed in One Page Tal­ent Man­age­ment: Elim­i­nat­ing Com­plex­i­ty, Adding Val­ue, when giv­en the choice, cam­era-users most often select a cam­era with the most high-tech and diverse fea­tures. How­ev­er, once these con­sumers were asked to oper­ate their cam­era of choice, they were unable to get their heads around the design. They became frus­trat­ed and, ulti­mate­ly, picked a cam­era that was much more sim­ple in nature.

The same is true of per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware. Many cus­tomers approach us because they had pre­vi­ous­ly bought a per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem that had lots of fea­tures and options, but which their staff hat­ed using. Keep sim­plic­i­ty at the fore­front of your mind at all times — the eas­i­er a pack­age is, the more it will be used and the more ben­e­fit you’ll ulti­mate­ly get from it.

See What Makes Our Performance Management System Different

2. HR per­for­mance review soft­ware can be clunky’

Many of our cus­tomers have moved over to Clear Review after expe­ri­ences with clunky’ soft­ware. We hear the word clunky’ all the time, but what does it actu­al­ly mean?

Soft­ware can become clunky when it is designed and pro­duced by peo­ple who are expe­ri­enced in IT and soft­ware cre­ation, but who aren’t suf­fi­cient­ly knowl­edge­able about their tar­get user’s dai­ly needs. Such sys­tems are designed from the data­base out’ — i.e. they start from the premise of what data the sys­tem needs to cap­ture, rather than what the end user is try­ing to achieve at any giv­en point in time.

For this rea­son, we rec­om­mend you look for per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware solu­tions that are designed by gen­uine per­for­mance man­age­ment experts who under­stand employ­ee and man­ag­er motivations.

At Clear Review, we start­ed out in 2006 as a per­for­mance and tal­ent man­age­ment con­sul­tan­cy, design­ing per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es and engag­ing with employ­ees and man­agers. We then built soft­ware specif­i­cal­ly to solve the main prob­lem that we observed time and time again in com­pa­nies — that employ­ees and man­agers don’t engage with per­for­mance man­age­ment. This is what makes our per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware dif­fer­ent. Our team also keep up to date with mod­ern HR trends to ensure that our soft­ware stays rel­e­vant in today’s fast-mov­ing organisations.

3. Some­times, soft­ware adds no real busi­ness val­ue at all

No mat­ter what soft­ware you pick, you won’t see any real val­ue or ben­e­fit if you select a soft­ware that focus­es on the wrong type of data.

If, for exam­ple, you pick an annu­al review soft­ware prod­uct, it is like­ly that the focus will be on col­lat­ing data and per­for­mance rat­ings in online forms. When the time comes to col­lect this data, HR exec­u­tives fre­quent­ly dis­cov­er that the data is unre­li­able and sub­jec­tive because the recip­i­ents have mere­ly regard­ed these forms as box-tick­ing exer­cis­es and haven’t gen­uine­ly engaged with the process. As such, you won’t be like­ly to receive any busi­ness val­ue from your soft­ware and your staff will quick­ly become dis­il­lu­sioned and frustrated.

To ensure real return on invest­ment, it is bet­ter to choose soft­ware that sup­ports the per­for­mance man­age­ment cul­ture you wish to embed. Do you just want to col­late data, or do you also want your man­agers and employ­ees to engage in mean­ing­ful per­for­mance and devel­op­ment con­ver­sa­tions? If it’s the lat­ter, you’ll need soft­ware that is specif­i­cal­ly designed to do this.

Soft­ware such as Clear Review has been pur­pose-built to sup­port a con­tin­u­ous approach to per­for­mance man­age­ment that is based on reg­u­lar check-in dis­cus­sions, agile goal set­ting and real-time feed­back. Yes, you can still cap­ture and report on per­for­mance data with this kind of soft­ware, but the pri­ma­ry focus is on sup­port­ing employ­ees and man­agers to con­tin­u­ous­ly improve and devel­op. Isn’t that what per­for­mance man­age­ment should real­ly be about.

Find out how Clear Review can trans­form your tired annu­al appraisals into mean­ing­ful per­for­mance con­ver­sa­tions. Watch our 7‑minute per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware demo now.