Top 15 Employee Performance Evaluation Software in 2021

by Adarsh Raj Bhatt
shallow focus photo of woman using MacBook

What is Employee Performance Evaluation Software?

As a startup founder, you wear many hats, including HR Director. Keeping on top of employee performance can be cumbersome, but it necessary, not only for you but also for your employees and the overall success of your company. Employee Performance Evaluation Software is a software tool for keeping reliable records of employee performance, identifying opportunities for improvement, and recognizing top performers. 

It paints a valuable picture of where an individual is doing well and where they can improve.

Employee Performance Evaluation Software will help you: 

  • Enhance the HR decision-making process
  • Make intelligent decisions about whether or not to fire or promote employees
  • Ensure holistic development of employees
  • Measure your employees' success effectively
  • Figure out which employees are truly helping the startup achieve its objectives

Employee Performance Tool

Monitoring an employee's or a team's performance is often a complex undertaking that needs flexibility. 

The key is to understand how effectively and efficiently an employee has performed over the course of the year (or any other timeframe). The performance might not exceed your expectations, but at the very least, it should be aligned with your expectations.

Employee performance management software aids in aligning the employees with the startup's objectives and measuring and evaluating the performance of individual employees against results on a regular basis. It keeps a digital record of all events to make sure that the progress graph stays on track. 

Why is it important to have an employee performance review system?

Performance reviews are important because they are among the most powerful ways to help develop employees. Employees can gain insight into how they are doing on the job and employers can focus on working to facilitate growth and improvement.

The reviews are all about looking forward. A good performance review system is designed to facilitate constructive conversations between you and your employees. It aids in goal setting, talking about the big picture, and getting team members excited about their work, all three of which will have a long-lasting impact on your startup’s success.

The best part?

An employee performance review system can also keep rewards fair and transparent. It allows founders more opportunities to address, acknowledge, and reinforce good behaviors and practices. 

Finally, a well-executed review can also streamline the entire review process within the startup.

Employee Performance Software for a Small Business

Upping your performance review frequency benefits your employees, your managers, and your small business. They allow managers to address performance issues quickly, work out a plan to help the employee improve, and check in on a more regular basis to ensure that performance is, in fact, improving.

Frequent feedback helps employees grow and improve over time and keeps them focused on their goals throughout the year. When team members grasp where exactly they stand and how their performance is aligning with larger expectations, it gives them a strategic road map and motivation for improvement.

Employee performance management software is a good option for startups because it helps:

  • Align individual goals with the overall startup goals
  • Provide real-time insights into organizational and individual performance
  • Enhance employee engagement and efficiency
  • Cut costs by streamlining the employee performance management process
  • Catalyze the growth of the small business

What should you look for when choosing vendors in this space?

#1: Recurring Reviews for Employees

A continuous and standardized performance assessment process can assist stakeholders in having a more organized and ongoing dialogue that is truly aligned with the startup's goals. 

Recurring reviews would assist you in tracking and evaluating employees' progress against predetermined performance targets (and OKRs). This mechanism would guarantee that employees are working toward a common goal while also allowing you, the founder, to provide useful input.

#2: Goals for Employees

Efficient goal planning and development necessitate that mostly all employee practices are in keeping with the startup's strategic plan. 

Startups could ensure that individual and team objectives are in sync with the startup’s goals by incorporating a predefined performance scorecard or key performance metrics into their performance assessment method(s).

#3: Insights and Analytics 

Thanks to comprehensive performance insights and analytics, startups can now evaluate individual employee potential and engagement, and recognize individuals who're at risk of exiting. This helps startups identify potential employee retention issues.

#4: Employee Recognition

Great startups know that they must regularly -- and proportionately -- recognize their employees' achievements in order to keep them motivated, engaged, and driven.

Employers can use an embedded rewards management solution to devise effective employee recognition programs such as productivity or competency-based pay, flexible employee compensation, and far-sighted reward plans.

Top 15 Tools for Employee Performance Evaluation in 2021

15Five

Description: Complete solutions to develop effective managers, highly engaged employees, and top-performing startups

Best for: HR leaders, managers, directors, VPs, and C-level executives at progressive startups.

Pricing: 

  • Basic: $7 per person, per month. Billed annually.
  • Plus: $14 per person, per month. Billed annually.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Extremely user-friendly 
  • Easy to adopt 
  • Lets the user engage at scale effectively while also keeping the personal touch that comes with commenting on and liking discussions that happen.

Cons:

  • Restrictions behind the polls and reporting
  • Not possible to turn on 15Five Plus for subsections of users rather than either being turned on or off.

6Q

Description: Meaningful employee surveys in minutes.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing: 

  • Up to 50 users: $99 per month
  • Up to 100 users: $189 per month
  • Up to 200 users: $348 per month

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Surveys in 6Q are only six questions long; thus, it increases participation in the startup better as compared to long surveys. 
  • The frequency of the surveys can be easily customized.

Cons: 

  • Does not give many actionable insights

Culture Amp

Description: Get the employee engagement, performance and development tools, and insights you need to build a category-defining culture.

Best for: Startups of all sizes -- from fast-growing early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies

Pricing: $3300.00 per year

Pricing Model: As per features

Self-starter -- for startups with 50 to 200 employees. 

Standard -- for startups with 200 to 2000 employees. 

Enterprise - -for larger startups with over 2000 employees.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • The software allows you to set demographics and view the reporting in the platform
  • Reports can be branded and exported as CSV, ppt, pdf, etc.

Cons: Minor UI issues in some parts of the website and configurations of surveys that aren’t logical to locate at first.

Energage

Description: Fully integrated solutions to help startups recruit and retain the right talent.

Best for: Medium and large startups

Pricing: Contact Energage to obtain current pricing.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Energage’s customer service is always ready to help. 
  • Energage’s website is simple to use and quite user-friendly.

Cons: Survey link sometimes gives error messages on the launch date of the survey

Glint

Description: Built on a new approach that helps startups increase employee engagement, develop their people, and improve business results.

Best for: Customers range in size from 100 employee mid-sized startups to over 250,000 employee multinational corporations. 

Pricing: $25,000-$125,000 per year

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Provides a better understanding of engagement within the startup. 
  • Rather than just crunching numbers, they help interpret not only the results but also what actions will help move engagement forward as a startup.

Cons: The slicing and dicing of data could be easier and more straightforward. 

Impraise

Description: Build engaged and high-performing teams by enabling managers to better understand and grow their people.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing:

  • Performance: $6 per user, per month. Billed annually.
  • Performance, Alignment & Engagement: $8 per user, per month. Billed annually.
  • Enterprise: Custom per user, per month

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: Peers can request your feedback, as this is important for both promotions and compensation conversations.

Cons: Some users wish that they could also invite clients and third parties to give their sales reps, customer success managers, implementation consultants, and support agents feedback using Impraise. 

Lattice

Description: Develop engaged and high-performing teams even when everyone is remote.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing: 

  • Performance: $9 per user, per month
  • Engaging: $12 per user, per month

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Lattice is welcoming, easy to use and to figure out how to get what you need. It’s also really snappy. 
  • The feedback feature is fantastic, and users absolutely love the Lattice Office Party game.

Cons: 

  • The app is a bit slow sometimes.

Officevibe

Description: Tackle challenges and build strengths so your team can do its best work.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing:

  • Basic: Free
  • Premium: $4 per user, per month

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: Give direct feedback anonymously 

Cons: Some users would like the questions to dig in a little more and have a little more variety. 

Qualtrics

Description: Continuously listen and improve experiences for every employee

Best for: HR leaders, employee researchers, and people managers looking to increase employee engagement, create exceptional employee experience, and improve startup culture.

Pricing: $1500-$5000 a year. Has a free trial and a free version.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Extremely user-friendly platform 
  • Platform is sophisticated enough through the use of triggers, contact lists, APIs, multiple question formats, etc. 

Cons: Numeric inputs are given through a text field where validation can confirm numeric values (that is great); however, there is no easy way to format the field (currency, commas, etc.) without the use of javascript.

Reflektive

Description: Reimagining performance management with the leader in talent management.

Best for: Startups of all sizes

Pricing: $7500 per month

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Integration with Slack
  • Feedback tool 
  • Check-in module for performance reviews
  • 1:1 capabilities with Google calendar 
  • Prompted questions, new survey features for onboarding/exit.

Cons: 

  • Some users would like comprehensive people analytics included with the package to understand -- more easily -- employees that are at risk (for retention purposes). 
  • Additionally, it would be nice to have a more comprehensive integration with HRIS to pull comp data and map to review process info for the people analytics portion.

Reward Gateway

Description: Boost employee engagement by simplifying and uniting communications, recognition, and more in one easy-to-use employee engagement system.

Best for: All startup sizes

Pricing: Not provided by the vendor. Estimates are $8.45 per employee, per month up to 100 employees.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: 

  • Employees are given a choice on how they save money. 
  • It is very easy to use and extremely accessible.

Cons: 

  • Some users dislike having to log into the website, instead of an app, to load the money onto cards. 

RoundPegg

Description: Discover what it means to drive a purpose-driven culture – and the tools you need to get there. 

Best for: Small- and medium-sized startups

Pricing: As per features. Billing options are monthly and yearly. Exact figures not provided by the vendor. RoundPegg offers a free trial.

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: No
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: Improves the workplace by helping startups identify and manage employees through their important individual values.

Cons: The employee engagement experts at ITQlick reviewed RoundPegg pricing and gave the software a total cost of ownership (TCO) rating of 5 out of 10.

Polly (earlier Subcurrent)

Description: Simple recurring polls on Slack for employee engagement

Best for: Geared towards early-stage startups

Pricing:

  • Slack: 

Agile: $29 per month

Social from: $49 per month

Surveys from: $49 per month

  • Polly for Microsoft Teams:

Basic surveys: $99 per month

Pulse surveys: $4 per active user, per month

  • Agile Polly for Microsoft Teams:

$3 per user, per month

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: No
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: No
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: Smooth Slack integration.

Cons: 

  • Polly seems to be ineffective without the Slack integration. 

TinyPulse

Description: Get real-time feedback from your employees to help you make important leadership decisions.

Pricing: $5 per employee, per month, billed annually

Best for: Geared towards medium and large startups (especially those under 75 employees)

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: No
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: TINYPulse Suggestions have streamlined their internal communication, helped build trust between employees and management, and added accountability across the entire startup.

Cons: “Pulse” interface within the app frequently defaults to the pulses from when the user first started using TINYpulse. 

Weekdone

Description: OKR Software and Coaching to Ensure a Results-Driven startup Culture

Best for: Small and medium startups

Pricing: $108.00 per month. Free trial. Free version. 

Evaluation of key criteria:

  • Recurring reviews for employees: Yes
  • Managers set expectations for employees: Yes
  • Insights and analytics: Yes
  • Employee recognition: Yes

Pros: Startup objectives can be connected to both team objectives and individual objectives. 

Cons: The website does not have too many special features exclusive to the platform. 

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