October 12, 2021
Lucy Robertson

The Top 3 Features of Performance Management Software

No longer (and arguably ever) should the emphasis solely be on monitoring and measuring performance. Not only does this mean that traditional performance management systems are no longer fit for purpose, but that businesses that are serious about creating and maintaining a high-performing culture across their office-based, remote or hybrid workforce, need an alternative. What’s more, business disruption as a result of the pandemic has meant that the requirements of performance management for the hybrid workforce have changed beyond recognition – as managers are being held to account like never before.

But knowing what features to look out for in performance management and enablement software both for the benefit of managers and employees, is where some organisations fall short. To that end, we’ve summarised below the 3 most popular performance reports accessed by people-centric HRDs and HR teams using the OpenBlend platform to identify the top 3 features you need to consider before choosing a performance management software.

We’re not saying you NEED to choose OpenBlend, but if your organisation is serious about improving its approach to performance management and enabling people to perform then this acts as a great guide. Using the most popular reports accessed via OpenBlend Data on Demand, we’re showing you what people-centric businesses like A+E Networks, Gymshark, and M&C Saatchi place the most emphasis on in their performance management tool.

What are the top 3 features of effective performance?

#1 Objectives and OKRs

Feature number one that businesses should look out for within their performance management system is an area to set, track and measure objectives. But beyond this, you need a coaching framework for managers that actually helps them, support employees, with objectives in their one-to-ones.

Setting objectives is and always has been the foundation of successful performance management. Without clear objectives, employees, managers and HR teams have no way in which to evaluate nor understand performance. Whether employees are setting new goals, updating their objectives, or discussing their objectives with managers, in order to drive and maintain productivity, being able to create, track and measure objectives is a core part of any effective performance management system.

Top Tip: When managers and employees pair Performance Objectives with focused conversations and frequent 1-1 check-ins that drive measurable productive outcomes it paves the way for constant development. Taking a ‘coaching’ approach to objectives setting is vital as not only does it enable managers to easily evaluate and gauge the progress and development of their employees, but it gives them the opportunity to boost engagement and productivity via regular feedback. Our coaching framework gives managers the confidence and skills to take this approach. This, in turn, keeps employees engaged – providing them with a sense of purpose and achievement in reaching their objectives.

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#2 Individual drivers and motivators (Blend drivers) 

The second most popular report accessed by managers and HR teams of the OpenBlend platform is on Current Blend Drivers. We’re very vocal about the importance of understanding employees at an individual level in order to enable performance because, without this knowledge, no performance management tool will ever be tailored to the individual.

Awareness of individual drivers and motivators, and how they are different for each, and every employee is vital to embed a productive performance management culture. At OpenBlend we call this work/life Blend – the mix of personal and professional drivers that need to be fulfilled in order to empower employees to achieve and perform their best at work.

When you take into consideration an individual’s key drivers, such as progression at work, health and exercise, or sense of belonging at work you’re able to paint a full picture of what has an impact on performance at an individual level. Managers and HR teams using OpenBlend access data on Current Blend Drivers to assess how much of their workforce are fulfilled.

For example, as you can see in the graph below, this manager has the insight that on average their employees' current score, for a 'sense of belonging' at work (a key driver) is 63%, but the average target score is set at 93%. Not only does this demonstrate a gap in fulfilment levels but that there is a significant amount of importance placed upon a 'sense of belonging' as a key driver of performance.

To back this up, Deloitte’s 2020 Global Human Capital Trends research had 93% of respondents agreeing that that belonging drives organisational performance – one of the highest rates of consensus they’ve ever seen in a decade of the study. This stat demonstrates the importance of having insight into employee drivers and motivators – because as you can see, it’s a big contributor to performance.

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#3 Wellbeing

The final, arguably most important feature of any effective performance management system needs to be one that helps managers and HR teams to address and understand employee wellbeing and mental health. This is why it comes as no surprise that businesses using OpenBlend rely heavily on the Wellbeing part of our platform, to access reports and gauge wellbeing levels across their teams and departments.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%), while evidence suggests 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Being able to access an overview of wellbeing levels within your performance management tool is vital.

Insight on wellbeing gives managers and HR teams the tools they need to take a more holistic view of their employees, and when paired with other findings identify the extent to which other factors might be impacting wellbeing. You need wellbeing data to spark conversations that give a real insight into what could be influencing employee performance – such as stress management, confidence, or a sense of belonging and purpose. But ultimately a better awareness of wellbeing builds trust amongst managers and employees and contributes to a much healthier company culture.

Top Tip: Try our three simple questions ‘How happy are you?’, ‘How confident are you’, and ‘How capable do you feel to manage stress?’ that bring structure to otherwise tricky conversations surrounding wellbeing to get you started. By taking this approach to addressing wellbeing in your organisation, it makes the conversation easier to have and more solution focussed.

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What are the next steps?

Implementing a performance management platform is a big commitment for your organisation. And if you want to go further than simply measuring performance, you need a tool that aids your managers and HR teams to enable performance, you need OpenBlend.

We will work closely with you to manage those early days of onboarding and beyond, your Customer Success Manager will ensure you are guided through the journey from performance management supporting roll-out of key features that truly enable high-performance environments where people do their best work.

Alongside the core features to look out for when weighing up your options you also want to ensure that your future performance management platform is flexible – by this we mean can be tailored to your wants and needs as an organisation - integrates with your current business systems and software such as collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams (for ease of use) and offers outstanding customer support. A performance management and enablement platform that shines in all three of these areas will ensure a great fit for your managers and employees.

OpenBlend tips the archaic approach to performance management on its head. It’s built on coaching methodology and supports managers to place the employee at the heart of the performance process, giving them a framework to understand key motivators and drivers amongst their workforce and enable productive employee-led one-to-one conversations that discuss everything from wellbeing and objectives to feedback.

If you’re interested in finding out more about OpenBlend, and why it might just be the best tool for your business and how it can be tailored to grow with your business needs, book a personal demo, join a 20 min open demo of the OpenBlend platform, or get in touch today.

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