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Goal Planning & Alignment Employee Engagement Performance Reviews Performance Management

8 Employee Performance Tools to Measure, Monitor, and Improve Productivity

October 18, 2022
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7 min read
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How are you monitoring and measuring productivity at your company? If you aren’t, or if your methods are inconsistent, your teams probably aren’t reaching their productivity potential. You’re also missing out on valuable opportunities to help them become more productive. But, these employee performance tools can help turn it around.

We’re sharing eight examples of performance management tools you should be using to monitor, measure, and improve employee productivity.

Why Use Employee Performance Tools?

Employee performance management probably isn’t at the top of most HR practitioners’ list of favorite job duties. But, out of every human resources task, employee performance has a significant impact on the business. If you’re not tracking, measuring, and looking for ways to improve productivity, your employees — and your business — can’t reach their full potential.

Luckily, there are tons of proven ways to encourage productivity. Employees today want:

  • Clear expectations and the tools they need to do their jobs
  • Appreciation from their managers
  • A sense of purpose and connection


Though it may be surprising, the key to meeting their needs is a robust performance management system. Watch performance improve and productivity rise when you build a performance management framework utilizing these essential employee performance tools.

@ClearCompany has the scoop on 8 must-have employee #performancemanagement tools you should be using to improve productivity:

1. Performance Reviews

The list of the benefits of employee performance appraisals is long — but only if they’re happening more than once a year. Annual performance reviews are better than none at all, but 92% of employees want to hear feedback more than once a year. The best employee performance appraisal systems include a variety of different types of evaluations throughout the year:

  • Annual, Semi-Annual, and Quarterly Reviews
  • 30-, 60-, or 90-Day New Hire Reviews
  • Competency and Roles-Based Reviews
  • Time-Based Reviews
  • Peer and 360-Degree Reviews

Performance reviews give managers and employees a chance not just to talk about what they’ve accomplished through the year, but also a chance to look ahead and set goals for the future.

2. Regular One-on-Ones

While performance reviews are certainly necessary, they’re still a more formal way of managing performance and only happen a few times a year, at most. If your goal is to improve employee productivity, managers need to be in tune with how they are doing at all times and give employee feedback in a timely manner. Performance management statistics show that 43% of highly engaged employees get feedback from managers at least once weekly.

So, your managers should have one-on-ones with their team members at least once weekly for the most engagement and productivity benefits. Weekly check-ins give employees more chances to ask questions and make sure they’re progressing as expected and managers more opportunities to correct mistakes and offer guidance. Open lines of communication also contribute to a more trusting, transparent company culture.

3. 360-Degree Reviews

What is 360-degree feedback? It’s a method of reviewing employee performance in which a number of their peers complete evaluations. 360-degree reviews are a way of creating a complete — 360-degree — picture of employee performance instead of relying on direct managers’ input only. Employees tend to find 360-degree feedback to be more accurate, fair, and validating than traditional reviews. 

360-degree reviews usually include:

  • A self-assessment completed by the employee that’s being evaluated
  • Peer reviews from a number of the employee’s colleagues (usually four to eight coworkers)
  • A traditional performance review completed by the employee’s manager

That may seem like a lot of information to gather for one reviewee — but that’s one of the biggest benefits of 360 review software. With software, your HR team can easily create 360-reviews, launch review cycles, and keep excellent records.

4. Goal Planning and Alignment

Around half of the employees surveyed by Gallup say they don’t know what they’re expected to accomplish at work. That’s negatively affecting employee engagement, which in turn hurts productivity. After all, how can employees be productive when productivity isn’t defined?

That’s why goal-setting is an employee performance tool you can implement immediately for a boost in productivity. When managers and employees work together to set goals that are aligned with organizational goals, employees understand what they need to do and how their work contributes to the success of the business. Goals and objectives not only enable managers to watch their teams progress but also help employees feel more connected to their work and the company as a whole.

5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

While not every goal will include a key performance indicator, they are necessary in some roles (sales, for example) and can be useful for any role. They’re an excellent tool for improving productivity because KPIs allow ongoing measurement and monitoring of how much work employees are doing. If employees are falling behind on important KPIs, managers will notice and can take steps to address waning productivity. 

Setting KPIs is slightly different from goal-setting in that goals can measure progress without metrics and can be long-term, over months or years. KPIs are usually based on achieving quantitative goals like sales revenue or the number of contracts signed and are often set monthly or quarterly.

6. Employee Recognition Programs

We can’t deny that bonuses and raises are excellent ways to give rewards and recognition to your employees, but they’re not the only ways. Employee recognition increases engagement and productivity — it’s just a fact. 37% of employees say recognition is their top motivator to produce great work. 69% say more recognition would motivate them to work harder.

The great thing about employee recognition is that it’s easy to do. Encourage your managers to call out employees’ accomplishments during weekly check-ins, team meetings, and in company Slack channels. Make a big deal when employees have birthdays and reach work anniversaries, sharing congratulations via email or during all-staff meetings.  

You can also use software to make this process even easier. Performance management software can automatically notify the whole company of big milestones, allowing other employees to congratulate their coworkers. Software also gives employees a platform to publicly praise colleagues — and then keeps a record of those comments, so they’re reflected in future performance reviews.

Did you know more #employeerecognition could be the key to increasing their productivity? Discover more tools to monitor, measure, and improve #employeeproductivity:

7. Personal Development Plans (PDPs) and Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs)

Inside or outside of the workplace, personal development plans stem from a desire for growth. At work, employees might create a PDP if they want to grow their leadership skills or earn a new certification. Rather than focusing on developing concrete work skills, PDPs are focused on gaining new knowledge and broadening critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They can motivate your employees, remind them they can still learn new things, and prevent stagnation. 

Performance improvement plans are created when employees are struggling to complete their daily work or achieve goals. PIPs give employees a chance to bring their performance up to its expected level and can help uncover what’s causing the dip in productivity. Then, managers can offer more training or additional coaching and motivate employees to achieve their goals or determine if they’re not a good fit for the role.

Modern Versus Traditional Marketing Instagram Post8. HR Reports and Analytics

If you’re using performance management software, generating reports and analyzing their results is far easier than if your system is still managed on paper. Today’s performance management software can tell you more than you ever thought possible — all without adding tasks to HR teams’ overflowing plates. Here’s what you can learn from performance analytics:

  • What are some of the traits your highest-performing employees have in common?
  • Are managers scoring their team members fairly and accurately?
  • Do any employees need more training or resources to do their jobs?
  • How do employee engagement levels and performance scores relate to each other?

With the ability to access such deep insights, you can make choices based on real employee data and then watch their impact on performance. For example, if you notice one manager gives male employees consistently higher performance scores, it’s an opportunity for bias training and a record of their conduct in the event that it doesn’t improve. It’s also a chance to find out what sets high performers apart so you can look for those traits in future applicants and build the most productive workforce possible. 

Can you believe it’s possible to get these tools and more from a modern performance management system? With software, HR can automate the tedious parts of performance management, like reminding employees to complete unfinished peer reviews. Performance software also gathers people data into insightful reports that help you understand what drives — and slows — productivity. 

There are many types of performance management systems, but there’s only one like ClearCompany. Equipped with all the tools you need to monitor, measure, and improve productivity, ClearCompany is also a full lifecycle talent management platform. Recruit, onboard, engage, evaluate, and retain your top talent with our integrated Talent Management System.

But first — discover what the best Performance Management software on the market can do for your organization. Sign up for a personalized demo of the ClearCompany Performance Management Platform today to see how you can increase productivity with our employee performance tools.

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