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What is a Performance Management System? Hubken’s ultimate guide

4 min reading time

Performance management is a vital aspect of any organisation’s strategy. Developing and managing your people is key to keeping engagement levels high and employee turnover rates low.

For such an important area, having a reliable and dynamic performance management system can make all the difference when it comes to getting the right processes in place to get the most out of your teams.

This ultimate guide to performance management systems will help you understand: what is a performance management system, along with some examples of how a performance management system can benefit your organisation.



What is performance management?

Before talking about performance management systems, it’s important to establish exactly what we mean by performance management itself.

Performance management includes all the steps involved in every one of your employee’s journeys from joining your organisation to eventually leaving it.

Their development and progression all fall under the remit of performance management. Some of the main duties for someone carrying out performance management include:

  • Defining individual roles

  • Aligning individual goals with those of larger teams and the organisation as a whole

  • Logging and tracking employee performance

  • Identifying skill gaps and opportunities to develop employees’ skills

  • Facilitating feedback cycles to and from employees



What is a performance management system?

As the name suggests, a performance management system is a platform used to carry out effective performance management online, keeping all records and materials associated with the performance management process in one place.

Performance management systems allow for a level of consistency that offline approaches simply can’t match. Everything that is logged on the system can be measured and reported on, whether that’s goal setting, evidence logging or performance tracking.

The great benefit of performance management systems is that you can use them to supplement traditional approaches with more modern processes such as 360-degree feedback and regular performance check-ins, creating an engaging and effective performance review process.

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What does a performance management system do?

Simply put, a performance management system brings existing performance review process online and offers the ability to expand and streamline approaches to emphasise regular, fluid performance management with check-ins and feedback cycles at the forefront.

At Hubken we see Totara Perform as the performance management system of choice. It has some great tools to help you manage and develop your teamsSlim blog CTAs (12)

What is a performance management system used for? Here are some performance management system use case examples:


Goal setting

One of the key factors involved in successful performance management is ensuring your employees have clear and defined goals - otherwise assessing performance can become very difficult and stressful for both you and your employees.

An effective performance management system like Totara Perform will have a dynamic goals function, allowing you to not only assign goals and targets to individuals and teams but also provide them with dashboards showing how they are progressing towards those goals.

What is a Performance Management System? - Goal setting

These goals can be aligned to all levels of an organisation, from individuals, teams and departments, through to the wider company, meaning you can report on the progress of employees working not only on things specific to their role, but also looking at the strategic big picture.


Competency management

For organisations whose employees need to achieve and prove specific competencies in order to effectively carry out their roles and meet compliance regulations, a performance management system can be a great way to improve efficiency and streamline processes.

What is a Performance Management System? - Competency management

Totara Perform allows managers to control the whole process of competency and compliance, from assigning frameworks and establishing progression criteria to reporting on that progression and identifying skill gaps and areas of need to fill with further training.


Logging evidence

It’s not just competency and compliance training that performance management systems can help measure and prove. Things like CPD and indeed any aspect of an employee’s progression within their role can be measured and supported by evidence stored on the system.

Evidence areas within Totara Perform allow you to log offline performance-based conversations and meetings, meaning ad-hoc check-ins with employees are also much easier to keep track of.

You can also upload documental proof of progression towards established and required goals for each employee, including things like external accreditation certificates.


Curating 360-degree feedback

360-degree feedback is a trendy term within performance management right now and effective performance management systems allow for it to be enacted with efficiency and automation, making it a much simpler logistical and administrative task than previously.

What 360-degree feedback actually means is an employee receives feedback not only from their line manager, but also their peers and any other relevant members of staff, all in one cycle. That employee is also able to provide feedback to their manager too.

performance management system examples -  360 degree feedback

Totara Perform facilitates this with feedback parameters, which allow you to choose feedback contributors for each employee’s cycle, request feedback from those contributors, and decide upon the frequency of feedback delivery.


Reporting and analytics

For managers, a performance management system makes life a lot easier when it comes to reporting on the progress of your employees, which is crucial for developing your teams.

What is a Performance Management System? - Reporting and analytics

With dashboards that show your teams’ progression towards goals and reporting ID functionality that allows you to collate feedback responses all in one place to show a clear picture of how feedback has changed over time, Totara Perform offers great outstanding report-generating tools for sharing progress with relevant stakeholders.



What are the benefits of a performance management system?

Performance management systems offer a best of both worlds approach, bringing the more traditional performance management practices such as probation meetings and annual appraisals online, while also introducing more modern features that can transform your processes.

Modernising your approaches by bringing them online has many benefits, including:

  • Consistency

    Processes can be kept consistent across your organisation, meaning a level playing field for all employees and clearly defined goals and feedback cycles.

  • Opportunities to identify skill gaps

    With dynamic goal-focused dashboards showing progress for each employee, skill gaps can quickly be identified to be filled with additional training and development.

  • Better clarity and value to feedback

    Employees benefit from clearer and more valuable feedback from a wider number of sources and can be measured against transparent goals, meaning they know what they’re working towards and how to reach their goals.

  • Less administration

    For managers, the ability to automate and schedule large portions of the performance management process is invaluable when it comes to saving time on admin.



Our recommended system - Totara Perform

As mentioned above, we recommend Totara Perform for organisations looking to implement a powerful and effective performance management system.

It’s a modern and dynamic system that offers all the features mentioned in this blog and more, allowing you to transform the way you manage and develop your people.

With Hubken you can also combine Totara Perform with Totara Learn, a feature rich LMS, and Totara Engage, a game changing LXP, to create the Totara Talent Experience Platform (TXP). It’s the ultimate suite of tools for organisations who want to be at the cutting edge of training and development, all in one system.


Explore the Totara Talent Experience Platform

Unlock the full potential of your people with the full suite of Totara products: Totara Learn, Perform and Engage.

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