The rise of full-remote and hybrid workforces brought on by COVID-19 has reshaped the reality of work. People no longer share physical spaces on a permanent basis, and spontaneous discussions between managers and direct reports aren’t as easy as they once were. These changes — and many more — have companies rethinking how they approach performance management, and looking at performance management systems.


Table of contents:

A recent report from Gallup finds that most employees dislike their company’s approach to performance and see it as demotivating, uninspiring, and even a reason to quit. This is driven by the fact that fewer than 50% of employees feel that the way they’re evaluated is fair or transparent.

Motivating employees, ensuring fairness, and safeguarding transparency should be the foundation of a successful performance management model. As businesses roll out more applications to back performance management processes, it’s important to ensure everyone — whether a high-visibility leader or a lower-profile remote contributor — is treated equitably.

In this blog post, I’ll share a few of the key capabilities that you should look for when searching for the right performance management system for your company and the benefits of building it instead of buying an off-the-shelf solution.

Capabilities a Performance Management System Should Have

The technology supporting these processes should provide best-of-breed capabilities to track and boost performance, from agile goal-setting and continuous feedback to flexible metrics and incentives.

A performance management system helps managers establish employee performance standards and evaluate individual employees’ job performance, including managing their progress, achievements, and development in relation to organizational goals. It is also used to facilitate meaningful and ongoing discussions between managers and direct reports.

To achieve these results, here are some critical capabilities you should look for when evaluating performance management systems:

  • Goal/OKR tracking. Keep your company aligned and on track by setting and managing goals and objectives and key results (OKRs) using proven methodologies for individuals and teams.
  • Reviews and feedback. Incorporate self‑reflections as well as peer and manager feedback into reviews to get a full and fair picture of employee performance. Build a culture of continuous feedback by enabling teams to give and receive the feedback that fuels growth from wherever they work.
  • One-on-ones. Encourage collaboration and connection between managers and employees and provide the context needed for productive conversations. Look for collaborative agendas and action items with goals, feedback, and growth plans to support ongoing conversations that produce real results.
  • Praise. Recognize and celebrate employee wins with praise that everyone in the organization can see. Integrate this praise into external social feeds as well.
  • Calibrations. Calibrations are the key to equitable performance reviews. They also facilitate employee performance tracking across the company and identifying opportunities for alignment.
  • Continuous feedback. Foster a culture of continuous employee development by making it simple for anyone to give or request feedback at any time.

Why You Should Consider Building a Customized Performance Management System

Popular performance management systems include some combination of these capabilities and benefits. But when it came time to choose a performance management system here at OutSystems, we couldn’t find anything in the market that adequately reflected the seven principles of our company culture, so we built our own using the OutSystems low-code development platform.

outperform platform 

Here are some of the lessons we learned that you can adopt for your own organization:

  • Build in flexibility. With low-code development, you can easily manage performance in a way that suits your culture without being constrained by standardized models reflected by COTS systems. Build in as many assessment periods as you need, and back them with recurring one-on-ones, cyclical reviews, or peer appraisals to ensure a clear view of your organization’s performance.
  • Keep it connected. The OutSystems low-code development platform makes it easy to share data with other systems. Our in-house system is fully integrated with our current human capital management suite, but that doesn’t mean we’re locked in. Should we ever migrate to a new enterprise system, our performance management solution can tap into it just as easily. And, building with low-code development makes it possible to efficiently and cost-effectively integrate any kind of data, including industry-specific indicators.
  • Continue to adapt. Organizations and the environments in which they operate are in a process of continuous evolution. The OutSystems low-code development platform supports an agile microservices architecture that makes it easy to add, remove, or change individual components without breaking the whole application.
  • Gain visibility. Establish your program with transparency and fairness to motivate and encourage your workforce to adopt the system. OutSystems lets you tailor your own in-depth dashboards and functionality such as calibrations or ongoing conversations to ensure equitable reviews and open discussions to identify growth opportunities.
  • Go mobile to keep track of your distributed team. Enable your workforce to give and receive the feedback that sparks growth regardless of where individual employees work. Using OutSystems low-code development, you can develop and deploy native mobile apps and progressive web applications (PWAs) with the click of a button.

With OutSystems, you can build a tailor-made performance management system that is flexible enough to adjust to all workforce settings and that reflects your company's culture.

As a result, the HR department with IT’s support can quickly roll out performance management functionalities that respond to the business’s needs, including access to performance data, continuous tracking, goal-setting, and constant feedback. Employees are served with a rewarding user experience in an application that’s intuitive and motivating, and where fairness and transparency stand out.

To learn more about leveraging OutSystems to create a performance management system as unique as your company, visit our Performance Management System page.

Or book a demo.