12 Best Employee Engagement Software to Boost Your Organization's Growth

This complete buying guide will help you compare the best employee engagement software available in the market today and make the best choice for your investment

7

min read

Are you struggling with streamlining all your employee engagement efforts? 

If yes, then chances are that you are trying to achieve everything manually and not leveraging the best employee engagement software available in the market today. 

These software support cutting-edge features like pulse surveys, insights and action plan, guided templates, and much more to create a culture of high level of engagement and belongingness. However, you need to choose the right one to ensure maximum value for your organization.

In this article, we have compared the price, features and suitability of 12 best employee engagement solutions as well as the key features you must look for while investing in any such platform to ensure maximum ROI. 

How to choose the best employee engagement software?

Choosing the best employee engagement software for your organization can go a long way into augmenting your engagement quotient. Before we jump onto discussing the top 12 platforms you can choose from, let’s explore a few best practices to make the right choice. You can get a detailed understanding of the same from our article on 12 steps to choose the best employee engagement software

  1. Be clear on what you need. Specify your requirements before you start scouting the market.
  2. Check out the basic features as well as integrations available to gauge whether or not they suffice your primary requirements.
  3. Explore whether or not there is an option to suit your scale up needs as a fast growing organization.
  4. Enquire if a trial version or free option for a short time is available to test out the solution before a long-term commitment.
  5. Understand the intellectual support and user interface offered before technical features.
  6. Check out the pricing to see whether it fits in your budget or not. 

12 best employee engagement software for fast growing organizations

Here are a few of the best employee engagement software, currently available in the market to take your engagement quotient to the next level: 

best employee engagement software comparison
Comparison of best employee engagement software

1. SuperBeings

Contemporary employee engagement software for fast growing organizations to facilitate engagement, performance management, OKR based goal management and manager development 

Key features

  • Single 3-minute assessment free for all for personality based engagement efforts
  • 30+ research backed survey templates to choose from on various organizational parameters
  • Analyze company health with real-time & monthly reports and filterable heatmaps
  • NLP backed sentiment analysis and personality based communication tips to facilitate engagement
  • Enjoy flexible anonymity for survey responses and integrate engagement and daily pulse survey questions with existing collaboration tools (MS Teams, Slack, Gchat etc) 
employee engagement tool SuperBeings

Pros

  • Ability to control EX with intelligent alerts to prevent survey fatigue
  • Nudge managers on chat tools to promote conversations
  • Organizational culture analysis and report for leaders
  • Guided 1:1s with talking points on what to share, questions to ask and actions to do
  • Great customization flexibility, in-depth survey analysis and AI powered actionable recommendations for managers

Cons

  • Mobile app is not yet available
  • Employee view of the scores is not yet supported

Pricing:

SuperBeings offers a modular pricing for different needs. The Engage model is priced at $2.00 per user per month, ideal for scaling organization. SuperBeings offers a 21 day free trial

2. Glint

People success platform by LinkedIn which focuses on employee engagement using real time people data ideal for teams of any size

Key features

  • Personalized insights and AI-powered recommendations for action to HR teams, leaders, and managers
  • Integrations such Workday, ADP, UKG, and Namely for automatic collection and analysis of data 
  • Interactive dashboards display a holistic breakdown of an entire organization's health
employee engagement platform Glint

Pros

  • Ability to analyze engagement on metrics such as weekly collaboration hours, workweek span, and weekly 1:1 time with managers
  • Glint’s AI-for-HR: Generate real-time alerts for employee populations that are at-risk for increased attrition, decreased performance, or other KPI changes
  • Glint's Narrative Intelligence: Most advanced natural language processing (NLP) to synthesize open-ended feedback 

Cons

  • Inability to get access to past survey responses
  • All responses are erased if you retake a survey
  • Survey responses are not integrated with a company's primary HR platform.

Pricing:

The pricing and plans are not available in the public domain. To know about packs and pricing, you could always get in touch with the Glint team. A demo for this employee engagement software is available to get a closer understanding of the product.

3. Culture Amp

Employee engagement solution focused on engagement, employee development and performance management ideal for teams with 25+ team members

Key features

  • 30+ science-backed and customizable survey templates
  • Survey focus agent to highlight areas of high impact for action
  • Ready to implement action plans backed by industry benchmarks 
culture amp

Pros

  • Advance algorithms combining engagement and performance data to predict turnover
  • Customized and intuitive reporting for managers aligning individual and company performance
  • Powerful analytics to draw relationship between performance and engagement

Cons

  • Integrations could be better and more expansive
  • Admin functionality is not robust

Pricing:

You can ask for pricing and plans depending on your team size. The self-starter plan is suited for 25-200 employees followed by the standard plan for 201-999 employees and the enterprise plan for 1000+ employees. Furthermore, the plans differ on the functionalities you need. Culture Amp doesn’t offer a free trial

4. Engagedly

Employee engagement, performance management and performance review platform leveraging recognition, gamification ideal for medium sized organizations

Key features

  • Surveys, goal-setting module, badges and social platform
  • Gamification-based points, badges, and leaderboard for active engagement
  • Ability to praise team members with rewards and gift cards
engagedly

Pros

  • Supports remote work collaboration and engagement
  • Increased communication with social platform, bulletin board feature, and goals tool 
  • Ability to manage everything from an integrated dashboard with customizable templates

Cons

  • Can be overwhelming for a first time user
  • Lack of live chat function for support

Pricing:

The starting annual agreement for Engagedly, employee engagement software, is $5,000. There is availability of a free trial

5. Officevibe

Employee engagement software with 10 metrics of employee engagement ideal for teams of all sizes with free capabilities for teams of 1-10 members 

Key features

  • Ability to measure 10 key metrics and 26 sub-metrics of engagement endorsed by Deloitte, Gallup, Aon, and more
  • Smart algorithm that sends relevant questions without being repetitive
  • Anonymous communication channel for honest employee feedback
Officevibe employee engagement

Pros

  • Freemium and paid plan
  • Powerful reporting with anonymous answers aggregated and then converted into scores
  • Ability to look back at engagement metrics from previous employee surveys for a simple view of trends over time

Cons

  • UX could be better, difficult to navigate
  • Lack of depth and variety in the questions

Pricing:

Officevibe is free for teams of up to 10 members. Beyond that, the essential tier is priced at $5.00 per month per user and the pro tier is at $7.00 per month per user. In case of 500+ users, you can get in touch with their team. OfficeVibe offers a 14 day free trial 

6. TINYpulse

Employee engagement and feedback software for teams of all sizes to make employees feel heard, celebrated and valued

Key features

  • Science-backed questions and 300+ survey templates
  • Real time, safely anonymous feedback from employees
  • Easy and effective recognition via Cheers for Peers functionality
tinypulse

Pros

  • Find operational improvements and fill communication gaps
  • Get suggestions for employees who haven't received recognition
  • 10+ integrations to promote participation and ease of use

Cons

  • Confusing user interface, especially for admin
  • Some questions can be framed in a more meaningful manner

Pricing:

The pricing for TINYpulse can be requested on demand by filling up a quick form sharing the number of employees. TINYpulse offers a free demo with a product expert

7. Lattice

Employee performance and engagement software leveraging surveys, pulse and eNPS ideal for small and large enterprises

Key features

  • Ability to observe how new initiatives and changes impact the employee experience with pulse surveys
  • Automated requesting, tracking, and measuring onboarding and exit survey feedback
  • Deep-dive engagement surveys with actionable insights
Lattice employee engagement

Pros

  • Ability to gauge eNPS and identify top performers and promoters
  • Expert-built survey templates and cohort analysis and reporting

Cons

  • Non-intuitive interface
  • Unsatisfactory analysis on pulse surveys

Pricing:

Lattice pricing starts at $8.00 per user, per month and increases with additional products, if you want to add on the engagement product, that comes at an additional cost of $4.00 per user per month. 

8. Motivosity

Employee engagement and recognition software with eNPS, pulse surveys, and report dashboards great for remote teams

Key features

  • Personal profiles, personality maps, and interest groups to know employees better
  • Social feed, intuitive appreciation tool and last thanked widget to facilitate recognition
  • User-friendly, searchable organization chart with HRIS and API integrations
Motivosity employee engagement

Pros

  • Anonymous eNPS and pulse surveys to understand team satisfaction
  • Easily distribute automatic, consumable reports 
  • Recognition based engagement

Cons

  • Too many pop ups
  • Presence of bugs and limited usability of many features

Pricing:

Motivosity has different pricing tiers for different licenses. The startup features come free of cost, then different features come at different costs starting at $2.00 per user per month. Motivosity offers a free product and platform demo

9. 15Five

Employee engagement software that combines performance management and manager effectiveness to create highly engaged employees, ideal for organizations of all sizes

Key features

  • Easy-to-use surveys which can be completed on any device in just 6-minutes
  • Science-backed assessment paired with an insights dashboard
15Five employee engagement solution

Pros

  • Support from executive advisors to create an employee engagement strategy
  • Manager coaching to help drive engagement 

Cons

  • Navigation can be a little confusing
  • Need more detailed reporting and analytics capabilities

Pricing:

15Five’s pricing for the engagement platform is at $4.00 per user per month and other capabilities can be added on. 15Five offers a free trial for 14 days

10. peopleHum

Complete suite of tools to connect, collaborate, measure and optimize employee engagement for organizations of all sizes

Key features

  • Ability to recognize teamwork and excellence on mobile, web, chatbot with company-wide visibility
  • Make announcements effortlessly, and leave behind traditional memos
  • Facilitate honest conversations with anonymous feedback
PeopleHum

Pros

  • Gamification for collaboration and interaction
  • Quick and easy installation with multiple integrations
  • Tech based reward system for better engagement

Cons

  • Some aspects of UX/UI need improvement
  • Some terms can be made easier to understand for first time users like NPS

Pricing:

The pricing starts at $2 per employee per month. peopleHum offers a free trial for 7 days 

11. Qualtrics

Experience management software focused on employee, customer, brand and product experience ideal for organizations of all sizes

Key features

  • Pre-configured dashboards and results to deliver the right data to every leader 
  • Pre-packaged expert content and surveys, to capture feedback and drive engagement
  • 20+ filters to enable managers to identify engagement drivers from feedback
  • 50+ survey templates designed by industry experts
Qualtrics

Pros

  • Spot themes and trends from feedback with sentiment and topic analysis with Text iQ
  • Find relationships between employee engagement outcomes with powerful statistical analysis through Stats iQ
  • Spot problems early with automated at-risk alerts for critical issues like attrition with Predict iQ

Cons

  • Data analytics and results can be more effective
  • Customization capabilities are limited

Pricing:

Qualtrics offers a free account with survey templates for fast growing organizations. 

12. Leapsome

People enablement platform with engagement, performance management, employee development and OKR functionalities ideal for organizations of all sizes

Key features

  • Easy-to-set-up employee engagement surveys
  • Customizable best-practice questionnaires developed by psychologists
  • NLP and ML driven analysis and scoring of sentiment of written responses
employee engagement software Leapsome

Pros

  • Ability to segment responses by tenure, team, or manager to help spot important correlations
  • Option to choose survey frequency, rotation, anonymity threshold, duration
  • Praise wall to create a culture of recognition

Cons

  • Flows are not optimized and the UI is not very attractive
  • More options for automated messages needed

Pricing:

Leapsome is priced at $6.00 per month per user. Leapsome offers a 14 day free trial 

Basic features of the best employee engagement software 

There are certain basic features that most employee engagement software will offer, which will be beneficial for you at the beginning of your engagement journey. Here is a quick snapshot of the top 5 basic features that you must look out for in an engagement tool —

1. Engagement reports and insights

First, it should be able to create reports based on employee feedback and surveys and create insights based on the data points. You would want the employee engagement software to go beyond just collecting the responses and sharing the results.

Ensure that you are able to receive reports which can be understood easily, preferably with visuals and data points to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

It should be able to provide you with key insights based on the responses on levels of engagement, drivers, challenges, etc. to help you reinvent the wheel wherever necessary. 

2. Pulse engagement surveys

Only relying on annual engagement surveys is a thing of the past. You cannot only gauge employee pulse once a year and ensure high levels of engagement and retention. Thus, a basic feature for any employee engagement software you need to look out for is its ability to conduct pulse surveys which are conducted at frequent intervals. This suggests that you should be able to control and customize the frequency at which you roll out different surveys based on the needs of your organization. 

3. Benchmarks

An employee engagement software generally comes with the feature of providing benchmarks based on your requirements. Depending on your industry and nature of the organization, your employee engagement tool should share insights on what the benchmarks look like and compare your performance to them. 

Put simply, absolute results may not be enough to gauge the engagement quotient for your organization. For instance, an e-NPS of 8 is good from a macro lens, however, if all your competitors and others in the industry have a score of 9, you need to relook at your engagement efforts. Thus, the employee engagement solution should share benchmarks and associated best practices. 

4. Anonymity 

If you want to get a true and honest opinion from your employees, you need to offer anonymity and confidentiality, especially around some aspects. Thus, another basic feature for any employee engagement software is its ability to offer anonymity for the employees. In recent times, there has been a rise of need based anonymity, where you can activate or deactivate anonymity for your employees based on the need. 

5. Pre-built customizable templates

If you are just starting out, you may have apprehensions about how to take the first step. Thus, a basic feature in employee engagement software is the presence of pre-built templates. The software should have multiple templates that you can choose from based on your needs. It must have questions that you can use and get an understanding of the market as well. Furthermore, you should look out for the software which allows high customization of its templates in terms of the number and wordings of the questions along with length, while maintaining the context. 

Advanced features of an employee engagement software

While these are some basic features, depending on your needs and the level of engagement maturity, you may want to check out some advanced features that are possessed by the best employee engagement tools out there. They can help you further capitalize on the benefits from the basic features to further add value to your engagement efforts.

1. Strengths based assessment

First, you may want to look out for an employee engagement software that can help you run personality tests for your team members to understand their strengths and overall personality with individual reports for all. This will enable your managers to facilitate more effective task allocation and conduct comprehensive 1:1 meetings by integrating personality insights. Such directed workflow allocation and conversations will significantly increase the engagement quotient for your employees and also enable interest based working. 

SuperBeings has an advanced free personality test to help you Know Your Team. Check it out

2. Sentiment analysis

While data points are integral to gauge engagement insights, they may not be able to give you a complete picture because there are sentiments that may not be captured quantitatively. Here, some of the best employee engagement software can help you with Natural Language Processing based sentiment analysis. This can enable you to decipher the sentiments behind the feedback which may not be apparent at the first glance, especially when it comes to open ended responses, etc. 

3. Guided templates for manager coaching

Effective employee engagement requires manager coaching to ensure meaningful conversations and feedback. An employee engagement tool with advanced features can help here as well. It can offer AI driven recommendations to managers based on insights and sentiment analysis to drive high impact conversations. Furthermore, it can help them prioritize top action for employees that can boost engagement and collaborate on it without losing track. The objective is to help managers have robust interactions with guided templates. 

4. Dynamic alerts

The best employee engagement software is not only able to tell you which employees are engaged or disengaged, it can help you predict and even curtail disengagement with the help of dynamic alerts and audience mapping. First, it can help you categorize your employees as different audiences based on different engagement efforts. For instance, you may want to send one survey for a specific department, while some efforts may be for those completing a professional milestone from different departments. A software can enable you to toggle between different cohorts. Furthermore, it can release real time alerts when more surveys than the saturation point are being sent to an employee which might lead to engagement fatigue, to help correct the action. 

5. Real time heatmaps

Finally, an advanced feature of employee engagement software that can take you over the top is real time heatmaps. Here, the idea is to receive actions to facilitate engagement in real time, without waiting for the end of the quarter, etc. It can help you look at data across cohorts or trends in real time in a visually understandable manner for quick and robust action. 

Wrapping Up

The importance of employee engagement can never be overstated, as it has been proven to reduce staff turnover, improve productivity and efficiency, improve customer service and retention, and deliver higher profits. The above mentioned employee engagement software can truly make a difference in your organization's work culture. 

However, you need to make sure you make the right choice, because while all the tools mentioned above are attractive and competent, your needs and expectations need to be the focus while choosing your employee engagement solution partner.

If interested, book a free demo with SuperBeings to see how we can help you drive engagement with ease

Suggested Reading

How to measure the ROI of your employee engagement software

Sudeshna Roy

Marketing, SuperBeings

Hi There! I am Sudeshna. At SuperBeings, I lead our content strategy to bring you the best and latest on everything related to people management

Latest posts

OKRs
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x
min read

Agile and OKRs: What You Need to Know to Thrive in a VUCA World

It is no longer an assumption that the traditional approach to annual goal setting and review has run its course. The VUCA world demands more quick and adaptable business models.

While the agile values and methodology was initially created for software delivery, you can apply the same to transform how you set and achieve your business goals. 

In this article, we will focus on:

  • Relevance of agile and OKRs in the VUCA world
  • Importance of leveraging agile techniques for OKRs
  • Best agile and OKR framework for growing organizations

Why you need to reimagine goal setting in the VUCA world

Traditionally, goal setting has been a very static and long-term process for organizations. Here are a few key components of traditional goal setting and performance management:

  • Annual or multi-year goals with little or no interventions at regular intervals to realign on changing priorities
  • Top-down approach — goals being set by those at the top with minimal inputs from those working on the ground
  • Only annual feedback cycles and the inability to identify or address challenges in real time
  • Lack of flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances or situations, which are uncertain and ambiguous

This form of goal setting and performance management had relevance for organizations operating in steady and stable market conditions. 

However, in today’s VUCA world, the pace of change is skyrocketing and organizations unable to tide with the same are finding it extremely difficult to survive, let alone thrive. 

Some of the reasons to reimagine goal setting for VUCA world include:

  • Increased globalization requires businesses to be agile and adapt to changes at all times
  • Focus on creating short term goals and action plans
  • Need to relook at business priorities due to changing market conditions and customer expectations 
  • Need to incorporate constant feedback from diverse stakeholders
  • Need to focus on collaborative goal setting over top down command

Relevance of agile and OKRs for growing organizations

While it may not be apparent in the first look, agile and OKRs are quite complementary and combining the two can be a great step for growing organizations. Here’s why —

  • OKRs can help you understand the end goal and envision what success will look like. 
  • On the other hand, the agile methodology can enable you to create the right roadmap with frequent experimentation to reach the OKRs successfully. 

Here are a few reasons why you should combine agile and OKRs for your organization:

  • Set shorter goals for each quarter with the flexibility to look at the results in real time
  • Agile iterations based on learning which can be communicated across teams 
  • Shorter feedback cycles which prevent investment losses that might occur if the whole project/ goal has to be reworked
  • Continuous improvement with frequent retrospectives which can enable you to reflect on what is working well
  • Focus on collaborative goal setting and performance management with team autonomy
  • Agile approach to progress tracking

How to use agile techniques for OKRs

Now that it is clear why working agile and OKRs together makes sense for growing organizations, let’s quickly explore the top ways in which you can apply agile techniques to your OKR framework to make goal setting and performance management suitable for the VUCA world. 

Agile Value 1: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  • Ensure collaborative OKR setting, assigning OKR champions and the right team members to execute the same
  • Facilitate clear understanding and communication of the intention and expectation behind each OKR and the responsibility for every team member

Agile Value 2: Working software over comprehensive documentation

  • Focus on clear outcomes and key results instead of comprehensive literature on why something is important
  • Facilitate shorter feedback cycles to gauge challenges early on and ensure feasibility of the OKRs
  • Reduce administrative overheads and complex processes related to OKR setting and progress tracking by using a simple, integrated OKR tool

Agile Value 3: Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Ensure continuous development by taking real time feedback from internal customers i.e. stakeholders in the leadership

Agile Value 4: Responding to change over following a plan

  • Facilitate dynamic planning over a static plan with quarterly OKRs
  • Ensure adaptability to change, uncertainty and ambiguity
  • Promote short cadence to gauge achievability and relevance of key results early on

Best agile and OKR framework

In this last section of agile and OKR for better goal setting and performance management, we will uncover the top framework. 

We have combined the best components of different frameworks like waterfall goals, delivery agile, scaling, full stack agile, into a single framework with 5 major components that can help you enhance the complementary potential of agile and OKR 

This approach can help you leverage the benefits of agile methodologies and OKR framework to impact all aspects of organizational structure for achievement of goals, including the culture, strategy, initiatives, tactics, etc. The framework is premised on:

1. Create value based OKRs

  • Focus on creating value based OKRs instead of activity based
  • Activity based OKRs are effective for specific projects, but for organizational goals, the focus should be on value
  • Instead of focusing only on the outcomes, have a clear understanding about how each of the outcomes can create value for the organization
  • The activities for each OKR should be a part of the agile roadmap and not the end destination

If you are struggling with combining agile and OKRs for your organizations, chances are you are focusing on activity based key results which often resemble agile steps, leading to confusion and inability to meet goals. 

2. Facilitate horizontal alignment for shared OKRs

  • Encourage collaborative OKR setting with realistic timelines and short intervals
  • Make OKRs team/ department specific and acknowledge avenues for collaboration and alignment between teams on shared OKRs
  • Acknowledge OKR dependencies between teams and facilitate transparency and horizontal alignment
  • Avoid splitting OKRs for a shared goal between teams, rather create opportunities for working together

For instance, if you have an event coming up and wish to successfully execute the same, the objective will be common, with specific value based key results for each team.

Objective: Successfully execute the 7th edition of our annual event

Key Results

  • Get 1000+ unique registrations
  • Raise INR 20,00,000 in sponsorship
  • Curate 5 high impact panels
  • Get 10+ media and affiliate partners
  • Get 5000+ impressions on social media with organic promotion

If you look closely, while the objective is shared, key results are spread across sales, marketing, and even product/ services teams

3. Combine quality and quantity results

Your agile and OKR framework should enable you to get the best of both worlds when it comes to results. Agile results by nature are qualitative in nature and focus on the features that you wish to ascertain in a specific period of time. On the other hand, OKRs are driven by metrics. Thus, you can use a combination of the two for effective results:

  • Use OKRs to validate goals set using the agile methodology
  • Ensure each key result has a quantitative (data) and qualitative aspect (value)
  • Use a combination of agile and OKRs to ensure that your progress is positively impacting the organization

The combination can help you create an ideal balance between outputs and outcomes which are both critical when it comes to goal achievement and performance management. 

4. Promote use of data

  • Leverage data and evidence to create your agile based OKRs
  • Instead of creating OKR based on leadership opinion alone, validate the same with market study
  • Don’t rely completely on hypothetical representation, undertake primary and secondary research to ensure relevance and perceived achievability

Pro-tip:

Using data and not relying solely on opinions will help you set agile OKRs which don’t under or over estimate the goals. For instance, if the market data on traffic to a new website in your industry is 20,000 clicks in one week, your OKR can focus on reaching 25,000 to make it aspirational but achievable up to 80%. 

However, if you set the target at 50,000 or above, it will become too far fetched and the team might not even strive for it. On the flip side, if the target is only at 10,000, it will not encourage your employees to push the boundaries. Thus, you need to replace opinions and command OKRs with data backed experimentation.

5. Build self organizing teams

  • Provide you teams with a clear idea of what the larger vision looks like
  • Encourage them to set their own OKRs and help with a direction to achieve the same
  • Facilitate team autonomy and empower your team members with the right tools and resources like SuperBeings to not only set OKRs, but also track progress in real time and grade them at the end of the cycle. (Learn more)

Self organizing teams are important for growing organizations as they proactively take onus and ownership of achieving OKRs and lead to a greater degree of success. Step away from controlling detailed plans for each OKR and encourage the leadership to provide direction. 

Wrapping Up

To conclude, if you combine agile and OKR, you have for yourself a clear model for success which you can easily apply to goal setting and performance management. Furthermore, leveraging the right technology resources can help you stay on track and enable you to thrive in the VUCA world. 

OKRs
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x
min read

How to Create a High Performance Culture Using OKR Methodology?

Like most fast growing organizations, you might also be leveraging the OKR methodology to set, implement and facilitate effective goal setting to maximize growth. If not, you should start using OKRs ASAP.

OKRs not only provide an excellent goal setting framework but also drive high performance when implemented strategically. Most importantly, with enhanced goal visibility and transparency, OKRs ensure that everyone is on the same page which is the foundation of a cohesive and high performing culture. 

In this article, we will discuss 8 ways in which you can adopt the OKR methodology to build a thriving company culture.

Use OKR methodology in 8 ways

1. Focus and clarity

A high performance and thriving company culture is based on the foundation of clarity and focus. When there are 100 things to focus on, your employees will eventually lose sight of what’s actually important and might feel burdened with non-priority tasks. This will lead to a poor employee experience and limited productivity, both situations that prevent an impactful culture.

However, when you apply the OKR methodology, you will be able to limit your focus on 3-5 top priorities which will attract attention, energy and efforts across the organization. You will then be able to create a high performance culture by dedicating all your resources to the key priorities to realize impact. 

2. Collaboration and alignment

A culture that thrives on collaboration, teamwork and alignment is one which creates maximum impact. The OKR methodology can help achieve this in an effective manner. On one hand, everyone is clear about their role in the OKR achievement, which makes collaboration seamless because everyone is on the same page and no one steps on the shoes of others. 

On the other hand, OKRs can help your employees align their responsibilities and tasks with the overall vision of the organization, motivating them to contribute to the big picture. 

To learn more about how to align teams using OKRs, read this

3. Agility and resilience

Recent times have shown that uncertainty and ambiguity will continue to mark the new normal. Thus, a culture of agility, resilience and responsiveness is critical for fast growing organizations. The OKR methodology can help achieve the same. 

OKRs are cognizant of the changing environment and have the flexibility to be adapted to the same. 

More importantly, you can leverage the OKR methodology to foster a culture that focuses on outcomes and is not fixated on the tasks to achieve the outcome at hand. 

4. Continuous engagement and reflection

One of the top challenges of building a great company culture is a siloed approach and annual reflection. This leads to surfacing of major risks and problems which result in high rates of attrition, absenteeism and lower levels of motivation, productivity, etc. 

However, the OKR methodology adopts an approach of continuous engagement and reflection. You can create a regular cadence to check OKR progress for each of your team members, even daily is effective. 

This continuous engagement and reflection can enable you to preempt risks before they surface and leverage the power of communication to address them in real-time. Invariably, a culture built on continuous engagement leads to greater impact and high levels of performance as well as employee satisfaction. 

5. Transparency 

The lack of transparency is one of the key obstacles for many fast growing organizations that seek to create a thriving company culture. A way out often seems difficult to navigate. Fortunately, the OKR methodology can help address this challenge as well. When you use OKR, especially with the support of an effective OKR tool, you can facilitate high levels of transparency. 

Everyone in the organization will not only know their role, but also will have a complete view of the level of performance for others. Such transparency can help you increase coordination of efforts and give everyone the visibility of what’s happening across the company. 

6. Non-hierarchy

You may agree that most fast growing organizations these days seek to replace a strict hierarchy with a more flat organizational structure that facilitates inclusion of diverse ideas, thoughts and opinions. However, many struggle when it comes to actually implementing this thought. 

Adopting OKRs can solve this problem.

By nature, the OKR methodology is based on a collaborative foundation where a top-down approach compliments a bottom-down approach for goal setting. 

This suggests that while the skeletal structure of the goals might be laid down by those in the top leadership, you can give all employees the freedom and autonomy to create OKRs for their teams and verticals. 

When your employees participate in setting the OKRs they have to execute, the level of ownership is much higher. Thus, you can leverage the OKR methodology to create a thriving culture built on greater ownership and a flat organizational structure. 

7. Open communication and feedback

With a focus on continuous engagement and reflection, the OKR methodology can help you facilitate open communication and feedback. Many studies have shown that a culture that facilitates regular feedback along with open channels of communication is more likely to thrive than one which does not. 

In the OKR methodology, when you constantly track your OKR progress (download our free template for tracking OKRs), you will be armed with data backed insights to offer regular feedback for your employees. Furthermore, you can also leverage the same to start meaningful conversations with your team members in case you feel that there is any kind of disconnect. Such open communication can help you create a truly inclusive culture when employees feel their voice is heard. 

8. Accountability and recognition

Finally, a company culture that thrives has two major components supporting it, accountability and recognition.

  • On one hand, only when your employees are accountable will they give in their 100% to create a high performance culture. 
  • On the other hand, if you don’t recognize the efforts of your employees frequently and in an effective manner, they are bound to feel demotivated with a lack of encouragement, leading to a poor employee experience and culture. 

The OKR methodology is an answer to both these challenges. 

  • First, being regularly reviewed, tracked and organization wide visibility makes accountability a given for fast growing organizations leveraging OKRs. Since everyone knows what the other person is responsible for, there is a development of a culture of accountability. 
  • Second, with regular tracking, monitoring individual progress becomes seamless for managers. Invariably, they can track the performance of their team members and recognize efforts in real time. This leads to a culture of recognition which is bound to see high levels of engagement, motivation and satisfaction. 

Empower your culture with the OKR methodology

Now that you know how the OKR methodology can help you in many ways to create a thriving culture, it is also true that as a fast growing organization with multi-pronged focus, leveraging OKRs is a challenging task. To address the same, you can collaborate with an integrated OKR tool like SuperBeings to automate the OKR adoption and maintenance.

With SuperBeings, you get to — 

  • Keep OKRs at the center of your business activities by aligning everyday tasks 
  • Reduce friction in goal management with zero context switching (by integrating Slack, Teams and Gchat)
  • Stay ahead of risks with a bird's eye view on key OKR status as well as compare progress over time with automated daily OKR tracking
  • Connect OKRs with Meetings tool to automate OKR check-ins and empower managers with data-backed AI driven actionable templates for meaningful conversations

Learn more about the OKR tool here. Otherwise, to see this in action, book a quick call with one of our experts. Also, get all your questions answered on the same. 

See Also

How to Run a Successful OKR Progress Review  

The complete guide to adopting OKRs (PDF)

Master OKRs in just 10 days: Free email course

Performance
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How to Write Negative Employee Reviews (Examples + Templates)

With performance management becoming a critical part of organizational success, giving effective employee reviews is becoming a crucial part of a manager’s responsibilities. While regular employee performance reviews focus on illustrating the strengths and what worked for employees and the organization at large, there needs to be an equal focus on areas of development in case of poor work performance

If you look closely, writing negative employee reviews is often considered to be more difficult because the words need to be chosen very carefully. It needs to have a developmental tone rather than a critical one. 

What are negative employee reviews?

As the term suggests, negative employee reviews are reviews delivered to employees who have underperformed and need to be pulled up to the expected levels. It involves a variety of components which include:

  • Problem statement i.e. an illustration of poor performance, how it has been manifested and its impact on the overall organizational success
  • A clear understanding of the level of performance which is expected
  • A potential way or action items to correct the poor performance and improve

To get actionable ideas of how to deal with poor performance issues at work, read this

Writing and delivering negative employee reviews is very important for any organization that seeks to maintain a high level of employee performance. It is critical to ensure that:

  • Poor performers are aware of their level of underperformance and have a clear picture of what’s expected from them
  • Those who are underperforming get an opportunity to improve or face the consequences of consistently performing poorly
  • Underperformers are given the right support and guidance to improve their work and efforts to meet the expectations

Why should you be cautious of your words?

When you are writing negative employee performance reviews, you need to be extremely cautious of the words you choose. Using the right words will help the receiver acknowledge and work on the suggested points, while using words that are too harsh or critical can lead to adverse consequences. There are a few reasons which make the choice of words extremely important. 

  • The right words can help negative employee reviews focus on the developmental aspects and the impact of poor performance on the organization, rather than criticizing the person in general
  • They can help ensure that the job and the performance are the focus of the employee reviews and not the character or the personality of the person
  • Being cautious also ensures that the negative employee reviews don’t have a negative impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of the employee and are taken in a constructive spirit.

The same review when offered with the right words can be more powerful and have a larger influence. 

For instance a statement like ‘you interfere too much in the work of others’ can be seen as a personal attack and may yield a defensive response from the receiver. 

However if you frame it in a different manner like ‘if you give others greater autonomy and freedom to work in their own way, you will be able to inspire greater creativity and innovation’, you will be able to put your message across and also help your employees understand how it will make a difference. 

Download: Free guided 1:1 meetings template to get personalized meeting recommendations

Tips for writing negative employee reviews 

In addition to being cautious of the words you use, there are a few other tips which you must keep in mind while writing negative performance reviews, including:

1. Keep it crisp and structured

While giving negative reviews is difficult, don’t beat around the bush and get straight to the point. However, instead of directly saying what isn’t going well, try adopting the sandwich approach. Start with a positive comment, add areas of improvement and end it with some suggestions and action items. 

Example: Tina has an excellent eye for detail and is very dedicated to her work. However, she often misses the deadlines which has led to a delay in 30% of her projects resulting in poor client experience. It would help her performance greatly, if she is able to prioritize her work better and keep an organized calendar for timely delivery. She can consider using the latest project management tools to facilitate better prioritization. 

2. Don’t get personal

Second, negative employee reviews should focus on the job or the role and not the person specifically. Steer away from using words or phrases which may end up combining performance and personality of the person. Your review should be specific towards performance challenges and not generalize that performance challenge is a personality trait.

Example: Instead of saying, “you are not punctual”, you can say that “I have seen you arrive late for meetings frequently, leaving shorter time for discussions. It would be best if you could be more punctual to respect others' time and make the most effective use of the same.”

3. Focus on progress

When you are writing negative performance reviews, you must focus on the progress and how a change in behavior and attitude can help them in the long run. Simply mentioning what went wrong and the associated process might lead to demotivation. 

Example: Some of your work has had grammatical errors in the past, maybe because you were trying to complete a lot at once. I am sure if you prioritize some tasks and create an action plan, your work quality will be better. 

4. Offer facts

Don’t simply give negative employee reviews about the problem area, but back it up with facts and data points. This will help you illustrate a pattern and establish that your review is not based on a single incident. Also, it will make your review more credible and authentic and not just a few words strung together. This will also help you in being very specific.  

Example: It has been observed that 40% of your customers claim that you don’t have adequate knowledge of your product, leading to a poor experience. 

5. Give examples

There might be some performance parameters which are difficult to add quantitative data points to. In such cases, you can offer specific examples of underperformance, especially if it has been repetitive. It is ideal to have at least 2-3 instances of poor performance to make your point stronger. 

Example: It has been noticed that in the aspiration to get your work perfect, you end up delaying projects. It was observed in project X with client A, project Y with client B as well as when the internal submission for Z was due. 

Pro-tip: Use our free Performance Review Phrases template to get 50+ examples of writing a negative review positively

How to deliver a poor performance review?

Once you write the negative employee reviews, you exactly know what you want to say to your employees. However, the way you deliver it also has a big impact on how it is received. To make the process simple, we have compiled a list of some of the best practices to help you deliver a poor performance review in the best way possible:

1. Connect in person

If you are delivering a negative performance review, it is best to do it in person, or if your team is remote, over a video call. If you deliver it over an email, you cannot be sure of the tone and context in which your words will be read. 

It might backfire by being read as more critical than developmental as per the intent. Furthermore, when you are delivering the negative reviews face to face, you can also use your gestures and body language to facilitate authenticity and empathy. 

2. Steer away from yelling

No matter how poor the performance has been, when you are delivering negative employee reviews, you should stay away from yelling or using foul language. Since the focus is on facilitating development for your employee, yelling will only defeat the purpose, making the employee demotivated and pushing them towards even lower levels of confidence and motivation. Furthermore, it will negatively impact your organization from an employer brand perspective. It can also create a negative impact on the wellbeing of your employees. 

3. Add anecdotes 

While delivering the review, you may want to add some personal stories or anecdotes if you have yourself been through something on those lines. This will help you connect better with your employees and make them trust you more. Furthermore, it can enable you to illustrate how they can turn poor performance into something better with a live example in front of them. 

4. Make it a dialogue

Your negative review shouldn’t be a monologue where you deliver what you have written with the employee absorbing it as a passive recipient. Instead, make it a dialogue by putting forward questions to understand the reasons behind poor performance and how you and the organization as a whole can help turn the table. Hearing their side of the story is extremely important before deciding on the next steps. 

4. Create a safe environment

When you are delivering negative employee reviews, you need to create a safe environment. It should not be harsh and the employee should feel comfortable in receiving what you have to offer. Also, make sure you deliver the review privately and not publicly shame your employee. They should see it as a developmental conversation in a safe environment, where they can also voice their opinions. 

5. Make it regular

Finally, negative employee reviews need to be regular and not come as a surprise to your employees at the end of the year. Regular reviews will give your employees enough room to improve their performance. Furthermore, it will give them a clear picture of what to expect when the year closes. 

To learn how SuperBeings can help you have guided conversations around negative performance review with AI recommendations based on performance and goals history as well as maintain a steady cadence to maximize the impact of such conversations, see this

Offer suggestions and follow up

After you have delivered the negative reviews to employees, the natural next step is to create a plan for improvement to help your employees reach the level of performance you expect out of them. This is a critical part of the performance management and talent development process for employees who have been consistently underperforming. Here are a few ways you can help your employees improve their performance.

1. Create action items collaboratively

If you have reached this level of negative employee reviews, you and your employee would be on the same page about their level of performance. Thus, it is best to create a list of action items that can help them improve their performance. To create the next steps, you must:

  • Ensure the steps are specific and not generic which only state the objective
  • Create steps which are aspirational, but achievable at the same time
  • Ascertain that there is an intended result for each decided step
  • Collaborate and brainstorm with your employee to create action items which are agreed upon by both
  • Align timelines and other factors to achieve success

2. Document the next steps

Next, your focus should not only be on planning the action items, but documenting them as well, because once they are out of sight, they’ll be out of mind. Furthermore, documenting them will help you remember the agreed steps and track progress every now and then. 

Clearly document what needs to be achieved, by when and how. It can be a good idea to encourage your team members to constantly document their experience as well to help discuss what has been working well and what needs to improve. 

3. Draft a Performance Improvement Plan (PiP) if needed

Depending on the performance issue, you may want to introduce a performance improvement plan for your employee. It is a formal tool to address performance challenges which outlines specific goals and expectations along with clear actions that need to be undertaken over a duration of 30-90 days.

For more details on PIP, check out A guide to implementing a performance improvement plan (PIP)

4. Set up a cadence

You also must set up a cadence to discuss performance improvements or challenges once the next steps are agreed upon. Unless you connect regularly to discuss the status, you might find yourself at square one at the end of the next performance review period as well. 

Depending on what needs to be achieved, you can set a weekly, fortnightly or monthly cadence to connect with your poor performers. While it may be seen as a regular review, it will also act as a reinforcer for them to ensure there is some improvement everytime the cadence to meet comes up. 

5. Define metrics

When you are determining the next steps, it is important to identify the associated metrics as well. For instance, if you want your employee to become more detail oriented, your metric can focus on reduction in errors by a specific percentage over a specific duration of time. 

The metrics will help you measure whether or not there has been an improvement in the performance as desired or not. At the same time, the metrics will help your employee move towards a specific goal. 

6. Follow up

While you have a set cadence, you may also want to check-in or follow up from time to time to make your employee comfortable enough to reach out to you in between your cadence for connecting. The follow ups can be over emails or calls or simple messages to check if everything is on track and to offer them any support whichever is needed. Especially in the beginning, you may need to check from time to time in case there’s any additional support that the employee needs to work on the action items. 

7. Evaluate progress

Finally, to ensure that your negative employee reviews translate to impact, you must focus on evaluating progress. Use the metrics you defined to gauge the level of progress and document it whenever you evaluate the same. This will help you establish a trend over time. 

Furthermore, if you feel the progress is below expectations, try to understand the rationale behind the same to check if putting the employee on a performance improvement plan will make more sense. 

Wrapping Up

By now, you must have gained a clear understanding of how to write, deliver and follow up on negative employee performance reviews constructively. If you are keen to learn how best to connect negative performance issues with regular 1:1 meetings with your team members with technology, book a quick demo with one of our executives. We would love to show you around :)

See Also

How to use Start Stop Continue feedback framework for high performance

10 performance review tips for managers that actually work

How to use employee coaching to unlock performance

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