8 Best Performance Management Software and How to Find One

Read this article to get a comprehensive view (pros, cons, features and pricing) of the best performance management software available in the market today and essentials tips to find the right one


min read

Every people-manager understands the importance of having an effective performance management system for individual as well as organizational success. Here, using the right performance management software can help you automate many parts of the process as well as enable you to leverage industry benchmarks and AI driven guidance to drive performance in the right direction. 

To help you make an informed choice, we have curated this list of the top 8 performance management tools and a quick guide on how to find the best one for your unique needs. 

The top 8 performance management software for 2022

Did you know that choosing the best performance management software can help you accomplish a variety of objectives, including —

With these benefits in mind, let’s quickly check out the 8 most efficient performance management software for growing organizations.

  1. SuperBeings: Flexible performance management software which integrates OKRs, feedback, reviews and employee engagement
  2. Lattice: Performance management with public recognition and custom review cycles
  3. Culture Amp: Performance management platform used by 5000+ companies
  4. Leapsome: All in one people enablement platform with customizable development frameworks
  5. 15Five: Continuous performance management software with pre-built competency based assessments
  6. Engagedly: New age performance management software to redefine appraisals and succession planning
  7. BambooHR: Personalized Human Resources Information System for small and medium sized organizations
  8. Peakon: Intelligent listening platform to understand hidden truth behind employee comments 

Now, let us look at all these 8 platforms and learn the pros and cons of each.

1. SuperBeings

Next-gen talent management platform suitable for collaborative, comprehensive and regular performance reviews, tracking and real time feedback to facilitate high performance culture. SuperBeings comes with integrated OKR management and employee engagement modules.

best performance management tool
SuperBeings Performance Management tool

Key features

  • Ability to choose flexibility and configure any combination of review options (goals, projects, competencies, values, leadership, qualitative, or something else), frequency (monthly, quarterly, half yearly, annual or custom) and stakeholders (self, manager, peer, reportee, skip level, others)
  • Run rating less reviews for comprehensive performance overview
  • Facilitate continuous performance management with regular goal based sync ups/ check-ins
  • Automation of performance review cycles, automated reminders and nudges to complete reviews to save admin time


  • Individual employee profiles based on top personality assessments
  • Ability to identify strengths and blockers for each employee
  • Combination of weekly goal and monthly performance check-ins
  • Automated 9 box grid of performance and potential snapshot
  • Automated annual and 360 feedback and reviews


  • The cycle set ups are handled by the support team, there’s no DIY option yet
  • Do not offer a self serve trial. You can contact the team to setup a trial account though


SuperBeings is priced at a nominal cost of $3.00 per user per month. It is ideal for growing teams which need flexibility of scale and comprehensive functionalities to create a high performance culture. You can book a quick demo here

2. Lattice

People management software focusing on 360 performance review cycles and engagement surveys, OKR tracking and real-time feedback ideal for teams of 40+ members

Lattice performance management software

Key features

  • Ability to offer public recognition, directly in Lattice, in Slack, Microsoft Teams, and on in-office screens
  • Option to see historical feedback for context and fairer, faster review cycles
  • Option to customize review cycle with automatic rules, make adjustments mid cycle, or streamline calibration progress


  • Intuitive tools for employees to communicate and request feedback
  • Seamless administration and management of performance assessment with intuitive UI
  • Option to run annual performance reviews, quarterly development cycles, project-based, or automated reviews


  • Too many notifications at the risk of important ones being lost
  • Limited integrations 


Performance management with Lattice starts at $8.00 per month for each user with a minimum annual agreement of $4000.

Based on the minimum commitment, Lattice is ideal for team sizes of 50+.

There is no free trial, but a demo can be availed by interested users. 

3. Culture Amp

Comprehensive performance management and employee development software with reviews and conversations for managers and employees ideal for companies with 25+ members

culture amp performance review software

Key features

  • Built in reminders and shared agendas for collaboration
  • Integration feedback from self reflection, peers and managers for 360 assessment
  • Provision to request feedback for anyone at any time


  • Flow of work integrations to collect feedback and reviews from preferred platform
  • Flexible review templates and calibration tools
  • Designed by organizational psychologists, meaningful and actionable feedback powered by machine learning
  • Check-in questions focused on whole employee experience


  • Lack of report customization
  • Inability to view results in different ways


The pricing for Culture Amp is available on request. It is ideal for organizations with 25+ employees. This performance management software provides different feature-clusters for different organizations based on their workforce strength and is, thus, ideal for small, medium sized as well as large enterprises. 

There is no free trial for Culture Amp. However, there’s a 3 minute pre-recorded demo available on request. 

4. Leapsome

All in one people enablement platform bringing together performance management, employee engagement, and learning ideal for teams of any size

Leapsome performance evaluation software

Key features

  • Ability to define important skills and track development
  • Option to create customized development framework based on reviews
  • Integrated dashboard with status of each review cycle at one place


  • Predefined best practice templates and frameworks which are customizable
  • Development matrix integrated with reviews, feedback and goals


  • Need for more automated messages
  • Improvement required in user experience


The pricing for Leapsome starts at $6.00 per user per month. There is no minimum commitment, making it suitable for organizations that might be starting up as well as large enterprises. 

Leapsome offers a 14 day free trial for users.

5. 15Five

Continuous performance management platform which combines software, education, and community to develop successful managers improve employee performance ideal for teams of all sizes

15five continuous performance management

Key features

  • Consistent measure of performance with custom weights and actionable ratings
  • Promotes insight driven pay and promotion decisions
  • Ability to sync employee data automatically sync between HRIS and 15Five


  • Availability of pre-built performance review templates 
  • Focus on competency-based assessment with skills and behavior critical for high performance
  • Establish a standardized process when measuring performance using rubrics


  • User interface has limited capabilities
  • Limited reporting competencies


Pricing for 15Five starts at $8.00 per user per month and is ideal for organizations of all sizes. It also has specific capabilities for managers to facilitate performance management starting at $9.00 per manager per month. 

Users can sign up for a free trial

6. Engagedly

New age performance management software redefining appraisals by combining employee engagement and performance reviews ideal for larger corporations with medium sized teams

Engagedly performance management

Key features

  • Detailed dashboards for succession planning with 9 box tool 
  • Online LMS for training and development
  • Built-in competency model and ability for employee development and growth


  • Real time and on demand feedback
  • Mentorship platform based on a proprietary behavioral and competency based algorithm
  • Alternative workflows for 30-60-90 days reviews or conversations for new hires


  • Too many features can be overwhelming in the beginning
  • Limited focus on 1:1 performance management


The pricing starts at a minimal cost of $5000 annually. Therefore, having a critical mass of team members makes sense to use this performance management software.

There is a free demo available.

7. BambooHR

Personalized Human Resources Information System (HRIS) focused on performance management for small and medium sized organizations

BambooHR HRIS performance tracking software

Key features

  • Frequent and actionable reviews and assessments for self and managers
  • Strategic assessment planning with regular intervals coupled with impromptu and 30, 60, and 90-day check-ins
  • Automated reminders for performance tracking


  • Comprehensive goal status report with review notes and updates in a single window
  • Availability of desktop and mobile apps
  • Compare performance across years and departments


  • Only satisfactory layout
  • Scope for improvement in mobile version


The pricing for BambooHR is available on request based on the number of employees and functionality requirements. It is ideal for organizations of all sizes and has a suite of HR services to offer, which can be of better use to organizations in their scale up phase.

There is an availability of free trial


Intelligent employee listening platform to provide personalized employee experiences and maximize business performance for large organizations

Peakon employee listening platform

Key features

  • Collect real-time feedback on important aspects of employee satisfaction and performance
  • Organizational development-based question sets and custom surveys
  • Prescriptive recommendations and action plans based on industry benchmarks


  • Machine learning and NLP to actually listen to employee voice
  • Custom surveys and templates with automatic recommendations
  • Personalized micro-courses on how to convert insights into action


  • Too many data points can be complicated to understand
  • Requires training to use it effectively


The pricing is available on request. This performance management software is ideal for large organizations and enterprises.

There is no free trial available. But a pre-recorded 2 minute product walk-through is available on request

How to find the right performance management software?

If you are wondering how to find the right performance management software or how to make a decision from the many options shared above, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. What do you seek to achieve?

Start by gauging where you are struggling and what are the problems that you seek to solve with the performance management software. The idea is to enlist all your pain points and intended impact

2. How do you want to achieve it?

Once you have your pain points, you will have a clear picture of what you need. Do you only need performance review capabilities or do you also need support with goal management as well as feedback. These considerations are crucial for you to make the right choices.

(Keep reading to learn the key features of top performance management tools) 

3. How much do you want to spend?

Next, you need to gauge your financial situation to decide how much you are willing to spend. While there will be pricing for performance management software available, you will first need to have clarity on your budget. Learn about the possible return on investment before you commit to a software.

Read ROI of Performance Management Tools to make a proper business case

4. How many people will use it?

In addition to the budget, you also need to figure out the number of people who will be using the performance management software, now and in the future. If you are a growing organization, you need to be cognizant of your scale up plan as well. While some performance management software are ideal only for large enterprises, others have solutions for the entire spectrum with flexible pricing. 

5. Do you need additional or basic features?

Finally, you need to consider whether simply gathering reviews and feedback is enough or would you need insights, reports, heatmaps, etc. as well to make sense of your data points. More often than not, having such features and integrations are integral to performance management and thus, this consideration can make a lot of difference.

Based on answers of these questions, you need to look for some features that are mostly non-negotiable if you want to leverage your performance management software to the maximum extent, including:

5. a) Goal setting and management

A key aspect of any performance management software is its ability to assist growing organizations and team members in goal management. There are multiple connotations at play here:

  • Goal and OKR setting with focus on both individual as well as organizational goals
  • Aligning everyone on the goals and providing complete transparency and visibility
  • Tracking performance on the prescribed goals in a regular and real time basis

The right performance management software will enable you to set, align and manage goals seamlessly to contribute to high levels of performance resulting from achievement of goals and OKRs.

key basic features of performance management tools

5.b) 360 performance review

Performance tracking and 360 review are very important aspects of a performance management software. Especially for fast growing organizations, it is important to track progress and performance in real time to:

  • Preempt risks and challenges to performance and prevent attrition
  • Address performance issues instantly to ensure long term success
  • Keep track of individual performance and ownership at all times for retrospective analysis

However, simply focusing on real time tracking is not enough. Performance reviews as a part of the performance management software must also be comprehensive and holistic in nature. This requires a focus on 360 performance review to ensure:

  • Feedback is collected from peers, managers, direct reports as well as in the form of self evaluation
  • Reduce rater bias by providing a wide variety of responses and offer a true picture of performance
  • Get a holistic view of the contribution of the employee towards organizational success, not limited to specific tasks or projects

Thus, the right performance management tools will enable you to frequently conduct employee reviews, involving all key stakeholders in a strategic and streamlined manner by leveraging the power of automation. Put simply, the pre-set review templates and surveys can be set automatically using the software with automatic reminders, reducing admin work while augmenting impact at the same time. 

5.c) 1:1 conversations and feedback

Based on performance tracking and reviews, the performance management software should be able to provide you with insights to offer feedback during 1:1 conversations. Some important aspects include:

  • AI driven guided templates for 1:1 conversations based on performance insights
  • Conduct continuous conversations focussed on level of goal achievement and developmental plans
  • Manager analytics and records to track performance over time with traceable history

Additionally, the various integrations of the performance management software should reduce the admin work for managers for scheduling and conducting 1:1 conversations. 

5.d) Appraisal and recognition

The best performance management software should be able to help managers and organizational leadership ensure frequent and meaningful recognition and appreciation. This generally requires:

  • Performance review in real time to appreciate a job well done on the spot
  • Insights into performance trends over time to identify development areas which have been worked upon
  • Understanding each team member with personality assessments

Therefore, a performance management software must provide insights into these and more aspects of appraisal and recognition. The objective is to enable managers to reward high levels of performance consistently to facilitate motivation and at the same time, identify and address blockers to performance, if any. 

5.e) Reports and analytics

Finally, the performance management software should have robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Simply conducting reviews, feedback, etc. will not bear fruit, if managers are not able to drive change with the results. Therefore, the performance management software should:

  • Provide actionable insights about employee pulse and performance in a single window format
  • Offer heatmaps for developmental areas for employees as well as the organization as a whole
  • Provide learning areas, support and resources for managers to develop key leadership competencies

Thus, reporting and analytics can be a culmination of all performance management efforts as well as the starting points on new priorities and areas of work. Without holistic but crisp reporting, a performance management software might not be able to provide complete insights into the performance culture for an organization. 

Advanced Features of Performance Management Software

advanced features of performance management software

5. f) Performance snapshots

In a performance management software, you should look out for the feature of performance snapshots to ensure bias free performance management with feedback captured at regular intervals. Your platform should:

  • Provide you with customizable templates to capture performance snapshots at frequency of your choice.
  • Aggregate snapshots to offer a holistic view of performance and gauge trends over time.
  • Leverage historic feedback throughout the year to check signs of improvement, need for interventions and even compare performance over time.
  • Performance snapshots also help you identify high potential employees as well as poor performers with data backed analysis of the same.

Good performance management tools can help you capture performance snapshots across an automated 9 box exercise and track improvement over time. 

5. g) Coaching support to managers

For performance management to be truly effective, your managers need to be trained on providing the right coaching to employees in a strategic manner. This not only enables them to provide feedback holistically but also have 1:1 conversations with employees in the right way. A performance management tool can help this by providing coaching support to managers by:

  • Integrating performance management with 1:1s and OKRs to facilitate effective goal setting
  • Providing AI driven recommendations for 1:1 conversations which capture key performance insights to ensure they don’t miss out on anything 
  • Offering guided templates to master critical conversations which may require extensive coaching

Thus, you must look out for a performance management system which can provide adequate coaching to your managers to help employees navigate their performance in the right direction. 

5. h) Personality assessment/ Talent profiles 

A performance management tool that comes with a feature of talent profiles or personality assessment is important for any growing organization. It can help you understand the strengths, skills and other important aspects of your team members and identify gaps if any. The right tool will enable you to:

  • Conduct short personality assessment tests for your employees to understand individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Use AI driven recommendations to have 1:1 conversations based on personality tests and use talent profiles to effectively delegate work
  • Understand gaps to facilitate hiring, succession planning, etc. strategically

Therefore, the right performance management tools will help you build talent profiles not only prepares you for better performance in the present, but ensures that you are set for the future too. 

5. i) Competency management

Ensuring the right skills and competencies are borne by each employee is an integral part of performance management. Thus, if your tool is able to facilitate this, you will find yourself in a position of success. A good performance management software can help you:

  • Undertake skills and competencies assessment for your employees and identify gaps with respect to their roles
  • Identify the right certifications, training, development opportunities to bridge the gap
  • Communicate the gaps with guided templates to ensure effective exchange of ideas

In a nutshell, the tool will be able to help you draw a blueprint for your organization’s learning and development based on competency management.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, it is evident that most of the performance management software available in the market today can help you transform your performance management process for the better. However, choosing a software based on its capabilities may not be enough. You need to gauge whether or not it is ideal for your organizational size and type too as well as measure its ROI before committing your resources to any particular software. Use the factors shared above for an informed purchase of your performance management software. 

If interested, book a free trial with SuperBeings today. No credit card required.

Suggested Reading

ROI of performance management software

8 point checklist for selecting the best PMS

Advanced guide on Continuous Performance Management (PDF)

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

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min read

50+ Most Useful Employee Onboarding Survey Questions

‘Onboarding: How to get your new employees up to speed in half the time’ - George Bradt, founder and Chairman PrimeGenesis

Did you know that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%? 

However, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees. 

This clearly states that while employee onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line, most organizations miss out on how to get it right. 

Don’t let that happen to you. To onboard new employees like a pro, keep reading.

What is an onboarding survey?

By definition, an onboarding survey is a questionnaire that is administered on new hires to gauge their initial experience and level of satisfaction, in an attempt to understand their engagement and retention potential. 

As an HR, you can get multiple insights from an onboarding survey, including:

  • what employees thought about the organization when they heard about it for the first time
  • how their impression changed over time 
  • whether or not their experience aligns with their expectations, etc.

It can help you estimate how long the employees are likely to stay and how you can further optimize your onboarding process to make it more aligned with employee expectations. 

Why are onboarding surveys important?

An effective onboarding survey can help you reflect on your performance through the onboarding process, which directly impacts KPIs for organizational success, including:

1. Retention

93% of employers believe a good onboarding experience is critical in influencing a new employee’s decision whether to stay with the company. At the same time, 25% of a company’s new hires would leave within a year if the onboarding experience was poor. 

2. eNPS

20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member and an onboarding survey can help you identify the reasons for the same. However, new team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date also had a 79% increase in willingness to refer others. Thus, illustrating how onboarding surveys and feedback can impact eNPS.

Read: How to use eNPS for better employee engagement

3. Satisfaction and Engagement

Employees with exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6x more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and 70% say they have ‘the best possible job’.

4. Performance

77% of employees who went through a formal onboarding process were able to meet their first performance goals. However, 49% of individuals who failed to reach their first performance milestone had no official onboarding instruction. An onboarding survey can help you determine the effectiveness of your onboarding process.  

5. Other

In addition, your new employees might also have an inclination towards providing feedback as a part of the onboarding survey, which you will lose out if you don’t conduct the same. Research shows that only 26% of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date wherein 91% of new hires are willing to provide this feedback. 

Employee onboarding survey: Best practices

Now that you understand the importance of an employee onboarding survey, let’s quickly discuss how to effectively run an onboarding survey. 

1. Set the cadence

You must coincide your employee onboarding survey with important milestones for the new employee in the organization. Mostly, these milestones coincide with the end of the first few months. Thus, you should circulate your onboarding survey after 30, 60 and 90 days respectively, with different objectives for each. Furthermore, you can send interim surveys in case you feel the need, for instance, when the employee starts a project, or when the orientation process is over. 

“Effective employee onboarding isn’t about swag, stickers, & company value pamphlets on their desk the 1st day. But, how you help them understand their goals & how co values are interwoven in operating are more important.”- Suhail Doshi, founder and chairman of Mixpanel, Inc.

2. Identify critical areas and build questions

Based on the milestones or cadence you have set up, it is important to identify areas you would want to cover with each milestone. For instance:

In the first 30 days, you should focus on themes like: 

  • Orientation process
  • Initial thoughts
  • Expectation alignment 
  • Recruitment process
  • Onboarding experience

In 60 days, you can touch on themes like:

  • Knowledge transfer
  • Level of engagement and satisfaction
  • Induction process

By the end of 90 days, focus should shift towards:

  • Manager support
  • Role clarity
  • Likelihood to stay
  • Organizational alignment

Once you have decided the themes, you can start building questions, a snapshot of which is covered in the next section or you can download the template now here. The themes can be fluid across milestones, depending on the context for your organization. 

3. Roll out the survey for participation

Once the milestone arrives, you should roll out the onboarding survey and drive participation. It is important to explain to your new employees why the onboarding survey is important and how they can fill it up. Give them the requisite time, deadlines and communicate what will be the next steps to encourage them to participate. 

4. Follow up

Simply rolling out the survey is not enough. You must reach out to your new employees to remind them to fill the onboarding survey as amidst numerous new things, they might lose track of it. Don’t push too hard, yet send subtle reminders to get genuine responses. For instance: employee survey tools such as SuperBeings integrate with chat tools like Slack, Teams, Gchat to send personalized nudges to fill out the survey in the flow of work at set intervals as well as allows them to participate directly without switching context. 

Unlock a wide array of survey questions and employee analytics. See how SuperBeings can help

5. Take action

Once your onboarding survey responses are in, slice and dice them to get insights into what your employees feel and leverage the data points to further refine your onboarding process to facilitate engagement, retention and advocacy from the beginning. 

Sample onboarding survey questions for 30-60-90 day review

Taking cue from the section above, here are 50+ onboarding survey questions that you can leverage to gauge the pulse of your new employees as they complete different milestones.

You can also download these questions as a template and use it whenever you need. Click here to download

1. Onboarding survey questions for 30 day review

a) Onboarding and orientation process

  1. How can we change or improve the onboarding process?
  2. What did you like most about the onboarding process?
  3. Was the orientation interactive and engaging?
  4. Did the onboarding process meet your expectations?
  5. Do you feel welcome and proud to be working here?
  6. How would you rate the duration and quality of your onboarding experience?
  7. How would you describe your first day?

b) Decision related questions

  1. What were the top 3 reasons for joining this company?
  2. Do you think those reasons have been met?

c) Technical training and knowledge transfer

  1. Have you received the training that you were promised during your induction?
  2. Did the training meet your expectations and was accurately described during the hiring process?
  3. Is the training relevant to your roles and responsibilities?
  4. Were adequate tools and materials shared during training to facilitate knowledge transfer?

2. Onboarding survey questions for 60 day review

a) Engagement related questions

  1. Would you recommend the company to others in your network?
  2. Do you see yourself working here in 2 years?
  3. Do you feel motivated to come to work in the morning?
  4. Do you feel prepared for your role?

b) Onboarding experience

  1. Did the first 30 days of onboarding go as expected?
  2. What is the one thing you would like to change from your experience so far?

c) Company policies

  1. Are you clear on the different company policies shared with you?
  2. Do you have any concerns about any of the policies that you would like to highlight?
  3. Do you think any policy is missing that you think must be a part of our governance?

d) Questions about team

  1. Have your team members been integral in smooth onboarding?
  2. Have you been able to connect and collaborate with all your team members?
  3. Do you consider your team members to be welcoming and inclusive?
  4. What is the thing you would like to change about how your team works currently?

e) Reflection questions

  1. Have you been able to achieve the goals you set out for your 60 days?
  2. How has your journey been so far?
  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment in 60 days?
  4. What are some achievements you would like to ensure in the next 30 days?

3. Onboarding survey questions for 90 day review

a) Role and expectation clarity

  1. Do you have an understanding of what is expected from you as a part of this role?
  2. Is your role similar to what was communicated to you during the hiring process?
  3. Do you have the necessary resources you need for the role?
  4. Do you have clarity of your goals?
  5. Do you understand how your work will be evaluated?
  6. Does your role meet your career aspirations?
  7. What do you think is the most difficult part about your role?
  8. What excites you most about your current role?
  9. Do you understand the importance of the work you do?

b) Organizational alignment

  1. Do your values align with the organizational values?
  2. Do you believe in the vision and mission of the organization?
  3. Do you believe your ideas are valued?
  4. Do you have clarity on the organization’s future plans and do you align with them?
  5. Do you see yourself as a part of this organization 5 years from now?

c) Manager support

  1. Have your conversations with the managers been effective?
  2. Does your manager support your career aspirations?
  3. Does your manager provide you with the necessary support to perform your role effectively?
  4. Do you receive regular feedback from your manager?
  5. Does your manager include you in key discussions, wherever applicable?

d) Other questions

  1. What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
  2. Do you feel your onboarding was successful?
  3. How can we help you in improving the overall experience?
  4. Do you feel included and accepted by everyone in the team?
  5. How do you see yourself progressing from here?
  6. Do you have access to all the information you need?

Wrapping up (TL:DR)

By now, it would be very clear to you that an employee onboarding survey can help you in multiple ways to create a high performance culture. It can enable you to augment retention, engagement, satisfaction and advocacy among employees to ensure that there is minimal turnover and you are able to attract high quality talent. Ensure that you roll out an onboarding survey at 30/60/90 days frequency to check onboarding experience, knowledge transfer, manager support, role clarity, etc. 

You should focus on other forms of employee feedback on culture, training and development opportunities, level of engagement, manager effectiveness, workplace collaboration, work-life balance, among others. 

Finally, you should focus on leveraging technology and automation to add efficiency and effectiveness to your onboarding survey and process. 

Research shows, automating onboarding tasks resulted in a 16% increase in retention rates for new hires.

Thus, consider partnering with a survey platform which enables you to:

  • Use science-backes best practices onboarding survey templates
  • Track employee milestones automatically and roll out surveys on due date with zero to minimal manual intervention 
  • Integrate surveys with existing chat tools for reminders and sending out survey questions
  • Use NLP for decoding sentiments behind open comments to understand the reason behind each response
  • Use other employee engagement surveys to get the whole picture of new hire engagement

Related Reading

How to use employee engagement survey comments

Best employee engagement survey tools in the market today

min read

How to Give Constructive Feedback? (With Examples)

When it comes to performance management for employees, you would agree that feedback plays an important role. However, only offering positive feedback and appreciating the performance of your employees is not enough. You need to give them an equal amount of constructive feedback which is specific to ensure high levels of performance. If you feel that your employees may not embrace constructive feedback, think again.

Research shows that 92% of people believe that constructive feedback is effective at improving performance.

In this article we will help you understand how you can give constructive feedback and examples you can leverage. 

What is constructive feedback?

Constructive feedback is essentially a tool that most forward looking professionals leverage to help others in their team with specific and constructive inputs on areas where one’s performance can be improved. Put simply, if you have an employee who doesn’t pay attention to detail, constructive feedback involves helping them acknowledge that this is a problem area, and more than that, enabling them with the support to overcome the same. It involves not only identifying a performance problem, but also, providing action items and ways to address the same. 

Importance of constructive feedback

Now that you have an understanding of what constructive feedback means, let’s quickly look at some of the top reasons why constructive feedback is important. Constructive feedback:

  • Improves performance: It enables your team members to understand how they can perform better with specific inputs on areas of improvement
  • Reinforces expectations: It helps your employees clearly gauge what is expected out of them in terms of performance, and sets clear deliverables and measurement parameters to avoid any surprises during performance appraisal
  • Boosts morale and confidence: It involves also appreciating employees for a job well done and illustrates how they can become a better version of themselves
  • Facilitates employee stickiness: It ensures that employees see your organization which cares about their professional growth and encourages them to stick around longer, and even act as advocates for others.

Positive feedback vs constructive feedback 

When delivering feedback, you must understand the difference between positive and constructive feedback and ensure that you use both of them where they fit the best. Here a quick distinction between positive feedback vs constructive feedback:

  • Positive feedback focuses on a job well done and highlights where an employee has excelled. Whereas, constructive feedback talks about areas of improvement and action items for desirable outcomes. 
  • While positive feedback seeks to reinforce the positive behavior, constructive feedback focuses more on facts and traits.
  • Positive feedback is a reflection of the past performance and doesn’t necessarily have a futuristic orientation, however, constructive feedback takes reference from the past to feed better performance in the future.  
  • “Your presentation during the board meeting was crisp and informative” is an example of positive feedback. Whereas, “While your presentation was informative, you can focus more on articulation to ensure that all your research is communicated in a way that everyone is able to understand. Using pointers can help here”, is an example of constructive feedback.
In a nutshell, positive feedback is a reinforcement tool, whereas constructive feedback is a mechanism to facilitate development. 

How to give constructive feedback

With an understanding of the fundamentals of constructive feedback, let’s quickly jump to the best practices which can help you deliver constructive feedback in a nuanced and effective manner. 

1. Decide when to give the constructive feedback

The first thing you need to focus on is ensuring that the timing of the constructive feedback is ideal. For instance, a busy period when the employee is putting in a lot of effort may not be ideal for giving them feedback about their performance from three months ago. At the same time, ensure that you provide constructive feedback regularly and consistently, to avoid recency or primacy bias. However, don’t offer feedback when you are angry about their performance either. 

2. Set the context and build trust

Before you get down to giving the feedback, set the tone. Share with the employee the purpose of the meeting and make them comfortable prior to sharing your reflections. It is important that you build trust so your employees can share their perspective and don’t feel intimidated by what you have to say. 

3. Share your reflections

Once the context and tone is set, start sharing your reflections. Your focus should be on sharing what you have observed about their performance. However, ensure that you also share how the same is likely to impact their career growth as well as organizational success. For instance, if you are providing constructive feedback about missing deadlines, you can use the impact of losing clients for the organization and a casual attitude marker for the employee.

4. Give specific examples

When sharing reflections, use specific examples of when you noticed a particular behavior. For instance, in the above example, you can share instances of when the employee missed his/her deadlines. Ensure that you use examples which illustrate a pattern, rather than a one off incident, which is very uncommon. Furthermore, always use concrete examples and not interpretation of what you hear or see.   

5. Balance positive and negative

With constructive feedback, your focus should be on helping the employee improve their performance and work on their areas of development.

However, simply pointing out their weaknesses or negatives in their performance will not help. You need to also talk about some of the positive aspects of their performance and how those qualities can help them absorb and implement their constructive feedback. 

6. Be empathetic

Emotional intelligence is extremely important when delivering constructive feedback. You cannot be apathetic towards your employee when delivering the same. Put yourself in their shoes to choose your phrases carefully. We will share some examples in the next section. Also, use your EQ to read the situation when you are delivering the feedback. If you see that the employee is getting uncomfortable, take a pause and comfort them first. Read their gestures and body language to ensure that the employee is not feeling attacked. 

7. Don’t make it personal

Like it or not, constructive feedback involves pointing out one’s weaknesses and areas of improvement. However, you should refrain from equating the performance of the employee with his/her personality or whole self. For instance, if someone misses deadlines, encourage them to be more organized or prioritize important work, than labeling them as a procrastinator. 

8. Encourage response from the other side

While you are delivering the constructive feedback, you have to make sure it is a dialogue.

The idea is to give the other person enough room to share their side of the story.

Try to understand whether or not they agree with your feedback and how they perceive the same. They may share the lack of support or resources, which have resulted in a weak performance. Be open to some reverse feedback as well. Again, your EQ must be at play here. If your employee has an outburst, or reacts negatively, you need to stay composed and calm them down. 

9. Discuss potential solutions

Once you and your employee are aligned on the areas of improvement, the most important part of constructive feedback is to provide adequate solutions to address the performance challenges. Don’t give abstract or vague solutions like be punctual if the employee misses deadlines. Rather, give very specific and action oriented solutions which are directed towards a particular outcome. The idea is to collectively understand the cause of the weak area of performance and use concrete solutions to remedy the same. 

10. Create a time bound action plan

Now that you have shared some potential solutions, you must revise the top action items with your employee to avoid any confusion. At the same time, you should focus on creating a time bound plan with key milestones to ensure that development is taking place. Summarize what was discussed and how you will proceed from there. Best is to set up a date to review the progress to ensure constructive feedback is paid heed to. 

Read our article on Start Stop Continue Feedback to give action oriented feedback

20 Constructive feedback examples 

Here are top 20 constructive feedback examples that you can use during your next conversation. To make your constructive feedback more effective, we have also illustrated examples of what you should steer away from.

1. Communication skills

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I would really like to know how you have progressed on the tasks assigned to you last month. It would be ideal if you could share a progress update on what has been achieved with a small summary of challenges/ support needed at the end of every week to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have not kept your team updated about your work, this is highly unprofessional.

2. Attention to detail

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I was going through the work you submitted last week and I can see you have put in a lot of effort. However, I could see that there were some small errors and inaccuracies in the report across multiple sections. I believe that if you proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in, it will reduce the number of iterations and improve your quality of work. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You seem completely distracted as you have been submitting flawed and below average work, this will not be tolerated. 

3. Time management

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I understand that you are working on multiple projects, however, you need to ensure that the most important projects are not overlooked and their timelines are not missed. Therefore, I would suggest you create a list of tasks you are working on and check with the respective reporting managers on the priority and set clear expectations to ensure that no deadlines are missed. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have missed your deadline again, it seems like you are not serious about you work. 

4. Goal achievement

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been able to achieve only a part of the goals that you set out for this year. Maybe you were trying to spread yourself too thin. I would suggest you reduce the number of projects you are working on and ensure that the goals you set you are able to achieve. Furthermore, you must be vocal about the support or resources you need to achieve your goals. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

Are you even serious about your work, your level of goal achievement indicates otherwise. 

5. Absenteeism

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you have been taking some time off lately, without any prior intimation. Let’s try to understand if there is a particular reason for the same. We can work on your schedule to make it more flexible. 

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You have been missing all meetings lately, this tardiness is not appreciated. 

6. Problem solving

Example of how to give constructive feedback

I see that you are excellent at execution of ideas. However, I believe that you need to focus more on coming up with solutions on your own. I would suggest participating more in the brainstorming sessions and coming up with solutions. Try to think on your own, before you reach out to others with the problem.

Example of how not to give constructive feedback

You lack any problem solving capabilities, and will be stuck to execution for the rest of your career.

Wrapping up

Constructive feedback is integral to organizational success. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always use facts and examples to deliver constructive feedback
  • Don’t forget to differentiate between positive and constructive feedback
  • Make sure you have practical tips or suggestions 
  • Leverage specific constructive feedback examples for specific performance problems, instead of being vague

Related Reading

50 top 360 degree feedback question examples

150 performance review phrases

min read

How to Use Performance Management Cycle for High Performance Teams

While performance management has been a key priority for organizations, for a long time, year end reviews were considered to be the most effective way to facilitate the same. However, recently organizations are observing a shift towards continuous performance management with an introduction of the performance management cycle. This article will focus on different aspects of the performance management cycle and how it enables unlocking the potential of high performance teams. 

What is a performance management cycle?

Before going into the diverse aspects, you should first understand what a performance management cycle essentially is. If you have an idea of what continuous performance management is, you’re already a step ahead in the understanding. Performance management cycle primarily is a way or a model in which you evaluate or focus on the performance of your employees throughout the year. The idea is to break down the different elements of employee performance into different stages and focus on them consistently. It starts with setting goals and ends with rewards for a job well done, which leads to setting of new goals and the performance management cycle resets.  

Understanding 4 stages of the performance management cycle

While you may want to divide your performance management cycle into any number of stages, mostly there are four stages. 


The first stage, at the very beginning of the performance management cycle, focuses on creating a plan for the performance ahead. The idea is to have a clear understanding on what your employee must achieve and how you will eventually review and evaluate them. During the planning stage, you and your team member, collectively should:

  • Set SMART goals of OKRs based on the performance expectations
  • Have clear KPIs or metrics which you will use for performance appraisal
  • Clarify how individual goals or OKRs contribute to organizational vision

Thus, the planning stage of the performance management cycle sets the tone for the year ahead and ensures there is clarity at all levels. 


Once the goals have been set in the planning stage, you enter the monitoring stage of the performance management cycle. This stage essentially focuses on ensuring that things are moving as planned. The idea is to ascertain that your team members are more or less on track for specific milestones outlined as a part of goal setting. Additionally, this stage will help you address any performance challenges that you may observe, sooner than later. Monitoring stage includes:

  • Regular one-on-one meetings to review performance so far
  • Providing feedback to your team members on what you think has been going well and what needs to improve
  • Relooking at goals in case they are behind or ahead of schedule in terms of achievement
  • Understanding the kind of extra support or resources your team members might need to improve their performance
  • Having candid conversations with your employees on wellbeing, professional development objectives, and other factors which may impact performance, morale and engagement 

The monitoring stage essentially focuses on tracking the performance of your employees against the set goals to provide constructive feedback and help them perform better. 


The third stage of the performance management cycle comes into existence towards the end. It involves reviewing the performance and providing ratings based on the established KPIs and metrics. While this is the formal review process, if you have been constantly monitoring the performance of your employees, this will essentially be a consolidation of all the reviews and feedback shared overtime. While delivering performance reviews, ensure that you:

  • Shed any performance review biases that might come your way, including primacy effect, recency bias, halo/horns effect, etc. 
  • Give your employees concrete examples and facts to support your review, rather than being vague and ambiguous
  • Should try to get 360 degree feedback and review for your team members
  • Answer some of the following questions to create an informed review:
  1. Did the employee achieve the goals set out?
  2. What were the key enablers in their achievement?
  3. Did you observe growth in the employee during the performance management cycle?
  4. Did the employee share any concerns, and were they addressed?

Since you have been connecting regularly with your employees, the reviews will not come as a surprise to them, but will help you monitor the trends of their performance and guide the next stage for the employee’s professional growth. 


Finally, the rewarding stage in the performance management cycle acts as a culmination to one cycle and sets stage for the commencement of the next. The objective is to take into account their performance over the performance management cycle and create a culture of rewards and recognition to celebrate and appreciate high performance. Some of the quick ways to reward your employees include, giving them:

  • Healthy increments and promotions
  • Public appreciation through social media, company intranet
  • Bonuses and other incentives
  • Rewards like vouchers, gifts, etc. 

This stage is important to make your employees feel valued and motivate them to keep the performance going. It will also push average performers to step up their efforts and enable you to create a high performance culture. 

Why is a performance management cycle important?

Now that you understand the various stages of a performance management cycle, let’s quickly look at why the performance management cycle is important for your organization. It will help you:

  • Clearly define goals and expectations from your employees to drive directed performance.
  • Keep your employees engaged. When you constantly connect with your employees for 1-o-1 meetings and consistently take interest in their performance improvement, they are likely to feel engaged, satisfied and motivated.
  • Address performance challenges preemptively and provide your employees with corrective actions, resources and support to bridge performance issues.
  • Retain talent as employees who feel that their performance is being valued and receive regular feedback tend to stay longer at an organization. 

Top 4 ways in which performance management cycle leads to high performance

In addition to the above mentioned benefits, a performance management cycle can help you build a high performance culture in a number of ways. Some of the top aspects include:

Clarifies KPIs and metrics

What constitutes high performance can be abstract. For some, closing 5 deals can be high performance, for others, it might be closing 15. Planning stage in the performance management lifecycle will help your employees understand what constitutes high performance and thus, proceed towards it. 

Boosts recognition

A key part of the performance management cycle is the rewards and recognition. When employees feel their performance is being valued and recognized, they tend to double up their efforts, leading to a high performance team.

Facilitates communication and feedback

Monitoring and tracking followed by 1-o-1 conversations can help you communicate with your employees regularly. Not only will you track their performance, but will also listen to their concerns or challenges and offer them feedback. Such conversations and feedback have a positive impact on performance, leading to a high performance culture. 

Ensures appropriate training

One of the foundations of high performance is enabling your team members to undergo the right training. Performance management cycle can help you understand which training is important for your employees at which performance stage, realizing high quality results. 

Top tips for managers for effective performance management cycle

As a manager, there are several ways in which you can unlock the true potential of a performance management cycle. You are one of the key stakeholders who plays an important role in every stage of the cycle. Here are a few tips that can help you augment the effectiveness of the performance management cycle:

  • Invite employee participation and make the OKR setting process collaborative and action oriented
  • Provide constructive feedback to your employees, instead of being too sweet or too negative
  • Help your employees access the right resources and training they need to meet their goals
  • Give your employees a safe space to share their concerns and challenges
  • Don’t micromanage your employees in the name of monitoring
  • Be open about relooking at the goals in case of a misalignment as you move along the performance management cycle

Benefits of using a performance management tool

A performance management tool can significantly help you streamline your performance management cycle by offering the following benefits. 

Performance snapshots

Get automated performance snapshots of your employee’s performance over the 9 box grid to track performance trends over time and provide reviews without recency bias.

1:1 conversations

Leverage guided templates with AI based suggestions for your 1:1 conversations with employees during the monitoring stage based on performance over time. Receive suggested talking points for goal-centered conversations.

Compare performance

Look at historic feedback to see improvement in performance and compare performance over time. You can also compare performance of peers over specific parameters. 

Related Reading

How to create a high performance culture using OKRs

7 steps to effective performance management system

12 common performance review biases to avoid

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