Pros and Cons of Trakstar: Analysis of Leading Employee Appraisal Software

Organizations implement a employee appraisal software as it streamlines the process of assessing and reviewing a worker’s job performance—a vital aspect to any company’s workforce. Without this software, this task can be arduous and time-consuming as a performance appraisal has to be written, printed out, and reviewed that it’s oftentimes difficult to complete each one on time.

Some of the factors to look out for when choosing a good employee appraisal solution are features such as optimized review processes, goal accountability, succession planning, real-time reporting, and accessibility anywhere, anytime. Its ease of use and overall value for money are also essential.

One of the most popular solutions in this niche is Trakstar and it’s packed with all the vital features you need for a performance appraisal software. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Trakstar to help you assess the product better and determine if it fits with your organization’s needs.

Eighty-nine percent of HR managers say performance appraisal is effective in improving employee performance. (Source: HR in ASIA)

Employers regularly conduct evaluations to remind employees of their manager’s expectations and encourage them to maximize their potentials. In fact, many employees want to get feedback more frequently. According to a survey by PwC, 60% of respondents want to be evaluated on a daily or weekly basis. The percentage also increased up to 72% for employees under the age of 30. Since the workforce prefers it, it’s time for companies to give it to them as it helps improve their overall performance, productivity, and efficiency.

In a study conducted by Gallup for 65,672 employees, managers who received strengths feedback have a lower turnover rate (the rate at which an organization loses a staff) of 14.9% compared to those who didn’t receive any feedback. This is because people become better performers, where managers show 8.9% increase in profitability, when they know their strengths and they are recognized for it by their companies. It’s also the same for employees where 69% of them reveal they are willing to work harder if they feel their efforts are recognized better. They would even accept negative feedback, as long as it’s delivered appropriately, to improve their performance according to 92% of respondents as per Harvard Business Review.

With that in mind, not only is it important to conduct performance appraisals, but it’s also essential to do so in a way that’s convenient and time-saving for your managers and workforce. Trakstar is one of the simplest employee appraisal software products with a rich set of tools and features for evaluating employees. Let’s proceed with getting to know the pros and cons of Trakstar, its features, and who it’s for, among others.

What is Trakstar?

Trakstar is a cloud-based performance appraisal solution that administers 360-degree feedback among your organization’s employees, colleagues, and their managers. It’s unique among other products with its simple, easy-to-use interface yet it’s equipped with a robust set of features. It’s designed for HR professionals and managers to handle competencies and goals that align suitable candidates with available positions that meet your company’s goals and core values. It also streamlines the processes managed by your administrators to save their time and enable them to focus on more critical operations to meet your business’ strategic objectives. If you want to test all the features yourself you can also sign up for a Trakstar free demo here.

Trakstar’s main modules are performance reviews, 360-degree feedback, goal setting, and succession planning which are all crucial aspects of your workforce. The app gives you real-time feedback and an optional peer-to-peer communication to complete year-round journals in a timely manner. It also provides flexibility for workflows to fit in your organization and create custom forms for your reviews. Ensuring goals are completed on time is guaranteed with automated email reminders. Company goals are easily set for employees and aligned with strategic objectives while ensuring everyone is on the same track.

Its excellent customer support, ease of use, and value for money are only some of the reasons why Trakstar is among our leading products in the employee appraisal software category. Below are more of its features.

Key features of Trakstar

  1. Unlimited Online Reviews
  2. Goal Tracking Module
  3. Multi-Rater Feedback Module
  4. Succession Planning Module
  5. Customization and Implementation
  6. Online Performance Review
  7. Real-Time Reporting
  8. Custom Review Forms
  9. Ad Hoc Reviews
  10. Peer Appraisals
  11. Appraisal History Tracking
  12. Self-Service Portal
  13. Individual Development Plans
  14. Custom Rating Scales
  15. Weighted Performance Measures
  16. Self-Appraisals
  17. Cascading Goals

Pros and cons of Trakstar

Streamlined appraisal processes

Trakstar eliminates the chaos of paper chase. It gives support for your HR and leadership teams by streamlining the process of making and collecting appraisals. Hence, managers get more time to focus on more crucial tasks such as targeting employee development and reaching business goals.

Features such as online performance reviews and insightful reporting help in making smart workforce decisions to elevate your organization’s overall processes. They also ensure both employees and managers get on board with the same objectives and stay on the same page during its execution through clarity in communication. With easy-to-set schedules and automated email notifications, you can reduce worry by knowing evaluations are properly set and it saves you time from manually doing it on your own.

A challenge new users may encounter at first is how it may take a while to complete creating appraisals. However, the software provides an abundance of materials to help and after you complete them, the processes henceforth are very smooth. Once you get the hang of it, building appraisals will be a breeze. The software is also accessible in any desktop anywhere, anytime because it’s cloud-based but it currently does not have a mobile app, a feature that many users want for their employees who prefer to use their mobile devices.

Well-rounded 360-degree feedback

Trakstar offers a 360-degree feedback for your organization. It is also referred to as 360 reviews and 360 assessments which is a type of feedback that gives you a holistic view of an employee’s performance. It’s a multi-rate feedback gathered from the employee’s manager, peers and direct reports for a more well-rounded, overall assessment that’s not limited from a manager’s perspective. Using the software, managers can also request for feedback from anyone—both within and outside the organization, even clients and partners.

It also focuses on an employee’s strengths and weaknesses as opposed to how they perform in one particular situation which many managers deem as more valuable in fixing company issues. With that, it differs from traditional performance reviews that are backward-looking (how employees performed in their goals) compared to a 360-degree feedback which is more forward-looking as it identifies an employee’s strengths and weaknesses and the developmental steps to help them improve. Since it’s built right in your review workflow, managers can easily utilize this feature on time. The manager also has full control over who can access the 360-feedback feature.

Customization and ease of use

Trakstar is a simple, easy-to-use software that excellently delivers the features you need for an employee appraisal software. It’s very easy to use as the app’s designers spent years in crafting an interface that packs form and function. The setting up stage is always the most challenging for many users, however, Trakstar has plenty of tutorials and training materials to assist. Their support team is also available to help you at every step to ensure you can properly set up the software with ease.

Trakstar also values feedback from their own customers which is shown in how they update and improve the interface in a timely manner to make it easier to move around and have a more organized and functional layout. It’s also extremely customizable. For instance, you can customize performance evaluations in portions that are the same and other sections that are different based on an employee’s position and department. Its flexibility enables you to import users, design forms, and configure workflows to fit in your organization.

Real-time feedback report

One of Trakstar’s core functions is real-time feedback. By getting rid of messy paperwork and spreadsheets, it aims to help you save time by streamlining the appraisal process in a few clicks of a button. It ensures all tasks are completed on time by sending out automated email reminders. This way, employees are reminded and won’t overlook tasks assigned to them.

Real-time reporting also simplifies the method of gathering insights, tracking employee performance and identifying top performers. As your workforce receives timely, continuous feedback, you’ll get your hands on immediately discovering performance issues. This helps you resolve bottlenecks and issues in a prompt manner and prevent them from becoming bigger, complicated matters. Easy-to-read reports enable you to determine your top performers to conduct further development and maximize their potentials.

Effective goal setting

With an ability to set and cascade goals, the software empowers managers and administrators to ensure goals are met effectively in a timely manner. You can apply a company-wide performance metrics and collect a history of appraisals to facilitate an accurate tracking and measurement of employee performance over time.

Goal setting is made more effective as everyone is on the same track and aware of their responsibilities. Employees can align their goals with the company’s strategic goals and focus on their daily contributions to meet them. Managers can also focus on their tasks as they no longer have to manually remind employees by setting customizable automated email reminders. With access to performance goals that managers and employees can view daily, they can monitor and stay up-to-date with each other’s progress.

If goal setting is important for your organization, it’s worth noting to proactively request including goal setting during your training in case it’s not mentioned. One of the pros and cons of Trakstar is that while this is essential, it may not be included in your training. But the support team can actually help you if you ask. Information such as how to set up a strategic plan and what details can be tracked under a goal is vital to know about. Once you got it figured out, the rest of the steps will follow easily.

Optimization of succession planning

Succession planning, an important aspect of your workforce management, is focused by Trakstar with chart performance versus potential methods. It’s the identification of job vacancies that are expected to occur through attrition or retirement. It’s also a strategic consideration of potential candidates who may fill in those positions.

Trakstar gives you an easy-to-read 9-box grid that’s automatically generated by asking a few questions from your employees to gain insights regarding their performance and potential. A 9-box grid is a helpful individual assessment tool that evaluates an employee’s current and potential contributions to your organization. It’s one of the most commonly used tools in succession planning for identifying potential leaders that are gathered from your organization’s talent pool. The app lets you utilize private sections on performance reviews to discreetly collect feedback.

Top-notch support

The thing that really sets Trakstar apart from others is its top-notch customer support. Many users give compliments to their support team because they are reliable and always available to help you along each step to resolve your questions, issues, and concerns. The vendor provides an extensive knowledge base and video tutorials to quickly address some of your challenges in using the software if you want to do it on your own.

Meanwhile, training and setting up, including QuickStart Guides, are covered by the team’s support for both managers and employees. If some tools and features are confusing, contacting the support team is easy as they are available on various channels via phone and email with prompt responses. Trakstar’s customer support representatives are all knowledgeable about the software and they take the time to provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions on utilizing the app.

Emily Watson

By Emily Watson

Emily Watson is a human resource management expert specializing in workforce planning and HR development. Throughout her years in the industry, she has also dabbled in career path development, employee training, and workforce management. In her four years as a contributor for FinancesOnline, she has reviewed over a thousand HR tools ranging from recruitment platforms to unified human capital management suites. She has also created in-depth analyses of emerging HR technologies and trends to provide companies worldwide with the data they need to keep up with industry shifts.

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