WorkBoard announced a $75 million Series D round of venture capital for its OKR-based performance management app. This brings its total raised to $131 million.
Performance management has moved away from forced rankings and annual reviews to more goal-based approaches incorporating scheduled formal manager/employee 1:1s and the capture of formal and informal feedback on an ongoing and even ad hoc basis. While the move away from forced or stacked rankings is pervasive, our research doesn’t show the same commitment to OKRs. One size fits all never scales well in work technology, and performance management is no exception. When we see OKRs adopted, it’s common for us to see other methodologies in play across the enterprise. Flexibility is key for work tech, especially in the larger middle-market and enterprise segment employers. This puts the analytics offering for any performance HR tech provider front and center.
Most employers we engage with are looking for correlations between culture, engagement, and performance via employee feedback and listening. Engagement measurement apps have also moved beyond pulse surveys to incorporate the broader concepts of culture and employee experience across all of the employee’s touchpoints with an employer. HR and business leaders require measurement that can be correlated throughout the employee experience to make better data-driven decisions about the business impact of HR initiatives.
Talent management suites like Cornerstone OnDemand have put together product offerings that offer HR and employee workflow from recruiting through onboarding, learning, and HR with analytics offerings across the suite. Employee Experience-focused providers like Culture Amp and Lattice have moved aggressively to provide culture and employee experience insights and analytics that lend themselves to correlating HR and People leadership to business impact.
Providers like Betterworks focus on performance and, while providing an OKR solution, have expanded their platform to support other models and have integrated the employee’s performance and feedback data into career pathing and internal mobility via integrations with learning providers like Udemy.
Performance management as a stand-alone app is most relevant in SMB and smaller middle-market employers. Larger middle-market and enterprise employers demand both more flexibility and incorporating performance management and feedback into the larger employee experience.
In 2020 $1.4 billion was invested globally in HR technology focused on talent management. Get the full report for free on 2020 global HR technology VC here.