Why Performance Management is Better on Single Software - XCD

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The reign of the traditional annual appraisal is over; more and more organisations are ditching the performance review.

And so far, it seems to be working. There’s a strong case for the superiority of frequent check-ins and the adoption of a coaching mentality for better goal setting and employee engagement. 

However, this inevitably means more work for HR, who need to schedule all these extra meetings, consolidate feedback, track progress, and tie performance management to compensation and reward. 

If this sounds familiar, you may have already considered implementing performance management software. However, even if you already have vendors lining up to offer you a best-of-breed performance management system, we recommend considering a far more powerful and effective alternative: a single HR and payroll software.

Can an all-in-one solution really benefit your team and streamline HR processes? Let’s take a look at the benefits of using a single payroll and HR software with all the functionality you need instead of a separate performance management tool. 

What is single software?

Single software means that instead of using different systems or applications for various HR and payroll processes (recruitment and onboarding, performance management and appraisals, payroll and reward, analytics and reporting, etc), you use one cloud-based solution that is able to do it all. 

We still see a lot of confusion about the difference between a single solution and an integrated HR and payroll system. Let’s look at some of the differences between the two to explore why a single software is the best option. 

Single payroll and HR software vs integrated software

How it works

The key difference between a single solution and an integration is how it works. An integration brings together multiple separate softwares for the different tasks. Think of an integration as a way for different systems to ‘talk’ to each other; your HRIS and your payroll software can share information and work together but they are still separate applications with their own separate databases.

Meanwhile, a single solution is exactly what it says on the tin: one payroll and HR software that does it all: onboarding and recruitment, performance management, time and expenses, and more. With one single central database, it has capabilities for all the HR and payroll processes you need to use in one software. 

Functionality and accuracy

While an integrated payroll and HR software allows the different applications to ‘talk’ to each other, this is not necessarily a smooth process. One issue we sometimes see with integrated payroll and HR systems is that because of the multiple databases, data and information sync only in one direction, leading to errors, duplication, and outdated information occurring in parts of the system.

For example, a user updating an employee’s information in one part of the system may not trigger an update to information in another part, leading to confusion and frustration. In the best case scenario, this may be noticed by a team member, leading to time-consuming manual data entry, whereas in the worst case scenario important information may be lost or compromised, causing delays to payroll or other problems. 

On the other hand, in a single payroll and HR solution there is a single centralised database that is stored in the cloud, providing a constant and reliable single source of truth. An update in an employee’s contact details, for example, will automatically be applied to their payroll information to ensure there are no problems with processing, while data pulled from timesheets will be automatically used to calculate compensation to ensure accuracy every time.

In a single payroll and HR solution, you always know that all information is trustworthy and up-to-date, keeping HR, payroll, and employees all on the same page.

Accessibility and ease of use

While integrated payroll and HR software can sometimes be clunky to use due to the way it Frankensteins together various different tools and functions, the user experience of a single solution is seamless. Single solutions are built with a user journey in mind, allowing payroll and HR teams to easily navigate between different tasks, create custom dashboards or reports to show them the information they need in real time, and create automated workflows or triggers that span various processes and tasks.

This has benefits beyond making HR and payroll teams’ lives easier; the easy-to-use nature of a single solution facilitates employee self-service so they can take ownership of HR processes themselves. Instead of filling up your inbox with requests for help with various different fragmented tools for different tasks, employees can enjoy the intuitive single interface and use it effectively from day one.

You may also be interested in: 5 HR and payroll processes made easier with single software


With data spread across multiple integrated systems, compliance can quickly become a nightmare. Audit trails are made more challenging by the movement of information across the boundaries of different software and all it takes is a syncing issue to expose you to liability. To remain compliant with GDPR regulations, for example, someone will have to manually check that former employee information has been erased from all parts of the multi-faceted system, and any error could lead to major penalties for non-compliance. 

Fortunately, a single payroll and HR software can streamline compliance with complete and comprehensive audit trails as well as automated HMRC and GDPR compliance. Helping you stay up to date with the latest legislation and prevent exposure to liability, a single software is the best choice for compliance all in one place.


Where fragmented softwares are integrated together there’s a greater risk of data leakage or compromise during transfer. Payroll and HR data includes sensitive information such as employees’ personal contact details, tax information, payroll details, and more, so an integrated solution brings a real risk to your data security.

In contrast, a single HR and payroll software provides greater security and peace of mind by holding everything in one secure central database. Because single HR and payroll systems are often built on a cloud platform such as Salesforce, they can enjoy superior levels of security, both now and in the future.

You may also be interested in: Key benefits of a truly single HR and payroll solution

How does single HR and Payroll software benefit performance management?

Now that we’ve explored the key differences between integrated and single payroll and HR software, the question remains: how can a single solution enhance the performance management process? Here are some of the key ways.

Enhance performance management with real-time data analytics

One of the best features of a single cloud-based solution is the visibility over multiple complex data sets, allowing for powerful descriptive analytics and AI-powered predictive analytics. A single payroll and HR system pulls performance data from across the entire organisation in real time, allowing for easy analysis and comparison. This is a great way to identify top performers who may deserve recognition, reward, or promotions. With accurate performance data and payroll and reward capabilities in the same single software, compensation management couldn’t be easier. 

Powerful workforce analytics can also help identify performance trends. For example, a particular manager, office, or department might see a lower level of performance in its staff. Armed with the data, HR teams can investigate to find the root cause and create strategies to address the problem. Perhaps they might use an automated workflow to trigger reminders for performance check-ins with that team when the data reveals a change in productivity or employee engagement, for example. 

Moreover, they can identify team members who are not reaching their full potential and could benefit from additional coaching or support to boost their performance. A single solution will have its in-built performance management system which allows customisable performance review forms that can be tailored to the coaching needs of each employee. 

The immense array of data and useful insights gleaned from it are one of the key reasons that a single HR and payroll software is superior to integrated or separate tools. A single solution provides holistic data from all aspects of the business, allowing for a data-driven approach to performance reviews and management. With a separate performance management software it would be impossible to achieve this level of visibility over the performance of the workforce. 

Encourage adoption from employees and managers

With a single HR and payroll system which uses an intuitive and seamless interface, it’s far easier to get buy-in from employees. People don’t like using complicated and confusing software; they especially don’t like switching between multiple confusing tools to complete tasks. 

With an easy-to-use single software that has a pleasing user interface and is effortless to navigate, it’s easier than ever to get managers and employees to stay up to date with their performance review contributions. 

Moreover, if you use a separate performance management software, the thought of signing in and seeing their appraisal log might fill employees with dread. After all, 34% of millennials report crying during a performance review! When you use a separate performance management system, you can guarantee that a good proportion of employees will resist using it for goal setting, progress tracking, and reviewing feedback.

However, when your performance management system is the same self-service system that employees need to use to submit time-off requests, sign up to training sessions, or update their payroll information, it’s a lot more likely that employee engagement in the performance management process will increase. 

You may also be interested in: How to boost self-service adoption with payroll and HR software

Automate workflows to free up HR time

Performance management can be a laborious process for human resources, with employees and managers to chase, performance appraisals to schedule, and progress data to track. Multiply that out to the entire workforce and you’ll be looking at many hours of routine admin, not to mention the additional admin that becomes necessary with probation periods, disciplinary action, salary reviews, and more.

Fortunately, single payroll and HR software with a built-in performance management system can streamline the process with automated workflows. For example, you can automate reminders for employees and managers to fill out their review forms, eliminating the need to chase them for completion every time. It’s a simple and easy switch, but automation can save you thousands of admin hours per year. Think of all the things you could do with that freed up time! 

Tie performance management to compensation and reward

With single human resources and payroll software, performance management doesn’t have to happen in a vacuum. A single software allows you to tie together performance management and compensation management, using employee performance data and business data to better inform salary reviews. With all the information and advanced functionalities at your fingertips, a single payroll and HR software empowers human resources professionals to become more proactive and effective in their roles. 

You may also be interested in: What is the best way to track employee performance?

Transform performance management with XCD single HR and payroll solution

Ready to enhance your organisation with single payroll and HR software? Here at XCD we’ve created a powerful all-in-one solution for all your Human Resources and payroll needs. Built on the Salesforce platform, XCD software provides advanced AI analytics and flexible workflow automation to help you work more effectively.

Plus, our payroll and HR software can help you eliminate up to 70% of admin time, leaving your team with more opportunity to focus on strategic tasks like in-depth performance reviews or talent management. 

If you want to see what our single solution can do, book a demo today. Or, get in touch to find out more about our powerful HR and payroll software.