Why do modern organizations need performance support systems (PSS)?

Let's delve into this by understanding the challenges posed by traditional training methods in the context of digital transformation and remote work.

Consider this: if employees need to perform a small task such as to update their address in the company system, they face a clunky process to do so. They might have to sift through long instruction manuals, switch between slideshows, or call the IT support hotline.

In fact, did you know that, on average, 58% of employees spend more than 10 hours per week chasing information from different people and systems? Clearly, the current methods are not just ineffective; they're also eating valuable working hours.

Enter Performance support systems (PSS) – the linchpin for companies wanting to improve employee productivity & performance while minimizing training budgets.

So, without further ado, let’s explore all about them.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • What are Performance Support Systems?
  • What are Electronic Performance Support Systems?
  • Difference between PSS & PST
  • Types of Performance Support Systems
  • Challenges in Implementing Performance Support Systems
  • Who Should Go For Performance Support Systems?
  • 5 Best Performance Support Systems for Corporates
  • Tips on Getting Started with a Performance Support System

What is Performance Support?

Performance support is all about delivering real-time guidance and resources for self-paced learning, empowering employees to excel in their roles. While supporting users, the primary aim should be to enhance their efficiency and productivity.

Let's take a moment to consider the data presented in the Salesforce survey to understand how employees prefer to learn:

Salesforce survey
Salesforce survey

Most employees show maximum knowledge retention when they engage in on-the-job microlearning experiences. Based on data such as this, performance support will be an excellent employee training method.

Let’s know more about Performance Support Systems now.

What are Performance Support Systems?

Performance Support Systems (PSS) are comprehensive frameworks that organizations use to provide employees with real-time, on-demand access to information and guidance, enabling them to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Some of the key components of a performance support system are:

  • Content Repository:

A centralized hub for all support materials, including help aids, documents, and videos. This ensures easy access, preventing information from being scattered across various platforms.

  • Contextual Assistance:

Real-time guidance is provided in the context of users' actions, facilitating immediate application. This minimizes disruptions to workflow, enhancing the user's ability to seamlessly complete tasks.

  • Performance Analytics:

Monitoring of how users interact with a system designed to help them work more efficiently. It provides insights into whether the system is used effectively and whether it significantly impacting the quality of work done.

  • Compliance & Security:

Adherence to security and compliance standards is paramount, especially when handling sensitive data. This component ensures the performance support system maintains a secure environment, safeguarding critical information.

By incorporating these key components, a Performance Support System becomes a streamlined and user-centric tool, promoting efficient task execution and fostering a secure information environment within the organization.

What are Electronic Performance Support Systems?

Back in the early 1990s, before computers were widely used, we had tools such as charts, sticky notes, and checklists to help us do our jobs.

But as technology advanced, we realized having these tools right on our computers would be even more helpful. That's when Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) were created.

Just so we're all on the same page, when we say "Performance Support Systems (PSS)," we mean the same thing as Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS). This way, there's no confusion about what we're talking about.

Difference between PSS & PST

Performance Support Systems (PSS) and Performance Support Tools (PST) are closely related ideas, and they're often interchangeably used. However, there's a subtle difference in the terms.

Performance Support Systems (PSS) are like the big picture – they're the framework or strategy that includes various tools, resources, and methods to help employees do their jobs better. They're what decision-makers use to create a helpful environment for their employees.

On the other hand, Performance Support Tools (PST) are the specific tools or aids within the PSS. They're like practical instruments that directly assist employees in their tasks.

In a nutshell, PSS is the blueprint for improving performance, while PST is the tool you use to get the job done.

Types of Performance Support Systems

  1. Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs): They provide proactive and contextual guidance within software applications with the help of walkthroughs, tooltips, and more, helping employees navigate complex workflows with ease.
  2. Knowledge Bases: They are repositories of information in the form of FAQs, help articles, and more that employees can access to find answers to their questions or learn new skills.
  3. Job Aids: Handy materials like checklists, flowcharts, or diagrams that guide employees through tasks(mostly offline).
  4. Quick Reference Guides: These concise documents offer step-by-step instructions or key information for specific tasks or processes.
  5. eLearning Modules: Interactive online courses or modules that provide targeted training or guidance on specific topics. Usually, they are part of LMS solutions that allow employees to learn at their own pace.
  6. Mobile Apps: Employees can access mobile applications on their smartphones or tablets for on-the-go support.
  7. Videos: Short instructional videos demonstrating how to perform specific tasks or solve common problems.
  8. Interactive PDFs: PDF documents with interactive elements, like clickable links, provide additional information or guidance.
  9. Social Learning Platforms: Online communities or forums such as Reddit, slack groups, and Discord communities can be a common place for employees to share knowledge, ask questions, and get support from peers.
  10. Augmented Reality (AR) Applications: AR apps that overlay digital information or instructions onto the real world, assisting employees in their tasks.
  11. Chatbots: AI-powered virtual assistants that can answer questions and provide guidance in real-time through chat interfaces.

Take a Note - The choice of PSS type depends on the specific needs of the organization and the nature of the tasks employees perform. In many cases, a combination of these types may be used to provide a holistic approach to performance support.

Benefits of Performance Support Systems

Assuming employees get what they need, and when they need it, there is a multitude of benefits that organizations can look at:

  • Level-up Employee Performance: With the help of real-time, on-the-spot support, employees are less likely to get frustrated or confused while working. This means they can complete tasks more quickly and with less hassle.
  • Deepen Employee Engagement: As employees could be self-served, they’d get a sense of autonomy and ownership. This will increase their confidence in the application usage and heighten their employee performance.
  • Shortened Training Time: When employees learn on the go, separate training sessions are often unnecessary. This means they can use applications immediately, skipping the back-and-forth with slideshows and manuals, saving a lot of time & effort.
  • Slash Training Costs: When employees can access on-the-job support, there's a cut in the need for dedicated trainers. Also, PSS accelerates the onboarding process, helping new hires become productive quickly. This can lead to significant cost savings, especially in industries with high turnover rates.
  • Quick Knowledge Retention: With the support of these systems, you can expect reduced errors and comprehensive guidance on complex software processes, ultimately leading to improved knowledge retention among employees.
  • Adaptability to Change: When scaling, especially with tech advancements, employees can find transitioning from familiar to new software extremely challenging. Offering self-serve support proves pivotal in swiftly acclimating employees & tackling resistance to change.
  • Happy Customers: It’s obvious that once employees are enabled to do better, you’ll see that reflected in your customer service and satisfaction. Prioritizing employees' needs is a fundamental step toward achieving true customer-centricity.

Challenges of Implementing Performance Support Systems

Facing challenges is part of the process. So, let's see some hurdles you should be aware of before diving into a Performance Support System (PSS):

Content Management

The intricacies of content management demand a proficient team familiar with organizational processes. You need a team that knows the ins and outs of your application processes – creating, customizing, quality checking, and constantly updating the support content.

User Adoption

Having a PSS is futile if employees do not engage with it. Achieving user buy-in is challenging and often requires management and employee support. You can always prioritize clear communication, demonstrating the PSS benefits to management and staff.

Training and Familiarization  

Introducing your employees to the shiny new PSS requires some training. But you don't want the solution to be worse than the problem. Thus, choosing PSSs with user-friendly interfaces and cheering employees with some incentives can ease the learning curve.

Integration and Accessibility:

Integrating PSS with existing organizational systems often presents compatibility issues. These often require technical expertise. Before implementing, conduct a thorough system compatibility assessment and collaborate with IT professionals to proactively address integration challenges.

Measurement and Learning Curve

Without predefined KPIs, evaluating PSS effectiveness and its impact on the learning curve is challenging, potentially leading to wasted resources. Thus, seek a PSS is a robust analytics capability for monitoring usage patterns.

What can you do? To tackle these challenges, you'll want to put on the planning hat, keep those lines of communication with peers and leadership open, and be ready to roll up your sleeves for the long haul.

Who Should Go For Performance Support Systems?

Your tech stack needs a Performance support system if any of these resonate with you.

  • High Turnover Industries: In sectors with high employee turnover, PSS can expedite onboarding and training, reducing the impact of frequent workforce changes.
  • Complex Application Dependencies: Organizations relying on intricate software systems can deploy PSS to enhance software adoption and reduce the cognitive burden on employees.
  • Regulatory Software Updates: Industries with evolving regulations, like healthcare and finance, benefit from PSS to ensure real-time access to compliance requirements.
  • Global Workforce Management: Managing a geographically dispersed workforce is more efficient with PSS, standardizing training and knowledge sharing across locations.
  • Efficiency and Cost Optimization: Decision makers and executives use PSS to increase efficiency, reduce training costs, and improve employee performance, ultimately enhancing the organization's competitiveness.
  • A Focus on Customer Service: If customer service is struggling due to employee inefficiencies, PSS can improve it, and your employees will be more informed and prepared to provide exceptional service.

5 Best Performance Support Systems for Corporates


Gyde is a AI-driven digital adoption platform seamlessly integrated into any of your company’s applications. It provides real-time guidance to end-users through on-demand support, using audio-visual walkthroughs and context-sensitive help articles.

For organizations prioritizing innovative solutions for employee training, onboarding, change management, and workforce development, Gyde's combination of features could be the all-in-one performance support system you've been seeking.

With in-app guidance from Gyde, application tasks can be completed instantly, and overall application usage rates can soar.

How does Gyde work?

Imagine dealing with a complex application(think Salesforce, SAP, Workday, Dynamics 365, ServiceNow, or any software application), and you want more employees to handle tasks efficiently within it.

With Gyde, your employees have instant access to a help icon right on their screens.

A simple click opens up a menu of interactive walkthroughs and context-aware help articles, eliminating the need to fumble through pages to find the needed information.

What's even better is that you can create all this support content yourself with a user-friendly, no-code walkthrough creator. You can track and analyze its usage on the backend, making it a breeze to ensure your employees are getting the support they need.

Gyde's Help Articles let users rate the content with Smileys
Gyde's Help Articles let users rate the content with Smileys

Top Features:

  • Audio-Visual Walkthroughs: Show your employees what they need to know while at work with audio and visual clues that guide them step-by-step to complete any application process.
  • Contextual Help Articles: Integrate informative help articles directly into the application workflow, eliminating the need for separate knowledge base software. Users can get answers to all their questions contextually when interacting with the application, reducing the number of support tickets raised.
  • Easy-to-understand Analytics: Gyde's analytics meticulously monitor user interactions, capturing data on walkthrough views, help article engagement, and assessments taken. These granular details empower you to assess the efficacy of your support content, allowing for optimization, editing, or expansion based on user needs.
  • Multilingual Help: Give your employees the help they need in the language they comprehend best. Ideal for a global workforce and end-users, Gyde supports all major languages, offering diverse accents for audio assistance.
  • In-app Assessments: Users can assess their understanding of processes through assessments, allowing them to identify areas of knowledge and potential areas for improvement. This ensures a continuous learning process, enabling them to enhance their proficiency in using the application.


Gyde caters to enterprise needs by assessing your specific requirements through personalized communication providing a tailored quote.

However, if you're primarily interested in knowledge-base features like context-specific help articles, you can enjoy a generous 15-day free trial to experience Gyde's full potential firsthand.

The pricing plans are designed to suit different needs:

  • Growth: Priced at just $59 per month, this plan is perfect for those initiating their journey with Gyde, offering essential features for exploration.
  • Scale: At $199 per month, the Scale plan provides advanced features, making it an ideal choice for growing businesses looking to enhance employee performance.

Client Testimonials

Gyde has been positively reviewed on software listing sites, and below, you’ll find a review by an e-learning consultant:

“Gyde offers highly flexible, configurable, and easy-to-access infrastructure, which you can create workflows and help videos with. You can seamlessly activate and deactivate these workflows on any software instance. The walk-troughs can be auto-triggered or manually activated.”


WalkMe, a well-established Digital Adoption Platform, stands out for its extensive feature set. However, its pricing may not be within reach for all. If your organization prioritizes a comprehensive feature suite and has the budget to match, WalkMe could be an ideal choice for a good performance support system.

Top Features

  • Automated Workflows: Simplify data entry by automating form field population and provide workflow guidance through their integrated chat interface, reducing errors.
  • Pre-built Templates: Take advantage of pre-configured templates for various application processes that are easily customizable to suit your specific requirements.
  • License Optimization: Improve the application adoption and gain insights into license counts, types, and spending through WalkMe Discovery as applications are actively used.


WalkMe maintains a discreet pricing approach on its official website. However, after conducting extensive research on platforms like Quora and Reddit, it has been reported that WalkMe typically charges upwards of $1,000 per month, accompanied by a mandatory annual commitment for their main product.

Enterprises with larger user bases may find themselves starting at a basic plan ranging from $9,000 to well over $50,000 annually. These pricing structures may lead many to explore alternatives.

Customer Testimonials

Users on g2 find WalkMe highly beneficial for expediting the onboarding process for new users and fostering ongoing engagement with crucial systems. It's praised for its ability to enhance user experiences in these areas.

However, some users express reservations about WalkMe. They note occasional clunkiness and complexity, stating that it has its limitations like many other solutions. While it offers significant advantages, users hope for a smoother, more streamlined experience.


Zendesk, a popular all-in-one customer service platform, serves as a versatile performance support system for employees engaged in customer queries or sales lead management.

In the context of handling customer inquiries, there's often a requirement to swiftly access essential information and engage in seamless conversations. Zendesk provides invaluable assistance at every step through helpful tours that come to the rescue precisely when your employees need them. This makes it ideal for elevating customer service and ensuring efficient sales engagement.

Top Features

  • Unified Ticketing System: Enhance support efficiency by utilizing an integrated ticketing system that consolidates all customer interactions into a central hub.
  • Omnichannel Support: Assist customers through various communication channels, encompassing email, live chat, messaging, social media, and voice.
  • Automated Standard Responses: Furnish immediate responses round the clock through messaging, email, live chat, and ticket forms with the help of standardized bots


Zendesk offers a free trial, and it offers four different plans:

  • Suite Team- Per agent per month: $69
  • Suite Growth- Per agent per month: $115
  • Suite Professional- Per agent per month: $149
  • Suite Enterprise- Customized quote

Customer Testimonials

“Zendesk has several features that are intuitive and easy to learn. While batch update features can still be improved, I appreciate how they can streamline my work and save me time on what would be more tedious individual updates.”

The same reviewer mentioned a drawback as well:  

“While the program works fine most of the time, there are a number of bugs that can throw a wrench in my workflow (being forced out of tickets right after opening them, saving notes sometimes shows errors when they were posted fine, etc.).”


Moodle is an open-source learning management system(LMS), and you might wonder why we’re calling it a Performance Management System (PSS). Well, it's because it's really good at helping employees improve their performance. Think of it like a stand-alone ecosystem where you can find and manage online courses to get better at your job.

For trainers, it's like having a personal website where they can share their courses with anyone they want, whenever they want. This makes it a helpful tool for learners and teachers to improve job performance.

If you need more LMS alternatives that are not open-source or on a better budget, or if you'd like to understand how it differs from a DAP, check out our blog.

Top Features

  • Course Development & Management - Design interactive lessons, manage assessments, and track employee progress all in one convenient place.
  • Gamification in Learning - Incorporate elements like badges, leaderboards, and interactive quizzes to make the learning experience more engaging and enjoyable.
  • Mobile Accessibility - Ensure on-the-go learning for your employees as they can access their coursework from smartphones and tablets.


Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system (LMS), so there is no cost for the software itself. However, there are costs associated with hosting and maintaining a Moodle site.

Moodle offers a cloud-based hosting service called MoodleCloud, which starts at $120 USD per year for a basic plan. It includes hosting, security, maintenance, and access to all of Moodle's core features.

If you prefer to host your own Moodle site, you will need to purchase a web hosting plan and install and maintain Moodle yourself. The cost of web hosting varies depending on the provider and your needed features.

Customer Testimonials

When inquired about their preferences and criticisms regarding Moodle, a customer on g2 shared the following feedback.

“Accessing HTML code while editing a course is easy. However, there has been a significant decline in support quality since the inception of Moodle.com, primarily due to a poorly structured reporting system.”


TalentLMS distinguishes itself from Moodle's open-source model by adopting a subscription-based approach. Established in 2012, TalentLMS offers a straightforward and efficient platform, empowering learners to tackle various training challenges.

Operating as a cloud-based learning management system (LMS), TalentLMS caters to organizations of all sizes, enabling the creation, delivery, and management of online training courses. Its widespread appeal among businesses, schools, and government agencies stems from its user-friendly interface, affordability, and scalability.

Talent LMS
Talent LMS

Top Features

  • Variety of course formats: TalentLMS supports diverse course formats, including SCORM, AICC, and Tin Can API, facilitating the importation of existing courses or the creation of new ones.
  • Powerful reporting: The platform's robust reporting capabilities allow users to track learner progress and assess the effectiveness of training programs.
  • Easy-to-use course creation: Creating engaging online courses is made simple with TalentLMS's drag-and-drop course builder, eliminating the need for coding or programming skills.


TalentLMS offers a free option for five users and ten courses, along with four paid plans:

  • Starter: $89/month for up to 40 users.
  • Basic: $189/month for up to 100 users.
  • Plus: $369/month for up to 500 users.
  • Premium: $569/month for up to 1000 users.

Customer Testimonials

This is a review from g2, where a training professional explains how TalentLMS worked for them:

“The two most important features are in the title of this review - the relatively low cost and the SCORM compatibility of the platform. The pricing structure is a bit complicated and has become considerably less user-friendly in the recent past.”

Tips on Getting Started with a Performance Support System

Assess Needs and Goals

The first step to starting a performance support system (PSS) is to assess your organization's needs and goals. What are the specific tasks or processes that you want to improve? What are the challenges that your employees are facing? Once you understand your needs well, you can start developing a PSS to address them.

Here are some questions to help you assess your needs:

  • What are the most common tasks or processes employees perform?
  • What are employees' biggest challenges when performing these tasks or processes?
  • Where do employees make the most mistakes?
  • What information or resources do employees need to improve their performance?
  • What are your organization's goals for the PSS?

Involve Stakeholders

Involve all relevant stakeholders in developing and implementing your PSS. This includes employees, managers, subject matter experts (SMEs), and others the PSS will impact.

Getting input from stakeholders early on will help you to ensure that the PSS meets their needs and that they are supportive of its implementation.

Here are some ways to involve stakeholders:

  • Conduct surveys or interviews to gather feedback on needs and challenges.
  • Create a steering committee with representatives from different departments and levels of the organization.
  • Hold regular meetings to update stakeholders on the progress of the PSS and to gather feedback.

Select the Right Tools

We mentioned the types of performance support systems above. All those types of tools can be mixed and matched to create a perfect system for your organization.

When selecting tools, consider the following factors:

  • The needs of your organization and employees
  • The budget
  • The complexity of the tasks or processes that you want to support
  • The level of technical expertise of your team.

Keep TAM in Mind

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is a model that explains how users accept and use new technologies. TAM is based on two key factors: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use.

Perceived usefulness is the user's belief that the technology will help them to achieve their goals. Perceived ease of use is the user's belief that the technology is easy to learn and use.

Here are some tips for creating a TAM-friendly PSS:

  • Make sure that the PSS is aligned with the needs of your employees.
  • Use clear and concise language in the PSS.
  • Provide step-by-step instructions with visuals.
  • Offer training and support to help employees learn how to use the PSS.

In the End

Let’s revisit the initial question about the necessity of performance support systems in modern organizations. It becomes evident that implementing these systems is not just a wise move but an imperative one.

These systems, as discussed, play a pivotal role in enhancing employee performance and productivity. As you consider prioritizing performance support for your team's success, growth, and adaptability, it's crucial to explore comprehensive tools.

Whether selecting from the five options mentioned earlier or evaluating other tools and platforms based on the key components discussed, thoughtful consideration is crucial.

In this context, Gyde's no-code digital adoption platform emerges as a noteworthy option, offering a simple and intuitive interface for just-in-time support within the application itself. This not only deflects support tickets but also contributes to significant gains in application ROI.

Book a free demo call with one of our digital adoption experts to witness the tangible impact of Gyde on employee performance and training costs.


What is Employee Performance?

Employee performance refers to how well an individual employee fulfills their job responsibilities and meets the expectations and goals set by their employer. It encompasses the quality and efficiency of an employee's work, productivity, ability to achieve targets, and contribution to the organization's overall success.

One key trend involves the utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to offer personalized learning experiences, tailoring content and support to individual employee needs. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are poised to revolutionize training, providing immersive, three-dimensional learning environments. Furthermore, mobile PSS is gaining prominence, offering employees the flexibility to access information and resources on the go, making continuous learning more accessible and convenient.

What are examples of top performance support systems?

Our top five picks for best performance support systems are:

  • Gyde - Provides contextual help and guidance to users within their workflow, making it easy to find the information they need when needed.
  • Walkme - Uses an interactive walkthrough to guide users through complex tasks, ensuring that they are able to complete them efficiently and effectively.
  • Zendesk - Offers a comprehensive knowledge base and ticketing system, empowering users to find answers to their questions independently.
  • Moodle - Provides a robust learning management system that can be customized to meet the specific needs of any organization.
  • TalentLMS - A subscription-based LMS that lets you create, manage and optimize learning content with ease.