Without strong user performance, organizations are unable to meet goals and grow revenue. A recent study revealed that 19.8% of an employee’s time – the equivalent of one day per week – is wasted by employees searching for information to do their job effectively.

As businesses continue to undergo digital transformation, organizations are adopting new technologies and software applications at a record rate. These new software platforms have greatly improved the productivity and efficiency of workforces. However, what happens when employees aren’t comfortable using these tools, or have trouble using certain advanced features of a platform? These application pain-points can have huge negative impacts on companies.

To solve this issue, organizations are adopting performance support systems to help their employee’s finish project faster, while improving their quality of work and efficiency.

What Is Performance Support?

Performance support provides the exact information needed to solve a user question, right at the moment of need. The goal is to drive employee performance by empowering individuals with self-help resources in the flow of work.

What is a Performance Support System?

Electronic performance support systems (EPSS) – or simply performance support systems – are tools used by HR and L&D teams to provide “just-in-time” self-help content to employees, with the goal of improving a user’s performance. With a performance support tool, leaders are able to create interactive content such as in-app guidance, interactive walkthroughs, knowledge bases, smart popups, and more – all aimed at providing contextual resources to solve specific problems an employee is facing. 

The goal of performance support systems is to provide in-app support for users, improving performance, productivity, and tool proficiency over time – improving digital adoption rates across an organization.

Performance Support Use Cases

  • For HR teams creating more personalized employee onboarding, training, and continuous learning content
  • For organizations undergoing change management or digital transformation
  • For product teams improving their apps adoption rates through better new user onboarding and feature launches

Types of Performance Support Systems

Performance support systems can come in a variety of different types of tools. The most commonly used are:

  • Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs): Digital adoption platforms are tools that integrate directly on top of existing software applications, with the goal of helping users learn how to use the tool – improving digital adoption rates. DAPs allow organizations to create contextual, in-the-moment-of-need content in the forms of interactive walkthroughs, app guidance, popups and beacons, self-help FAQs, and more.
  • Knowledge Base Software: Knowledge base software allows organizations to create internal and external hubs for employees and users to search through self-help content to find the answers to their unique questions.

Benefits of Performance Support Systems

Here are a few of the biggest benefits of implementing an EPSS at your organization:

1. Improved Digital Adoption

Performance support systems allow teams to create personalized content embedded directly into their applications – meaning users and employees are able to be guided through a tool or find answers to problems without leaving the app interface. For internal employees, this means improved adoption of enterprise applications – resulting in a more productive workforce that is taking advantage of their software stack.

This allows organizations to meet their technology ROI. For companies creating their own apps and software, these EPSS tools allow for them to improve their user experience with better contextual onboarding and continuous learnings.

2. More Proficient Software Users

Performance support tools turn novice users into advanced users by answering unique questions. This allows organizations to create content based on how each role uses a tool. As users become more comfortable learning advanced features, they’ll be able to find the most return on investment of using these applications.

3. More Contextual Help

As said previously, EPSS tools mean that HR teams no longer need to create generalized training lessons and employee onboarding processes – with performance support systems, each individualized role is able to find unique questions to problems only their department or role encounters.

4. Reduced Dependence on Product Support

With self-service help, organizations will be able to deflect support tickets – reducing the burden on their product support team. This will allow organizations to provide better customer support, spend more time with each of their tickets resolving an issue, and reduce the cost of their support team.

5. Self-Reliant Workforce

With self-help performance support, employers reinforce the idea of finding answers yourself, creating a self-reliant workforce. This empowers employees, creating confident team members that seek out answers to their own questions.

5 Best Performance Support Systems in 2021

Here are a few of the best performance support systems for organizations to implement in 2021:


1. Whatfix

Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that provides performance support for organizations looking to improve their employee onboarding, workforce development and learning, digital adoption, and more. The platform sits on top of enterprise software, allowing L&D teams to create learning content “at-the-moment of need” such as interactive walkthroughs, in-app FAQs, popups, and more. It also provides HR teams with learning analytics such as software usage, feature usage, task completion, and more. 

If you’re looking for a tool to help your customer and user adoption and proficiency, Whatfix allows product and UX teams to implement the same features for its end-users. 

Create personalized learning flows for your enterprise apps with Whatfix
Whatfix empowers your users with contextual flows and self-help widgets, improving productivity and proficiency while cutting training and support costs.

2. Userlane

Another digital adoption platform, Userlane allows teams to create simple and fast help content, embedded directly inside applications. This provides in-app self-service support when users need it most – improving the digital adoption and proficiency rates for your users and employees.


3. Zeal

Zeal is an employee-guided learning platform that allows HR teams to create contextual onboarding and training content aimed at improving the productivity and proficiency of its customers’ workforce. The platform provides personalized guidance when users need it most.


4. UserPilot

UserPilot is a digital adoption platform aimed specifically for product teams improving their user journey through contextual workflows. This tool allows product teams to create experiences at different pain points across the user journey – from new user activation and onboarding to boosting advanced feature adoption and stickiness.


5. Kineo

Kineo is an online learning platform that allows learning & development teams to create custom learning experiences, contextualized to individual roles and job functions. These programs are embedded inside your employee’s application – in both mobile and desktop experiences.

Increase end-user adoption with Whatfix
With Whatfix's Digital Adoption Platform, create in-app learning flows, contextual training and onboarding, and self-help knowledge bases. See it in action below.