This guide will help you get started on creating and launching your Reviews program. We recommend that you start with reviewing the resources that cover Reviews features in Talent Development and general best practices, then explore our guide for launching a Reviews program.
Quick links to help you navigate the guide:
Get to Know Reviews: feature overview & best practice resources
Launching a Reviews Program: steps to take to prepare for launch
During the Review Period: supporting the team after launch
After the Review Period: reporting & driving outcomes after the review is completed
Get to Know Reviews
Reviews Features in Talent Development
Here are some resources to help you get familiar with Reviews features in Talent:
Deep Dive into Reviews (33:25)
Reviews Best Practices
Here are some resources to help you learn more about Reviews best practices:
Implementing performance reviews (20 pages)
Guide to conducting remote performance reviews in 2021 (10 min read)
Performance review tips for managers and employees (4 min read)
Launching a Reviews Program
Once you're familiar with the Reviews concepts and how it works in the platform you can begin creating your Reviews program.
Determine Your Reviews Program
There are typically two types of formal Performance Reviews. One is focused on growth and development alone and the other is to determine administrative outcomes such as compensation and talent mapping. Research indicates that it is important, where possible, to ensure that these are separate conversations. Many companies implement one growth-focused review per year and one administrative / compensation review a year. Sometimes, however, these may be combined. Another option may be to introduce lighter weight quarterly reviews as well.
Growth & Development Review: The focus of this review would be on questions that nudge strong and robust career conversations. Outputs might include a Professional Development Plan, Growth Plan and/or Professional Development Goals input into Talent Development Objectives.
Compensation / Administrative Review: The focus of this review would be on performance evaluations, talent mapping, ratings, and/or potential compensation outcomes. There is typically a stronger need for reporting requirements in your review outputs for these reviews. Outputs might include quantitative data to inform compensation decisions and updated talent data for career pathing and talent mapping. Test the question types, export your data and verify the report functionality to ensure it can provide you with the outputs you need.
Participants: Once you have determined the purpose of the Review, think about which groups of people (you can do so by department, roles, and hire date) should be included in the Review.
Draft Your Reviews Template(s)
Here are a few things to consider when drafting your question templates.
Pulling in Data
You can pull in all Talent data from a time period into the review. This means you can pull in Goals, 1on1s, Feedback, and Recognition history into your template. If you are just starting out you may not have a lot of this information however, over time you will be able to pull this all in for a more robust and data-rich review.
Growth & Development: There are suggested templates to give you an idea of where to start if your review is focused on growth and development. Typically, customers will include questions in relation to their performance activities (e.g. “Reflecting on the goals above, what would you have approached differently?” “Out of the recognitions you have received, what were your key takeaways?”).
Compensation / Administrative: In the review, you can include questions in a range of formats to provide both quantitative or qualitative data that you can later export for reporting and data aggregation. There is also the ability to include “Manager Only Questions” where Managers can input additional private evaluations for Talent Planning & Mapping (e.g. “is this person ready for promotion?” “Is this person a flight risk?”).
Multi-Rater Feedback Template (optional)
If you want to launch a multi-rater or 360 Feedback as part of the review process there are additional steps to follow that are outlined in the “Determine Your Review Workflow” section below. For this, you will need to determine the Feedback Template you wish to use (there is a feedback template library you can refer to for ideas or you could create your own based on your internal frameworks or competencies). Alternatively, if you have already run a program of Multi-Rater Feedback during the review period, you can pull this into the review instead. Some companies prefer to break out their activities over time and others prefer to launch these together.
1-on-1 Reviews Conversation Template
As part of the workflow, you can include a 1-on-1 debrief conversation for the manager and employee after the review forms have been completed. It is important to consider what questions will nudge the debrief conversation. Again, the 1-on-1s section of the platform has suggested templates however, you can customize this to your review.
Determine Your Review Workflow
When launching a review here are several stages you can consider including:
Manager and/or Employee Input: These are typically sequenced by first Employee input, then Manager input. The Manager can either see Employee responses as they complete their input, or you can opt to make the review “double-blind” where both parties input their feedback without viewing responses from the other. Double-blind responses can surface discrepancies in performance expectations and misalignments. Allowing Managers to view responses can benefit tailoring their feedback. Both have their merits depending on what you are hoping to gain from the process.
[Optional] Multi-Rater Feedback: You can trigger 360 or multi-rater feedback as part of the review. If you include this, you will need to factor more administration and time commitment to your overall review process as there will be multiple respondents that require selection and completion before the review moves forward. You can assign timeframes to help nudge this along stage along.
[Optional] Skip Level and/or Admin Approval: This step can be introduced to allow for an Admin or a Senior Manager to sign off. Additionally, these steps can be incorporated to provide Managers and Employees with coaching feedback around their responses and how they could enhance their approach.
[Optional] Reviews 1-on-1: The final stage of the process is a scheduled 1-on-1 conversation.
Test Your Review
Before launching the review, test the functionality and workflows within your launch team or with a testing department to gather feedback on the user experience in order to refine your template and workflows.
Test the export of data to ensure you can gather the information you require.
Communication & Training Prior to Launch
Managers and Employees will need to know the purpose and the outcome of the review, as well as supporting material on how to use the new application. Schedule your Manager & Employee training before the review is launched.
Tip: If you decide to launch a full review including Multi-Rater Feedback, consider timing for your departments, as this is potentially quite an administrative task if this is a peak period.
During the Review Period
Launch the Review
At launch, communicate timeframes and location of support materials. Ensure that Managers know they need to have their review 1-on-1 conversations closed out before the process is finalized so they can time block for completion.
Tracking Review Progress
Use the progress functionality within Reviews to monitor and nudge completion. Allow additional time if you have incorporated Multi-Rater Feedback.
After the Review Period
Reporting Data for Reviews
All data from the Review can be manually exported. When designing your template, consider the data outputs that will be easiest to extract (i.e., open text may result in multiple formats of information versus a number input which may require less time to clean your data set for any analyses you need to run).
Following Up: Once the review is complete, ensure that follow-up items are actioned. An easy way to nudge this is to incorporate lightweight reviews that are simply scheduled 1-on-1s in between your formal review process that revisits the outcome of the prior review and tracks progress. Progress may be the Professional Development Goals people have actioned.
Manager Calibration Sessions: Reviews are a great opportunity for Managers to evaluate the effectiveness of their own feedback to their teams and to gain an understanding of whether they are perhaps being too harsh / too easy or whether the quality of feedback they are delivering could be improved. Calibration sessions can be a helpful activity to have Managers justify their evaluations, the outcomes of their conversations, and peer coach one another to achieve outcomes.
Send a Feedback Survey around Reviews Experience:
The only way to improve is to gather feedback on the Employee Experience around the process and iterate from there. If this is the first time you have run this type of review, it could be worth running a quick survey to gauge people’s experiences. Always ask around perceived fairness of the process, the clarity of the process and outcomes, and how it could be improved.