Self service customization cheat sheet

Small Improvements is super easy to use, and very streamlined for the end user. But you as the administrator of the system need choice. And options. Many of them! You'll want to customize the system to your specific needs. Good news everyone: you can! Here are all the settings at one glance. 

We have plenty of documentation for each step of the workflow. So to learn about specifics, turn to those pages. Feel free to sign up and play. Or ask for a live demo. This page is for the impatient, who want to see all their options at one glance. Enjoy!

 

Performance reviews

Per Cycle settings

The following settings can be configured for each review cycle. So the performance reviews for one department could be different to that of another department. Or you can do it one way this year, and differently next year.

Name Description Default
Who gets reviewed? It's entirely up to you to decide who gets reviewed in a cycle. So it doesn't have to be everybody! You could pick just one department, or only senior management for instance. nobody
Questions to ask You can define up to 5 topic areas for the self-assessment, and up to 5 for the manager's assessment. We default to a very open ended "What did I do well" and "What could I improve on", because we believe that these questions work well for any level of seniority, both for the intern and for the CEO. But it's up to you of course. 2 (out of 5)
Dates You can define dates so people know when to write their reviews by, when to share them with their manager/ direct report, and when to sign them.  
Use an Overall Rating? Displays a dropdown for the self-assessment and for the managers' assessment. The settings for the Ratings are defined globally (see below) On
Use the 2D chart? The 2D chart is a great conversation starter, and helps you put yourself in the right mind frame. Also, there's usually a strong correlation between the manager's dot and their written feedback, so this helps HR spot outliers and trends. On
Settings for the 2D chart If you use the 2D chart, you'll want to customize it. You can change the axis descriptions, the axis "low" and "high" marks, and you can provide additional help text that shows up when people hover their mouse over the chart. Behavior vs Results
Rating per topic Each of the 5 topics may have an additional rating dropdown, so that people can provide free form feedback, but also have to pick one item from the rating you defined (for instance from "Great", "Mediocre", "Poor"). Off
Must share to see You can set up the system so that the manager (or the direct report) needs to share their assessment before they can see what the other person shared with them. Off

 

Global settings for performance reviews

The following settings are configured once and for all and apply to all performance reviews

Name Description Default
Rating scale If you enable the rating dropdown in a cycle, then the global ratings apply. They could be "one to five", or "one to three" or whatever you want them to be. You can also write an explanatory sentence that will show up as explanation next to the rating. 1 to 5

Learn more about setting up performance reviews , about tracking reviews, or find out more about reporting on the 2D chart.

 

360 degree review settings

The following settings can be configured for each review cycle. So the 360 degree reviews for one department could be different to that of another department. Or you can do it one way this year, and differently next year.

Name Description Default
Who gets reviewed? It's entirely up to you to decide who gets reviewed in a cycle. So it doesn't have to be everybody! You could pick just one department, or only senior management for instance. nobody
Questions to ask You can define up to 5 topic areas. We default to a very open ended "What did the person do well" and "What could the person improve on", because we believe that these questions work well for any level of seniority, both for the intern and for the CEO. But it's up to you of course. 3 (out of 5)
Dates You can define dates so people know when to nominate reviewers, when managers should approve (or modify) those reviewers, and when the feedback gets delivered.  
Visibility Once the feedback was written, who should be able to see it? We default to "both the reviewee and their manager(s)", but if you want to play it safe, you could set this to "manager only". Or, if you'd like to encourage feedback without the manager seeing it, you can also choose "reviewee only" here. Reviewee and their manager
Anonymity You can decide how anonymous the feedback should be. Shall only HR be able to see who wrote something? Or do you want the recipients manager to know who wrote the feedback (while it remains anonymous to the recipient)? Or do you prefer an entirely transparent review, where the names will always show up next to the feedback? Only HR can see who wrote what
Using the 2D chart We don't believe in rating each other, but if you're keen, you may enable the 2D chart when people provide feedback. You can use the 2D chart all the time, or only when someone provides feedback to their manager. Off

You can learn more about setting up a 360 degree feedback cycle here.

 

Objectives settings

Per Cycle settings

The following settings can be configured for each objective cycle. So the objectives this year (or quarter) could be entirely different to that of the next year (or quarter).

Name Description Default
Duration of the objective cycle Since objectives change, we'd suggest you set up quarterly objective cycles, into which people write their objectives. But you could set up annual or even "eternal" objectives too. Current quarter
Editing timeframe You can limit the timeframe during which people may change their objectives core fields like title and description. Managers and employees can get separate dates here, so that for instance employees can only work on their objectives for two weeks at the start of the quarter, while managers get an extra week (so they can have the final word). The entire duration
Updating timeframe While you may want to lock down editing of the core objectives after a certain date (so that people don't change their objectives towards the end of the cycle), it will always make sense if they can update the status fields of an objective, e.g. to indicate completion percentage or status. Again, it is possible to have differing timeframes for employees versus their managers. Until 4 weeks after the end of the cycle
Status Would you like people to track status, e.g. mark objectives as "Open", "in Progress", "Achieved" and so on? Then enable this setting. On
Icon You may allow people to pick an icon to indicate what kind of objective it is. This can be especially helpful for a manager who has a team of 10 people, and each person has 5 objectives. Then recognizing these objectives on the overview screen is easier if proper icons were selected. But if you feel it doesn't add much value in your use case, just turn icons off. On
Completion percentage You may want people to update their status frequently. In this case the completion percentage field can be added to objectives. Note that it may not make sense to enable Completion Percentage and Status at the same time, it really depends on your use case. Off
Weighting If you'd like to allow your staff to weight objectives, then enable this setting. SI will provide hints when objectives don't add up to 100%. Off
Category You can define categories (see below) and then use them to categorize objectives. If you use them, a pie chart at the top of overview screens helps you see the distribution, and allows you to filter by category. Off
Rating If you'd like to rate the objectives, then you can do so. Define your ratings (see below) and then each objective can get rated individually Off
Due dates and automatic reminders The system typically highlights due dates, and sends up to 4 reminder emails to staff about their due objectives: One is sent 30 days prior to the due date, one 10 days before, one 3 days before, and one email is sent 7 days after the due date. Now if you don't want to track due dates, because you're using the system more like an "ongoing top 5s" system, then reminders won't make any sense. Disable this setting in that use case. On

 

Categories & Ratings

You may categorize objectives, so they can be grouped later on. For example you might decide that one objective is a "Personal Objective" while another one is a "Company Objective".
Have a look at our default categories to get inspired. If our default categories are not to your liking, you can change them per cycle.

If you like, you can add ratings to an objective, so that your managers can rate how well a objective was met. The configured ratings are specific per cycle.

The defaults for ratings and categories of a newly created cycle are configured in the "Advanced" section of the "Administration Overview".

Name Description Default
Objective Categories You define what categories can be selected for each objective (if you decide to use categories for objectives)
  • Personal Objective
  • Team Objective
  • Department Objective
  • Company Objective
  • Bonus Objective
Objective Ratings You can define what ratings are selectable for each objective (if you decide to use ratings for objectives at all)
  • Outstanding Results
  • Great Results
  • Good Results
  • Below Expectations
  • Well Below Expectations

You can learn more about managing your team's or company's objectives here.

 

Global Settings

These settings apply to your entire deployment, and are independent of performance reviews, 360s and objectives. You'll find further information about general administration issues on our administration overview page.

Name Description Default
What features to use Small Improvements consists of four main modules. But you don't need to use all of them of course! If you're not interested in 360 degree feedback, disable the module, and it won't show up anywhere in the user interface anymore. Not keen on continuous feedback? Turn it off! All enabled
Continuous feedback: Allow public sharing By default, people can praise their coworkers publicly, and share news and insight with everyone. If you want to play it safe, you may want to disable this ability, so that feedback always is private. You can enable public messages later on again On
Continuous feedback: Daily digest Especially in smaller organizations the daily update of who said what can help tremendously to bring everyone together. But in larger organizations, you may already use another intranet solution, so then a daily update will not be helpful. Off
Global header You can add a text to the start of each page, e.g. to link to your own documentation, or to highlight some urgent news Off
Date format You can choose from default date format (e.g. UK, US, Germany, etc) from a dropdown. If you want to, you can even fine tune the date format to your specific needs, using the ISO formats for date formatting. This is admittedly advanced stuff, but it can come in handy some day. Learn more about the options over here. (ProTip: if you want to use AM/PM style, you can use this format: "MMM/dd hh:mm a": It has lower-case 'hh' instead of uppercase 'HH', and the 'a' will turn into AM or PM, depending on the actual date) US
Time Zone You can define a timezone so that everyone knows what you mean by "write your performance reviews by Friday 6pm" Pacific Time
Self-service of crucial data Staff may change most of their self-description in their profile page, but you can restrict changing certain fields like the manager and the nickname, to prevent abuse or supposedly "fun" changes. On
Enable secondary reviewers A secondary reviewer can help the actual manager with the performance review. See the documentation On
Email wording On the Silver and Gold plan, you can customize each and every email the system sends. Check the email template manual.  
Email signature While each email the system sends can be customized, it's useful to be able to define one consistent signature "Kind regards, your friendly mail robot"
Badge Types All badge types can be customized to your needs. You can rename them, create new ones, upload your own logos, etc. Refer to the detailed badges manual 15 default badges
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