Employee performance reviews are due? No need to stress about time, the performance review system you're using is optimized for simplicity. Most likely you'll be fine even without reading the documentation, but if you'd like a little more detail- Read on.
Small Improvements makes performance reviews super easy. We want you to focus on results, not on learning the application.
Note, for managers and administrators: You can find documentation about tracking the performance review process over here.
Article Quick Links
- Video Walkthrough
- Getting Started
- General Overview
- 2D Assessment Graph
- Writing your Self-Assessment
- Overall Rating
- Resources to help you
- Sharing and Signing
- Taking Private Notes
Prefer a quick video? We've got you covered.
You'll be notified by email when it's time to get started. Just click the link in the email, this takes you straight into your performance review.
You can also log in and you'll find a reminder on the homepage:
From the Your Reviews tab:
The performance review consists of your self-assessment (on the lefthand side of the "form"), and your manager's assessment of your work (on the right). We put both onto the same page to make everyone's life easier. Above the review you'll find the timeline, and underneath you'll find some tabs that give you quick access to feedback and objectives already stored in the system - All in one place and you don't have to leave the page.
What happens when I start my self-assessment? Who can see it?
Initially, everything you write is private. The same applies to your manager's assessment of you, so the right screen side starts covered by an overlay. You can write your review all in one go, or write chunks of the self-assessment on different days. Nobody but you can see how you go about it, not even HR, until you decide to share your self-assessment with your manager.
At the top of the screen, you will find information about the timeline of the review process. This is defined by your HR Admins. There may be some additional information from HR as well. We suggest you don't do your review all in one day — it's a good idea to let the review sit for a while after you write it, and revisit it after a few days have passed. Be sure you don't wait till the day before it's due to start!
The timeline only shows the first time you open the review, after that you can open it manually. You can also print the review.
The 2D assessment graph
If enabled by your company, the first part of the review is a 2D graph that lets you depict your performance in a visual manner. Simply place the dot using your mouse. Your manager will do the same, and you'll quickly find out if you're aligned.
The default scales for the axes are "Results" and "Behavior". The higher you place the dot, the better you think you've achieved your goals and executed according to your job description. Behavior typically represents "soft skills" - So if you've been great about helping coworkers out, mentoring junior staff and living the company values, you should place the dot in the far right.
Hint: Every company can define their own axis descriptions. Or your company may have decided to disable the 2D chart altogether.
The written self-assessment
This is the most important part of the review. HR Admins can define what questions to ask and how many questions there are in total. For example, it may look like this initially:
You should consider your responses carefully. There's no need to write a novel, but a offhand response with three one-line bullet points is certainly not an adequate representation of your work achievements either. If you haven't received specific instructions from HR, we'd suggest thinking about the self-assessment for half an hour first, and then spending around an hour or two writing and fine-tuning.
How much time should I spend?
We recommend spreading out the process over two days, so you can double-check your self-assessment before you share it with your manager.
You are able to use our Rich Text Editor (RTE) to assist in highlighting your text additionally with bullet points, hyperlinks and general text formatting! Check out some options in this quick animation:
The last bit of the self-assessment is a overall performance rating. Just as with the 2D chart, this feature can be switched on or off by your company's HR team, or even customized to include different options to choose from. If your company uses it, this is where you can rate your overall performance on a scale, e.g. from "superb" to "needs improvement". Along with each rating level you'll see a short explanation when you select it in the drop-down.
Note: It is also possible for your HR Admins to select ratings per topic. So don't be surprised if you see a rating per question, as your HR team might want both a qualitative and a quantitative answer for you in each section.
Resources to help you write your self-assessment
To help you with your review and refresh your memory of past work, there is a resources section at the bottom of the performance review page.
For instance, the tabs list your objectives, provide access to previous performance reviews and peer 360° feedback, and display continuous feedback you sent and received — all without leaving the page.
If your company uses other products like Bonusly, we'll also display your activity streams from those products here, helping you remember all the things you worked on.
Sharing and signing the review
While your self-assessment is private to you at first, you'll want to share your self-assessment with your manager at some point. Maybe this will be before before the performance review meeting, maybe after — it depends on your company's set-up. All you need to do is press the "share" button when you're ready.
Once you push the share button, your manager will get an email notification. The mail contains the link to your self-assessment, but not its contents. You can keep editing the review before she checks it out, but every edit you make after sharing will trigger an email notification to her. That way, if she has already read it, she'll know to go back into the system and read the modified version.
Once you've shared the review, you will see am "Un-share" button instead of the share button. So if you change your mind after sharing, you can hide the review again, work on it further, and share it again when you're sure you are ready.
What happens next?
Once your manager shares her assessment of your performance with you, you will get an email notification. You'll be able to see what she has written about you on the right side of your performance review page. Now both of you can keep fine-tuning your reviews until you agree the review is complete.
When do I sign?
After both self assessment and manager assessment have been shared, you'll can sign off on the completed version, using the "sign" button. Signing the review puts it into a protected read-only mode, and you're done! Only an HR admin will be able to revoke a signature and make the review editable again.
Taking private notes
While your performance review is not shared yet, anything you write is private. But if you want to keep working on your review after you share it with your manager, you may still want a space to jot down notes and get your thoughts organized privately, without worrying that your manager can see the process. There is a place to take down notes and draft new thoughts privately while keeping your review shared — just click the slightly hidden "private notes" link, and an additional input-field will appear.