This document explains how to configure performance reviews for your organization. Learn how to set up review cycles, invite participants, and track your company's progress! To learn more about how performance reviews work within Small Improvements, check out the performance review overview documentation for a description of the overall workflow of a cycle.
To create a new review cycle or modify an existing one, go to the Performance Review Cycle Management screen. For now, you'll just need the 'Create Cycle' button. This will take you to a screen that will guide you through a few steps to set up a review cycle.
Once you finish, you'll see an overview of your settings before you create the cycle.
Who's under review?
First, select the employees who should complete performance reviews in this cycle. You can easily select teams, sort by department or add all managers for a bottom up review. If you’d like to set up a review cycle for the future or don’t know exactly who should be reviewed yet, just click ‘Select reviewees later’ to skip this step.
(below is a animated gif, watch the whole loop!)
Name your cycle!
Next, give the cycle a name and introduction. Employees will see this introduction when they go to write their self-assessments, as will managers when they review their reports, so if you’d like them to follow certain guidelines let them know here. Set the time period under review so participants know what time period they should focus on when writing.
Sharing and approval process
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to performance management, so Small Improvements lets you configure the review process to fit your needs. If HR or indirect managers need to review manager assessments before they're shared, set 'HR / indirect manager approval' to 'allowed'. This way a manager will be able to mark an assessment as done in SI, automatically triggering an email to the indirect manager and HR to let them know. You could also choose to allow indirect managers to edit or contribute directly to manager assessments.
It's also possible to set up a cycle so that a manager or reviewee can only see the other's assessment after both have shared. If you'd like each person to write his assessment before reading what the other wrote, choose that option here.
Compose the questionnaire
Next you'll compose the questionnaire employees and managers will fill out when writing assessments. First choose whether or not to include the SI Assessment Graph. Employees and managers each place a dot on the graph to represent employee performance, which can help quickly determine how well they're aligned. By default the chart graphs "Results" versus "Behavior", but you can edit the axes here if you'd like.
Next, set up the questions! There are two default questions asking what the employee did well and what she could do better. You can of course edit these if you wish. It's possible to add up to 5 questions total. As you can see, you can fine-tune each question to apply to the reviewee on the left side and to her manager on the right side. We think this method of lining up employee and manager feedback on each question makes the most sense – answers will appear side-by-side, so they'll be very easy to compare. Of course you could also add one set of topics in the left-hand column for employees to answer and a completely different set in the right-hand column for managers if you prefer. It is also entirely possible to have an extra question on either side just for one group if you'd like, or even add a confidential question for managers to answer that will not be shown to the reviewee (but will be visible to indirect managers and HR). We don't typically like to use ratings, but if you're dead set on it you can include a rating scale with each individual question if you like.
To make the questions sound more natural, you can choose from an array of placeholders like 'First Name', which would then be replaced by the reviewee's first name. You can start typing to see a list of user placeholders, or click Insert and select User Placeholder.
It's also possible to include an overall rating in the performance review if you'd like, which you can configure at the end of the questionnaire.
Set the cycle's timeline
As the last step you’ll define the cycle’s timeline. First set a start date – when should the cycle begin? If you want the cycle to start immediately, keep this set to the current date and you’ll be able to send out email notifications about the cycle right away. If you’re setting up a cycle for the future, select a future date in this field and the rest of the timeline will adjust accordingly with our recommended time intervals between due dates.
Next set a due date for writing and sharing self-assessments. Employees will be allowed to run late if need be, but you'll be able to send email reminders from the Company Overview to help nudge people along. If you've chosen to allow an approval process for HR to review manager assessments before they're shared, you will next set two due dates for managers: first, l, and then choose when all manager assessments should be shared. Between these two dates, HR / indirect managers can review the assessments and give managers approval to share. If no approval process is necessary, you'll just see one due date for managers to write and share their assessments.
Finally, choose the final self-assessments and manager assessments deadlines - on these dates, assessments will be finalized and no longer editable. Please note: it will also be impossible share and sign after this point! Any assessments that have not been shared will not be visible to others, and you will need to edit the cycle settings to extend these deadlines if employees or managers do not share before their respective deadlines.
Create the cycle!
Now create the cycle! If your cycle is starting immediately, you’ll have the option to invite participants to begin writing right away! Of course you may skip this step if you like and send invitations later from the Company Overview.
Depending on how your cycle is set up, we’ll inform you of any next steps to take after cycle creation.
And that’s it! Remember, you can always go to the cycle's Company Overview to send reminder emails and manage performance reviews.
Advanced admin: Parallel cycles and more
A common question we get is "how can we set up parallel review cycles". Check out the following video for a step by step guide:
A few words of advice
We suggest you start early and give people plenty of time. It also makes sense to let people know about the questions you intend to ask before the review cycle starts, or at least early on in the process. Nobody is perfect, and the questions you plan to ask may not be as easy for your staff to understand as you think. Get feedback about the questions early on, and take it into account. Your staff will love you for this.
We also strongly recommend that you run a trial or pilot phase with 10 to 15 people before you roll out your first performance review cycle to a large organization. That way, you'll know what kind of issues need clarification and be able to preempt many problems by training your staff accordingly. Another advantage of piloting with 10 people first: once the real cycle starts you'll save yourself a lot of time resolving any issues that do crop up, since you'll have 10 expert users to help out their peers and answer questions.