Setting Up Performance Management

The setting up of enhanced Performance Management comprises of two parts - firstly, you have to set up the Review Forms that people in the review panel will be filling in to give their feedback, and secondly, you will have to set up Review Templates which basically group these forms together and specify other rules around the frequency and permission for each type of review process you run.

Setting Up Forms

If you go to Performance -> Configure -> Review Forms on the left hand menu, you will be able to set up as many different custom review forms as you like using our powerful form building tool.

You can create as many forms as you think you will need, in order to cover all your review requirements.  You may want different forms for employees in different departments, and you may want to set up different sets of questions for employees, managers and admin users to use.  There isn't really a limit on the number of forms you can set up, but we recommend that you keep it to a manageable level so you don't lose track.

Please plan carefully for the forms you wish to use.  As with all form builders, making changes to form fields AFTER other people start filling copies of them out can result in lost data.  We highly recommend making sure that your questions and field names etc. are all working as expected before you start assigning performance reviews to your team.

NOTE: These forms are different from those you create in the Custom Forms area, but you can certainly re-use existing forms from that area within the Performance Review section by exporting and re-importing the form layouts.

You can click the ' Add New Form' button in the top right to create a new form layout.

You have to give the form a meaningful name, and perhaps a longer description for your records, but the rest of the form is our standard form designer as you would have seen in our Custom Forms module.  You can populate the form with as many fields as you require, including long form answers, radio boxes, star ratings etc.

You will notice in the form we are editing above, there is a warning mentioning that this form has already been used in active reviews.  Meaning that if you delete fields or change field names, then there is a risk of losing data.  You can certainly add new fields or change field prompts, but we highly recommend NOT deleting fields, or changing field names or field options once a form starts being used by others.

The only field type not supported in Performance Reviews is the file upload field.  This is because we handle attachments differently during the review process.

Once you have created all the forms you need, then you can specify how they will be used via Performance Templates.

Setting Up Templates

Performance Review Templates are basically a way of setting up the rules around how a performance review will be run.  You will typically have a template for each review type you do, i.e. one for Annual Reviews, one for Probationary Reviews, one of Management Reviews etc.  You may even have different review templates for different Departments or Locations.  It is entirely up to you, as there is really no limit on the number of templates that you can set up or use.

You can access the template setup by going to Performance -> Configure -> Templates on the left hand menu.

You can edit existing templates, or add new ones from this screen.  Please note that you cannot delete any templates that have been used to assign performance reviews to employees already.  You will have to delete all associated reviews first before deleting the master template.

When adding or editing a template, you will be presented with the following screen.  Lets focus on the top part of this screen first as it is the easiest to configure:

Here is a description of the fields you see here:

Description A short description of what this review template does.  This description will be show on all drop downs when assigning reviews etc. so you want to make it meaningful (e.g. "Annual Performance Review for Full Time Staff" etc.)
Summary A longer summary of this review which is purely for your own reference and is optional.
Template Active Flags whether this template is active and can be assigned to staff or not.  We highly recommend making obsolete review templates inactive rather than deleting them in order to preserve historical reviews.
Email Template You can specify the default email template you wish to use when assigning a review to employees.  This will pre-populate the email message and subject etc. to save you time.  You can always override the template when sending though, so this field is optional.  We also now have a new section on our email template editor specifically for Performance Review emails.
Review Frequency This specifies how often this review will be run (e.g. Monthly, Quarterly, Annual etc.)  This is used to calculate the approximate date of the next review.  For example, if you were assigning a review today which had 'Monthly' set up in the review template, then the system would automatically calculate a review due date one month from now.
Reminder Lead Time This is the number of days before the review due date (calculated as per the above line) that a reminder email will be sent out to everyone involved in the review.  Make sure you give everyone enough time to prepare and to answer the questions presented to them via the forms.
Include Goals You can opt to include our new Goal Tracking module on the employee reviews, so you can see all the employee's current goals while conducting the review for them.

Next, we will examine the lower half of the screen, which sets out which forms your wish to use, and the permissions surrounding them.

There are 4 types of parties that you can involve in the review.  These are:

  • Employee - which is the actual employee being reviewed.  Only 1 employee will ever be included on the review.  You can even opt to conduct a review where the employee is NOT involved, i.e. he or she will not have a form to fill out themselves, nor will they get any notifications about the review.  This can be useful for disciplinary reviews etc.
  • Manager - this is the direct supervisor/manager for the employee being reviewed, as dictated by the org chart in HR Partner.  There can only ever be one manager per review.
  • Peers/Co-Workers/Colleagues - these are other employees in the company who work with the employee being reviewed, if you wish to get feedback from them.  There is no limit on the number of co-workers who can be added to a review either during or after assigning the review out.
  • Admin Users - these are HR Partner admin users who will be involved in the review process.  You can add as many admin users as you like to a review.  Please also be aware that admin users have access to much more data and functionality when conducting reviews, as opposed to the employee, their manager or co-workers above.

It is important to remember that in an HR Partner performance review, you can have any combination of the above 4 reviewer types.  That is, you can have a review that is just for the employee, or just for the manager to do, or you can have just employee and manager, or all 4 parties, or any combination of the above.

NOTE: While is it highly recommended, and expected, that the employee themselves will be involved in their review, you do not necessarily have to have them in the review process.  This is useful if you wish to conduct completely anonymous or private reviews.

Each of the reviewer types above can be allocated a different review form layout to fill out.

You don't have to have different forms for each party, and indeed, you can have a standard form that everyone fills out the same, however generally, we expect that managers will fill out different forms than the employee will, as co-workers will fill out a different set of questions again.

In the above example, only the employee and their direct manager will be assigned forms to fill out.  Their co-workers, and any admin users will NOT be involved in this particular review process at all.  This is purely a two party review - nice and simple.  You can also see here that the employee will have to fill out the 'Employee Self Review' form questions, and their manager gets a different form called 'Line Manager Review' with their own set of questions.

Note also the permissions for the respective forms.  The settings here dictate that the Employee's form will also be visible to their Manager, and similarly, the Manager's answers to their form will be visible to the Employee.  You can tweak this to hide certain forms from other people involved in the review.  Lets look at a more complex example below:

Here we have all 4 reviewer types involved in the review.  Note that the direct Manager and Admin Users are using the same 'Line Manager Review' form, whereas the Employee and any Co-Workers involved will be using different forms.

Now lets look at the permissions according to the settings on the right of each form:  

  • Any answers the Employee fills out in their form will be visible to their direct Manager and also to ALL their Co-Workers involved in the review.
  • Any answers the Manager fills out will be visible to the Employee, but NOT to the Co-Workers involved on the review.
  • Any answers from the Co-Workers will only be visible to other Co-Workers.  The Employee and the Manager will NOT be able to see their responses at all.
  • Any answers from the Admin Users will only be visible to the direct Manager and to no one else.

IMPORTANT: Admin user can see EVERYONE's answers by default and this cannot be changed, which is an important point to remember when inviting different users to this review.

As you can see, this gives a powerful way of making some feedback anonymous from certain parties.  There are many situations where you might want to keep co-worker feedback from being seen by the employee to reduce conflict or potential problems, but you will want important stakeholders like their manager to be able to see the responses.

Once you have set up the forms and templates, then you are ready to begin assigning and conducting performance reviews.