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The People & Culture Platform | Culture Amp
Allison Moser, author

Allison Moser

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Culture Amp

If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it is the need to be adaptable. And that rings especially true when it comes to performance reviews. 

As you prepare for your next performance management cycle these tips will help you consider the ways you can adapt the process to fit your company.

Created by our team of People Scientists, this guide includes tips like how to tailor templates for your company, and what you should do to help mitigate biases in the process.

Essential tips for smooth performance reviews 

Make sure to run a performance review – We know that sometimes performance reviews can seem like more work than they are worth. Historically, 95% of managers are dissatisfied with them, and with the added stress of the pandemic, you might feel like skipping reviews this year.  But assessing employee performance is absolutely vital for employee engagement and the company’s success. Find a way to check in with your employees, even if it’s different than what you’re used to.

Adapt your process for your company – Amidst the uncertainty created by COVID-19, this year’s performance reviews might look different than last year’s. Know that it’s okay to adapt your process to what works best for the company now. Review what pieces of the performance process still fit your company’s needs and values. For example, this might mean performance reviews are lighter this year and focused on growth and development check-ins.

Tailor your templates – Once you decide which aspects you want to include in your performance review process, you can tailor the language for your company.

  • You may want to acknowledge that this has been a hard year in your templates and that normal expectations may not apply. 
  • Confirm your rating scales are right for your company – rating scales on employee performance reviews often get a bad rap. They may be viewed as impersonal, inaccurate, and lacking in nuance when it comes to evaluating employee performance. Tailoring your rating scales can help personalize your company’s approach to reviews during this sensitive year.

Reduce biases in the process – Gathering feedback from multiple sources is an important step in reducing biases in the performance review process. You can even increase transparency by allowing employees to nominate who is best placed to provide feedback as part of their performance review. Learn about common biases that impact performance reviews – especially during COVID-19 – and how you can help mitigate them. Watch this webinar for a deep dive on how to design equitable performance assessments.

Double-check your employee data – Make sure no employees fall through the cracks. In the Culture Amp platform, you can easily use a hierarchy to map your employee data.  This helps identify and correct any reporting loops, invalid managers, or employees without managers – making sure there aren’t employees or managers left out from performance reviews!

Prep your managers and employees – There’s an old saying that not preparing, is preparing to fail. This is true when it comes to performance reviews too. Make sure to communicate early and often about expectations and timelines from your company.

Performance management can be a confusing process for both administrators and employees going through the process. With this guide, we hope to help you tailor your reviews to work best for your organization. Creating a more transparent experience that showcases your company’s values will help build trust in the process and encourage actual employee development, not just measurement.

Learn more about running performance reviews with Culture Amp

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