Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting a schedule, part of Performance Review Foundations.
When you think about writing a review, you have to think about when is the appropriate time. So it's probably good to step back for just a minute and put things in perspective by talking about the need to publish a schedule for the entire review process. If you work for a large organization, they'll tell you the schedule. The smaller the organization, the more like you will have to create, and control the process. First, let me summarize how this works, then we'll explore each step in a bit more detail. You begin by listing all of the major tasks that must be completed.
Make sure you list them in sequential order from first to last. FYI, the last one will be having all evaluations and employee comments turned into human resources by a certain date. Once you have them in order, identify the due date to turn things into HR and that's your starting point. Working backwards, you now have to place each sequential task on the calendar, allowing an appropriate amount of time between each event. And that's the general idea. And when you're done making this plan, it needs to be published, sooner than later.
A great rule of thumb is to get the timeline in the employee's hands at least six weeks before the process begins. Depending on the employee and their workload, they'll need a good heads up so they can begin preparing how they wish to engage the process. So, now let's walk through a typical timeline to give you a feel for how this works. Six weeks before the meetings or right after you publish the schedule. You'll want to meet with each individual who reports to you. This is informal but important. And you need to be sure to address these issues.
The evaluation process and dates, relevant company policies. The forms they will use, whether paper or online, and any questions they might have. Five weeks out, it's time to get serious about data collection for each employee. Every company is different, but you'll likely be dealing with your performance diary notes, a 360 evaluation, various paper forms, and any informal feedback you wish to solicit. If you don't already have a great, highly automated system provided for you, it's wise to make a checklist of each source you're chasing for each employee.
So every week, you can follow up with others as needed, to ensure you have everything you need in a timely fashion. Four weeks out, the employee should submit their self evaluation. Again, whether that's an automated 360 or simple paper forms. This is also an ideal time to have each employee select a specific time slot. The day, or the multiple days set aside for the evaluation meetings have been published for at least two weeks, so it's time to get commitments and fill in the slots. Now it's three weeks out, and it's last call for data collection.
If you are going to do your job correctly, this is the drop dead date for anyone involved to submit the information they owe you. Use phone calls, and in person stop ins, not emails. The pain of riding them a little to get what you need is far preferable to having incomplete information for an evaluation, or worse yet, having such incomplete information that you have to reschedule someone's meeting date. Now, it's down to two weeks out and it's time to read and seriously contemplate all of the information gathered for each employee.
A great rule of thumb is to start by looking over their last evaluation and any information about them added to their personnel file. Then start looking over the data you collected for this period. And even though it takes time its best to complete at least two reviews of each employees information. This makes you prepared. And that Matters. If you arrive in an evaluation meeting and don't recall basic facts about their performance, they'll notice. And when they do they will discount the accuracy and fairness of your evaluation.
Make good notes about the difference between their self evaluation and the information provided by all other reviewers. No later than one week out, you have to have your review done, so that you have adequate time to write each evaluation. This process is the culmination of everything else you've done, and many leaders find this part the hardest because you have to commit your ideas to paper. So be sure to give yourself enough time Next, finally, will be your day, or days, of evaluation meetings.
You'll want to allocate one hour for each meeting. Even if a few finish early, you'll still want the extra time over the course of the day to allow for some that might run long. Plus, unexpected emergency emails or phone calls you need to deal with Generally speaking, two weeks after completing all of the meetings any employee comments must be submitted and then soon after, it's time to submit everything to HR. Yes, this all represents a lot of work, but it's worth it. Most employees don't enjoy the evaluation process, but it doesn't have to be that way.
When you thoughtfully execute the way we've discussed, you're informing, helping and motivating your employees, which makes your team perform even better.
- Describe why performance reviews are important.
- Explain why a manager might use informal feedback.
- Recognize when it’s important to have a witness present during an evaluation.
- Cite the benefits of performance improvement plans.
- Identify the primary goal of managing performance throughout the year.
- Describe when it’s time to discuss possible role changes for an employee.
- Explain the 360 review process.
- Cite ways to set expectations for a performance review meeting.