When you are ready to set up a review cycle, you need to have deadlines in mind. This article walks you through what each review cycle date means, as well as best practices for setting deadlines. Though this is an all-inclusive list of possible cycle deadlines, you may not see or need all of them. It depends on which reviews are included in the cycle and whether you are including calibrations.
Scheduling your Best-Self Review®
"Direct reports select peers by" date
"Managers approve peers by" date
"Self reviews due by" date
"Peer initiated feedback due by" date
Best practice: No best practice needed! Peer initiated reviews do not require a nomination and approval process. Peers can initiate writing a review of someone else, complete the review, and submit without needing anyone's assistance.
"Peer reviews due by" date
"Upward reviews due by" date
"Manager reviews due by" date
"Calibrations due by" date
What it is: The date that all calibration sessions need to be completed and locked by. This deadline is very important because the date that follows is the 'Start sharing on' deadline—which is the green light for managers to start sharing the results of the reviews. If calibrations are not complete, reviews will be shared with the uncalibrated answers included.
Best practice: 15Five recommends the 'Calibrations due by' date be approximately two weeks after the 'Manager reviews due by' date. This gives two weeks for calibration sessions to be held and locked. In order to save time on calibrations, we recommend you create the calibration sessions as soon as the cycle becomes active. Preparing the sessions ahead of time will give you the full two weeks to hold the sessions. If you ever need more time to calibrate reviews, move this date AND the 'Start sharing on', 'Finalize by', and 'Cycle end' dates.
If you want time to debrief after sessions before allowing managers to share results, set the 'Start sharing on' date approximately five days after the 'Calibrations due by' date.
"Start sharing on" date
This review phase includes the Summary (written by the manager), the final meeting, the 'Share results' step—finalizing reviews happens after the final meeting. The Summary should compile information from all reviews that were written about a specific employee; this compilation is written by each manager. The 'Share results' step is typically taken after the summary has been drafted by the manager and is always taken after calibrations have been completed. If managers do not 'Share results,' the employee will not be able to see the reviews that were written of them. Once the meeting has been held and all feedback is final, the manager will 'Finalize results' (next deadline).
"Finalize by" date
What it is: The deadline for any remaining review submissions, all final changes to summaries complete, final meetings to be held, and any changes to be made before essentially locking the reviews for the participant.
Best practice: Since this is the last deadline for the cycle before the end date, give people a buffer of a few days to a week before the cycle end date. After finalizing, no edits on any reviews can be made and further review submissions are not allowed. It is extremely important that managers be aware of what finalizing means because finalized reviews are locked.