You've likely heard of "Reviews" or "Performance Reviews" and you have an idea of how the process went on your old platform. Furthermore, you're familiar with the goal of reviews; to give/receive feedback and assess how an employee is doing within an organization. 15Five is ready to change the "Reviews" game into a growth based conversation that is geared towards each individual becoming their best-self. How do we do that exactly? Our 'Reviews' feature is built around positive psychology and the principles of effective communication.
'Reviews' in 15Five- Why are they different?
The 'Reviews' feature not only creates space for employees to reflect and give feedback, but also allows them to celebrate their wins and their growth. When reviews are held regularly, more accurate information will be surfaced. No more recency bias- which is the tendency to remember the things that happened most recently rather than the most important issues. There is even a visible section within every review called “Resources for your reviews” to help reduce recency bias and ensure a more objective and fair assessment of performance and development feedback. In order to have regular conversations with your team(s) about growth, put the 'Reviews' feature to good use.
Reviews can foster psychological safety if they are held with fair intention and led by growth based conversations. As these conversations/reviews are held, employees will become more willing to show up fully- leading to honest and innovative reflections.
Best-Self Review™, our name for "Reviews", should be used in addition to 1-on-1s and check-ins to further nurture the manager and employee relationship. Best-Self Reviews allow the employee to have a voice and reflect on their progress, while also getting feedback from their manager via an in-person or video growth discussion.
We have many stories of employees using their reviews to talk about work they love and using their strengths. In these cases, managers can evaluate the work that their employee currently has and assess making some adjustments. Who knows? Maybe another teammate has a responsibility that doesn't play into their strengths; you can switch responsibilities up. Learning from your employees allows you to help them live in their Zone of Genius!
360° Best-Self Review is great for when you want to elicit conversations between managers and employees, plus the employee’s peers (called peer reviews) and/or direct reports (called upward reviews). When including peer and/or upward reviews in a review cycle, employees gets a more complete view of their strengths + where they can improve, as the information is coming from various sources. 15Five recommends that review participants nominate peers from within their own team, and if they work cross-departmentally, to also nominate peers from other departments. Varying perspectives is key here. 360° Best-Self Reviews have the potential to increase camaraderie and allow people to become invested in each other’s growth.
Employees want more quality feedback so they can continue to learn and grow. Similarly, people want to feel appreciated and seen for who they are and how they contribute to the company’s goals and mission. Reviews help connect all of these pieces by creating a space where people are seen, heard, and inspired to grow.
Over time, Reviews in conjunction with 15Fives, Objectives, 1-on-1s, and High Fives, can give valuable insight about an employee’s journey at your company, how they have grown+developed, and how their work has evolved. Insight into each person's journey will be valuable in hiring, capacity planning, and even setting company-wide and department goals.
Use cases for Reviews in 15Five:
- Excluding people from participating, including excluding being nominated as a peer
- Yearly reviews/Probation reviews
- New manager to view current direct reports' review history
- Promotion plan
1️⃣ Excluding people from participating in Reviews
In a 360° Best-Self Review where peer reviews are included, participants are asked to nominate peers. Participants can nominate anyone as a peer, regardless of whether the peer they're nominating is a participant themselves. Similarly, if upward reviews are included in cycle, any manager who is a participant will have upward reviews written of them. If their direct report(s) are not participants in the cycle, those direct reports will still be asked to write an upward review of their manager. If a review admin is ready to create a review cycle and wants to make sure certain employees do not get nominated as peers or asked to complete an upward review, exclusions can be put in place.
Review admins: To exclude people from peer and upward reviews, add the person’s name in the 'Exclude groups or individuals from your reviews' field in the review cycle settings page. Excluding people in these settings will prevent them from all participation in a cycle. There is currently not a way to pick and choose what reviews people are excluded from.
2️⃣ Yearly reviews/Probation reviews
15Five recommends quarterly or bi-annual reviews. Best-Self Review™ was designed to counteract annual reviews. That being said, we understand your company might not be ready to hold more than one review a year and you may need to run a yearly review cycle in the interim. We don’t currently have an automated way to set up a recurring yearly review, but review admins can set up a one-time review to help fill the need for an annual review. Once a review cycle has been created, it can be cloned year after year.
15Five recommends having company-wide or groups/departments have their review cycles happen at the same time. Everyone is then on the same page and it is less work for you!
3️⃣ New manager to view current direct reports' review history
During your last review cycle, mangers had different direct reports than they do this time around. You might discover while the cycle is ongoing, that these new managers cannot see their direct reports' past reviews. You're correct. At this time, there is not a way to open visibility to the new manager for a past review cycle. However, the previous manager, the direct report/participant, or review admin can print/save to PDF and share with the new manager that way.
Why do we not share these past reviews with new reviewers? In short, psychological safety. When these direct reports/participants submitted their previous review(s), the visibility did not indicate to them that the review could be shared with other people in the future. In fact, visibility stated that only specific people would see the reviews, so changing that visibility after the reviews were submitted isn't ideal. It was (and is) intended that either the direct report or previous manager would facilitate the sharing to give context to the next reviewer, should they ask for it. With the fore-mentioned in mind, please let us know if you need something different so we can try to accommodate your specific case.
4️⃣ Promotion plan
If you would like to add additional questions around "promotions" for your cycle, feel free to add them to any template. The most common place to add promotion based questions is in the private manager assessment.
Included in manager reviews is the 'Private manager assessment'. This section of the manager review is only visible to the manager who completed the review and the review admins. The 'Private manager assessment' includes future focused questions inspired by research from Deloitte and highlighted in the April 2015 HBR article, Reinventing Performance Management, by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall. Questions 1 - 3 are taken directly from Deloitte, question 4 has been adjusted and Question 5 is 15Five's addition.
Keep in mind that any questions added to the private manager assessment are only visible to the manager/reviewer and the review admins (after the manager review is submitted). Review admins can report on answers to these questions in the 'Company results' tab, 'By question'.
Read more about visibility of Reviews here.