Calibrations help HR leaders and managers make more fair, objective, and transparent assessments of performance and talent decisions. Once the "Manager reviews due by" milestone has passed, it's time to begin holding calibration sessions. In a calibration session, you will work with a team of Contributors to review results and change answers as needed to ensure that all cycle participants included in the session receive a fair and unbiased assessment of their performance.

In this article, you will learn...

Access and availability

⛔️ Required access to Best-Self Review® and Calibrations.
👥 This article is relevant to Review admins, Cycle collaborators, and Contributors.
📦 This feature is available in the Perform and Total Platform pricing packages.


Steps to take before holding calibration sessions

Create calibration sessions

Before you can hold calibration sessions, you have to create them! Use our "Create a calibration session" article for steps and best practices for creating sessions.

Schedule a meeting for each calibration session

Use your preferred calendar and meeting applications to schedule a meeting for each calibration session that includes all Collaborators. We suggest appointing a moderator or secretary for the session to help take notes and keep the meeting on track.

Check the status of manager reviews and nudge managers

If you reach the "Manager reviews due by" milestone and notice there are outstanding manager reviews, you can nudge managers who haven't yet submitted their reviews to give them one last chance to submit before you begin holding calibration sessions.

Use the "Review milestones" section of the cycle's overview page to see what percentage of managers have submitted their reviews.

Progress-Tracker.png

You can also download the "Review writers progress tracker" report to see which individuals have/haven't submitted reviews they're responsible for.


Calibration session page layout

Filter session by

The "People & Groups" and "Review section" filters at the top of the page allow you to filter the information that appears in the Talent Matrix and Calibration Table.
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  • Use People & Groups to filter by direct reports, hierarchy, individual, and/or group type. You can select multiple filters here.
  • Use Review section to select which review section (Private Manager Assessment, Company Value ratings, Competency ratings, and/or Objective ratings) you want to view answers for on the Talent Matrix and Calibration Table. This filter will only appear if more than one section is included in the calibration session.
    ✏️

    Note

    You can only view answers given to questions in one review section at a time using the Talent Matrix and Calibration Table.

Talent Matrix

The Talent Matrix is a 9-box tool that allows you to visualize the distribution of responses for specific manager review questions across two dimensions. This can help identify patterns, trends, or outliers in performance ratings and facilitate discussions around potential areas of agreement or disagreement.
Talent-Matrix.png

Using the Talent Matrix, you can:

  • See which participants fall into possible answer options for any two questions
  • Drag and drop participants from one box to another to change their received answer
  • View additional details about a participant
  • Filter the Calibration Table below to only display information about participants in select boxes
Calibration Table

The Calibration Table provides a detailed overview of all responses to manager review questions in a tabular format. This allows for a comprehensive review of individual responses, making it easier to identify discrepancies, outliers, or areas where consensus may need to be reached during calibration sessions. Additional functionalities in the Calibration Table include flagging participants and removing people from a calibration session.
Calibration-Table.png

Using the Calibration Table, you can:

  • Change review answers
  • Flag and unflag participants
  • View additional details about a participant
  • Remove people from the calibration session
Activity Feed

The Activity Feed contains all changes made in calibration sessions. Session Collaborators, Review admins, and Cycle Collaborators can leave comments in this section to explain why changes were made.
Calibrations-Activity-Feed.png

Using the Activity Feed, you can:

  • View changes made in the calibration session
  • Leave comments to provide context around why changes were made
  • @mention other contributors, as well as review admins and cycle collaborators who are not appointed as contributors, in your comments

Access a calibration session

After the manager review deadline has passed, you can begin holding calibration sessions. Until then, calibrations will be greyed out and inaccessible so managers have time to submit their reviews.

  1. Click on Best-Self Review® in 15Five's main, left-hand navigation.
    BSR.png
  2. Click on the name of the review cycle you want to access.
    Active-Review-2024.png
  3. You're now on the review cycle's overview page. From here, open the Calibrations tab using the navigation at the top of the screen.
    CalibrationsTab.png
  4. Click on the name of the calibration session you want to work on.
    ActiveCalibrationSession.png

Review and make changes to review answers

We offer two options for reviewing and making changes to manager review answers: the Talent Matrix and the Calibration Table. The Talent Matrix is ideal for visualizing data and identifying broad trends, while the Calibration Table provides a more detailed and granular view of individual responses, facilitating thorough discussions and decision-making during calibration sessions. Continue reading to learn about how to use these tools.

✏️

Note

15Five saves changes regularly while the session is open and changes are being made, meaning that if someone leaves the page while editing and comes back, the changes will remain.

Talent Matrix Calibration Table

The Talent Matrix is a 9-box tool that allows you to visualize the distribution of responses for specific manager review questions across two dimensions. This can help identify patterns, trends, or outliers in performance ratings and facilitate discussions around potential areas of agreement or disagreement.

  1. Apply filters to the Talent Matrix using the "People & Groups" and "Review section" filters at the top of the page.
    Calibration-Filters-.png
  2. Expand the Talent Matrix by clicking Show.
    Show-Talent-Matrix.png
  3. Select which questions you want to appear on the Y-axis (up/down) and X-axis (left/right) of the Matrix using dropdown menus.
    Calibration-Talent-Matrix.png
  4. Change a review answer by dragging and dropping the participant's avatar to the intended box in the Talent Matrix. Changes will be reflected in the Calibration Table.
    Talent-Matrix-Change-Answer.png

    ✏️

    Note

    Changing the answer a participant received from either their direct manager or an additional manager will cause all of the participant's received answers to that question to change to the new answer.

  5. View additional details about a participant by clicking on their name. Contributors can use this option to get detailed information, like Last Cycle Rating, for less-familiar employees. You can also click See participant's review page at the bottom of the snapshot to open their manager review.
    Participant-Snapshot.png
  6. Filter the Calibration Table to only show information about participants in a Talent Matrix box by checking the square in the upper, left-hand corner of the box. Multiple boxes can be selected at a time.
    Filter-Box.png

View and provide context on changes

As changes are made in a calibration session, they're logged in the Activity Feed at the bottom of the page. Session contributors, Review admins, and Cycle collaborators can use this feed to provide additional context around what changes were made and why, as well as hold async discussions as needed. This information is extremely important, as it can be referenced for context as needed following a calibration session.

  1. Scroll to the Activity Feed at the bottom of the calibration session.Calibrations-Activity-Feed.png
  2. Begin an async conversation using the "Add a comment" field.
  3. Start a comment thread on a change or comment by clicking the dialogue bubble icon under a change in the activity feed.
💡

Tip

You can @mention Session contributors, Review admins, and Cycle collaborators in your comments.


What happens next?

Now that the calibration session has been held and all desired changes to manager review answers have been made, your work in the session is complete. Your next step is to lock the calibration session. Locking a session is the final step and all sessions should be locked before the "Calibrations due by" milestone. Once a session is locked, updated answers will appear in manager reviews.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When will calibrated answers be visible to managers?

Calibrated answers will be reflected in participants' review summaries once the session is locked. In review summaries, managers can see what the original answer was and what it was changed to. Participants cannot see any information about their calibrated answers.

Calibrated-Answer-Manager-View.png

Can review cycle participants see which of their answers were calibrated?

No. Participants cannot see any information about their calibrated answers.

How do I remove someone from a calibration session?

You can remove people from a calibration session by checking the boxes to the left of their names, clicking the Actions button at the top of the Calibration Table, and selecting "Remove from session" from the dropdown menu.
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How do I edit an existing calibration session (name, contributors, and due date)?

You can edit these settings by clicking ... in the top, right-hand corner of a calibration session and selecting "Edit session" from the dropdown menu.

Edit-Calibration-Session.png

Can I change participants' Performance Ratings in calibration sessions?

No. However, a person's performance rating will update automatically when changes are made in the calibration session that impact their rating. This update will happen in real-time so contributors can see the impact of answer changes on an individual's rating.
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Why am I seeing a white horizontal row for a participant in the Calibration Table?

 If you see a white horizontal row for a participant while viewing the Calibration Table, that means their manager review wasn't submitted. Answers will only appear in the list once the manager review has been submitted.

If a person is included in multiple calibration sessions and I change one of their answers, what happens?

If a participant is included in more than one calibration session, a number icon will appear on their avatar that indicates how many sessions they're a part of. Any changes you make to their review will be reflected immediately across all other calibration sessions they're involved in.
ParticipantInMoreThanOneSessionWarning.png

What happens if I change an answer given in an Additional Manager review?

If a participant included in the calibration session had an additional manager in the review cycle, the additional manager's review results will also be shown in the calibration session. If a contributor makes a change to any manager review answers (whether from the direct manager or an additional manager review), it will be applied to all manager reviews for the participant.

What does it mean to "flag" a participant?

Flags can be used to indicate that a participant's answers have already been discussed and finalized, that they're yet to be discussed, or that they require further discussion— whatever works for you! Just make sure your contributor teams understand what flags should be used for before kicking off calibration sessions.


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