Crafting an Exceptional Performance Experience

Mark Lewis
August 10, 2023

Performance Reviews: It's Not Just About the Process

There might be 'best practice processes' for performance but there is no best practice 'experience', because the experience is driven by your unique culture, your ways of working and the way you want to lead.

Think about performance reviews. At a high level the process is simple.

A typical process might look something like:

  • Self-Review
  • Manager Review
  • 1:1 Discussion

The Simple Framework: What Happens When We Dig Deeper?

It gets more complicated when we take this 'process' and reframe it as an 'experience'.

The human element introduces many questions, and if left unanswered we are gambling that the experience will be supported by the tool used to run the process.

Some experience questions to consider for each phase.

Self Review: Making It Engaging, Clear, and Supportive

  • What information will employees need to answer questions accurately & how can we surface this information so it's easy to reference?
  • How do we make this visually appealing and not a boring form?
  • How do we communicate employee context in the overall process and ensure clarity of next steps?
  • How can we ensure support guides are easily accessible for those who need them, but out of the way for those who don't.
  • What happens if an employee submits a review but later realises they want to make an update?

Manager Review: Crafting the Experience for Those in Leadership

  • How do we make reviews easy for managers that have lots of team members?
  • Do we want managers to see the employee's self-review?
  • Should they only be allowed to start the manager review after the self-review is completed?
  • What supporting information should be supplied to help with more accurate decisions about their team member's performance?
  • How do we ensure new managers have access to previous reviews?

1:1 Discussion:  The Heart of the Review Experience

  • Should the review pack be shared before the meeting to allow time for prep? During the meeting to talk it through? Or after the meeting because we want to focus on a conversation?
  • Can managers update reviews after the discussion?
  • How do we make it easy to track actions or development areas that come from the discussion?
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