Learn how to build and customize new performance review cycles.

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The only thing more satisfying than filling out a performance review is creating a performance review cycle! The process is straightforward and is managed through cycles. Admins will set up and configure the different cycles and once launched, employees and managers can participate and take the lead in the process.

How to create performance review cycles

  1. From the left menu, select Talent > Performance > Manage cycles.
  2. Click the + New Cycle button.
    You will be directed to the Manage cycle setup, which is made up of five sections: Details, Forms, Performance rating, Reminders, and Invitations.

Step 1: Details

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  1. Enter a Cycle name, such as "End of year performance."
  2. Who to Review? Select the people who will be reviewed in this cycle. If you select All employees, everyone will be included; if you select by name, then click Edit, and check the names of the employees that you wish to include, then click Select to save. If you choose select by condition, then click Edit, set your conditions, and click Apply to save, e.g., to exclude the UK site, Select by condition "Site, does not equal, UK." You can add additional conditions by clicking +Add condition.
  3. Review Type: Add one or more review types by clicking +Add Review type
    • Manager: The employee’s direct manager as configured in the employee profile (reports to) and presented in the organizational chart. You will be able to change the reviewing manager for this specific cycle before or during the launch.
    • Peer: Teammates or colleagues. Peers can be invited to complete a review on the employee. You will be able to choose who can invite peers, share settings, and whether peer reviews are anonymous later in the setup.
    • Self: An employee self-assessment.
    • Upward: A direct report who reviews their manager. Enable Set minimum reviewers and type or select the desired number.

      Note: Upward reviews are anonymous, for this reason, it is required to set a minimum number of direct reports that will activate the reviews. E.g., if you select a minimum of "3," then the upward review will only be activated for managers who manage more than three employees.

    • Custom: A specific persona. Fill in the Name of the persona description, assign reviewers By Employee reference, or Manually. If you choose By employee reference, select a Reference field containing your custom persona, set the desired reviewer, e.g., a Matrix manager, team leader, buddy, or any other custom field you have created. Click Add.Click + Add review type to include one or more review types in the cycle. You can select up to six review types from the dropdown.

      Note: The more review types you add, the more holistic the results will be. Gain a 360° view of your people by collecting reviews from every angle.

  4. Duration: Type in or select the period, in days, in which the reviews should be completed.

    Note: At the end of the period the cycle will close, which means reviews will close for edits. Admins are able to extend and reopen closed cycles.

  5. Enable goals in review to choose which goals will be relevant to view in the performance cycle: Select a Start date and End date to include the goals that were or are relevant during the selected period.

    Note: When activated, those with permission to conduct performance reviews will be able to access active goals data, as well as edit and add new goals. When viewing performance reviews of cycles that have ended, the goals' information will reflect the goals' status during the time of the review.

Tip: The Goals option enables you to view and edit goals right from the performance review via a side panel. This can be prepared in three ways: prior to the cycle starting upon initial setup, during the cycle when editing the settings, or upon reopening a cycle that has ended and adjusting the settings.

Step 2: Forms

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In this section, you"ll be presented with each review type that you've just chosen in the previous step. For each review type, fill in the following information:

  1. Form: Select the relevant question form from the dropdown. The list of forms includes default forms or custom forms you've previously added during setup; See Performance Review forms to create your own forms.  

    Note: you can click the eye icon to preview the questions on the form.

  2. Form intro text: The text is pulled from the original form settings; you can manually adjust the introduction text for each review by clicking in the editor box.

  3. Notifications and permissions: Each review type will be accompanied by its own specific set of permissions and notifications, such as share, block, allow, require, keep anonymous etc. Check the appropriate boxes under each review type to set your desired review permissions

    Note: The option Require employee acknowledgments in performance cycles allows HR leaders to ensure that employees have received and read their performance review results. The people in your organization partaking in the performance cycle, whether direct reports or managers, will have access to this information once they can access their performance review result(s).

  4. When finished, click Next.

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Step 3: Performance Rating

If you are looking to incorporate multiple perspectives from different stakeholders and gain a quick look into employee performance, then you have arrived at the right spot! Overall Performance ratings within performance management cycles allow admins to set up and customize the metrics that define exactly how performance ratings are calculated.

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  1. The Performance Rating page will be empty and toggled off, by default. To enable, toggle on.
  2. Select whether you would like the rating to be based on Questions average or Single question. If you choose Questions average, you will be prompted to hand-pick multiple (1 or more) scaled questions that will be calculated into an average. The result will encompass the overall performance rating of your selections, spanning the different review types. To choose your questions, simply check the boxes near the desired rows containing the questions. Note: Only questions with rating scales will be included in the dropdown for Questions average. If you choose Single question, you will be prompted to check only one question; The result will encompass the rating of this one question, The option for Single question applies to the manager review. After you choose your question, continue on to step 4.
  3. Each review type that you chose from the previous sections (Self, Peer, Manager etc.) will be listed; by clicking on the review type, a dropdown will appear containing questions from the corresponding form. Select the questions that will contribute to the calculated (averaged) overall performance rating. It is completely up to you to decide the direction and focus of the questions you choose e.g., questions related to goals versus questions related to efficiency.

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  4. Overall Rating allows you to select exactly which stakeholder(s) you would like to include in the overall rating. Check the box(es) next to the reviews that you would like to include in the results. Options include Self average, Manager average, Peer average, and Upward average; You can select one or more options.
  5. Share overall rating with Reviewee: Check this box if you would like to share the performance rating results with reviewees. Note: The action here will effect viewing access. The overall rating will be shared with the reviewee after all reviews (that are shared) have been completed; only then can the reviewee view ratings.
  6. Click Next.
Example of an admin viewing Overall Performance rating from an employee's point of view:

If an admin/manager chose to share Overall review rating with a reviewee, then the reviewee will be able to see review results.

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In this case, the admin clicked on the specific performance review "Annual review 2021." Since she is viewing as Tia, and Tia was granted share permissions, all data is now visible to her. On the left side panel, you can see a circle graph containing the final overall rating. Tia Davidson scored "2.04" as her final overall performance rating. This rating is an average calculated from the ratings of the Reviewers. A list of Reviewers can be found under the rating. Anonymous viewers will not appear.

If you click the circle graph, a panel will appear on the right, displaying the breakdown of the ratings based on the questions that were chosen from the form. As you can see, Tia rated herself "1.75," her manager rated Tia "2.33," her Peers rated her "3.25," and her 2nd level manager rated her "4.67." (It's interesting to see how different stakeholders differ in their analysis of the same individual). Tia's overall performance rating is 2.04 which reflects the average of her Self review and Manger review, and not all reviews; The reviews that are calculated into the final overall rating were chosen during the performance review setup.

Step 4: Reminders

To ensure that all the effort you put into creating Performance review cycles does not fall through the cracks, you can set up reminders to keep employees on track.

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The Reminders page is divided by review type; You can set email reminders for each specific review type e.g., Employee Self review or Peer review. For each review type complete the following details:

  1. Number of Reminders: Type or select the number osf reminders you would like sent. Note: the reminders will be sent only to the reviewers who have not yet submitted their reviews.
  2. Reminder Message: Select Default or Custom. If you select Default, an automated template with subject line and message will appear, containing the data you have previously entered. If you would like to customize the reminders, select Custom and fill out the Subject and Message manually.
  3. Click Next, when you have completed reminders for each review type.

Note: Although you've set reminders now, once the review is launched, you can go back to the cycle settings and edit the exact dates the reminders are sent. You can also add or remove reminders.

Step 5: Invitations

Last step in the Performance rating cycle is to set the invitation message for each reviewer.

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  1. Who from: Choose from whom all the invitations will be sent:
  2. Email Message:  For each review type, enter an email subject line and Message.

    Note: Some Invitations will have Subject and Message auto-filled, depending on the review type and form chosen, others will have empty fields. Feel free to keep the default text if the messaging fits your needs. All are editable by clicking on the empty field.

  3. When you have completed all the invitations, click Finish setup.

  • Click Save as draft, if you would like to return to the Performance review cycle and make edits before you've finalized the setup.
  • Click Previous to make edits in any of the previous steps.

    Note: The review will not be launched yet. See Launch a performance review Cycle to launch your review process.

Congratulations! Now you know how to build and customize new performance review cycles.