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Read this article to get a comprehensive view (pros, cons, features and pricing) of the best performance management software available in the market today and essentials tips to find the right one
Every people-manager understands the importance of having an effective performance management system for individual as well as organizational success. Here, using the right performance management software can help you automate many parts of the process as well as enable you to leverage industry benchmarks and AI driven guidance to drive performance in the right direction.
To help you make an informed choice, we have curated this list of the top 8 performance management tools and a quick guide on how to find the best one for your unique needs.
Did you know that choosing the best performance management software can help you accomplish a variety of objectives, including —
With these benefits in mind, let’s quickly check out the 8 most efficient performance management software for growing organizations.
Now, let us look at all these 8 platforms and learn the pros and cons of each.
Next-gen talent management platform suitable for collaborative, comprehensive and regular performance reviews, tracking and real time feedback to facilitate high performance culture. SuperBeings comes with integrated OKR management and employee engagement modules.
SuperBeings is priced at a nominal cost of $3.00 per user per month. It is ideal for growing teams which need flexibility of scale and comprehensive functionalities to create a high performance culture.
There is a 21 day free trial available.
People management software focusing on 360 performance review cycles and engagement surveys, OKR tracking and real-time feedback ideal for teams of 40+ members
Performance management with Lattice starts at $8.00 per month for each user with a minimum annual agreement of $4000.
Based on the minimum commitment, Lattice is ideal for team sizes of 50+.
There is no free trial, but a demo can be availed by interested users.
Comprehensive performance management and employee development software with reviews and conversations for managers and employees ideal for companies with 25+ members
The pricing for Culture Amp is available on request. It is ideal for organizations with 25+ employees. This performance management software provides different feature-clusters for different organizations based on their workforce strength and is, thus, ideal for small, medium sized as well as large enterprises.
There is no free trial for Culture Amp. However, there’s a 3 minute pre-recorded demo available on request.
All in one people enablement platform bringing together performance management, employee engagement, and learning ideal for teams of any size
The pricing for Leapsome starts at $6.00 per user per month. There is no minimum commitment, making it suitable for organizations that might be starting up as well as large enterprises.
Leapsome offers a 14 day free trial for users.
Continuous performance management platform which combines software, education, and community to develop successful managers improve employee performance ideal for teams of all sizes
Pricing for 15Five starts at $8.00 per user per month and is ideal for organizations of all sizes. It also has specific capabilities for managers to facilitate performance management starting at $9.00 per manager per month.
Users can sign up for a free trial
New age performance management software redefining appraisals by combining employee engagement and performance reviews ideal for larger corporations with medium sized teams
The pricing starts at a minimal cost of $5000 annually. Therefore, having a critical mass of team members makes sense to use this performance management software.
There is a free demo available.
Personalized Human Resources Information System (HRIS) focused on performance management for small and medium sized organizations
The pricing for BambooHR is available on request based on the number of employees and functionality requirements. It is ideal for organizations of all sizes and has a suite of HR services to offer, which can be of better use to organizations in their scale up phase.
There is an availability of free trial
Intelligent employee listening platform to provide personalized employee experiences and maximize business performance for large organizations
The pricing is available on request. This performance management software is ideal for large organizations and enterprises.
There is no free trial available. But a pre-recorded 2 minute product walk-through is available on request
If you are wondering how to find the right performance management software or how to make a decision from the many options shared above, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
Start by gauging where you are struggling and what are the problems that you seek to solve with the performance management software. The idea is to enlist all your pain points and intended impact.
Once you have your pain points, you will have a clear picture of what you need. Do you only need performance review capabilities or do you also need support with goal management as well as feedback. These considerations are crucial for you to make the right choices.
(Keep reading to learn the key features of top performance management tools)
Next, you need to gauge your financial situation to decide how much you are willing to spend. While there will be pricing for performance management software available, you will first need to have clarity on your budget. Learn about the possible return on investment before you commit to a software.
Read ROI of Performance Management Tools to make a proper business case
In addition to the budget, you also need to figure out the number of people who will be using the performance management software, now and in the future. If you are a growing organization, you need to be cognizant of your scale up plan as well. While some performance management software are ideal only for large enterprises, others have solutions for the entire spectrum with flexible pricing.
Finally, you need to consider whether simply gathering reviews and feedback is enough or would you need insights, reports, heatmaps, etc. as well to make sense of your data points. More often than not, having such features and integrations are integral to performance management and thus, this consideration can make a lot of difference.
Based on answers of these questions, you need to look for some features that are mostly non-negotiable if you want to leverage your performance management software to the maximum extent, including:
A key aspect of any performance management software is its ability to assist growing organizations and team members in goal management. There are multiple connotations at play here:
The right performance management software will enable you to set, align and manage goals seamlessly to contribute to high levels of performance resulting from achievement of goals and OKRs.
Performance tracking and 360 review are very important aspects of a performance management software. Especially for fast growing organizations, it is important to track progress and performance in real time to:
However, simply focusing on real time tracking is not enough. Performance reviews as a part of the performance management software must also be comprehensive and holistic in nature. This requires a focus on 360 performance review to ensure:
Thus, the right performance management tools will enable you to frequently conduct employee reviews, involving all key stakeholders in a strategic and streamlined manner by leveraging the power of automation. Put simply, the pre-set review templates and surveys can be set automatically using the software with automatic reminders, reducing admin work while augmenting impact at the same time.
Based on performance tracking and reviews, the performance management software should be able to provide you with insights to offer feedback during 1:1 conversations. Some important aspects include:
Additionally, the various integrations of the performance management software should reduce the admin work for managers for scheduling and conducting 1:1 conversations.
The best performance management software should be able to help managers and organizational leadership ensure frequent and meaningful recognition and appreciation. This generally requires:
Therefore, a performance management software must provide insights into these and more aspects of appraisal and recognition. The objective is to enable managers to reward high levels of performance consistently to facilitate motivation and at the same time, identify and address blockers to performance, if any.
Finally, the performance management software should have robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Simply conducting reviews, feedback, etc. will not bear fruit, if managers are not able to drive change with the results. Therefore, the performance management software should:
Thus, reporting and analytics can be a culmination of all performance management efforts as well as the starting points on new priorities and areas of work. Without holistic but crisp reporting, a performance management software might not be able to provide complete insights into the performance culture for an organization.
In a performance management software, you should look out for the feature of performance snapshots to ensure bias free performance management with feedback captured at regular intervals. Your platform should:
Good performance management tools can help you capture performance snapshots across an automated 9 box exercise and track improvement over time.
For performance management to be truly effective, your managers need to be trained on providing the right coaching to employees in a strategic manner. This not only enables them to provide feedback holistically but also have 1:1 conversations with employees in the right way. A performance management tool can help this by providing coaching support to managers by:
Thus, you must look out for a performance management system which can provide adequate coaching to your managers to help employees navigate their performance in the right direction.
A performance management tool that comes with a feature of talent profiles or personality assessment is important for any growing organization. It can help you understand the strengths, skills and other important aspects of your team members and identify gaps if any. The right tool will enable you to:
Therefore, the right performance management tools will help you build talent profiles not only prepares you for better performance in the present, but ensures that you are set for the future too.
Ensuring the right skills and competencies are borne by each employee is an integral part of performance management. Thus, if your tool is able to facilitate this, you will find yourself in a position of success. A good performance management software can help you:
In a nutshell, the tool will be able to help you draw a blueprint for your organization’s learning and development based on competency management.
In conclusion, it is evident that most of the performance management software available in the market today can help you transform your performance management process for the better. However, choosing a software based on its capabilities may not be enough. You need to gauge whether or not it is ideal for your organizational size and type too as well as measure its ROI before committing your resources to any particular software. Use the factors shared above for an informed purchase of your performance management software.
If interested, book a free trial with SuperBeings today. No credit card required.
When it comes to performance review, there are several aspects you need to focus on, including when to conduct, how to conduct, etc. One important aspect that deserves due recognition is the use of performance rating scales. There are schools of thoughts on both sides of the discussion on using vs not using it. However, if used strategically, a performance rating scale can effectively make the employee performance review process smoother. Through this article we will cover:
While preparing your organization for a performance review, you might find yourself conflicted about whether or not you should use a rating scale. A performance rating scale is highly effective in gauging an employee’s performance from a quantitative perspective, but has limited scope when it comes to evaluating performance qualitatively.
Therefore, we have identified the top situations and advantages of using a performance rating scale as well as when you should not be using them.
You should use a performance rating scale when you need to:
Based on the use case above, here are a few advantages of using a performance rating scale:
Despite the diverse use cases above, a performance rating scale doesn’t have universal applicability. In fact, using a rating scale in situations it doesn’t fit may lead to a poor performance review for employees. Therefore, you should refrain from using a performance rating scale when:
Here are a few disadvantages of using a performance rating scale:
Now that you have an idea when to use a performance rating scale and the various advantages and disadvantages, you need to move to the next phase of understanding how you should select the right performance rating scale.
Depending on the nature of responses to the scope and intent, there are several types of performance rating scales that you can choose from. In this section, we will help you understand the different types that you can explore and best practices to make the right choice.
Focusing solely on performance, we will discuss the top 4 types for rating scales that you can use for different situations.
The point scale is one of the most commonly used employee rating scales used by organizations. It involves rating employee performance on a pre-decided scale across a spectrum of responses. It can range from a 3-point scale to a 10-point scale depending on the scope and the need.
For a long time, the 5-point scale was the one that most organizations relied upon. While the 3-point scale gave only a macro level view, the 10-point performance rating scale became too comprehensive. Thus, the 5-point scale maintained a balance of being detailed but not overwhelming, where identifying differences between the points was difficult.
The points on your point scale can be numbers or numerals with each number having a corresponding meaning. Alternatively, it could be words like Average, Above Average, Exceptional, etc. to indicate performance levels.
In the most recent times, there has been a rise of the 4-point scale which focuses on eliminating the neutral or the middle option which is often seen as an easy way out that requires no further explanation.
Another common performance rating scale that many organizations use is the Likert scale. Like the point scale, it generally has 5 parameters on the scale. However, the difference lies in the value of the parameters. They are always written and the same for all questions.
The five options on the Likert scale include
Strongly Disagree-Disagree-Neither Agree Nor Disagree-Agree-Strongly Agree
While the normal range is five options, it can range from 3 to 7 depending on the context and performance parameters.
The Likert scale can be used as a matrix with statements on one side and the scale options on the other and can run like a list for performance review. An effective Likert rating scale generally has an equal number of positive and negative outcomes with a neutral option in between.
This is a reinvention of the point scale which changes the balance of the positive versus the negative options. Generally, a point scale has an equal number of options that indicate that performance needs improvement and for a job well done. However, many organizations claim that a limited number of options on the positive side make it difficult for them to distinguish between good performers and top performers.
In most cases, if there are 5 options, with one neutral in the center, there are only two options indicating good performance. Generally, these two options are unable to capture the performance rating for those 1-2% employees who set new expectations and a bar for performance. Invariably, their exceptional performance fails to get noticed and rewarded and is equated with the good performance of other employees.
To bridge this gap, many organizations are using a performance rating scale which increases the above average performance spread. The scale for below average performance is limited to one, which can be substantiated with qualitative feedback. On the other hand, the scale focuses on more above average performance options.
Finally, when it comes to a performance rating scale for interpersonal skills, the frequency scale is most sought after. Like most scales, it consists of a statement, followed by a few options. However, the nature and scope of the statement and options is what makes a difference.
On the statement front, instead of directly asking whether an employee manifests a particular skill or quality, it focuses on a behavior that comes as a result of personalizing that skill. For instance, instead of inquiring if the person has good communication skills, the focus should be on behavioral aspects like display of active listening, ability to articulate thoughts, confidence of presenting in front of a group, etc.
The options, on the other hand, seek to understand how frequently that behavior has been observed. The idea is to gauge whether the employee has been consistently displaying the desired behaviors or is there a particular pattern to it or if it has just been observed as an off chance.
The employee starts and ends meetings on time and runs them with a concrete agenda
This question can help gauge the time management, organization and planning skills for an employee, without directly asking the question.
As you have seen above, your performance rating scale can have options in the form of words or numbers. However, choosing which way to go can have an impact on the overall efficacy of the performance review process. It is best to use a rating scale with words over numbers because it is:
However, you can still use the number rating scales to review performance in situations where you need an absolute rating or when there is a clear and uniform understanding of what each number represents.
Working with multiple growing organizations over the years, we have been able to identify a few tips and tricks that can help you select the right employee rating scale for your next performance review.
As a growing organization, choosing a 4 or 5-point performance rating scale makes sense because, it:
To augment the efficacy of your performance review rating scale, choose one which provides options in words or a description over numbers to:
Almost all performance rating scales are vulnerable to biases both in their scope and nature as well as for the rater themselves. Thus, when you pick a rating scale, you need to be aware about the potential biases and have remedial actions in place to ensure that they don’t give you an unauthentic picture of the overall performance. We will talk about some of the common pitfalls and biases in the next section for greater clarity.
When you choose a performance rating scale, you need to ensure that the difference in options is very clear and not ambiguous for the raters to figure out on their own. There are several aspects to it:
Next, it is very important to use the right words in the statements and options that you choose. When it comes to the options, make sure there is a clear index of what each option means, especially if it is numeric. This index must be shared with all the stakeholder, the raters, those analyzing the results as well as the employees.
Similarly, the questions should be very specific on one performance aspect. For instance, if you combine performance on communication and punctuality, it might lead to a lot of confusion. An employee might have great communication skills, but may not be punctual and thus, addressing them in the same question will be difficult. Furthermore, even aspects within the same performance parameter like active listening and ability to present in a large group can be separate.
Now, let’s look at some of the common biases a performance rating scale might be vulnerable to that you need to be aware of and try to avoid to the maximum extent possible:
As discussed above as well, the definition for options can be significantly different even when they are descriptive. This is so because all of us have different notions for each term. For instance, a manager might award an exceptional rating to some of his/her employees because they have been performing consistently well and that’s how they define exceptional. On the other hand, the bar for perfectionism might be too high for another, leading to a lower incidence of being awarded exceptional. Similarly, in instances where the options talk about meets or exceeds expectations, bias on what the expectations are can set in.
How to prevent this: The easiest way to prevent the definition bias is to have very clear definitions for all options which are communicated time and again to all.
The leniency bias occurs when the rater tends to give a more lenient or positive rating to an employee than what the performance actually begets. This can be seen when the rating is more on the positive side. Mostly the reason is that managers don’t want to demotivate their employees with a lower rating and, thus, end up giving a higher rating, which may not be a true reflection of the performance.
How to prevent this: Leverage a performance rating scale which increases the above average spread and talks about different aspects like top performers, outstanding, etc. This will ensure that decent performance is ranged at above average while exceptional ones have a separate rating.
Numbers can have different meanings for different raters in a rating scale. While each number can have a different meaning, the entire spectrum can be also looked at from two lenses. For instance, on a scale of 1-10, both 1 and 10 can be perceived as the top or the bottom.
How to prevent this: Similar to the definition bias, the numeric bias for a performance rating scale can be prevented by using a clear index which clearly illustrates how the spectrum works and a definition against each number.
This is a very common bias when it comes to using a performance rating scale. Here, the rater tends to select the neutral or the central option to avoid any conflict or external explanation. More often than not, poor performance needs to be substantiated with improvement actions while high performance needs to be supplemented with evidence and rewards. To avoid any such actions, some raters take the easy way out, which doesn’t help differentiating between high and low performers.
How to prevent this: The easiest way to prevent the centrality bias is to remove the center or the neutral option. As shared above, you can simply go for a 4-point scale which doesn’t have a neutral option and thus, the rater has to distinguish between high and low performers.
If you are dealing with consistent poor performance issues within your team, this article on Performance Improvement Plan might help.
Invariably, you will have a statement or a question which will become the basis of the ratings for your managers. This final section will focus on the different nuances around performance rating scale questions that you must be aware of.
Let’s start with a basic understanding of how to choose the questions for your performance review rating scale which can help you yield the best responses. To make the right choice, you must ensure that your questions are:
Read 150+ performance review phrases to find a diverse set of questions and statements for your rating scale across 17 employee qualities
Before we conclude, here are some examples of common questions you can use for different types of performance rating scales. These questions can help you understand which scale is most appropriate for you depending on the situation.
While there are different views on whether or not a performance rating scale is the best tool to measure employee performance, there is no doubt about the merits it brings along. Therefore, it is critical for organizations to leverage this potential. Here’s a quick revision of everything you need to know about performance rating scales:
Now that you have a comprehensive understanding about performance rating scales, you should get started with applying the same to gauge performance levels in your organization. Follow the best practices and be aware of the pitfalls to make a dent in organizational success.
“Coaching is unlocking a person's potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn, rather than teaching them.” - John Whitmore
Employee coaching is the secret tool that high performing organizations use to develop and nurture talent they already have. It supports continuous performance management by not only addressing challenges of today, but also preparing the employees to tackle what comes their way in the future.
In this article we will discuss:
Before we discuss further about how coaching can be implemented to achieve performance improvement and how managers can support the same, let’s quickly look at a few reasons that illustrate the importance of employee coaching:
On a closer look, you will see that employee coaching not only enhances employee experience leading to greater engagement and retention, but also has direct business impact with better performance, productivity and revenue.
Before we start with specific employee coaching tips, you need to understand that the same coaching approach may not work for performers across different levels in the organization. There are two sides to this understanding:
Once you have figured out different groups of performers, use this list of tips to support employee coaching at different performance levels:
When it comes to improving performance, employee coaching can help in many ways. Here are some actionable tips for you to implement easily.
To undertake the practices mentioned above, managers need to have a certain set of skills that can enable them to unlock performance for their employees. Following is a list of top skills to hone and some best practices to master the same.
For employee coaching, managers need to move away from providing solutions and towards asking the right questions. The questions should be powerful enough to help the employees think in a growth oriented direction.
While coaching is about providing guidance, it seeks to ensure that guidance and support is offered to the situation of the employee. Hence, active listening is an important skill for managers if they want to become better coaches.
Active listening involves hearing, understanding, reflecting on and responding to what the employee has to say.
Managers who seek to excel in employee coaching need to have a growth mindset with a commitment and belief for the development and success of their employees.
As a coach, managers will be exposed to many sensitivities of an employee that might be holding them back. In such a situation, empathy as a skill is extremely important to create a high level of comfort and confidence.
Finally, for managers to become a highly effective coach, the skill of consistency needs to be imbibed. The intent is to ensure that your efforts are not limited to a one off instance, rather are sustainable and scalable over time.
Drawing this article to a close, it is quite clear that employee coaching has incredible potential to skyrocket performance for any organization. However, a few things need to be kept in mind.
If you are interested in checking out more useful resources on managing employee performance, do check this out
Feedback is an integral part of creating a high performance culture. Research shows that 60% of employees reported wanting feedback on a daily or weekly basis. However, in addition to the frequency of the feedback, the content of the same is also very important.
That’s where a Start Stop Continue feedback becomes important. Instead of simply stating how the performance has been, start stop continue feedback enables managers to highlight the desirable actions and behaviors for employees and simultaneously shed light on what needs to be changed. In this article, we will discuss:
Start stop continue feedback is a highly intuitive and easy to implement feedback framework for growing organizations. It can be used for and by anyone including teams and individuals for feedback by managers and peers as well as for self reflection. Essentially, the start stop and continue feedback has three aspects or components, including:
Thus, the start stop continue feedback enables employees to receive feedback on all aspects which is constructive, appreciative and sets a ground for improvement.
Now that you understand what this framework means, let’s quickly look at why you should use it for your organization:
The start stop continue feedback is very easy to implement and does not require any specific training or upskilling. You can get started with a simple session introducing the framework. Furthermore, it can be implemented across the organization irrespective of the functional diversity, making it an all encompassing framework.
When you receive the start stop and continue feedback results, they are quite easy to interpret and put to action. Chances are seldom that you will have to read between the lines or require high level analysis, making it ideal for growing organizations with limited resources to easily improve employee performance.
The start stop continue feedback delivers clear actions that an employee needs to take to facilitate high levels of performance, preventing it from being yet another form of feedback which is generic.
Finally, the framework enables everyone to put on an analytical hat while providing feedback and come up with new and fresh ideas for better performance.
While the start stop and continue feedback framework has widespread relevance and adaptability, its impact increases in some specific situations, including:
As opposed to many other feedback frameworks, the start stop continue feedback can be sought by employees from managers and others to reach their goals in an effective manner. Here are a tips questions you can leverage while asking for start stop and continue feedback:
When it comes to giving start stop continue feedback, it is important to follow some best practices to maximize its effectiveness. At times, even when the intention is correct, managers might deliver the start stop and continue feedback in a manner that does not yield the intended impact. Use the following tips to bridge the gap from intention to impact.
As a practice, start stop continue feedback seeks to be action oriented. However, you have to make sure that the actions are specific and backed with supporting resources/ guidance on how to achieve them.
For instance, if an employee doesn’t collaborate effectively, instead of using ‘Be more collaborative or be a better team player’ as a start action, you can use:
‘You should listen to what your team members have to say more often and build a relationship with them to facilitate meaningful synergies. I would recommend connecting with them over tea/coffee breaks, start asking for help instead of doing everything on your own and even lend a helping hand once in a while.’
If you simply mention an action that an employee should start, stop or continue doing, it might not have a large scale impact. However, if you back it up with examples and evidence, you are more likely to influence their behavior.
For instance, if you tell an employee to continue upskilling himself/herself in digital marketing, it might be a good idea to illustrate why you are saying so with an example of how his/her skills have improved and the impact it has created for the organization as well as for the employee professionally.
The start stop continue feedback framework seeks to motivate employees to take necessary action and improve their performance. However, if your feedback is skewed more towards start and stop actions, the employee is likely to get demotivated, considering himself/herself as a low performer. On the flip side, if your list of continue doing far exceeds the other two, it might set unrealistic expectations in the employee about his/her level of performance, potential appraisals and might lead to overconfidence.
Finally, when you give start stop continue feedback, you need to make sure you are objectively focused on the performance around a particular goal/ area in mind. If you are talking about the interpersonal skills of an individual and you mention continuing high levels of technical efficiency, it will dilute the whole purpose. Stick to the main theme and provide feedback for the same, without being deflected around other aspects of the employee.
As mentioned above, the start stop and continue feedback can be used for teams as well as individuals. Here are a few examples for each of the two segment groups that you can consider as a starting point.
Pro tip: Start with a specific goal in mind for which you want to create the start stop continue feedback strategy
From a team perspective, here are the top 5 examples:
Here are the top examples you can use to set start stop and continue feedback specifically for individual employees based on their career trajectory and goals:
As we come to the end of our article, here is a quick template for you to help you get started with the right questions that you can add to your start stop and continue feedback strategy to ensure that all stakeholders get a fair understanding of what is expected of them.
While start stop continue feedback is the simplest way to provide actionable feedback, you need to make sure that the feedback you are giving is based on facts and not just mere opinions. Before you start your feedback session, analyze performance trends of the employee (it is even better to have it supplemented with behavioral data) as well as gather 360 degree feedback on the employee to have a qualitative understanding of the overall employee performance.
When you analyze or study your employee performance review results, you will realize that not all employees fall in the top quadrant of performance. Many of them need guidance to bridge the gaps in their performance and improve the same. However, ad hoc or simple verbal suggestions may not always yield sustainable change. There comes the need to write and implement a Performance Improvement Plan or PIP to make a real impact. Through the course of this article, we will cover:
As the name suggests, a performance improvement plan is a plan or a document which enables an employee to identify and understand challenges in his/her performance and take steps and address them.
PIP is an effective tool which you can use to encourage your employees to work on improving their performance from a skills training, behavior/ attitude or even goals/performance mismatch perspective
Put simply, it contains the areas of improvement, actions/ solutions to address them and resources/ support to accelerate this journey.
Many growing organizations that are implementing PIP for the first time are confused about when it should be implemented and for how long. Significantly different from normal performance feedback, a performance improvement plan cannot be implemented for all employees. It is specifically meant for those who have been underperforming for a while and other practices have already been tried. You can use a performance improvement plan when:
You need to have a PIP if the employee is underperforming due to a decrease in productivity as opposed to what is expected from him/ her.
Here, a PIP can help gauge the underlying reasons for reduced/ lack of productivity and facilitate appropriate measures for both skill enhancement and behavioral adjustments to promote high levels of productivity.
Another case for PIP comes when you feel that a lack of engagement is leading to reduced levels of performance for the employee.
If you create the right PIP, it can help understand why the employee is feeling disengaged and a combination of mentorship, challenging work environment, and other practices can augment engagement leading to better performance.
You need a PIP if the overall culture is suffering because of the behavior of a particular employee which needs to be fixed to ensure better organizational performance.
Here, a PIP can help the employee work on his/her overall attitude towards work and promote practices and behaviors which can create a positive and high performing culture.
You need a PIP only in situations where the performance problems can be fixed with such a plan. Problems where there is a coherent disconnect like insubordination, lack of respect, etc. are quite challenging to be fixed with a PIP.
Read how to address poor employee performance at work to learn how to deal with performance issues when PIP is not required. This article will help you understand what are the early signs of poor performance and how to structure your performance conversations and feedback sessions effectively.
A performance management plan can go on for anywhere between 30-90 days or more depending on the situation. Since each PIP is very personal and specific to a particular employee, one fixed duration cannot be determined. However, there are some reference points you can consider:
Anything below 30 days will be too short a time to notice any change. However, anything beyond 90 days can be a waste of time if there is no change in sight. Therefore, it is best to track performance every few weeks and adjust the plan duration accordingly.
Now that you know what a performance improvement plan seeks to achieve and when you should use it, let’s quickly take a look at what you should be including in your PIP, i.e. its structure. Essentially, there are 5 components of an effective PIP
It covers the problem or the performance issue that needs to be worked upon. This involves highlighting the problem, identifying underlying causes and illustrating the impact of the poor performance.
Second, the PIP should focus on what the end goal or objective is. This involves highlighting what the employee must be able to achieve once the plan comes to the end of its duration.
Third, the plan should illustrate how that goal has to be achieved, covering specific actions that need to be taken by the employee and the support that will be offered by the organizations and the managers.
Next, metrics for performance need to be clearly highlighted. Depending on the focus of the PIP, you must establish appropriate metrics to gauge whether or not the PIP has worked.
Finally, you must focus on including the consequences in your PIP of what to expect if the PIP is not taken into consideration or if the intended goal is not achieved.
The natural next step here is to understand how you can write a performance improvement plan with this step-by-step process to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important.
Once you have written a performance improvement plan, you need to implement it to achieve the desired goals. However, there are many misconceptions about PIPs that can overwhelm employees when you talk about putting them on one. They might see it as a sign of getting fired or it can further demotivate them for being labeled as a poor performer. Therefore, it is important to implement the PIP properly, following these simple practices.
If you introduce the plan without any context, you are setting the PIP up for failure
Rather, you should:
After the initial conversation, you can relook at the PIP you have created to check if you would want to make any changes to make it more receptive for the employee based on your discussion. Following which you should introduce the plan by sharing:
Don’t make implementation of a performance improvement plan a monologue. Give time to your employee to absorb the information presented and seek feedback by:
Finally, once the PIP is ready, both you and the employee should sign it off to give it credibility. It is important that you make your employee feel comfortable and confident by:
Now that you have implemented the PIP for your employee, it is important to supplement your efforts with a review process to ensure that the PIP is actually creating an impact. Here are the top practices to ensure effective review:
Depending on your employees, there can be different situations or reasons for implementing a performance improvement plan. To give you a broad understanding, we have captured below some of the examples of performance improvement plans.
Performance problem: Mr. X has missed 5 deadlines over the past 2 months. Despite having a conversation on the same and sharing concern over the need to meet deadlines, there has been no improvement in the attitude or performance. The major problem lies in the inability to multitask and manage work properly, which leads to delay in work submission, impacting the sales of the organization.
Objective: Meet all deadlines by augmenting efficiency at work and taking support wherever needed. Ensure that there is no delay in delivering work based on expected timelines
Improved performance metrics: Reduced number of missed deadlines while maintaining the quality of work.
Performance problem: Ms. Y has been unable to meet the targets set for marketing every month. All her colleagues are able to generate the required traffic for their social media handles, except her. Even after several months, there has been no increase in the traffic and even maintaining the same engagement has been difficult for her. This has led to an impact on the organizational brand as a marketing agency.
Objective: Increase the traffic to the social media handle by xx% in the next 60 days and maintain it thereafter
Improved performance metrics: Increased traffic on your social media handle with high levels of engagement
Performance problem: Mr. Z has been constantly making errors in his work. He is responsible for managing the financial statements of the organization and has been unable to ensure correct data entry. These inaccuracies are leading to discrepancies in the organization’s balance sheet, impacting the business as a whole.
Objective: Significantly reduce the number of errors and inaccuracies in work across the financial statements
Improved performance metrics: Reduced inaccuracies in work and an improved quality of output.
It is quite clear by now, that a performance improvement plan can significantly help you in creating a high performance culture by enabling underperforming employees with the right guidance, support and a structured plan to address the problems. However, before we end this article, we understand that several questions might be on your mind as you start your journey. Here are answers to a top few.
A performance improvement plan should be written by the line managers or the direct reports of the employee in question. This would ensure that the performance problems and corrective measures are in line with functional needs. However, it is important that the PIP is reviewed by the HR team to ensure the language and the plan complies with the overall policies.
Many employees believe that a PIP is an indicator that they are going to be fired or an exit route. However, if used effectively, it is essentially a development strategy to help employees bridge the performance gaps. The onus of communicating the right meaning lies with the managers. Managers need to show it as a tool for empowerment and improvement and not as a last resort which will end up with firing the employee.
The general duration of a PIP ranges between 30-90 days and an extension within this range is normal. Depending on the performance metrics, the manager and the employee can extend the PIP from 30 to 60 days. However, an extension beyond 90 days is generally not observed, unless there are any special circumstances like a break due to some personal emergency, etc.
A PIP should be developed after a performance problem becomes apparent through due course of time. A PIP cannot be implemented when there is a slight dip in performance for the first time. Initial instances can be addressed with feedback and guidance. However, if the performance problem becomes a trend over time, a more structured and stricter course of action is needed and that’s when a PIP should be developed.
Poor work performance is the biggest concern for most companies as they not only affect the overall organizational productivity but also brings down employee engagement and morale.
Many managers find it difficult and uncomfortable to deal with such employees, and they either try to ignore it or rush decisions that cause more harm than good.
Tackling poor employee performance with caution and care is a crucial part of a manager's responsibility. In this article, we will discuss the following to help you get to the root of the problem and help your employees perform better.
Bad employee performance is often the indication of the employee’s inability to maintain the organization’s standard, quantity, and quality of work.
It shows that the employee is unable to meet their targets and/or engage effectively with the team.
Poor performance can be behavioral or contextual.
As a manager, your job is to understand the employee’s perspective and figure out ways to help and support them.
But as you already know, performance conversations can be tricky. Which brings us to our next section
It is important to remember that in most cases poor work performance is often unintentional. The role of a manager is to identify the exact reasons and causes behind below expectation performance. A manager needs to formulate action plans to understand the precise reasons and issues that trigger poor performance and treat the issues immediately.
However, when a person is underperforming intentionally, it becomes evident in his actions and attitude towards instructions, response, and collaboration within the team. It is mandatory to provide honest feedback and take strict disciplinary actions in such cases.
Here’s an actionable guide that will help you address the issue in a structured way —
As a manager, you must reflect and analyze the following factors before addressing poor performance issues of an employee.
Before setting up a meeting with the employee, you need to have an open mind to discuss the concerns with transparency and honesty. Do not let emotions take control of the situation and make them worse. Discuss with the employee to review the assigned roles, responsibilities, targets, and expectations to create a master plan for improving performance.
Also read: Top 10 performance review tips for managers
A manager needs to address poor work performance with necessary data and facts to support his points of concern. Jumpstart a conversation with the employee’s view on his contributions and performance in the organization. It is critical that you bring clarity to your statements and communicate it to the employee.
During the meeting, refrain from heated arguments. Instead, use a positive tone and language. The employee must feel motivated and revamped after each discussion, not frustrated and depressed.
The basis of maintaining a healthy employee-manager relationship is to practice effective communication. Even a simple email to thank the employee for his time and contribution can go a long way. Feel free to reaffirm the points discussed and expectations set.
As a general rule of thumb, after a discussion on poor work performance —
Offering additional guidance and support to the employee after the tough appraisal meetings will spark positivity and optimism. Being consistent in following up with the employee and keeping him in the loop will make him involved and focused.
Below are some of the common practices to go deeper into employee performance issues and deal with them in a better and easier way.
Poor performance is evident when the gap between expectations and realities increases, and there is a lack of productivity, consistency, and involvement.
Let us look at some of the common causes of poor work performance —
Whether intentional or not, the root causes may point to some of the internal practices and policies of the organization. You must also initiate a formal discussion to identify the underperformance causes, and offer solutions at the earliest.
When you recognize poor performance, you must address it immediately. It helps to resolve the hinges quickly and easily. Some managers find it uncomfortable to have such discussions and delay feedback. Procrastination and delay will cause disengagement and negativity.
A quarterly or monthly performance review cadence solves this issue well. You can use these review sessions to —
Also read: Top 10 performance review tips for managers
Providing honest feedback to the employees during appraisals may seem strenuous; but it is vital that the manager discusses the issues with an open mind and points out the observations clearly.
The exemplary practice is to engage in constructive discussions during the performance review process — i.e. comparing reality against expectations and pinpointing the issues with solutions.
Honest feedback will help employee self awareness and rectify the shortcomings. Having an open discussion platform with required feedback will prompt the employee to open up their part of the story, leaving room for suggestions, corrections, and improvement.
Making employees accountable for their job is the best way to improve performance at work. A team fails when an employee underperforms and is disengaged from the team. Therefore, it is mandatory to set expectations and accountabilities in the early stage itself.
An employee starts to work smart when he is held accountable for his actions. It helps build trust, reliability, and internal collaboration within the department. The group becomes more engaged and achieve when they feel comfortable and spirited to support each other to achieve a common goal.
Another way to tackle poor performance at work is to recognize employee strength and reward them as and when needed. Timely recognition will boost the employee’s spirit and help him achieve more. When there is no proper recognition of talent and strengths, employees often feel demotivated and disengaged. Therefore, you need to acknowledge the accomplishments and good attitude of the employees at times. Not only that —
A performance improvement plan is needed to guide the employee after the appraisal. It is a documented workflow designed to improve the employee's performance and align him towards a new set of expectations and goals. It outlines the quality, quantity, and level of performance expected from an employee.
An action plan outlines —
A documented plan allows you to review the action plans continually to evaluate their effectiveness and success. Evaluating employee progress once in a while and offering timely suggestions will keep them motivated and focused. It is also critical to provide emotional and professional support when needed. It boosts their confidence and prompts them to come to you when in need.
Managers can use KPIs, appraisal forms, feedbacks, excel sheets, and PIP programs to track performance improvement to an extent. But having proper software to track the performance will be an added advantage. The software will automate the process with performance histories, review templates, check-in recommendations and other alerts.
Check out the 8 top performance management software in the market today (includes a buyer’s guide as well)
Clear organizational policies and practices will help the manager perform better. It will empower the manager to speak to the underperforming employees openly without emotional commotion.
A manager must convey criticism and dissatisfaction to the employees with honesty. It is your duty as a manager and your obligation to the company.
Honest opinions may trigger discomfort initially but will blend in gradually and open a platform for improvement. Strict disciplinary actions must be part of the policy that must be executed without discrimination or partiality.
Disciplinary actions may include oral warning, written warning, pay cuts, dismissal of incentives and perks, and termination of employment eventually.
The manager must not hesitate to take appropriate actions at the right time as it ultimately helps the organization improve its productivity and overall performance.
Each employee has a significant role in the success and failure of any organization. Therefore, it is the fundamental responsibility of a manager to identify underperformers without hesitation. Poor performance of an employee will bring failure to the team. Poor performance of the team will eventually add to the breakdown of the organization. Therefore, the sooner you deal with performance issues the better it is.
Continuing our focus on performance management, we recently had a discussion with the Chargebee team to learn what performance management practices they followed to build a $3Bn SaaS unicorn. In our 3rd episode of The Talent Talks, we were thrilled to be joined by Rajaraman Santhanam, Co-Founder & COO and Lavanya Gopinath, Director, Ops, Chargebee.
For those of you who aren’t aware of Chargebee’s name, it’s a financial services company that rose to unicorn status in record time. With 1300 employees and despite having a steady emphasis on high performance, Chargebee is known for its employee-centric people management practices.
Let’s get into the details of how Chargebee creates a high performance culture all year round and see what we can adopt to scale faster.
When we started in 2011, there were not a lot of startups and the biggest source of revenue was from Europe. Sitting in Chennai, India, the only way to acquire knowledge about selling to customers in Europe was by talking to people and learning. Thus, learning continuously and building a network to learn from became important, which overtime evolved into a culture of continuous learning. After 4-5 years, we decided to build the core values or tenets for Chargeebee, by gathering a lot of team members together and brainstorming on what values do they identify with Chargbee. Four core values came to the forefront, Curiosity, Customer Centricity, Empathy and Bias for Action.
Four core values at Chargebee — Curiosity, Customer Centricity, Empathy and Bias for Action
Eventually, these have become the basis for how we operate across all verticals, including our performance management system.
With performance being at the center of the performance management system, we look at it from a team and an individual perspective.
Thus, formal performance review as a part of our performance management system is annual in nature, but is supported organically by continuous interventions.
Chargebee has decentralized recognition efforts with flexibility for teams to decide which are the best and the right practices for effective recognition that they are most convinced about
We started by creating a culture of written feedback to identify strengths. Our focus towards strengths based performance management involves:
To become a part of such conversations and learn from the top HR leaders directly, sign up for The Talent Tribe, the best online community for HR and talent management professionals
We adopted the OKR framework as our goal management system about two years back. Our goal management system is based on the philosophy that we need to:
For instance, last year we acquired a few companies and our goal for this year is to unleash the multi-product motion by learning as much as possible about those companies to increase revenue from direct selling, cross selling and upselling. For Chargebee, the goal management system is essentially about clearly communicating the goals.
Before adopting OKRs, teams used to set their own goals, which were not visible on a single dashboard and leaders used share goals, which was often conversational. However, in the growth phase, making the goals visible became really important to enable people to align and prioritize. Thus, we built the habit of setting goals quarterly and making them visible for everyone. This led to what we called the ‘Quarterly Commits’ and the idea was to keep them focused and visible to everybody.
In the growth phase, making the goals visible became really important to enable people to align and prioritize. Thus, we built the habit of setting goals quarterly and making them visible for everyone
We put these Quarterly Commits on sheets, which facilitated visibility, gentle nudges, checking other’s commits, getting an understanding of what others are doing and how one can add value to prioritize one's own commits. This set the stage for OKRs because they were simple, focused on big rocks with measurable outcomes. We started it as a pilot project for a few teams for a quarter and then finally rolled it out for the entire organization.
Today, the OKRs exist at three levels and focus on setting and reviewing.
Furthermore, on a quarterly basis, the CEO goes and shares progress, thoughts on where we are, as well as what we need to correct and what can be done better with an open presentation with the entire organization. Using a specific OKR tool provided a hierarchical view to help us understand what maps to what.
On a quarterly basis, the CEO goes and shares progress, thoughts on where we are, as well as what we need to correct and what can be done better with an open presentation with the entire organization
It's a collaborative process. This also happens at the quarterly level.
Without building a habit and knowledge about the OKRs, any efforts towards OKRs will not work out really well. Thus, it is important to invest time in the beginning to bring the knowledge level of OKRs up and build the habit for the first 2-3 quarters to break the inertia, post which stabilization and perseverance begins
Thus, OKRs start from the CEO and stop at the team level, while IOKRs are for all team members, individually. Building a habit and knowledge about the OKRs are extremely important and without handling these two, any efforts towards OKRs will not work out really well. Thus, it is important to invest time in the beginning to bring the knowledge level of OKRs up and build the habit for the first 2-3 quarters, post which stabilization begins.
We looked at the three-point scale, the five-point scale and questioned if we needed a point scale. Furthermore, there were questions whether ratings mattered at all. Then, we decided to apply them to our context and see what would be meaningful.
We transitioned performance rating from an understanding of meeting expectations to reflecting the contributions of an individual, vis-à-vis reflecting the expectations of the manager or the team.
Most rating scales focus on performance of the past, however, as a part of our performance management system, we believe that any appraisal or promotion is for what they will do in the future. Thus, our performance rating scale seeks to capture the philosophy of focusing on the future.
For instance, if someone has a bad performance in a quarter and if you're still excited about that person because they have continuously performed well, and believe that they are a strong contributor, you need to give them a rating that reflects that. Our rating scale brings this change into the conversation between the manager and the team member. For us, every performance review is a hiring decision.
For us, every performance review is a hiring decision
We also request the manager and team member to mutually align on the rating for the performance management system. We expect there is no ambiguity on the rating and the areas of improvement as part of the performance review.
Finally, the contributor rating plays an important role in awarding the compensation revision. The onus of this performance review for performance management system is put on the individuals instead of the managers so that the individuals take ownership of blocking a time, writing it down and ensuring that their manager also writes it down and then owns its own outcome for that.
Compensation is a function of the market as well. Thus, if someone who is a solid contributor has some issues with compensation, we review it on a case to case basis. Furthermore, these two conversations, compensation and recency, happen at least with a gap of thirty days, to ensure there is no recency bias. The compensation is driven by a strong recommendation from the HR around the range and each team also has a budget which they can allocate as they see fit.
Try and understand what sort of an organization you want to build i.e. what are you really looking for in your people or what is that thing that needs to be in your DNA
At Chargebee, the hunger to learn and grow is something that you can see is what we look for, and that is probably an identifiable trait that you can notice.
No, there is not really a bell curve that we follow at Chargebee, yet. We personally don't believe in the bell curve but we need to see as we scale through our own journey and how it evolves in the next one or two years.
To conclude, it is clear that effective goal setting with OKRs, performance review and written feedback collectively contribute to a robust performance management program. It is important to have a clear vision in mind when designing a performance management system, both on what you seek to achieve and the DNA of the organization you're trying to build. Finally, it is important to keep iterating on the go, to adapt to new realities and dynamic priorities
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If you are trying to design a continuous and comprehensive performance management system, you would know the importance of conducting a 360 degree feedback. However, to make this exercise most effective, you need to go beyond simply involving everyone in the process to getting the process right — most importantly asking the right feedback questions to each stakeholder. This article will focus on how to write 360 feedback questions that create maximum organizational impact.
Let us quickly start by understanding what you must include in your 360 feedback questions to make it more effective.
Without wasting any time, let’s dive into the 10 tips that can help you in writing excellent and effective 360 feedback questions.
Keep the language easy to understand and avoid using technical jargon. Make sure everyone is able to gauge the same meaning of the question and the focus is not lost in translation.
Keep adding the questions list for your next 360 degree feedback to your records throughout the year.
Since 360 feedback should focus on all aspects of an employee, if you add questions at different times, they will be more relevant
Ensure that the questions don’t have an inherent bias or don’t push or influence the respondent to answer in a specific manner. Make sure that the questions can have varied options as answers and not a singular focus because that’s what you want as a result. Furthermore, the questions should not create a bias in the mind of the reader of any kind.
Focus on one specific attribute or competency for each question. Don’t try to include everything in a single question to keep the number of 360 feedback questions low. You will end up receiving responses for only a part of the question and it will confuse the respondent too. For instance, if you want to talk about collaboration, do not couple it with factors like leadership skills or problem solving.
Before you start framing the questions, identify the key competencies that are most important for your organization as well as the role. Competencies could include communication, innovation, strategic thinking, etc.
Make sure that as a whole, all the questions cover all aspects you want to gauge the employee on from an organizational and functional role perspective. However, don’t overstuff too many competencies, keep them relevant to the employee in question. For instance, a person in sales may not need a question on technology knowledge as a part of 360 feedback questions.
In addition to being specific, be clear on what you wish to gauge or understand with every question you ask. For instance, a question on whether or not the employee pays heed to the opinion of others can help understand the level of active listening and a spirit of inclusion.
You need to have a fair balance between open ended and close ended questions.
A very long or complicated process is likely to reduce participation and defeat the purpose. Therefore, keep the count of 360 feedback questions to a maximum of 30-40 and make it very easy to participate and complete the same. Preferably, disseminate it through your existing communication/ collaboration tools.
Finally, make sure that the questions are framed in a way that is simple to evaluate. Too complex evaluations might take too much time and delay the action and execution, leading to reduced faith and impact on 360 degree feedback.
To ensure that your questions are relevant and specific, you can start with writing 360 feedback questions for different situations and contexts. Put simply, in this section, we will focus on what you should be asking and when. It will also help you in picking the right questions for the right employees, instead of bombarding everyone with the same questions.
These questions will help you understand what your team members think about the overall management at your organization and the effectiveness of specific team leadership.
These questions can help you understand the level of communication efficiency in your organization to ensure there is no gap between intention and execution.
Use these questions to identify and nurture employees that show leadership potential to build an effective succession pipeline.
These questions can help you understand how committed your employees are towards the organization, which will impact their level of engagement and quality of work.
You can leverage these questions when you wish to understand which employees are quick to think on their feet and will be able to address problems/ challenges that might come their way.
These questions can help you gauge the level of alignment between what your organization stands for and the core values/ beliefs of your employees.
Focus on these questions when you want to understand how well your employees are able to connect with their peers and other stakeholders.
These final set of questions can help you gauge how efficiently the employees are able to get work done. This points to the presence of the right skills to utilize resources in the best way possible.
To keep the entire survey with 360 degree feedback questions interesting and engaging, you can experiment with different question formats and templates. While some of your questions can have simple Yes/No answers, some can have multiple choices along with room for providing open ended answers as well. Here is an easy to follow template you can leverage.
Key competency: Strategic decision making
Top line: The employee/ subject name is able to
Open ended questions
Once you roll out the survey with your 360 feedback questions and receive the answers, you need to analyze the responses to come up with a final report and plan of action. However, any response analysis is subject to biases and other factors which might put the validity and reliability of the report into question. Fortunately, you can leverage these following practices to eliminate such instances:
Before concluding this article, we would like to discuss the top 8 questions that most managers have when it comes to 360 degree feedback, highlighting concerns they may be having.
Highlight how the performance and feedback on the performance of others is likely to have an impact on their performance too. Make them believe they can be an integral part of the growth journey for their team members.
Make the feedback anonymous to prevent sugar coating. At the same time, do not rely upon a single review as the ultimate feedback for any employee. Analyze at least 2-3 feedback responses for each employee to get the real picture.
3. How to make the process time effective?
Leverage technology platforms to roll out the surveys and collect responses. Furthermore, you can rely on the NLP sentiment analysis to gauge insights from open ended questions in addition to trend generation based on quantitative questions.
Check out how SuperBeings can help you conduct seamless 360 degree feedback. Book a free demo today
Highlight the positive impact of participation as a whole. Make it an interesting part of the employee lifecycle. Provide employees designated time within their work schedule to provide feedback. Do not make it an added burden. Additionally, keep the process simple with not a lot of questions at once.
Depending on the nature of the organization you can decide on the level of anonymity. Facilitate anonymity will help you fetch greater and more authentic responses. However, sometimes, you might struggle with context in this case. Therefore, you should adopt an approach of flexible/ partial anonymity.
Create a business case for 360 degree feedback. Illustrate how it can lead to a better employee experience, strategic learning and development, greater employee retention and other aspects which can lead to better performance and productivity.
Ensure that your questions are neutral and don’t lead to a specific sentiment or response. For instance, if you want to gauge punctuality for an employee, don’t use statements like do you think the employee is always late to work, rather focus on how would you rate the punctuality and sense of time for the employee?
Try to conduct 360 feedback on a regular basis and not wait for the end of the year to ask all the questions. Maintain a cadence to gauge responses.
As we end this discussion, it is clear that if you want to write 360 feedback questions in an effective way — you need to adopt an all encompassing approach, taking into account the different aspects of employee attributes, performance, personality and behavior.
It is, therefore, ideal to leverage platforms like SuperBeings to help you roll out, gather and analyze the responses using NLP and automation for best results. You can leverage our best practices to not only get the questions right but to also enable your managers to facilitate employee development at the end of the process.
If interested, feel free to book a demo today. No initial commitment required.
In the recent years, there has been a lot of attention that is being given to employee feedback, performance reviews and evaluation as a part of the whole performance management system.
While a major focus has been to prepare managers to give feedback in a constructive and effective manner, paying attention to employee self evaluation is equally important. Knowing what self appraisal comments to use can play a major role in helping employees to effectively reflect and evaluate their performance and convey it effectively to the rest of the team.
The purposes of employee evaluation and performance review in general have been talked about time and again. However, self appraisal takes the process of evaluation at a very personal and individual level, leading to a more pronounced understanding of an employee’s performance. Some of the top benefits of employee self assessment include:
In the section above, we have talked about the purpose or the need of self evaluation mostly from the perspective of the employee. However, self appraisal, when done correctly, has equally compelling benefits for the team as well as managers. A quick snapshot is captured below:
With self appraisal, employees become active participants in their review and appraisal process, rather than simply being passive recipients. Consequently, they feel valued, motivated and the level of engagement increases. Furthermore, with greater engagement, levels of commitment, retention and productivity go up.
When employees take a step back to reflect on their performance with self appraisal, they become more receptive to diverse ideas. Put simply, in the absence of self reflection, they will have a hard time gauging where they need to improve. Consequently, they will be defensive when a manager or the team gives them feedback on the same. However, self evaluation will help them accept the gaps and be open to learning and growing.
When employees reflect on their performance and identify the development areas, they will don a problem solving hat on to accelerate their professional journey. Through the course of time, this problem solving attribute will become a part of their skill set which will benefit the team and the manager greatly.
As a result of greater alignment due to self reflection on the strengths and areas of development, teams will see a greater sense of accountability to bridge the gaps identified. Under conventional circumstances, performance improvement might be seen as just a tick in the box by employees. However, after self appraisal, employees truly acknowledge and accept the need to bridge those gaps and take greater ownership and accountability.
Now that you have an understanding of why self appraisal matters, let’s quickly look at how to make it most effective. If you are experimenting with self evaluation for the first time, it can be an overwhelming activity for your employees. It is human nature to feel uneasy when you’re expected to evaluate your own performance. However, if you provide your employees with some comments they can use for self evaluation as a starting point, you can make the journey easier for them.
Put simply, self appraisal comments are common statements that can be customized by your employees during the self evaluation process, especially, if they find themselves at a loss of words to describe their performance
These phrases are available for both strengths and areas of development to help employees paint a realistic picture of their performance. Here are the top 100 self appraisal phrases that you can use for different performance parameters.
Use these self phrases to reflect on your clarity of communication, willingness to listen to others, etc.
These self evaluation phrases reflect how reliable or dependable you are for your team members, especially under special circumstances.
Using these self appraisal phrases can help indicate how invested or engaged you are in taking ownership of work without being asked to at times.
Similar Read: 150+ performance review phrases for managers
The following self appraisal comments are important to help review your performance on the basis of how punctual and attentive you are.
Use these self evaluation phrases when you want to highlight your strengths/ areas of improvement of working with the team, your collaboration skills, etc.
Creativity self appraisal comments can help you in reflecting on how effectively you are able to come up with novel and innovative solutions to challenges and new ideas to augment the impact and value created.
The following phrase can create a picture of your quality of work and how much attention you pay while undertaking a particular task during your self reflection process.
You can use these self appraisal comments to illustrate how well you understand what is expected out of you and how well you are able to deliver on the same.
Customer satisfaction self evaluation performance phrases help gauge how effectively you are able to address customer requests or complaints that leads to a higher Net Promoter Score, brand credibility, etc.
Finally, these self-appraisal comments can help you highlight your growth plans towards your professional development and impact on the organization.
With a broad understanding of the more than 100+ self appraisal comments that you can use as a part of your self evaluation process, let’s move to this concluding section. Here, we will focus on sharing a few templates that employees can use to articulate their performance in an effective manner.
The self evaluation phrases mentioned above can be added at the right places in these templates to give a holistic picture of one’s performance. A few things to focus on include:
In the last <performance period>, I have successfully <activity/ initiative undertaken> which led to <tangible impact (metrics)> for the organization.
My focus was on <a detailed view of everything that was done> which resulted in <accomplishments>.
Overall, I believe that I have been able to create an impact by achieving <top 3 achievements> and seek to amplify the same in the future.
I believe that the last <performance period> has been full of learning and development for me.
While I was able to <quick snapshot of achievements>, I acknowledge that I need to pay attention to <areas of improvement>.
I believe that this focus will help me <intended outcome for improvement>.
Towards this, I will ensure that I consistently work towards <improvement plan (courses, behavioral changes)> to achieve <SMART goal>.
That said, self appraisal is an extremely crucial step of performance review. As a manager you must encourage your team members to provide honest reflection on their performance without being afraid of any negative consequences. Apart from providing the self appraisal comments mentioned above, you can also use assessment tools to make self appraisal a common practice within the organization.
Holistic performance reviews are integral for any organization that seeks to create a high performance culture. However, the nature of performance appraisals has undergone significant transformation with a focus on 360 feedback and review.
One of the key pillars for the same is employee self assessment and self appraisal. Through the course of this article, we will share with you why self assessment is important and how you, as a manager, can help your employees get it right to facilitate maximum impact.
As the name suggests, employee self assessment or self reflection is the practice or process where employees reflect on and assess their performance over a period of time to identify accomplishments, development areas and other performance aspects
The aim of self assessment is to get the employees’ view of their performance and add the information and data to manager and peer feedback. This can enable organizations to get a holistic understanding of the employee performance and gauge the overall contribution, some of which might be invisible from a macro view. Here are a few reasons why employee self assessment as a tool for performance review makes sense for growing organization:
With the rise of continuous performance management and regular review and appraisal, your self assessment process should follow a similar approach.
Instead of pushing employees to assess and reflect on their performance at the end of the year, you should encourage them to conduct regular self assessment
On one hand, regular and continuous performance linked self appraisal by employees will ensure that no part of their performance goes unnoticed. On the other hand, it will constantly give them a chance to reflect on their performance and improve on the development areas on the go, instead of waiting for the year end. Invariably, they will embark on the path of development and improvement at an accelerated pace.
Here, if you leverage employee pulse surveys which are short and frequent in nature, you can ensure consistent and continuous self reflection from employees. With as frequent as one question a day, you can encourage your employees to build a culture of performance-oriented self assessment.
With self assessment and reflection being a fairly new practice to performance management, many organizations and employees struggle with getting it right.
While some believe that employees might see it as a chance to explain their bad performance, others believe that it might end up biasing the manager’s perspective.
However, when done right, employee self assessment can be an extremely powerful tool to facilitate a high performance culture. Here are a few tips to get your employees conduct performance self assessment the right way:
Encourage your employees to be open and honest. Employees must not see self assessment as a place for self aggrandizing in the hope of a better rating, rather an honest assessment of one’s performance.
For self evaluation to be effective, your employees need to reflect on their performance without the worry of being penalized for identifying areas of development and improvement
It is important to not see self assessment as the sole foundation for promotions and appraisals, but rather as a journey towards growth.
Next, persuade your employees to reflect on their OKR performance. The idea is not only to assess what has been achieved with OKR grading. It should also include reflections from OKRs about the possible enablers and blockers to further refine them for the next performance period. The employee must be guided to reflect on what helped achieve the OKRs and what other support is required as well as what he or she would personally like to work towards.
Download: Free OKR grading template
Third, when self assessing for performance review, employees must incorporate feedback from their conversations with managers and peers. If your organization has a culture of regular 1:1s, this will be very easy for your workforce. The idea here is to motivate your employees to reflect on what feedback they have been able to gauge and whether or not according to them their performance is a reflection of the same. 360 degree feedback can also be a helpful tool for employees to understand all aspects of their performance.
Factors like what did the manager praise about their performance or what did a coworker thank them for are very important for self assessment.
Finally, as a part of performance review self assessment, employees need to reflect on the challenges and opportunities, both internal and external. Internally, they need to assess their attributes, skill sets and aspirations and align them with the expectations to gauge their level of performance. Similarly, external factors like resources, team support and their impact on performance needs to be documented.
When you share these above mentioned tips with your team members, they are bound to ask questions about the best practices for writing or filling up self assessment surveys in the most effective way. We have you covered for that as well. Here are a few quick tips to help your employees write effective self assessment:
If you look at these best practices closely, you will realize that the key to writing effective self assessment also lies in the questions that you ask.
Simply asking an open ended question like reflecting on your performance will seldom yield any substantial responses, mainly because your team members will struggle with starting their answers
Therefore, we have compiled a list of questions and potential answer prompts/ templates to help you make self assessment a part of your performance review process effectively.
Ensuring impact with self assessment is not only dependent on your team members. There are several ways in which managers of an organization can help build a culture of effective self evaluation.
Create an open culture where employee self reflection does not become the sole tool to penalize or promote employees, see it as an extended glimpse of performance
As we come to an end, it is clear that employee self assessments are an integral part of performance reviews and if conducted in the right manner have the potential to drive a high performing culture. However, we understand that administering and facilitating participation for self assessment can be daunting, especially for a growing organization.
Fortunately, custom pulse surveys by SuperBeings with automated sending and reminders, along with NLP based sentiment analysis can take care of the same for you. If interested, book a free demo today to learn more.