What are review cycles?
Review cycles are the framework for your performance, 360° or leadership reviews. They contain questions, participants (employees that will be reviewed) and a timeline for your review process.
Once defined, the system will automatically handle the review process. Even better, you can take this cycle as a baseline for future reviews by "cloning" it.
You can interrupt the setup of your review cycle at any time and get back to it at a later stage - just make sure that you click the "Save and Continue" button after your last changes.
1st step - Base settings
To set up a new review cycle, go to the "Reviews" tab, select "Admin - by cycle" and click "Create a new cycle". In the first step, the platform will ask you for a name, a description and the owners of the cycle.
The name of your cycle will show up in all notifications related to your 360°, performance or leadership review. Pick a name that is easily identifiable, such as "Marketing Team Q4 / 2018".
The description is optional and can contain the motivation of the review or general guidelines on how to write reviews in your process. All participants will have access to this description when writing their reviews.
These are people that will have full access to the review cycle's statistics and settings. By default, the person creating the cycle will be the first owner - you can add as many owners as you like.
2nd step - Participants
"Participants" are the employees that will be reviewed in this cycle. You can add participants individually by typing their name or add full teams or the entire company by choosing from the corresponding dropdown.
360° reviewers of each participant will be nominated after the kick-off of your cycle. The manager and direct reports of each participant will be pulled from your "Users & Teams" settings (if you're using one of our HRIS integrations, this data will be automatically synchronized). If the manager changes before kick-off of the cycle, it will be updated accordingly.
If no manager is defined, the platform assumes that the owner of the cycle will write the manager review.
3rd step - Scope and Visibility
Choosing a template
Leapsome offers three best practice templates:
- Simple Review: In this scenario, each employee will write a self-evaluation and will be reviewed by his or her manager. After the review, the employee will discuss the results with the manager and sign the review digitally.
- 360° Review: This review template adds the perspective of other direct reports of the reviewee and / or peer reviewers. While direct reports are automatically pulled from your employee directory, peer reviewers can be "nominated" by the reviewee or his / her manager.
- Leadership Review: This scenario enables upward feedback towards managers. Each participant (manager) will write a self-evaluation and can be reviewed by direct reports or nominated peer reviewers.
As you can see below, each template consists of a number of settings that can be fully customised. This should allow you to cover any use case and fully adjust the review scope and privacy to the needs of your company.
Changing the visibility and anonymity settings
As you can see in the screenshot above, you can define who should see which review components and if reviewers should remain anonymous or not. You can even choose different levels of anonymity (like hiding the name of the reviewer from the participant but showing it to the owner of the cycle).
4th step - Questions
Base questionnaire and role-specific questions
This step allows you to define the questions that will be asked during each review. Perspectives differ and might require different questions: That's why you will be able to define a base questionnaire (asked in each self-evaluation, peer review and manager review in this cycle), or specific questions for self-evaluations, 360° reviews and manager reviews.
Using your skill framework as a base questionnaire
Before you set up your first review, try to set up your skills & values - that way, you can use consistent dimensions across feedback and reviews. The current set of skills and values (for the company or individual teams) will appear in your base questionnaire when you create a new cycle.
While you can disable them all, we highly recommend to use as many of these as possible: Each reviewer will see previous feedback given on a particular dimension to a particular person when writing his or her review.
An example: Throughout the year, Jane gave Tim private feedback on his communication skills. When writing a (more formal) end-of-year review for Tim, Jane will see a timeline of her feedback to Tim and can use previous examples to write a more accurate and consistent review.
Adding custom questions
You can obviously add custom questions to your reviews - they can be open-ended or require a scaled answer. Here are a few best-practice questions that you can use for your reviews.
If you're using Leapsome's goal module and assign goals to individual employees, you can include these goals in your review cycles. To do, simply enable the corresponding option. This will automatically create a question for every goal that is
- owned by an individual participant
- managed by his / her manager (not self-managed)
- active or frozen during the last 4 weeks (at time of review cycle creation)
The question will be visible to manager and reviewee and will ask them to update the goal's progress and leave a comment on current progress.
Customizing the default scale
To ensure comparability and enable the calculation of aggregate statistics in your account, a common scale is used for all scaled questions in your review cycles. You can define that scale (and its labels) under "Settings > Admin Settings".
5th step - Timeline
Defining a timeline
In the final step before kick-off, you can define a timeline for your review cycle. The platform will use this to automatically send emails to all participants and review writers, reminding them about their involvement in the corresponding step of the process.
The actual steps will depend on your review cycle setup (and the inclusion of self-evaluations, 360° reviews and manager reviews). It can be edited during the review cycle process, so don't worry if you're not sure about the best intervals right away.
Receiving automated reminders
While the dates mark the official kick-off of each step, the platform always tries to manage the process as efficiently as possible. If a process step completes earlier and all prerequisites for the next step are met, it will automatically move to the next step.
6th step - Confirmation
If you're satisfied with your settings, you can confirm them.
In the next step, you will see the preliminar status overview of your cycle (where you can start assigning peer reviewers, change individual participants, etc.). Before the kickoff date, you can always go back and edit your settings.