How to set up the ideal 360° (Performance) Review?
Are you asking yourself how to set up a functioning system for (performance) reviews and feedback at your company? We put what we learned from industry experts and our customers into a blueprint for the ideal review process!
To reap the benefits of effective feedback, our recommendation is:
- To run bi-annual reviews that include peer & upward feedback next to a self-assessment and manager assessment (360° perspective)
- To incorporate feedback on competencies and development potential to allow for a holistic review of what the person already does well and needs to improve on. Reviews are most effective when used to help employees understand and improve their weaker areas.
- To include performance ratings on goals to review a person’s performance in addition to their potential and competencies
Setting up the 360° (Performance) Review in Leapsome
This use case is built on using the Review module in Leapsome. In case you want to include a performance component in addition to reviewing competencies and potential, make sure to enable the Goal module as well.
Below, you’ll find a description on how to set up a best-practice 360° (Performance) Review template in Leapsome. It builds on your default scale for assessments and your company & team skills as well as on individual goals set up in the goal module (for the performance component).
Create a new template:
Name the template (e.g. '360° (Performance) Review') and decide whether other owners should be able to edit this template. Don’t give access rights to employees or managers as this is a centralized cycle.
Include all four perspectives:
- Manager Assessment
- Direct Report Assessment
- Peer Assessment
Below, enable the setting that participants select their peers and managers approve them. This enables each feedback receiver to pick the people whose feedback is most relevant to them while still giving managers a way to approve or change this selection. Managers do not need to be included in the scope, in order to approve peers in the case of peer-only feedback cycles.
We recommend allowing for a minimum of 2 peers and a maximum of 7 peers.
Include general and team-specific skills in the questionnaire. Ideally, all reviewer groups (i.e. the reviewee, manager, peers, and direct reports) rate each skill. Skill-related questions should be best answered with a required score and an optional comment. However, you can also set the score to 'optional' - in this case, a N/A option is available in addition to the scale points which comes in handy if some reviewers aren’t able to provide feedback for a skill.
If you want to include a performance rating, also include active, managed, individual goals into the questionnaire.
Additionally, add a few custom questions, e.g.
- What should I / he / she / they start doing?
- What should I / he / she / they stop doing?
- What should I / he / she / they continue doing?
- What is the most important development goal that I / he / she / they should be working on?
- What support do you need to move forward on your development goals? // What support could you offer to him / her / them to further develop in his / her / their role?
For further inspiration, check out our best-practice questions for 360° Performance Reviews!
Leapsome allows you to add private questions that only the manager and admins can access - use those for questions related to compensation and promotion decisions.
Make sure that the questionnaire is not too long! All in all, your employees shouldn’t be required to answer more than 15 to max 20 questions.
The visibility settings in your template are pre-populated according to best practices:
We recommend creating a transparent feedback culture in which people are used to giving each other open and constructive feedback. Allowing for non-anonymous feedback (as in the settings depicted above) gives people the chance to follow up with the feedback sender if they want to. If you are happy with this, simply leave the settings as they are.
If you prefer less transparency you can make assessments of direct reports and/or the peer assessments anonymous by setting 'Name of the author' to 'Non (anonymous)' for admins, managers and/ or reviewees.
As a final step in setting up your template, define the timeline. A typical 360° (Performance) Review is completed in about 4 weeks:
Afterward, activate your template.
When the time has come to start your first 360° (Performance) Review cycle 'use' the template to create a cycle from it.
When in the year should you run the 360° (Performance) Reviews?
Most of our customers schedule their 360° (Performance) Reviews for the second and fourth quarter of the calendar year and make sure everyone in the company gets feedback during those times.
Sometimes, that is not feasible for some teams. In this case simply set up a second cycle for those teams, e.g. in Q1 of the following year instead of Q4.
Often, there are compensation and promotion decisions attached to the second 360° (Performance) Review at the end of or beginning of the year. We recommend holding a calibration meeting / committee that is informed by the data and analytics from the 360° (Performance) Review but includes a 'human check-in progress'. Calibrating every manager’s feedback across the organization with the help of Leapsome review analytics allows for fair compensation decisions.
To dive deeper into best practices on how to run a 360° (Performance) Review we suggest reading this playbook.
Automated probation period feedback
In addition to the bi-annual 360° (performance) review, we recommend supporting your new hires with structured feedback during their probation period. Simply set up another template, include some of our best practice questions for probation appraisals, and afterwards set up an automation that creates a cycle for new hires after 2 or 3 months after their start date.
Of course, managers shouldn’t only check-in with and give feedback to their employees during their probation period and 360° (Performance) Reviews. That’s why Leapsome’s Instant Feedback and Meeting modules complement the Review and Goal modules. In addition to the bi-annual 360° (Performance) Reviews managers should ideally have weekly or bi-weekly 1:1s with their direct reports that focus on goal progress and roadblocks, coaching, feedback, and overall sentiments.
By combining Reviews, Goals, Instant Feedback, and Meetings as well as Surveys and Learning, Leapsome provides all the tools to create a streamlined and effective People Enablement System at your organization.