People Management and Development System (with Templates)

One of the 6 Steps for Creating Better Managers is to create a People Management and Development System for your organization.

What’s a People Management and Development System?

A People Management and Development System is the high-level framework for how your managers manage. It helps ensure that the parts of management that should be consistent across the organization are applied uniformly. It guides your managers when they’re building their own management systems.

The best way to understand a People Management and Development System is to see an example. Here’s a template:

People Management and Development System Template

Formal 1-1s (every week or two) with an agenda

  • Everyone has a formal 1-1 with their manager.
  • The employee sets the agenda, but the manager can add items to it.
  • Use a shared document for the agenda and to take notes in during the meeting. Both parties should take notes in this document at each 1-1 and between meetings, on the items discussed, feedback given, results achieved, and employees growth and development. Those notes will be the basis for your performance review system.
  • An example 1-1 agenda:
    • Review notes from last time
    • Review task list / Review workload
    • Prioritize tasks, problem solve
    • Review status of goals
    • Feedback for manager and company
    • Feedback for employee
  • A template for the 1-1s

Casual 1-1s (monthly or quarterly) over lunch, coffee, drinks, walk, bike, other exercise or activity

  • More casual, informal catch-ups with no agenda. The goal is to build the relationship between the manager and employee, have a conversation in a different, more relaxed environment, get higher level than the usually tactical formal 1-1, talk more about career goals than job goals.

Ongoing unstructured feedback in every direction

  • We provide ongoing feedback to our employees, managers, and coworkers. We do it as soon as possible and do it directly. When helpful, we follow up in writing, often in the 1-1 document.

Semi-Annual Results and Development Review

  • Our version of what is often called a performance review. Here’s much more detail on the system, with templates.
  • Each person does a Results and Development Review twice a year, in January and July, aligned with the timing of our goal-setting processes.
  • The Results and Development Review is focused on:
    • Value created for company by employee
    • Value created for employee by company
    • Employee’s growth, development, and career progress
    • Confirming or updating internal job description
    • Confirming or updating goals
    • Feedback for person, manager, team, company
  • Not a “performance” review. Performance reviews are too focused on grading or scoring the person and feels like getting your report card in school. Feedback should be ongoing and contemporaneous, not once or twice a year in bulk. This process is focused on the results achieved and the employee’s growth and development.

Growth and Development Plan

  • As part of our company goal to achieve great things and make this the best place to work in the world, we invest in the growth and development of our team.
  • Each person works with their manager on a Growth and Development Plan to gain skills, add more value on the job, progress down their career path, and become the best version of themselves.
  • At each Results and Development Review, we review our progress on our Growth and Development Plan from the previous period and we create or update the plan for the following period.

Internal Job Description


  • For all of this to work, we need documentation. We have a management document for each employee that memorializes the meetings, feedback, and projects. The 1-1 template can serve as this document. We add to that document on an ongoing basis.

Semi-Annual Compensation Reviews

  • Management team with each person’s manager, with support from finance and HR teams as necessary, reviews each person’s compensation twice a year.
  • Manager discusses compensation with the employee at the end of each year.
  • Manager discusses compensation with the employee in the middle of the year if changes are being made or questions have arisen from the employee.
  • Compensation setting is based on whatever data we can gather on the market (from surveys, specific offers we know about, and other sources) and on our own compensation plan and philosophy, and the company budget.
  • The common goal in setting negotiations should be fairness.
  • Compensation review is separate from the Results and Development Review.

Combine your People Management and Development System with the other five parts of the 6 Steps to Creating Better Managers to get the best results.

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