A “Performance Review” System (with Templates)

This resource is a “Performance Review” system and templates. We call it a “Results and Development Review” because it’s less focused on measuring the person and more focused on measuring the results and developing the person.

Build a performance review system that your good managers and employees look forward to. If your best people dread performance review time, then you’re doing something wrong.

The fundamental and distinguishing characteristics of the Results and Development Review compared to a more typical Performance Review are:

1. Employee-Driven Not Manager-Driven. The best company results and most employee development happen when they’re owned and driven by the employee. Also, by making this system employee-driven, it reinforces your culture of ownership and accountability.

2. One Piece of a People Management and Development System. The Results and Development Review doesn’t work without the other parts. The pieces of the system work together as one. As you can see in the People Management and Development System, every manager has a 1-1 meeting with each employee, and every 1-1 meeting has a portion on feedback. The materials and notes from those weekly 1-1 sessions are what drive the review. Feedback is ongoing and contemporaneous, not once or twice a year in bulk. The Results and Development Review has limited new feedback and is more of a compilation and review of the feedback received during the period.

3. Focus on Creation of Value Through Company Results and Personal Development. The focus of the system is on the value created by the employee for the company (company results) and by the company for the employee (employee development), not on grading the employee. The Results and Development template and instructions ensure that you keep that focus.

4. Separate from Compensation Discussions. The review is not focused on grading the employee, and not on reward or punishment, but on gaps in skills, opportunities to learn and improve, and areas to grow as a person and employee, so compensation discussions are separate in time and space. The best learning happens when people are comfortable admitting mistakes and being critical of themselves, which is difficult when your compensation is going to be set right afterwards and all you can think about is how much your raise will be.

5. Minimize Bias and Subjectivity. Results from a study of performance reviews revealed that “idiosyncratic rater effects” accounted for more of the review than the performance by the employee. By focusing on company results and personal development, minimizing bias also becomes easier.

6. High Ratio of Value to Cost, Shorter Process, Lower Stress, Lower Anxiety. Instead of a performance review system that focuses on new feedback, makes people anxious, takes hours and hours of time for limited value, and happens twice a year, this system builds on material already created during the year, has fewer surprises, and is energizing when run well.

7. Two-Way System. The Results and Development Review and the People Management and Development System work in both directions. Feedback goes from the team and manager to the employee, but also from the employee to the team, manager, and company. People learn and receive feedback better when they’re also teaching and giving feedback.

8. Create a Culture of Learning. Your organization is more likely to hire and retain the best people, and get the most out of them, when your organization values learning, growth, improvement, and iteration. The Results and Development System builds and reinforces that culture.

You can see the full details of the Results and Development Review in the template and instructions.

Please share this resource with anyone who might find it valuable.

If you found this valuable, here are some other OpsMBA resources you might like:

List of templates from this resource:

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