Visual Basic

Project planning

Performance reviews should be viewed as a project, and as such, a project plan should be developed over the whole performance review period, culminating when all performance reviews are to be held. For the purposes of the table below, let's assume that the performance review period is a year that starts in March and ends in February with the review itself. A basic Critical Path Analysis might be as follows:

Preparation Work

Area Action Timeframe
Job descriptions and primary responsibilities Write and agree upon job description with employee focusing on the primary responsibilities End of Feb
Key objectives (or goals) Isolate agreed-upon goals from each responsibilities and discuss the timeframe for achievement over the 11-month period with the employee

Make sure that you also link the goals to the Individual Preparation Form

Consider asking the clients to give feedback on the employee against the performance areas listed in the Individual Preparation Form; otherwise, you will have no objective feedback on performance in these areas other than the employee's own

End of Feb
1:1 meetings Set up 1:1 meetings in your calendar for every month from March to January End of Feb
Budgets Board to agree on amounts to be assigned to (a) performance review increases for total company, and (b) percentage increases to be assigned to each performance rating Dec

Preparation Over the Performance Review Year

Area Action Timeframe
1:1 meetings Make sure that you hold regular 1:1 meetings with the employee every month to review progress and performance against every one of the goals and objectives

Obtain regular feedback from the employee's client on his or her performance against predefined goals

Rate the employee's performance against each goal every month using the same criteria as in the performance review form (for example, A, B, C, D)

Make sure that the goals and timeframes are reviewed and revised in line with the changing business needs so that they are always current

Every month from March to Jan
PDPs Identify any development needs that are agreed upon during these 1:1 meetings with either the employee or the client and transfer these needs onto the employee's PDP form, ensuring that the development process actually happens (this gives the employee every chance to achieve or surpass their objectives) Every month from March to Jan
Booking performance review meetings Book a review meeting in your calendar for every employee who reports to you. You should assume one review in the morning and one in the afternoon (more than this is too many in one day)

Book an appropriate venue

Let each direct report know the date, time, and venue for their review throughout February

First two weeks in Jan

Preparation Just Before the Performance Review Meeting

Area Action Timeframe
Individual Preparation Form Each employee should complete and return their preparation form to you at least 10 working days before the performance review meeting Mid Jan
1:1 meeting notes If you have held 1:1 meetings every month and assigned a performance rating against each goal as you have gone along, you will have comprehensive records of performance throughout the year. You need only to average these to come up with a rating covering the whole year. It should be a simple process. Mid Jan
Individual Preparation Forms Read each person's Individual Preparation Form and determine (a) those areas where there is consensus of opinion between you and the employee, and (b) those areas where your opinions on performance differ.

Where you differ in opinion, determine why and decide which opinion you will discuss at the review meeting.

Second two weeks in Jan
Client review forms or notes Review all the client notes you have for the 11 months and compare these with your 1:1 notes and the Individual Preparation Form notes. As above, determine (a) where there is consensus between the client, you, and the employee, and (b) where the opinions differ

Where there is a difference of opinion, decide which opinion you will discuss at the review meeting

Second two weeks in Jan
PDPs Review the employee's PDP and make a note of any development that had been requested and agreed upon but that had not taken place. Second two weeks in Jan
Appraisal form You can either complete an appraisal form in note form or make comprehensive notes and complete the form after the review meeting. Remember that meeting the employee will still have a contribution to make at the meeting, so don't make it look as though you've already decided what will be included. Wait to hear the employee's side of the story before finalizing the form, although very little in that meeting should be a surprise to either you or the employee if you have held regular 1:1s Two working days before the review

Follow-Up from the Review Meeting

Area Action Timeframe
Finishing the performance review Write up the performance review form and send this to the employee for his or her comments and signature. As soon as you have their signature, you should sign the form as well. When this is done, the performance rating is authorized

Give a photocopy to the employee and keep the original in his or her personnel file

No more than the three working days after the performance review
Assigning salary increases Follow up with a semiformal letter to the employee stating (a) his or her performance rating (b) the percentage increase that has been assigned to this rating, and (c) his or her revised salary with effective date. The original goes to the employee and a copy goes into his or her personnel file

Actual salary increases should be incorporated into your budget.

Setting new goals Sit down with the employee and mutually agree to new goals and objectives for the coming 11 months, and start the process all over again Complete by mid-March, so that employees have 10.5 months to achieve new goals

The Effects of the Year 2000

Some companies are offering "golden handcuffs" (stock options) in response to the Year 2000 situation, meaning they hope the money will keep their employees around. Others are putting off the decision as to whether to offer cash inducements until the situation unfolds and possibly worsens. Many experts, however, feel that golden handcuffs will not have the desired effect. As we've said above, money, typically, will not be enough to keep people. People leave because of unsupportive management, lack of opportunity and/or a lack of fit between the company's and the person's values. A fulfilling career, challenge, and fresh skill acquisition are what keeps people. We feel that payments based on people staying is really a just form of bribery, and proper career development and training are more important in the long run.