Question & Answer: Performance Management Processes

July 12, 2017 - 9 minute read - Posted by

After a successful webinar featuring Arkadium’s VP People Operations, Vivian Lee, we’re back to share more of her insights to some of your most frequently asked questions on performance management processes.


Table of Contents
Q1 How can the performance management process be linked to compensation?
Q2 Should managers encourage peer feedback?
Q3 How are long-term goals set in the performance management process?
Q4 What are some templates for creating employee scorecards?
Q5 How can employee data be obtained from the performance management process?
Q6 How are monthly check-in’s used in place of annual performance reviews?
Q7 How long is the lifespan of an employee scorecard?
Q8 How often should employee scorecards be updated?
Q9 How are competencies set for performance reviews?
Q10 How can 7Geese objectives and JIRA tasks be managed seamlessly?


Q1: How do you link frequent performance management process learnings and feedback to employee compensation and promotion strategy and decisions? Are you able to clearly recognize and reward the highest performers?

At the end of each quarter, after 3 monthly check-ins, managers at Arkadium must select the appropriate performance rating for each of their direct reports. This rating ultimately affects their quarterly bonus payments and identifies the company’s top performers.

In this particular aspect of the performance management process, Vivian believes that managers can more accurately determine employee ratings with recent monthly check-in information. Because employee ratings are not the only accurate measure of success, success metrics for objectives can change from quarter-to-quarter to accurately reflect performance in real-time.


Q2: Should managers encourage and enable peer-to-peer feedback in the performance management process?

Peer-to-peer feedback is always encouraged in the performance management process, but in most companies, delivered informally.

For instance, training on how to give and receive feedback is facilitated to equip employees to provide regular effective feedback as part of the company-wide performance management process.

That being said, not all companies need to have standardized peer-to-peer feedback as part of their performance management process or link it to compensation.


Q3: When and how do you set long-term personal development goals within the performance management process?

It is recommended to guide employees to include 1 personal development goal each quarter.

That being said, it may not be possible to incorporate a new personal development goal every quarter given new and more pressing priorities. In these cases, new personal development goals may only occur every other quarter or are rolled over to the next quarter.


Q4: Is there a template that we can use in creating a scorecard? A visual would be helpful.

Vivian recommends the book, “Who, The A Method for Hiring”. It contains a chapter covering scorecards and has guided her in creating Arkadium’s own scorecard template as part of their performance management process.


Q5: How can employee data are drawn from the performance management process be used to support decisions on compensation changes?

Vivian’s approach to base salary adjustment decisions is largely based on the market data for the role. The performance management process plays a major role in communicating how an employee’s performance is being reflected in this decision process.

For example, if you are a high performer that is already being paid at market rate, there will be a salary increase as a result of high performance which is communicated as a part through employee data collected in the performance management process. That being said, the salary increase may still be minimal since the employee is already being paid at market rate.

Once salary decisions are made, we recommend managers communicate the decision with a supporting information with regards to market rate and individual performance so as to be clear on how the decision was made.


Q6: I’m not an HR manager but work in Operations. We currently have monthly check-ins and annual performance reviews. One of the arguments against moving away from annual performance reviews is that they are required for legal purposes. Are there any legal ramifications for moving from annual performance reviews to an ongoing performance management process?

While we are no legal experts, we can certainly say it’s wise to have formal documentation on the performance of your employees, especially if someone is underperforming. The key change in moving from any annual performance review cycle to an ongoing performance management process is that performance is addressed regularly—hence, this change does not eliminate any necessary legal documentation required.

For example, Arkadium’s performance management process includes monthly performance reviews, which captures, even more, data on employee performance than their previous annual performance review cycle. Optionally, employees can also be given a rating at the end of each quarter despite the fact that the performance review cycle is no longer only occurring annually. Therefore, an ongoing performance management process actually provides greater ability for managers to capture data around employee performance.


Q7: Does a scorecard span the life of an employee’s role or is it updated each quarter?

In the case of Arkadium, the scorecard is meant to span the life of each employee’s role with occasional updates.


Q8: How often should employee scorecards update? Do they differ per employee?

Employee scorecards are not meant to be updated frequently within the performance management process. Scorecards may be revisited once a year, or on an as needed basis should the requirements of a role change drastically. Scorecards will differ with each role.


Q9: Should there be set competencies for performance reviews or is it open? If you have a set of competencies, can you add different ones in each evaluation?

Every role in your team has a unique set of competencies.

At Arkadium, competencies are selected by role from a larger list. Managers were then asked to review employee performance using scorecards. This part of the performance management process clarifies each role’s competencies and outcomes.

With each new monthly or quarterly review cycle, managers can decide whether the employee performed well against previously decided competencies for their role.


Q10: We use JIRA to manage engineering tasks and 7Geese for overall objectives. How do you manage the information overlap between OKRs in 7Geese and JIRA tasks?

Vivian found success by communicating to departments the difference in purpose of task tracking software like JIRA and the tracking of objectives within 7Geese.

First, the purpose of 7Geese for Arkadium is to promote transparency so that employees across the company can see what others are working on. So there isn’t a need to go too granular.

7Geese provides an overview of the major goals that individual employees and/or departments are working on and allows others to see the overall progress.

At 7Geese, we use Asana to maintain an ongoing list of tasks to prioritize and complete. Similar to using JIRA, we’re able to eliminate any potential of duplicate logging by clearly separating high-level tracking of objectives from small daily to-do tasks.


Next Read: How  Google Reinvigorated Performance Management


Also published on Medium.

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