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Reviews & Continuous Feedback

We've abandoned the yearly performance review for a continuous feedback and improvement process. Our review cycles are divided into monthly reviews and weekly one-on-ones. Each monthly review should focus on a topic like goals, focus areas, 360 degree review and more. This topic should drive conversation and feedback throughout the month.

This is a new methodology and is still a work in progress.

Weekly 1:1s

Weekly one-on-ones are a great way to keep an open and continuous feedback cycle. These should be fairly open ended and allow a manager and employee to discuss a variety of topics. These checkins can be a simple review of the week, a venting sessions, or an opportunity to provide constructive criticism.

Ask the following questions:

  • How are you feeling?
  • What is on your mind?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • What are you most worried about?

The following are some questions worth asking, perhaps spread out throughout the year:

  • If we could improve in any way, how would we do it?
  • What’s the No. 1 problem with our organization? Why?
  • What’s not fun about working here?
  • Who is really kicking ass in the company? Who do you admire?
  • If you were me, what changes would you make?
  • What don’t you like about the product?
  • What’s the biggest opportunity that we’re missing out on?
  • What are we not doing that we should be doing?
  • Are you happy working here?

At the very core, these one-on-ones should be a coaching opportunity to improve an employees ability to succeed. Notes should be taken and added to Small Improvements for future reflection.

Review Calendar

The following outlines the current review calendar. Managers are encouraged to use these topics for monthly reviews.

Month Topic
January Goal setting
February Career long term
March 360 degree feedback
April Q1 review
May Love & Loathe
June Performance review
July Q2 review
August Focus areas
September 360 degree feedback
October Q3 review
November Removing barriers
December Performance review
Goal Setting

It's best to start off the year with a vision and goals. The first monthly topic should be dedicated to short and long term goal setting. Together, you should work to define yearly goals and then identify smaller, achievable goals. You can use Small Improvements to add goals and dates. It's recommended to have 5-10 goals per quarter.

Career Long Term

This topic is about understanding an employee's long-term careers. Where do they see themselves in 3, 5 and 10 years? This month is about identifying and discussing those career goals.

360 Degree feedback

360 reviews are conducted twice a year. During this month, a manager should have a review meeting to discuss feedback and understand how to improve. You should work together to explore if goals can be created from this feedback. Throughout the month, you should continue to discuss this feedback.

Quarterly Reviews

Quarterly reviews are a great opportunity to review the previous quarter holistically. These are not performance reviews. Instead, a quarter review is an opportunity to measure progress, learn from failures and course correct.

Quarterly reviews should kick off by review the goals that were set in the previous month. Praise should be given for goals that were achieved. If some goals were not, this is a great opportunity to understand why and devise a plan for achieving those goals in the next quarter. Upcoming quarter goals should be set as well. You should create simple, measurable goals for the next week, month or entire quarter. Don't stack all the goals with a single due date, spread them out throughout the month. These goals should be discussed in weekly one-on-ones as well.

Love & Loathe

We all love and love work, projects and clients. This is a great opportunity to be honest about your feelings. Employees should discuss what they love and loathe about their role and responsibilities. Likewise, you should discuss what you love and loathe about the company and your team.

Performance Review

Performance reviews should be conducted in Small Improvements and utilize the 2D chart as well as the questionnaire. Check SM for details about the upcoming review period, which should include a schedule for initiating, reviewing and locking. While performance reviews are conducted on a bi-yearly schedule, much of the discussion should be reflected in the other monthly meetings and weekly one-on-ones. This is an opportunity to review goals, set new ones and provide guidance on how to improve.

Focus Areas

This month should focus on the employee's "focus areas". What are their roles and responsibilities, which ones are in-focus and which are not. How can they improve by focusing on specific responsibilities.

Removing Barriers

This month should focus on removing barriers. Start by discussing the current barriers. Which are perceived barriers and which are real. Throughout the month, you should focus on removing those barriers. Start small and continue to develop throughout the month and beyond.